There’s an ancient proverb that reads: “It’s not Bluesfest unless there’s rain.”
With grey skies and scattered showers throughout the day leading up to the evening’s entertainment, it was looking like it could be an ugly evening weather-wise. Luckily my time in the boy scouts taught me one very important life lesson: be prepared. So with my iphone in a Ziploc bag, and a fold up poncho in my back pocket, I made my way to the War Museum to spend an evening soaked and dirty, prepared to love every minute of it. Luckily, I wouldn’t need any of it.
First up was a show that it’s fair to say I’ve spent the better part of the last 15 years waiting to see. The Wu-Tang Clan had descended upon Ottawa. 8/10 of the original members of the Clan were present, including Method Man, the RZA, the GZA, Raekwon, U-God, Ghostface Killah, Masta Killa and Cappadonna (Inspectah Deck was absent and ODB passed away in 2004 due to accidental drug overdose). Opening with “Da Mystery of Chessboxin’” and making their way through songs like “Bring da Ruckus”, “Clan in da Front” as well as one of my personal favorites, “Method Man”, not to mention pretty much the rest of Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). There was even a moment where Method Man stopped to reflect on the fact that this coming November will be the 20th anniversary of their aforementioned debut album, and he asked the crowd how they would feel about a new album to celebrate the anniversary, to which the crowd was all too happy to voice their opinion (positive, for those just joining us.). The clouds opened up and a light shower commenced just in time for the Clan to pay homage to ODB with “Shimmy Shimmy Ya”. There were virtually no offerings of songs from the last decade or so, with “Gravel Pit” possibly being the most recent of all the songs performed. No matter though, as the crowd was more than happy to let the Clan take us back in time.
Next up on the agenda was Calgary sisters Tegan & Sara, with their indie-rock sound that completely countered the sounds of the Wu-Tang Clan. Their upbeat songs are always good to get your feet tapping to and they brought in a large crowd of diverse fans who were singing along heartily, despite the intermittent rain showers dropping in on the party. One take away that I hope the festival organizers can take away from Tegan & Sara is that next time, put them on the main stage. The crowd was so dense from the front to the back as they were on the stage with the least amount of depth for the audience that it made it quite difficult to find one spot to enjoy the show from. I suppose we can just call it what it is, #festivalproblems.
Last up was Fun. This is a band that blew away my expectations of what their live show was going to be like. Lead singer Nate Ruess has one of the most impressive voices that I’ve ever heard. Belting out song after song, including their hits “Some Nights” and “We Are Young”, Ruess did not let up. At one point the cheers were so loud that all he could do was stand and smile, and despite his best attempts to get a word in, the fans would not let up. Once Ruess was finally able to speak, he informed the crowd that this was the biggest show that they’ve ever played, which set the crowd off yet again. Fun played well into the night, beyond the 11 pm cut off “enforced” by the city and the crowd was right there with them the entire time.
Thanks for tuning in, we’ll have more for you soon!