There will probably be a huge flock of people descending upon the City Stage to catch Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds with many likely there to hear what might he say during the show and whether he and his band will break out a few, classic, Oasis tunes. There are, however, plenty of other acts to catch this evening.


The Tallest Man on Earth – Monster Energy Stage, 9:00 PM

Kristian Matsson’s project, The Tallest Man on Earth, is one of the most beloved indie acts today due to his immaculate and personal stories and his ability to seamlessly transition from euphoric, alt-folk to intimate and serene folk ballads. Despite not being all that tall in stature, the native of Dalarna, Sweden commands the audience’s attention with his stunning voice and infectious energy.


The Revivalists – Monster Energy Stage, 7:30 PM

New Orleans-based The Revivalists are one those rare bands – a collective who are true to their name. Playing a mix of old-school roots-rock, soul, southern rock, and the occasional Louisiana swamp blues tune, the septet have emerged as one of The Big Easy’s most celebrated acts. Their last album, 2015’s Men Amongst Mountains, was a tribute to the perseverance of their city, and it was applauded by critics far and wide. But for Bluesfest attendees, they will be applauding this band for the energy they bring to the stage. A prediction: when the festival concludes, many people will proclaim The Revivalists as being their biggest surprise.


Coeur de Pirate – City Stage, 7:00 PM

Béatrice Martin – a.k.a. Coeur de Pirate – is an international sensation, emerging as Quebec’s biggest musical export since Arcade Fire. It’s not difficult to understand why Francophones from across the world have fallen for the Montreal singer-songwriter – her stories are personal and relateable while her brand of indie-pop can be euphoric, emotive, or both at the same time. Even if you don’t speak a word of French, Coeur de Pirate will still win you over for her dazzling style.


Ottawa-area Artists

The Heavy Medicine Band – Claridge Homes Stage, 6:00 PM

The Heavy Medicine Band is one of my favourite local acts. Formerly known just simply by the name of frontwoman Keturah Johnson (the band’s current name was adopted in 2014), the quartet’s sound is difficult to pin down since they span the spectrum of rock music. Their EP, Conduit, which was released last year, however, did see the band narrow its focus to a more lush and haunting sound that blurred the lines between Daughter and Kate Bush.


The Lucas Haneman Express – Black Sheep Stage, 6:00 PM

What, a blues-rock band at Bluesfest? Mark Monahan and his gang did promise more blues-oriented bands, and one of the first to grace the stages is local band The Lucas Haneman Express. They’re not merely just a blues band, though, as they also play infectious rockabilly and ’80s-inspired rock ‘n roll. Combined their crowd-pleasing sound with their positive attitudes, their set is sure to be a rousing, rambunctious event. Is there a better way to start the weekend?


Fire Antlers – Barney Danson Theatre, 6:00 PM

Bluesfest has always had a soft spot for one-person bands. Who could forget the lengthy string of performances by Xavier Rudd and Danny Michel? Taking over the proverbial baton is Travis Kinnear, whose project Fire Antlers will simultaneously astound and amaze. His psychedelic approach is Flaming Lips-esque, except he’s doing it by himself. If you plan on attending a show, coming in full costume is highly recommended.


Pandaléon – Barney Danson Theatre, 7:30 PM

From nearby St.-Bernandin comes Pandaléon. The Francophone trio released their debut album, Atone, earlier this year, and their brand of indie-rock ranges from the cosmic brilliance of My Bloody Valentine to the dark, ethereal tones of The Antlers. In other words, Pandaléon is a young band with some serious talent.


All-Star Blues Revue Hosted By The Split with Special Guests – Barney Danson Theatre, 9:00 PM

The Split‘s groovy, soul-infused music has made the Chaffey brothers two of Ottawa’s favourite sons. They are the personification of an old-school, classic party band, who know only one thing – to create music that will move people. It is, therefore, fitting that they are leading off the Blues Revue Showcase, and they’ll be joined by Harrison Kennedy, Dawn Tyler Watson, and Sugar Brown.

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