RBC Bluesfest Final day goes out in style
The final day of Bluesfest was a very subdued day with the majority of the afternoon consisting of the Be in the Band presentation on The Black Sheep Stage. It was a departure from the previous week’s non-stop performances, but it was also nice to see people live out their dreams.
“I would never have had the chance to do this without this program,” said one happy fan.
Ottawa power rockers The Red Rails, took over the Barney Danson Theater for an hour long showcase. They have a reputation for combining a 1970’s flare with 21st century sound, and that talent came through in spades. It was easy to see why this group is gaining so much traction on the local music scene.
“it’s nice to be able to see my two favourite independent groups almost simultaneously” Going along with that independent vibe, and in a fitting tribute to the 20th anniversary of bluesfest, 1990’s Candian-alt staple, Moist took to The Bell Stage for a well received reunion.
“I feel like I’ve just stepped back into my youth, this is great.”As this was occurring U.S.S. were blasting a dose of modern music from The River Stage. Their show is always a chaotic and wonderful experience, and by all accounts they did not disappoint.
“I friggin love these guys, so consistently good.”
As U.S.S. ended their set, Sam Roberts Band too to the Claridge Home stage for what would be the last performance on that venue this year. Another group that doesn’t ever seem to disappoint, the crowd was pleased.
“This is my tenth time seeing these guys, and it’s better every time.”To close off the festivities on The Bell Stage, Collective Soul performed. It is so fitting that this would be the band to close out the main stage for the 20th bluesfest. The group was formed the same year the festival started, and it was almost a simultaneous anniversary celebration. As one fan put it
Bishop has experienced success in every scene from rock, to blues, to pop with his razor-sharp brand of guitar.
“It’s like a sound tsunami, how does he even do that?”In many ways, this was a fitting finale to a fantastic festival. Just as Bishop’s frenzied guitars brought the crowd together, so did the atmosphere of Bluesfest bring the people who participated together.“Every year, it’s like planet Bluesfest, I don’t want to come back to earth”
For ten days, people were invited to leave the world behind and enjoy something different. It’s an environment where people from different walks of life come together with the simple goal of enjoying good music and good times.With my ears still ringing, I ventured with the rest of the crowd away from the Lebreton Flats for the last time this year. Boarding the bus in a semi-haze, there was a feeling of being part of something bigger than myself.
The song “Radio” by NOFX, has a line in it which is a perfect summation of the almost two weeks of Bluesfest
“When the music hits me, I feel no pain at all.”
I don’t think I’m the only one excited for the healing to begin again next year.
Story by Brian Talmey, photos by Alexander Vlad