Bluesfest continued…

Sunday July 11th.

Relaxation station on Sunday. I love Sundays. I really do. If I had to choose a favourite day of the week, Sunday would totally win. And when you get to lay in the sun on the grass with Timber Timbre playing 15 feet away from you, that makes a Sunday even better!

Taylor Kirk’s voice is soft and strong all at once. He wore a mosquito net over his face and looked at us rather shyly. He seems very timid onstage. Watching the band perform is like slowly easing yourself into a hot bath. It’s so quaint, warm, and comfortable. We all appreciated the echoes of music and his deep vocals. What a sound. So much power comes from within his lungs and out of his mouth. his voice takes my breath away, to be completely honest. ‘Magic Arrow’ practically haunts me. But in the best way possible, of course. So does ‘Demon Host’, one of my favourites on the self-titled album…

Charlie Winston was to take the stage at 7:15, but still hadn’t when 7:45 rolled around. I was disappointed that they would overlap with Rush, and although I would have liked to stay I was swept away to the main stage where Rush performed.

If you’ve seen the trio before, you know what you are in for will be completely epic and even it even comes with an intermission. And you always wonder what will be taking the stage with Geddy, Alex and Neil. The last time I saw them on their Snakes and Arrows tour, they had rotisserie ovens with chicken cooking slowly throughout the show. And in the past they have also had household appliances, like washing machines. Strange, but awesome.

This time around, it seemed like giant jukeboxes from far away. But actually, they seemed to be…time machines.

Three hours of Rush. Yes, three hours, plus intermission. And a complete performance of Moving Pictures. Yeah, the whole album, live, in your face, right there. It was amazing. Completely and utterly amazing. It’s one of my favourite albums, so really, I can’t complain. No one can. They still no how to excite a crowd. And I love Alex Lifeson so much it is unreal. Just sayin’.

The fact that they make a real interesting show out of their concerts is awesome. The mini movie at the beginning, middle, and end just makes the show that much more entertaining.

Last I saw them was in Detroit, where they included clips of Bob and Doug Mackenize. Totally necessary, in my opinion.

So much talent in a three-piece. So, so, much. Hope you didn’t miss it.

I apologize for the lack of quality…too much blur, but so much goodness otherwise. Promise.

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Wayne Coyne is my favourite hippy

Saturday July 10th, 2010.

By the end of this day, the streets of Ottawa were littered with confetti.

The sounds of love echoed off of buildings. The lights were flashing and the kids smoked too much weed and drank too much beer. Even without the substances, the heat and the performance could have pushed you over the edge.

It was something else, really.

And this is how it starts.

—-

Well, I finally got to experience Bear In Heaven. My happiness cannot be explained. ‘Wholehearted Mess’ blew me away, as did ‘Fake out’. I walked into the venue fully expecting it. And I’m glad that my ears were not disappointed.

They were running a bit late getting onstage, I found a lot of the acts on the hard rock stage were. It made it difficult if you wanted to see other bands at similar times, my only complaint, though. They hit the stage a bit after 6, and I was beyond excited to see the mustached boys from Brooklyn. The crowd was small and the set up was pretty intimate. There was some swaying, but I think that once again, my friends and I were the ones who were dancing the most. We do that sometimes.

If you haven’t yet, please give Beast Rest Forth Mouth a spin. It’ll hook you, I promise.

I just had to catch a bit of Caravan Palace before it was over. The larger than life electronic-swing band from Paris is funky and almost indescribable. A little bit gypsy, a little bit electronic, a little bit of swing in the mix too. Dancing was in order, obviously. It was like a crazy dance party, but it was only 6:30. They really know how to get a crowd excited. People who were sitting couldn’t help but change their mind, make their way forward, and dance a little. This music makes you move.

If you haven’t heard them before, you should give them a listen. I never thought I would get to dance to these guys outside the perimeter of my living room!!

Absolutely incredible! Check it out:

After Caravan Palace it was time to camp out for what we had all been waiting for.

The Flaming Lips

We sat patiently waiting, listening to Roger Hodgson of Supertramp sing ‘Take the long way home’ in the distance. It was almost painful, but I just couldn’t sacrifice being this close to Wayne Coyne. We waited and waited. It was all worth it.

The sun was setting and the crowd was restless. Passion Pit was taking the hard rock cafe stage but when 9:30 rolled around we all remembered what we were here for. We were here for the ultimate experience. What seems to be a giant birthday party. What seems to be the best night of your life. And besides, we could see Passion Pit later at Ritual, where they put on a DJ set. By the way, it was pure Dubstep and it was amazing.

The screen lit up, the stage was filled with the colour orange. Cries of excitement. Everyone held their breath as the colourful outline of a naked and tattooed woman dances across the screen.

I was warned before hand, but maybe others didn’t realize that they would be stepping out of a giant vagina when taking the stage. Yes, the naked dancing lady seemed to give birth to The Flaming Lips on Saturday night as thousands of people looked on in amazement.

After all of the members made their way down the vaginal canal and onto the stage, Wayne climbed inside of his giant hampster ball contraption to float not-so-gracefully upon the audience. He fell quite a bit, but I think that was expected. It looked like a rather difficult task.

Opening with ‘The Fear’/’Worm Mountain’ was almost expected, and predicted by a few friends. I was impressed. The men in orange waved their arms onstage. We cheered, we jumped up and down, we got way too excited, like children who had just walked into a candy shop.

Other songs that had to be played, and were, included ‘the yeah yeah yeah song’ and ‘yoshimi battles the pink robots pt. one’. I was hoping for ‘free radicals’, I can’t even lie. But the setlist was still amazingly solid, and they did an epic finish with ‘Do you realize?’ It actually seemed to last forever. And I say that in a very very good way.

The Flaming Lips brought us the ultimate experience. There were balloons and smoke… and the confetti is probably going to be floating around for days. We’ll definitely remember this show. how could we forget?

Wayne Coyne is my favourite hippy. And he spread his love across Ottawa on Saturday night. He even sang atop a bears shoulders. The intensity of the show was incredible…pictures don’t do it justice.

There’s only one way to describe the night that was had…

Just another Friday night…

When I woke up on Friday, I thought I knew my plan. I thought I knew what I would be doing but it all changed so fast that my head was spinning. I saw something that maybe in the past I would have never wanted to witness. But I’ve grown up, I’ve matured, and I have come to accept Courtney Love. You may not accept her, and that is alright. I still know plenty of people who are convinced she killed Kurt. We’ll never know, but we can always have our theories.

Basically, I know that I had to see John Butler Trio. Walking towards the park I could hear “Better Than” echoing in the sky. That’s when I started to rush to put my bike in safe keeping. I couldn’t stand to miss another second.

Beers in hands, foot tapping, they played “Zebra”. And of course…”Ocean”…my all time favourite and what actually first made me fall in love.

His dreads might be gone but the beautiful music remains.

When they finished the set, it was time to go to Wintersleep in the market, who I last saw in 2008. But then there was a fateful turn of events…and I found myself singing “Happy Birthday” to a drunken Courtney Love.

How did it happen? My friends managed to convince me and I gave into peer pressure.

“When will you EVER get to see Hole again?”

“This is an opportunity to see Courtney-Fucking-Love

I gave in and got to witness a rather sad but awesome show.

man came out to lay towels down where the guest of honour would stand and perform. Or, more or less, stumble upon.

She was wearing a black dress, thigh high boots, and a white men’s dress shirt. Her hair was messy but still perfect. Her lips were red and had clearly been injected with something to boost their size. Her skinny legs held her up in front of us, and she held a guitar up against her frail frame and smiled before slamming her hand against the strings.

She chanted ‘Skinny Little Bitch’ and the predominantly female crowd cheered and sang along. I felt completely and utterly out of place. But I still smiled and did a little headbangin’. It was my only option.

The white shirt came off, revealing her small but strong-looking arms. A tattoo that could not be made-out could be seen on her inner bicep of her right arm. The front row was filled with girls wearing birthday hats.

Then after a few songs she giggled and said “it’s my birthday…I’m turning 29 for the last time”

She was handed a bouquet of flowers from a member of the audience, and she smiled. I wondered what was coming.

Then she threw the bouquet violently and took her hand back to her guitar. Classic Courtney?

About half way through she got a little more demanding. Maybe even mean. She demanded her guitar be brought to her. Then…she demanded a cigarette. A woman with power is a woman who is hott, no matter how much of a wreck she might truly be. And when it comes to her, she is really something else. Ever since I was a little girl this woman has fascinated me. She managed to pin down the king of grunge and carry on even after his final curtain call. How did she do it? Please don’t say drugs, even though that may have been the solution…

The set changed over from rock to a little more blues. She swayed back and forth, cigarette in hand, singing into the microphone. She lifted her dress up past her thighs and placed her left leg on a speaker in front of her. She did this often, revealing her crotch, barely covered by stockings and booty shorts. She didn’t seem to mind the crowd ogling her, because there was no hate. She was being spoon-fed love in her drunken state.

Basically, she’s a badass blonde and even if you want to hate her, you can’t deny that she’s downright awesome and full of something spicy. You wouldn’t want to take a bite, you might burn yourself.

I left the stage where HOLE performed somewhat dumbfounded.

I didn’t know what I was in for.

Then another chick hit the main stage. Yeah, Joan Jett and the Black Hearts.

Of course we got to hear “I love Rock n’ Roll”. I would have left disappointed if I didn’t. the performance was amazing, but the crowd on the other hand didn’t impress a lot of the twenty-somethings in attendance. Joan Jett is 51. She’s not old, in fact, she looks amazing in a black body suit. But most of her fans had brought their lawn chairs and created a forcefield with them in order to not allow other fans enter past a certain point. There was plenty of room in the crowd. But there were also plenty of 60 year old women who wanted to rock out quietly with their lawnchair in front of them. I even witnessed a little bit of violence as one grey-haired grandmother took a swing at a 300 pound guy who was probably 6 foot 7. Yeah, they were that intense about Joan Jett.

I couldn’t get past a certain point due to the lawn chair brigade, but I still managed to get some okay-shots with my little powershot. I got my groove on but the end of the night was bittersweet. I wanted to enjoy myself but I had a lot of pent up anger towards those who felt it was their duty as a citizen to keep the young crowd out. Audience for the closing show gets a big THUMBS DOWN but Joan Jett and her smoking-hott bod get a THUMBS UP!

Either way, watching this woman perform made the night pretty amazing.

Just another Friday night, full of leather, beer, cigarettes and lawn chairs…

July = Bluesfest = Awesome

Living in Ottawa rocks for so many reasons. The shows are definitely one of them. On Canada day, Jazz Fest was FREE. So I got to enjoy Shad, Elliott Brood, & Owen Pallett at no cost. There is something about a man with a violin. Or a woman. Or just violins in general, really.

This summer is going by way too fast, but I’m enjoying it nonetheless. It is definitely a summer of music, and great music at that. Another highlight of June was definitely Born Ruffians with Young Rival & P.S I Love You.

I was beyond impressed with P.S I Love You.

If you haven’t already, check them out! The duo from Kingston really know how to get a crowd to do a little more than sway!

The past week has been a bit overwhelming. If you live in Ottawa you must have been aware of the hype surrounding Bluesfest. It’s craziness, and just trying to walk into the venue can be difficult with so many people asking for tickets, offering tickets, and so on.

Every night since last Thursday I have found myself enjoying yet another show. Tomorrow night will be by first concertless night in almost a week due to work.

Thursday July8th – – Great Lake Swimmers & Andrew Bird on the Hard Rock Cafe stage

The rain started when Great Lake Swimmers were onstage, but it kind of added to the whole feel. It was very romantic and soft. Everyone was really mellow despite the fact of who was onstage. I am personally a huge fan of  Great Lake Swimmers so it was exciting for me. I was dripping wet, but my backpack is waterproof and I haven’t melted yet.

The violinist is amazing, but really, everyone in the band is amazing. And put together, they make beautiful music.

When they played this song, I thought I could melt, not from the rain but from amazement…

My photos for Thursday are quite crappy, but you get the gist of it!

Andrew Bird, another one of my favourites, hit the stage at 9:00. He hasn’t been in Ottawa since 2000. That’s TEN YEARS! So I’m glad that I didn’t miss it. A lot of the shows at Bluesfest seem to be a chance in a life time. So why not jump on it?

He played a couple new songs, so that was exciting. I can’t seem to remember what they were called, but they were good, I can tell you that much. Once again, those violinists really get me.

The rain had stopped, the crowd was quiet, except when applauding, and the music was incredible. He was shoeless of course. But we all knew to expect that. My start to Bluesfest was a good one, hands down. I was pretty excited and shocked as to how small the crowd was…

The days and nights are long, and the rain continues to pour.

But the shows must go on. and trust me, they always do.

More to come…

I’m Alive

Just in case you thought I was no longer alive…stop worrying. I’m fine.

Let me follow up on Toronto Island…better late then never!

We were shipped off to an island to witness amazing music and drink expensive bottled water. All worth it, of course. There were plenty of rain jackets, rubber boots and umbrellas. There was a threat of rain that NEVER came, so instead we used our umbrellas to block the beating sun. The day was hot, due to both weather and stage presence.

The ferries were packed tightly and we had to wait for a few rounds before getting on. We eventually got there, but by that time had already missed a few of the openers, including the love of my life, Timber Timbre. I cried a little, but my missing it will be made up for this Sunday!

Beach House took the stage as everyone flooded onto the island. Many were arriving a bit late, like myself. Everyone was quite mellow and chill, wondering what was going on. Who was taking the stage? We were all quite lost, trapped in a sea of people and trying to squeeze by security guards who eagerly look into your bag.

Victoria Legrand can really rock out, even when the crowd doesn’t seem to know how to. I guess some find dream pop difficult to head bang to, but this girl does not. She’s amazing, as are her vocals. Her deep voice is sultry and when she opened her mouth, I almost forgot this was a live show and I was not daydreaming in my bedroom again. I stood back a bit, in awe. I was pretty much lost in the music. Most of the set consisted of Teen Dream. It was amazing, don’t get me wrong. But I would have loved to hear a bit more of Devotion and the self titled album from ’06. Maybe next time…

I have photos, but due to the lack of a press pass, my Nikon was not allowed on the island. You’ll have to fare with my pictures from my little canon powershot…

Up next was Band of Horses. The crowd really came alive, pushing and shoving towards the front. It went from a mellow afternoon to a bit of a rough one. I managed to squeeze myself in there, and I found myself between some rather sweaty, smelly people. The music over-shadowed this, though, as did the smell of marijuana. I’ll be honest, I like them, but I don’t love them. It was a nice change of scene but by this point I was pretty amped for BSS and Pavement. A total dream come true, two amazing bands, together! Nonetheless, BOH was fun to rock out to.

Then it happened.

Broken Social Scene took the stage.

Everyone was wondering who would be there, naturally. Every time I’ve seen them, it is a big surprise. But we’re in Toronto. Something good is about to happen.

And it did.

First of all, who is that guy in the tank? OH shit, it’s a beardless Brendan Canning. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, he seems to have shaved it off. It was getting hot, so I don’t blame him.

I wasn’t surprised when they opened with World Sick. I actually kind of figured they would, with the new album release and all. A lot of newer songs were played, but there were some classic BSS moments thrown in. And can you imagine, they closed with Ibi Dreams of Pavement. Complete perfection, with Pavement being present, and all.

It’s funny that G20 and the island show came so close together. Kevin Drew could not resist to mention it, of course…

Something along the lines of the world leaders and a circle jerk…

Feist makes me happy, as does Emily Haines. I’m sure I’m not the only one. The crowd’s reaction was too obvious. Poor Lisa. We still love her though.

Time for the closing act, or “the kicker” as some would say.

PAVEMENT!

I was surprised to see so many people flooding away from the crowd making more room for me and others who were just as eager. The timing was just right, the sun was setting, and the mood was pretty solid.

This was a concert I never thought I would get to see. When I first saw the poster back in January I was a bit surprised and knew from the start if I wasn’t there, it would mean I must have died in a freak accident before being able to witness something so amazing. I would not let this happen.

Before getting there, I already knew what I wanted to hear. And they opened with a classic that made the crowd burst with excitement. What’s that, you say? Cut your hair.

They followed up with some songs I was really looking forward to hearing…Gold Soundz, Elevate Me Later, Shady Lane, Perfume-V, Range Life and Summer Babe.

Oh yeah, and Kevin Drew and Band of Horses frontman Ben Bridwell hit the stage with ’em.

A guy behind me was pretty excited about summer babe. It was the last song played before the encore, and he was yelling it the entire performance. They finally got the hint. They came back for an encore just to make us all a little more happy than we already were. My head was about to explode when they played Stop Breathin’. Could I possibly handle any more awesome? Answer: obviously.

This concert has been added to my top five. Even with the ridiculous ferry wait…which was about a little over an hour, it was well worth sailing away to an island to experience one of the best shows of my life. I apologize profusely if you were not there.

Over and out.

But I’ll be back for Bluesfest updates.