Sunday, July 15, 2012

Ottawa Bluesfest 2012, Day 11

When the Bluesfest schedule was revealed for 2012, there were two acts I'd swore I'd see: The Melvins and Mastodon. Seeing the Melvins went off as hoped, and Saturday's lineup offered a chance to see Mastodon. The only other band on the bill that Ireally wanted to see was U.S. Girls. I've always been a fan of the Siltbreeze label and I figured (correctly) this would be another act I'd dig. The only problem was that an entire day stood between the two, and nine hours in the current weather was distinctly without appeal. I pedalled down to Lebreton Flats around 1 p.m. to catch Meghan Remy, looking classy in a white turban and patterned dress.

U.S. Girls at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
U.S. Girls at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 14, 2012

I returned about 7 p.m. to see Beirut - yet another band, a la Hold Steady, which I first saw in the environs of Zaphod's putting on a very lively show. The band seemed a bit more prim this time around. Perhaps it was just the sweltering heat. A good show anyway.

Beirut at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
Beirut at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 14, 2012

I did depart briefly to see what The Monophonics were on about. The San Francisco band seems to owe a certain something to Psychedelic Shack era temptations and other funk soul bands touched by the lysergic hand of Haight-Ashbury's musical heyday. That said, I wasn't quite knocked out by their performance. It was solid, not mindbending.

The Monophonics at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
The Monophonics at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 14, 2012

With a little time to burn between the end of Beirut and the start of Mastodon, I went over to watch Shemekiah Copeland. I first saw Copeland rocking the house many Bluesfests ago - during its original Lebreton Flats stint, if I recall correctly. It was gratifying to see she drew a good crowd for her rollicking R&B.

Shemekiah Copeland at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
Shemekiah Copeland at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 14, 2012

Finally, off to see Mastodon, who put on a  killer 90-minute show. The mosh-pitters kicked up a huge dustcloud as the show went on. The first few minutes were a bit trying, since the guys behind me were of the "idiots who have to be constantly shouting stuff" variety. I moved back a few yards and they were thankfully obscured by Mastodon's mighty volume. Unfortunately the lighting was not conducive to good photography (not with my little point-and-shoot, anyway).

Mastodon at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
Mastodon at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 14, 2012

It would have been a great way to end the festival, but there's still Sunday, which should also be a bit cooler.

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