This is my favourite day of the festival bar none. So many great acts to see, and fortunately most of them don’t conflict. I couldn’t just three, so I included four instead (apologies to Shovels & Rope, Violent Femmes, and Vintage Trouble) – three of them released albums this year that were critically acclaimed, including by us here at The Revue, and one released a great album in 2013.

St. Vincent – 9:00 on the River Stage

Annie Clark, the mastermind behind St. Vincent, returns to Ottawa, this time headlining the River Stage. The “Queen of Indie Rock” has seen her stardom skyrocket in the past few years thanks to her ability to create mythical storie and landscapes, the sounds she creates with various instruments, and the incredible presence she has when she takes the stage. Her self-titled album that was released earlier this year was one of our favourites of the first three months of the year. Be ready to be blown away.

Mac DeMarco – 7:30 on the River Stage

If Annie Clark is the Queen of Indie Rock, does that make Vernor Winfield McBriare Smith IV – a.k.a. McBriare Samuel Lanyon DeMarco, a.k.a. Mac DeMarco – the court jester, as he’s known as the “Goofball of Indie Rock”? With how quickly his stardom his rising, he might end up as the King. DeMarco returns to Ottawa just three months after his awesome show at The Black Sheep Inn in April. Like his music, DeMarco’s show can be a bit zany and a whole lot of fun. You never know what might happen at his shows – there might be some crowd surfing and maybe some moshing. DeMarco is also a free spirit, so don’t be surprised to see him walking around the grounds (and he just might be with yours truly, so come and find out what’s going on). The Canadian’s Salad Days was on our list of favourite albums of 2014 (second quarter) because of his ability to make the most mundane awfully interesting and humorous.

Drive-by Truckers – 6:00 on the Claridge Homes Stage

Criminally underrated and underappreciated is the stellar southern rock band, Drive-by Truckers. Based out of Athens, Georgia, DBT – as they are affectionately referred to – have been producing great album after great album for more than 15 years, including this year’s excellent English Oceans. Fronted by co-founders Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, the strength of DBT lies not in their incredible musicianship, but in the stunning and vivid stories they tell. Their live shows are second-to-none with the entire band putting everything into their shows. You’ll be transported back to when rock shows were rock shows. DBT’s English Oceans made our list of favourite albums of 2014 (first quarter), which you can read here.

Lucius – Two Shows – 3:00 on the River Stage and 9:30 in the Barney Danson Theatre

Playing two shows today is the Brooklyn-based indie quintet, Lucius. Comprising of Jess Wolfe, Hollie Laessig, Dan Molad, Andrew Burri, and Peter Lalish, their splendid synth-pop will leave you in a dream-like state. The fact they’re playing two shows leaves you little excuse to not be able to see them at least once. And while Jess and Hollie dress up in identical outfits and have the exact same hair (their ’60s appearance might channel you back to the early days of Star Trek), their music is full and terrific with lush harmonies and exquisite melodies.

Photo by Joshua Melin

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