For Day 5 of Bluesfest, I decided to check out the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars, A Tribe Called Red, Seal and Chromeo.
I especially attended Day 5 to see the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars whom I simply adore. If you don’t know this band’s story, you should definitely check out the documentary film that was made on them titled Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars. Their sound is a mix of African music and reggae, which is extremely contagious and impossible to resist. Their music is definitely captivating and inspiring and it sends a positive message of hope and that anything is possible if you have the will and the determination. The group performed in front of a good crowd of people that had gathered at the River Stage. For some, seeing the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars was a way to discover new world music and for others, it was an opportunity to dance and sing along to the songs from the group’s three studio albums. The gentlemen from the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars made me travel back to the Motherland on a beautiful summer afternoon and I can’t thank them enough for the wonderful feeling
Afterwards, we went straight to the Electro Stage for Ottawa’s-own A Tribe Called Red. My favorite local deejays were opening for none other than Chromeo! These boys have been working very hard to get where they are at and it definitely shows. They prepared a unique audio-visual experience for their Bluesfest crowd that left many wanting more. The creators of the Pow Wow Step gave festival-goers track after track of that unique sound that is true to them and them only and they even played some new material to everyone’s delight. Their one-hour set flew by very quickly and I’m happy I was there to celebrate A Tribe Called Red’s success Keep making us proud ATCR!
Before Chromeo’s set, we had a bit of time on our hands so we decided to go see part of Seal’s performance on the Claridge Stage. The British Soul and R&B singer attracted a much larger crowd than I had expected. Having said this, he was the biggest name featured on Day 5′s lineup along with being an experienced performer. Seal took the time between songs to speak to his fans and even shook some hands and smiled for the photographers on hand. I didn’t get to here my favorite song of his Fly Like an Eagle, but Seal did sing his famous single Kiss From a Rose and the popular Crazy.
Once Seal finished his performance, we headed back to the Electro Stage for Chromeo while Norah Jones was getting ready to start her show on the Main Stage. Having seen Chromeo perform twice in Ottawa before, I know how great they are on stage. However, since Dave 1 and P-Thugg were only playing a DJ set for Bluesfest, things were different and not as exciting as when the duo sings and plays live instruments. Nonetheless, Chromeo attracted a large audience and their audio-visual set clearly pleased the crowd who danced to their music selection. Still, I was a bit dissappointed given that they are one of the best (if not THE best) Electrofunk group around. Why a DJ set as opposed to a performance? Is that what Bluesfest organizers wanted from the Montreal-duo? Maybe, maybe not but this was in my opinion a bad call for Chromeo.
Stay tuned for more reviews as we head into the second of Bluesfest!