Bluesfest by day: Yonatan Gat & the Eastern Medicine Singers and Logic
Logic waving (credit: Greg Kolz)
There was a more open and laidback energy going into the cool Wednesday evening shows. Whether it was a bit of experimental art-rock or some top-notch hip hop, the crowd was excited for all of it.
Yonatan Gat & The Eastern Medicine Singers
As one of the most unique fusion acts at BLUESFEST (let alone in current music) Yonatan Gat & The Eastern Medicine singers brought a stage show to match. Between their extended renditions of tracks like "Medicine" the group's experimental droning provided a steady base for their more unusual solos and improv. The chanting from The Eastern Medicine Singers also brought a fiery energy in some bridges and euphoric finales at other times.
Their drumming on the other hand not only gave a unique tone to the show over other acts, but it also impressed many on the sheer endurance of their ongoing beats. "How can they keep going, they've been hitting it for an hour" someone asked in the crowd. With such heightened emotions, it was a whirlwind to see it all descend into chaos as the set ended in shredding and a lovely blend of drums and feedback. While this blend of styles could have been a little more testing for the pop crowd waiting for Logic, they were clearly won over by how loudly they screamed as Gat ran down to high-five and dance for the crowd at the fence.
Next to many other acts of the fest, Logic came on with a very low-fanfare entrance breaking into "44 More" while people were still cheering him to come out. His rising and descending light rig was a constant wonder to behold, as it would change dynamically to match the feel of a bridge or verse throughout the whole set, and generally provide a unique theme on each song. Not one to let his effects take over though, Logic took a break to remind everyone about his cheerful outlook and asked them to clap and scream when he asked so everyone could have an amazing time.
"No too-cool-for-school f***boys okay?" said Logic just to hammer his point home.
This early conversation with the audience clearly solidified his connection to them, as his rendition of "Everybody" was full of bouncing bodies and hands flying in the air. Heck, he even dropped a sly little "Thank you" to acknowledge the mutual respect. While filling in his lyrics was a messier ordeal, he could easily lead the crowd into rounds of shouts whenever needed, and boy were those loud. After invoking Eminem on "Homicide", Logic easily surpassed the rapper's own speed and gave everyone a taste of "Forgot About Dre" too. Logic wasn't one to baby the crowd either, as he would often restart songs just to make sure people were giving him 110 per cent energy right back. With the unique geometric visuals coming off the rigs above him, he rolled into "Killing Spree" to plenty of shouting from the crowd.
Skidding on the stage a little Logic turned and remarked, "This stage is so slippery. You guys are trying to get me on WorldStar!"
This chat turned to shouting out fans in the front row, and asking them about their favourite holidays. While it was fun fan service, Logic had clearly used this to set up his "Deck The Halls/Fade Away" mash-up, which was all the funnier to watch play out so naturally. Given how little he brought on stage with him, Logic made the most of his stage as well by regularly moving across it, goading the crowd and mixing the spotlight into his visuals to make things more intriguing.
He continuously dropped his sharpest tacks like "Pardon My Ego" and "Icy" on the engaged and always moving crowd. Though he undoubtedly had the best call-and-response moments of the fest so far throughout his set, "Icy" was particularly fun to watch for this. His call for a slow smoke break to "Celebrate legalization" turned into a fun rendition of "Indica Badu" with Logic tossing out some free merch while the crowd was enjoying their new freedoms. In fact, when he called out the crowd's lackluster reaction to "Mama", his DJ noted, "I guess they smoked all the weed they had." He paused to take gifts from a fan named Will, and loved his work so much that he started a chant that left the fan crying with joy. One to know a positive expression when he sees one he remarked, "Oh man you're crying, let it all out!" After a brief fake-out stage exit that saw his DJ pushing the crowd to insult him back on stage, Logic returned with fire-dropping tracks like "Midnight" and "Commando" and even a little bit of "Apache" to show he wanted to bring fire and a party no matter what he did on this amazing and engaging set.
Forgot About Dre (Eminem)
Deck The Halls/Fade Away
Warm It Up
Pardon My Ego
Out of Sight
We Will Rock You (Queen)
(Walks off fake-out moment)
Apache (Jump On It)
100 Miles and Running