Sunday was the ultimate genre-mashing day of this year’s Ottawa Bluesfest. From hip hop legends Wu-Tang Clan to baby-faced country sensation Hunter Hayes, there was a little bit of everything.
Wu-Tang Clan definitely brought the ruckus as the New York group played on a crowded main stage. The bass from the stage was loud enough to speed up the evaporation process for the rain that covered the festival off and on all day. The group covered a number of their hits along with hits from individual members GZA, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah. Fittingly, they covered the Beatles track "Come Together" on the same night Sir Paul McCartney was in town for a concert.
Hannah Georgas took to the river stage playing mostly songs from her Polaris long-listed self-titled album. Spotted in the crowd dancing and cheering along was hometown hero Kathleen Edwards.
It seemed like everybody on the festival grounds tried to get a front-row spot for iconic Canadian twins Tegan and Sara. The band’s live show reflected their shift towards electro-pop on their latest album Heartthrob. They buttered up the crowd saying the crowd was better than in Toronto where they played the night before.
Recent Grammy winners fun. headlined the show. But some nights you just have to leave a festival early to grab some late-night fast food.
A DJ set at 6pm on a Monday can be an awkward time, but Edmonton’s Cadence Weapon took everything in stride playing rap music for the fifty or so people who gathered at the Black Sheep stage. He sampled everything from Kanye West’s Yeezus to Kendrick Lamar. The crowd urged him to rap so he took a break from the planned DJ set to drop his track "Loft Party" before returning to DJing.
Festival goers who weren’t interested in the progressive rock songs of Rush who played the main stage for over two hours had the alternative of watching Vancouver’s Mother Mother or New York’s Baauer (yes, the "Harlem Shake" dude).
Mother Mother had the crowd dancing and singing along as they kicked off their set with radio single "The Stand" from 2011’s Eureka. The band expressed their love for Ottawa and the festival with this being their third time playing Bluesfest. Extended intros, outros and bridges gave the songs a completely different feeling compared the album versions. The biggest singalong of the night came when they did a rocking cover of Nirvana’s "In Bloom". The group also gave a shout out to saying “Their shit is way too complicated” before launching into "Simply Simple".