Day 4 of the Ottawa Jazz Festival saw David Byrne & St. Vincent perform under a menacing sky at Confederation Park.
David Byrne, who gained popularity as the founding member of new wave group Talking Heads, partnered with St. Vincent, also known as Annie Clark, in 2009 and together they released a collaborative album titled Love This Giant in 2012.
It’s principally the fruit of this labour that the two established artists presented on the Main stage this past Sunday, June 23. David Byrne donned an all-white blazer for the occasion while St. Vincent wore an elegant navy dress. They were joined on stage by a impressive group of musicians including an imposing horn-section comprised of a trombone, a trumpet, a tenor saxophone, an alto saxophone, a tuba, a french horn, a clarinet, a sousaphone and a flute. Not only did they steal the show with their musical talent and skills, they also danced carefully choreographed moves throughout the performance.
The lighting arrangements were particularly well-done, providing eye-catching visual effects throughout.
The set opened with Who and Weekend in the Dust and followed with the songs I am An Ape, Optimist, Lazarus, and I Should Watch TV all from the collaborative project Love This Giant.
To the crowd’s delight, the pair also alternated between David Byrne/Talking Heads material and St. Vincent songs performing Save Me From What I Want, Strange Overtones, Marrow, This Must Be the Place, The Forest Awakes, Cheerleader, Like Humans Do, Lightning AC, and Wild Wild Life.
An hour into the set, a thunderstorm struck and forced organizers to halt the show for about 20 minutes after which David Byrne & St. Vincent resumed to close the night with three tunes including the popular Talking Heads hit Burning Down the House.
The weather delays from the Main stage pushed back Young Galaxy‘s performance, initially set to begin at 10:15 pm on the OLG Stage. Since the OLG Stage is located just across the street from the Main stage, it’s virtually impossible to have two acts perform at once due to sound bleeds.
Hence, by the time David Byrne & St. Vincent concluded their set, Young Galaxy hit the stage close to 11:00 pm. The Montreal-based indie synthpop group, who’s new album Ultramarine was recently long-listed for the Polaris Prize, attracted a fairly large crowd of young festival-goers eager to catch Young Galaxy live. Wearing all-black attire, the musicians, comprised of lead-singer Catherine McCandless, Stephen Ramsay on vocals/guitar, Stephen Kamp on bass/vocals, Matthew Shapiro on keys/guitar, and Andrea Silver on drums, put out lots of energy and had great on-stage presence from beginning to end. Although vocals were a bit hard to hear, the instruments sounded on point and the musicians were clearly happy by the crowd’s positive response.
The set list included the songs Pretty Boy, In Fire, Hard to Tell, Out the Gate Backwards, Fall for You and New Summer all from their fourth studio album Ultramarine. Just shy of an hour, Young Galaxy ended their lively set with an encore to the crowd’s cheers and applause.
Day 4 of the Ottawa Jazz Festival offered enjoyable live music and the summer thunderstorms made it all that much more electrifying for festival-goers.
The Ottawa Jazz Festival continues at various locations until July 1, 2013.