The final day of the 2014 Ottawa Bluesfest started off with rain meaning few festival-goers made it over to LeBreton Flats for the early shows, but the dreary weather thankfully made way to beautiful sunny skies later on in the day.
Eventful Capital began the final hours by checking out Montreal orchestral indie pop band Groenland over on the River Stage. Comprised of members Jean-Vivier Lévesque on keys, melodica and vocals, Sabrina Halde on ukulele and vocals, Jonathan Charette on drums, Fanny C. Laurin on violon, Gabrielle Girard-Charest on cello and Simon Gosselin on bass, the group got right into their set and opened withThe Chase, the title-track found on their debut album. They continued with Superhero, Daydreaming, Criminals, La pieuvre, 26 septembre, the popular Immune, The Things That I’ve Done, Our Last Shot and Our Hearts Like Gold. About half-way through the set, the lead-singer performed Some Of Us solo, a beautiful song that isn’t featured on the album that was composed during the group’s trip to Îles-de-la-Madeleine. It was a special intimate moment that the crowd was pleased to share with Halde as everyone snapped along to her song. Groenland demonstrated great stage presence and projected a fun contagious energy that quickly spread throughout the intimate crowd. The members share a strong group synergy that translated beautifully on stage and this made for a solid performance. They concluded their set with a new song and thanked the crowd for their cheers and applause, promising to be back soon in the National Capital Region.
Meanwhile on the Claridge Stage, the AJ Ghent Band chased the clouds with their feel-good funk, soul and blues music. Despite the small crowd gathered, the Atlanta, Georgia band led by steel pedal guitarist and vocalist AJ Ghent, got everyone dancing along. A relatively new group, the AJ Ghent Band’s debut album will be released soon, so in the meantime they gave Ottawa a taste of what they’ve got to offer: a whole lot of grooving and killer singing accompanied by some serious guitar playing. It was a solid performance and they were thankful for the crowd, regardless of how small it was.
Because of weather-related delays, Said The Whale, which were initially scheduled to perform at 3 pm took the Main Stage right after AJ Ghent Band’s set at 5 pm. The Vancouver-based indie rock 5-piece band attracted a good crowd of festival-goers and people who were there to see the BC musicians seemed genuinely pleased by their 60-minute set. Said The Whale performed songs from their repertoire including The Light Is You, My Government Heart, Big Sky, MT, Safe to Say, Resolutions, Seasons, and Oh K, Okay.
Back on the River Stage, it was The Darcys turn to perform live for their Bluesfest debut. The Toronto alternative rock band, comprised of Jason Couse, Wes Marskell, Dave Hurlow, and Mike Le Riche, has performed in Ottawa before, but it was the first time Eventful Capital had the chance to catch them live, and they gave a solid set for the Bluesfest crowd. The 4-piece mainly performed pieces from their latest album “Warring”, which was long-listed for the 2014 Polaris Music Prize. Notably, they offered a beautiful rendition of their song The River by the river and setting sun on the River Stage, it was perfect.
Moist making a come back at the 2014 Ottawa Bluesfest © Photo: Eventful Capital
Eventful Capital concluded the 2014 edition of Bluesfest by checking out Moist, a Canadian band who’s recently made a comeback. The alternative rock band, who officially regrouped in June 2013 after a decade-long hiatus, was in great shape and delivered a surprisingly lively set to their fans’ delight. Frontman David Usher looked and sounded as good as ever and projected tons of on-stage energy and was clearly pleased by the crowd’s positive response to their set. The group performed the songs Tangerine, Silver, Underground, Breathe, Black Black Heart, Resurrection, and Push. They also tested the new single off of their upcoming new album called Mechanical, which was well-recieved by the crowd.
Later on, Sam Roberts Band and Collective Soul wrapped up the festival, but unfortunately Eventful Capital wasn’t able to catch their sets.
All in all, it was yet another fantastic edition of Bluesfest enjoyed by record crowds. Big congrats and thank you’s go out to the organizers and volunteers for their stellar work to ensure that one of the most reputable festivals in the world keeps getting better and better year after year.