Friday, July 06, 2012

Ottawa Bluesfest 2012, Day 2

Off for another day of Bluesfesting, heavy on the indie rock and, surprisingly, the blues. I arrived a little later than expected, and cruised past the Claridge Stage, where I caught a bit of Carly Rae Jepsen show. The Call Me Maybe hitmaker had a sizeable crowd. Her pop is a bit lightweight for my tastes, but she seems pretty capable and I can see her making quite an impression as the years go by.

Carley Rae Jepsen at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
Carly Rae Jepsen at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 5, 2012

I made a beeline (okay, a very disoriented bee) for the River Stage to check out Fevers. They made a great impression when I saw them play at Babylon on St. Patrick's Day. They played another great set in the sweltering sun. The crowd was small but appreciative.

Fevers at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
Fevers at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 5, 2012

After they wrapped up I popped over to see a bit of Dry River Caravan. Another small but enthusiastic crowd for their Balkan sound.

Dry River Caravan at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
Dry River Caravan at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 5, 2012

Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires were a big draw for me, since I love that soul stuff. Bradley certainly serves up in the James Brown style. Unfortunately the experience was dampened a bit by the joshing of a nearby collection of LMFAO fans. Dude, if you're a fan of LFMAO, don't even think about making fun of other people's music - even if Bradley does give their band of choice a run for their money in the pelvic thrusting department. One thing I've got to note: The sound at this year's Bluesfest on the main stage is a huge improvement over last year. Bradley will be performing again tonight at 9 p.m. on the Black Sheep Stage.

Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 5, 2012

Then it was back to the River Stage to see Dirty Projectors. I saw them five years ago at Barrymore's, opening for Grizzly Bear. They sounded a bit less, shall we say, unconventional this time around, but still had some of that brittle energy that separates them from much of the indie-rock pack.

Dirty Projectors at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
Dirty Projectors at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 5, 2012

Finally I went over to check out Super Chikan on the Black Sheep stage. He is indeed super. If you like your blues with fuzz, he is the man to see. It helps that he's supported by a swell band, most notably jukejoint pianist Lala Craig with who he has an excellent on-stage rapport. The crowd built up as he played, always a sign of a stellar performer.

Super Chikan at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
Super Chikan at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 5, 2012

Then I walked past LMFAO. Apparently a key member couldn't make it, so they were only half as good as normal. I usually decline to criticize music I don't like on the grounds there's no accounting for taste, but it really did come across like a smorgasbord of stupidity. I went off to Babylon next, to see Pregnancy Scares and White Lung, but that'll have to wait for some photo uploading.
  • Show reminder: The Cutmen release their new CD at the Elmdale with support from The Allrights. It's time for another Punk Rock Covers night at the Montgomery Legion; The Bart Walker Band brings the blues to the Rainbow; the Ross Neilsen band plays Irene's.

1 comment:

Alan said...

"A smorgasbord of stupidity." Very nice. That Super Chikan show might be my highlight so far in a year that's had plenty of pleasant surprises. Too bad about the tiny crowds on the side stages.