• By: Keith Whittier

Bluesfest Day 6 Side Stage Recap

Last night, Albuquerque’s The Shins hit the Claridge stage at 7:55.

James led the way with the last of the original ‘Shins essence’. All members uniquely present in comfy-casual attire to commit to the band’s neutral character.

For the first few songs, the overcast sky held-off, and then began to spit. No moves were made until the rain grew thicker. But most fans stayed until “New Slang” was played, of course. Not much to say from James or the band, understandably so, as they focused on track list and set timing.

Before their last two songs, Mercer said good-bye and the band pulled a typical encore moment. The crowd was confused as they had another twenty-five minutes left to finish. But after their desired second round of praise, the band signed off with two classics.

9:10 pm: The rain didn’t let up as people made their way to other stages.

Luckily Winnipeg’s Begonia hit the jackpot with their dry canopy tent, at the Bluesville stage. Alexa Dirks took the stage in a kaleidoscopic dress. The audience grew, as Dirks’ soulful cries summoned listeners to the sheltered stage.

She had a great sense of humour throughout; from mocking love songs to sharing an evening about hot-dog binging, the viewers ate it all up. The band’s 90’s synth waves, along with the vocal strength and acoustic space, made for a perfect live performance.