Day 6 of the 2013 Ottawa Bluesfest was beautiful and it showed as festival-goers arrived early and in large numbers to see acts such as Animal Collective, El-P, Solange, Passion Pit, A Tribe Called Red, and Weezer perform live.
Animal Collective opened the evening on the Bell Stage, but unfortunately gave a rather underwhelming performance. Although their music may be enjoyable in a different setting, it certainly wasn’t meant for an inattentive crowd of festival-goers, many of which had arrived early for Weezer, the night’s headliner. What’s more, the experimental psychedelic/neo/art rock band from Baltimore, Maryland, hardly interacted with the crowd, which certainly didn’t help with the show’s overall energy level. At one point, a group of dancing people wearing animal masks and costumes came out of nowhere and provided the sole entertaining thing that happened during Animal Collective.
Meanwhile on the River Stage, rapper El-P, also known as El Producto, was concluding his set alongside a few sidekicks. Regardless of his notable performance, the crowd wasn’t too enthusiastic despite the rapper’s attempt to get people to react to his music. El-P did his thing and finished his set with the track A Christmas Fucking Miracle, maybe not the best choice when it’s almost 40 degree Celsius with the humidex, just sayin’.
Day 6 was off to a disappointing start until Solange hit the River Stage with her group of funky musicians and back-up singers. An impressive crowd had gathered for a chance to see Beyoncé’s little sister perform live for the first time in Ottawa. The 27-year old came on stage 10-minutes behind schedule wearing an adorable red summer dress, looking as cute as a button. She kicked off her set with the song Some Things Never Seem to Fucking Work, but apparently this wasn’t supposed to be the opening track. Ironically, it fit well as it turned out the sound was completely off and we could hardly hear her vocals. Solange even had to stop and apologize to the crowd for having to deal with the worst sound conditions in her career! It was unbearable for her and the audience and a shame coming from one of the biggest festivals in North America. Despite the horrible technical problems, the singer-songwriter remained professional and seemed to enjoy her time on stage, as she danced around and pointed out the beautiful setting and sunset before her. The setlist included the songs Don’t Let Me Down, Locked in Closets, Bad Girls and Losing You. She thanked the crowd many times for their presence and support and ended her set earlier than expected, most likely due to the sound quality, or lack thereof.
Discouraged by the way the performance turned out, Eventful Capital headed to the Black Sheep stage to check out part of Grandtheft’s set. The Toronto DJ and producer did not disappoint as he played some great remixes and original material from his repertoire and got the crowd moving. He wrapped things up with his remix of Calvin Harris and Florence Welch’s Sweet Nothing to which festival-goers sang along.
Back on the River Stage, fans patiently waited for Passion Pit to take the stage as the group started 10 minutes late. The American musicians, who are no strangers to the Ottawa Bluesfest, opened their set on a high note with The Reeling from the debut album Manners. They continued with I’ll Be Alright and the popular Little Secrets and had great on-stage presence but since the sound started off again and that there was more to see, it was off to the Black Sheep stage for Eventful Capital.
Ottawa’s own A Tribe Called Red certainly saved the day with a contagious high-powered set that had everyone dancing! It was great to witness the amount of people gathered behind the Canadian War Museum to see the local DJ collective perform live. Their set list included the tracks Braves (Remix), Trap Heat, Unlimited Trap, and Sisters along with some new material that was very well received by the crowd. It was a great home-coming for the boys who have been on tour and Ottawa get them a warm welcome demanding an encore at the end of the set, which A Tribe Called Red obliged to.
Despite technical difficulties, Day 6 of the 2013 Ottawa Bluesfest is definitely a highlight for Eventful Capital and it will go down as a memorable day packed with amazing live music.