Yesterday was Day 4 of Bluesfest and I attended several shows on a beautiful sunny Saturday. The festival has been graced by lovely weather so far and let’s hope it remains this way for the rest of it.
The evening started with Ottawa’s-own DJ Illo who was playing on the Electro Stage. DJ Illo has been deejaying in Ottawa for over 15 years now and has lots of experience making people dance. Although there weren’t many people that had arrived on site at that time, he managed to have a small crowd and his music selection definitely made me dance as always Thank you Illo!
After DJ Illo’s set, we made our way to the River Stage to check out Lynn Drury, a Mississippi singer-songwriter who now lives in New Orleans. Armed with her guitar and long curly hair, she somewhat reminded me of Sheryl Crow, but with a different sound. Drury’s laid-back style and southern accent seemed to charm festival-goers and her Mississippi Grit and New Orleans Groove sound was sweet mellow music to my ears.
We then returned to the Electro Stage for Nobody Beats The Drum, a trio of Dutch guys from Amsterdam who produce Electronic Dance Music and catchy video montages. Their unique audio-visual performance definitely caught my eye (and ears!) and made me want to discover more from them!
Afterwards, we went back to the River Stage to hear Marcia Ball, a lovely lady from Texas who’s an excellent piano-player. Ball’s music is a mix of swamp blues, Louisiana blues and New Orleans R&B and it is highly addictive to dance to! Ball grabbed my attention as soon as she hit the stage with her irresistibly contagious charisma and saucy songs. A great musical discovery!
Then off we went to the Main Stage to catch a glimpse of the legendary Alice Cooper who wore a Senators jersey for the occasion. The not-so-young Cooper gave a theatrical 45-minute performance including guillotines and fake blood in front of an impressive crowd that had gathered for Iron Maiden scheduled to perform right after. Despite his age (64 years old!), Cooper gave an energetic performance and closed off with his hit single School’s Out.
We went back to the Electro Stage once more to catch the end of Mustard Pimp’s set, a DJ signed to Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak records. The crowd was significantly larger than before as people were flocking over for MSTRKRFT. The visuals were pretty neat combined with his sound selection but I was really just looking forward to the next set.
MSTRKRFT were more than on time, starting their set 2 minutes ahead of schedule, and they pleased the crowd right from the start and did so until the very end. Their set lasted 1 hour 30 minutes, which is pretty long for a DJ set at a festival, but the duo from Toronto managed to keep festival-goers dancing from start to finish. Bluesfest organizers were probably thrilled to see that the crowd consisted mostly of teenagers and young adults. Mission accomplished in terms of attracting a younger audience!
Stay tuned for a review of Day 5 at Bluesfest which includes the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars, A Tribe Called Red, Seal and Chromeo!