There was a lot to love and hate about Ottawa’s RBC ROYAL BANK BLUESFEST but for once, the music did a lot of the talking. Artists dismissing media cameras, actual set time conflicts and the absurdity that is a near two week schedule pretty much destroyed Canadian blogheads, and in short bursts, the festival’s marquee artists spooned everyone to a comfortable state. The performances ranged from Arizona’s JIMMY EAT WORLD chipping away at memories, to STARS and AUSTRA spearheading new indie radio movements, to even KILLER MIKE and EL-P rocking the River Stage on a Wednesday as Run The Jewels, decked in gold chains and volatile, distorted hip hop.
SHE & HIM, WU-TANG CLAN and BELLE & SEBASTIAN boasted large crowds but Ottawa Bluesfest’s best set belonged to DEATH GRIPS, where MC Ride, sans drummer Zach Hill, punished a Saturday evening audience with the kind of raw power that leaves blisters on your fingers. The annual event is in need of an internal makeover but at least it invited the rogue indiesphere to Ottawa and brought the noise. Check out our photos from the fest below.
STARS at CLARIDGE HOMES STAGE
SOLANGE at RIVER STAGE
ANIMAL COLLECTIVE at BELL STAGE
AUSTRA at CLARIDGE HOMES STAGE
KILLER MIKE & EL-P (RUN THE JEWELS) at RIVER STAGE
JIMMY EAT WORLD at BELL STAGE
DEATH GRIPS at BELL STAGE
WEEZER at BELL STAGE