We’re halfway through the 11-day Bluesfest. Yesterday’s performances were spectacular and today promises to be another great day, especially the under card (hopefully the weather will cooperate). Here are the RBC Bluesfest July 15th Gig Picks. The Ottawa performers are included, and you can check out the Ottawa Soundmakers series for more info.
CHVRCHES – 8:00 PM, Claridge Homes Stage
At long last, Scottish trio CHVRCHES have made their way to Ottawa. Two years ago, they released their spectacular debut LP The Bones of What You Believe and followed that up with a handful of EPs. They’re now back in the studio recording new material with a new record due later this year or early 2016. Taking the best of ’80s synth-pop and new wave and adding a dash of contemporary electro-pop, CHVRCHES have created an infectious and brilliant sound that resonates with music fans of all ages. This just might be the show of the festival.
Black Mountain – 8:15 PM, Canadian Stage
Another must-see act is Vancouver arena-rock band Black Mountain. The performance will likely focus mostly around their self-titled debut, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The show, as such, presents an opportunity to re-discover and re-live the exceptional Black Mountain. If this is the first time seeing Stephen McBean and friends or even hearing about them, imagine the sounds of Black Sabbath and Lynyrd Skynyrd taken to new, dramatic heights.
De La Soul – 7:00 PM, Bell Stage
To be honest, it’s surprising that hip hop legends De La Soul have an early time slot. One of the forerunners of the East Coast hip hop scene, De La Soul’s music isn’t typical of the genre. As their name suggests, De La Soul infuse soul, funk, and Latin and African influences into their music. Lyrically, they’ve often sung about community, empowerment, and hope. Even if you’re not a hip hop fan, this is a rare opportunity to see history in person.
Bella Cat (6:00 PM, Monster Energy Stage) is worth seeing just to hear her voice. With a sultry, soulful power, her voice will bowl you over while her music will have you dancing. She was one of the talks of the town last year, and here’s another opportunity to find out what the buzz is about.
Another band worth checking out is Grime Kings (6:00 PM, Canadian Stage). Their infectious psychedelia echoes of the Australian scene – lush, down-tempo, and shimmering. Think Pond and Tame Impala, although much more stripped down.
The early sets have a cool, vibrant feel. Winchester Warm (6:00 PM, Barney Danson Theatre) fits perfectly with the theme. Their folk-rock / folk-pop can be melodic and captivating or upbeat and dance-inducing.
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