RBC Bluesfest – July 14, 2016

The only downside to an outdoor music festival is having to compete with Mother Nature. Although it was nothing close to the wild storm of Bluesfest 2011 (re: when the stage collapsed on Cheap Trick), the thunderstorm that delayed the final performances of the night was one hell of a storm. Fortunately it moved quick, causing only a half hour delay before the night’s closing performances were able to continue. And those who waited out the storm were treated to shows well worth the wait.

Photo by Kamara Morozuk
Photo by Kamara Morozuk

Ottawa photographer Kamara Morozuk was back at it again to capture the excitement of Thursday evening. You can follow her on Instagram for more content and updates, and for more information on the festival, head to the official Bluesfest website.


PUP

It’s not everyday you get the opportunity to watch Toronto punk outfit PUP play at six in the evening, outside with a waterfront view. Normally it would involve a dimly lit, dark basement of a club, crammed together in a sweaty mess of bodies. Fortunately, they sounded just as good – if not better – in the fresh air, as their homemade batch of catchy, vigorous punk rock had the space to breathe.

The four members of PUP casually made their way onto the stage, showing their calm, modest side before flipping a switch and become the destroyers of the peace with their irresistible music. Having just released their sophomore album The Dream Is Over back in May, the set opened with the hit “If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You”, and seamlessly exploding into the lead single “DVP”, mirroring the album’s track list. Weaving together hits from their self-titled debut and their sophomore, the crowd was amped up the whole way through, singing along, crowd surfing, and moshing – just as if it was a darkly lit club basement. The crowd’s enthusiasm earned them an unexpected encore from the band as they covered Weezer’s 1996 hit “El Scorcho” in true PUP style.

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Rebelle

“We’re Rebelle, from Wakefield, Quebec. You’ve probably never heard of us!” was the choice introduction from the young alternative rock band. And although they were performing to a very small crowd, the quartet stayed at the top of their game, tearing through their discography with a crisp cohesiveness and unfiltered energy.

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Lindsey Stirling

After an unsuccessful run on “America’s Got Talent” a few years back, it’s surprising now in hindsight the Lindsey Stirling did not place higher. Combining her finger-frenzy violin playing with a dance component, Lindsey is not only a virtuosic violinist, but also a fantastic multi-tasker. Her passion for both art forms shone bright Thursday evening, as she jumped, twirled, ducked, dove, and danced while never missing a note. With the grace of a ballerina, and the accuracy with her bow like Katniss Everdeen, Stirling dazzled the audience, incorporating a variety of set changes and backup dancers to add a little extra flare to her performance.

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AWOLNATION

AWOLNATION are the perfect example of a band signed to Red Bull Records. Their music hammers through you, just like the effects to the caffeinated beverage that’s known for its connection to high-adrenaline sports and events. Opening with the hard-hitting hit single “Run (Beautiful Things)”, the audience exploded to life as the song reached its climax of pounding bass and drilling guitars. The sonic density of their music fell over the crowd, and AWOLNATION were enablers of a good time, encouraging sing-alongs and crowd surfing.

And then the storm came. The band was forced to delay their set for well over a half hour, but promised they would be back as soon as the rain passed. Although half the crowd had disappeared into dry territory, the brave remained behind and were welcomed back to “Kill Your Heroes”. They took advantage of the extended curfew, playing well past 11pm and giving their fans a show that did not disappoint.

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Check out the rest of the concerts in the galleries below:


Cashtro Crosby

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The Monkees

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Sam Hunt

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