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Ottawa Life’s Festival City Series is back! We'll provide a unique look at some of your favourite events.
We’ll go beyond the music with artist interviews, volunteer profiles, concert reviews and spotlights on
the tastes, sights and sounds of the festival season. 

Your city! Your festivals and events!
Like a good sunscreen, Ottawa Life has you covered.

Photos by Andre Gagne and Danaca McDonald

A sunny day after the rainouts of Friday, Saturday was the perfect day to hit the festival grounds and relax with some quality music. With instrumental bliss, some local hip hop magic and what may have been the craziest set of the festival, Day 9 of Bluesfest was quite the experience.

Opening on moody tones a few minutes late, all was forgiven as singer Matt Bellamy walked on stage in his LED-glasses, singing their epic new single "Dig Down" to chanting crowd members. Around their massive screen columns, the band turned the set into a massive production, introducing a drill sergeant to intro the crowd-moving "Psycho." Moving into "Hysteria" the fiery bass riffing from Chris Wolstenholme found the crowd screaming along, all the more riled up when outro'd on a excerpt of AC/DC's "Back In Black." Bouncing around as much as the crowd for "Resistance" the band was on fire, shredding through every moment they could find the space.

"Ottawa it's been too long, we played here 13 years ago, to a crowd of 500 people," said frontman Matt Bellamy. It was clear after this statement he was planning for some old hits as the band shrieked into the opening riff of "Plug In Baby" as the surprised crowd even sang a chorus for Bellamy. After the sombre intermissions of "Isolated System" the band pulled out another surprise dropping into the visceral guitar of "Stockholm Syndrome," thrashing about to one of the most intense songs of their set, especially in the very heavy ending. Getting into their pop tracks "Supermassive Black Hole" found the crowd in falsetto cries as the vocal-heavy dance track kept the momentum going.

With Bellamy taking a break for a mixed band and video combo for their cover of "Some New Kind of Kick" they offered up one of the more interesting uses of their unique display. Returning to stage with their unique gear they launched into the pop-fueled Madness as the crowd sang the hook back to the band.

Hitting the end of their set "Starlight" found Bellamy and drummer Dominic Howard running the crowd through claps as their classic track not only had some of the most loud crowd-vocal moments but some of the hardest drops as well. Dropping human-sized balloons on the crowd mid-track, their last jam interlude was decidedly goofy compared to the rest as they noted the crowd's clear distraction with the balloons.

Cutting the jokes, they launched into their finale on "Mercy" with all the chugging build ups the song is loved for getting all the louder live. Firing off confetti and streamers to give climactic ending to the song and set they sent the crowd into hysterics. Returning for "Uprising" fists were in the air and battle-cries rung out to their powerful protest track bringing even the most casual fan onto their side.

Closing on the sprawling "Knights Of Cydonia" they opened on a moody harmonica intro with Wolstenholme even throwing his harmonica to a fan. Going nuts on the tremolo heavy track, the screaming bridge and head-banging outro found no fan still as they closed their set on their most explosive track.

Dig Down
Interlude > Hysteria (With Back In Black Outro)
Plug In Baby
Isolated System
Stockholm Syndrome
Supermassive Black Hole
Some New Kind Of Kick (Cramps Cover)
Dead Inside
Time Is Running Out

Knights of Cydonia


Delicate Steve

Delivering a solid set with his instrumental pop-rock, Delicate Steve brought a groovy, crowd pleasing set without ever feeling like it was missing vocals. Speaking through his guitar, Steve layered hook after hook into his simple but catchy formula, with the crowd even singing along to a few of his riffs. Directing the crowd into cheers with mere pantomime, he even got the crowd chanting along when he wasn't hamming up some of his songs through his dance moves. Oozing charm in his fancy suit and fun attitude he made tracks like "The Ballad of Speck and Pebble" catch on with the crowd, and a cover of Tame Impala's "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards" found the crowd singing out the words to his guitar playing.

Night Lovell

Bringing an all out set to his hometown crowd, Night Lovell brought a set that entertained not only his dearest local fans but new listeners too. Along with tracks like "Dark Light" and "Fraud" he delivered a set that was just as lively as it was deep and moody. His constant energy and sense of pride to play to a hometown crowd was palpable as he shuffled through his electric set.

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