Mississauga native PND is having a party next door in Toronto
September 27, 2017 – 2:16 pm | No Comment

PartyNextDoor has been blowing up social media recently with cryptic tweets  which have become the hallmark for OVO marketing their stable of artists of which PND is a proud member of. Now just days before …

Read the full story »

crash course in CanCon rock, pop, electronic, metal, house, hip-hop, folk and alternative.

Lyricist Lounge

Reviews and interviews with some of Canada’s and the world’s top lyricists.

Living Legends

Simply put, interviews with musicians worthy of the moniker living legends.

21 Questions

Q&A sessions with some of Canada’s and the world’s most prominent entrepeneurs old and new.


Highlighting Colourful and Interesting Canadian/International Lifestyles, Arts, Culture and Entertainment.

Home » Festivals

Monday, rest – then the RBC Bluesfest goes on

Submitted by on July 11, 2014 – 7:51 pmNo Comment

bf_day4_web-27It takes a lot out of a person to rock out eight hours a day. The organizers of Bluesfest would appear to agree with me on that. There were no scheduled performances on Monday July 7, giving people a much needed day off to recharge.

The festivities were back in full force on Tuesday though, sort of. The night began with pop-rockers Tokyo Police Club taking over the Claridge Homes stage for a packed audience. The woo girls were out in force and despite the poor sound quality the stage was experiencing, it was by all accounts a good show.

bf_day5_web-3Towards the river, on the Black Sheep Stage the duo Made In Heights were performing. They have a really cool sound, with jazz vocal mixing with produced loops and beats. Its sort of fitting that I happened to be at their stage when it began to rain. The mix of trance like music and heavy downpour was a cool unintended combination.  I wasn’t the only one making this sort of a connection,

“I feel like I’m in a music video” was one of the comments you could hear over the music and downpour.

Unfortunately, the party was cut a bit short due to lightning. Everybody outside was quarantined to the Museum building, and operations were suspended.  You could almost hear people shouting “end of days.”bf_day5_web-5That may be a bit of hyperbole, but the very real fact is that a lot of people left, including the reporters and photographers from Martyr. Operations resumed later, with key performances by Queens of the Stoneage and Foreigner.bf_day6_web-56bf_day6_web-4The skies were clear on Wednesday and the grounds were packed from the get-go.  Tyler, the Creator took over the Claridge Home Stage. He’s a main member of Odd Future, and a talented producer.  He put on a high-energy performance that was described by one drunk girl simply as “…the shit, man.”

But there was so much more going on!

The folk-country group Wagons was on the Black Sheep Stage. Lead by self described “renaissance man” Henry Wagons this is a band that will force you to love them. Wagons’ phenomenal stage presence and the band’s overall talent get the crowd going.bf_day6_web-63He flailed around the stage, and into the audience at one point as the band fired through their set. During the band’s final song “Willie Nelson”  Wagons dropped the microphone and let (gently prodded) the audience into singing the main chorus (the name Willie Nelson, repeatedly).

“I’d never heard of this band before tonight, but I’ve certainly heard them now”

It was an amazing show, but only the beginning of the night’s events.

bf_day6_web-54Walking back toward the main stages, and passing The River Stage, you could hear punk music. This is a brand that stands out in the landscape of Bluesfest. Pop-punk rockers Average Times surprised people in the audience with their catchy vocals and guitars. Their music was infectious and would certainly remain in my head all night.

Walking towards the Claridge Homes Stage, that theory was proven wrong. A thick smog covered the area around the stage, and Cypress Hill annihilated the audience.  They’ve been around for decades, but they’re still as good as when they first started.  The stage was packed, and the audience loved every minute of it.

“I am absolutely going to eat all of the pizza after this”

Which I think proves as an excellent endorsement.  Even though there’s no doubt that Cypress Hill puts on a good show, there was once again something bigger happening on The Black Sheep Stage.bf_day6_web-12 bf_day6_web-44Internationally acclaimed Tuareg guitarist and song writer Bombino may have put on the most interesting show I’ve ever seen.

Born in Niger, Africa, in a Tuareg community, Bombino has combined Tuareg folk tales with blistering guitar. Although the lyrics aren’t in English, the message still seems to get across. It is a message of change, of hope. In order to truly appreciate it, you have to see it live.

“It’s almost hypnotic, I can’t even describe it”  was the general sentiment felt around the crowd.

For the last acts of the night, The Killers took to the Bell Stage to play for their legions of fans. They have a wealth of talent, and the show was put together well. However, in the words of one person walking away from the action.

“All of their songs sound the same, and not in a Ramones way.”bf_day6_web-36 bf_day6_web-39So some of the action shifted towards The River Stage. The crowd was a little older there but no less ready to party.

Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue are all from New Orleans. Frontman and trombonist Trombone Shorty blasted through his set, and the band backed him wonderfully. For a moment the audience was taken south, as Dixie rock and blues kept people dancing and clapping. Ending their set with a blistering Ray Charles cover and a group drum solo (a first for me, I have to admit) the crowd continued to buzz.

“This is the best part of my Bluesfest, I might as well not even come for the rest,” strong statement from an impassioned fan.  bf_day6_web-33 bf_day6_web-64The surprises didn’t stop there, as Phantogram amazed on The Black Sheep Stage. Their hazy dream pop was a cool contrast to the mind-melting energy of Trombone Shorty, but it was also a nice break.

As the crowd began to come down and filter out, there was nothing but smiles in the crowd. Drunk people became best friends with strangers, and people walked awkwardly with fold-up chairs.  Another amazing day of Bluesfest came to a close. Good job we were well rested.

Story by Brian Talmey, photos by Alexander Vladbf_day6_web-59

Leave a comment!

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Follow Martyr