Saturday night in Ottawa during JUNOFest meant there were eighteen shows to choose from, though unfortunately mostly running concurrently. It was a tough choice, but with two JUNO nominees, an intriguing new band I really wanted to see, and a local favourite all on the same bill, I chose the show at Zaphod Beeblebrox.
The show opened with local artist Townes, whose self-deprecating humour and comfort interacting with the audience really set a cordial tone to the night. If you are not familiar with Townes, his music is a pleasant throwback to ’80s synth-pop. Take a listen to his music, and if you like it, you can name your price to support this upcoming artist.
This year I plan to attend the Canadian Music Week festival in Toronto and in preparation for that trip, I started researching some of the artists slated to perform. I started my search in reverse alphabetical order and Youngblood was a very quick and favourite discovery. When I saw them on the bill for JUNOFest it immediately caught my attention, and I am so glad I went to the show. The band performed with the confidence of a seasoned touring act, with Alexis Young comfortably mingling with the crowd while singing. The rest of the band sounded fantastic as well. It was a great time, and I sure hope their date at CMW lines up for me as well.
Harrison, whose album Checkpoint Titanium was nominated for the JUNO for Electronic Album of the Year, took the stage next and got the audience moving its collective feet, and kept them dancing throughout his entire set.
Last was the JUNO-nominated Holy Fuck, who I was familiar with after catching their spirited performance at Bluesfest last year. They hung on to the energy level set by Harrison and kicked it up a couple notches to bring this now electric crowd to the end of their evening. Or was it the end?
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