RBC Ottawa Bluesfest – Day 8.
Today’s Headliner: The Barenaked Ladies
Yung Lean: This was either the worst hip hop performance I’ve ever seen, or what hip hop is going to sound like in a year. I’m not quite sure which. Huge beats and quite possibly the worst rapping I’ve ever heard on a stage. Does that make 17-year-old Swedish artist Yung Lean interesting? Yyyup.
Slash w. Miles Kennedy the Co-Conspirators: Like Roger Waters tours as ‘Roger Waters’ and David Gilmour Tours as ‘Pink Floyd,’ Axl Rose tours as Guns N Roses and Slash tours as Slash. Which one is more official? Closer to the original? Who cares. This was Slash and a bunch of very capable musicians playing GNR songs in the blazing sun at full blast.
Probably not the best Slash has ever been able to rip up and down the fretboard, but still loud and awesome.
Third Eye Blind: “PLAY YOUR NEW STUFF!”
Co-incidentally, I ran into at least 4 people earlier in the day who were genuinely thrilled to be going to see Third Eye Blind. So, they were probably pretty happy with this. If you’re a hardcore at festivals, and are reading a music blog early on Saturday afternoon, Third Eye Blind is not the greatest live show you are ever going to see. But, they were clearly happy to be there, and were giving it all they had.
Jaques Green: Toronto’s Jaques Green spun big beats, house, and that certain flavour of dance club music that sounds as good through headphones as it does in a club. There was rarely only one element playing, and Green was manipulating sound more than most. He’s a talented musician, though, and so his set didn’t sound busy. It sounded full, thick, and awesome.
July Talk: Really unique-sounding garage rock from Toronto. A female-male lead duo of vocalists, this band sounds like Tom Waits joined the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and they decided to play punk rock.Tons of energy and an unmistakeable sound. I con’t describe it, you have to hear it.
Ryan Hemsworth: A tremendously talented DJ from Halifax. More R&B/Hip Hop focused than Jaques Green’s set, but equally lush and dense. Lots of DJs play great tracks, but are not really all that great at putting all of the pieces together. Ryan Hemsworth’s set was seamless. The art of DJing is to make everything blend into one continual thought. Ryan Hemsworth is one of the best I’ve seen at that art.