Bluesfest Day 7: The Yips and The Red Hot Chili Peppers

Ottawa Bluesfest was fully packed on July 15 for the seventh day. Fans from across the city and beyond were gathered on the Lebreton Flats grounds to see the night’s headliner, The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

What began as a rainy evening quickly turned into a cool and clear night that kept an incredibly large crowd transfixed to the City main stage for the legendary California rockers.

The evening began with local Ottawa ouija-rock group The Yips taking on the Claridge Homes stage to warm up the crowd for an unforgettable night of music. The band played many songs off of their AIR LOOM LP such as “Repeater” and “Point Dume,” as well as a few new tracks from an upcoming project.

“We’re looking to release something in the fall. A five song EP it’s looking like,” said Jon Bennett from the band. “September it’ll be released I’d say for sure! If it’s not released in September I’ll be crying,” he said.

This was the second straight year The Yips have rocked out at Ottawa Bluesfest. Taking on the River stage for last year’s show (now the Monster stage), the band has certainly expanded in terms of their sound and even the actual stage they perform on. However, being moved to a main stage does not necessarily mean a more luxurious playing experience.

“It feels like a parallel or sidestep to last year. It was a different experience for sure,” said Kerri Carisse, main vocalist for the band.

Despite the sidestep, The Yips said they were just as thrilled to play Bluesfest as they were in years past.

“We’re used to playing Pressed or Targ,” Bennett said, citing smaller venues around the city. “So when they asked me ‘Hey! How do you want the monitor?’ I was like; I don’t know, I’ve never really been asked that before.”

“It’s been really good though. Everyone here is awesome as always and the volunteers are great,” Carisse said.

Following The Yips’ performance, attention shifted to the City main stage in which Ottawa punk group, The Steve Adamyk Band filled the atmosphere with their fast paced power-punk. Meanwhile, fellow Ottawa rockers, The Red Rails, picked up where The Yips left off on the Claridge Homes stage.

Despite the fantastic and extremely talented artistry happening throughout the evening, there was one specific act that was on everyone’s minds, and it was red hot.

The field was packed with eager fans and stretched beyond the confines of the City main stage. The members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, vocalist Anthony Kiedis, Will Ferrell lookalike Chad Smith, eccentric bassist Flea, and the newest member Josh Klinghoffer took the stage to a roaring crowd.

The California natives opened the show with their hit “Can’t Stop,” coming off of the much admired 2002 album, “By The Way.” The Chili Peppers filled their almost hour and a half set with old favourites like “Californiacation”, “Dani California” and “Scar Tissue.” As well, the band played fresh tracks from the newly released album “The Getaway”, such as the single “Dark Necessities”, “Go Robot” and “Detroit.”

In classic Chili Peppers fashion, the group filled the time between songs with interlude jams and a few covers of Joy Division songs “Atmosphere” and “She’s Lost Control” to celebrate Ian Curtis’s 60th birthday post-mortem. In addition, the band was very warmly welcomed back to the stage to play an encore including, “Give it Away” and the single “Soul To Squeeze.”

In all, the immense crowd was over the moon with excitement and satisfaction with the Red Hot Chili Peppers performance; and as the most anticipated night of Ottawa Bluesfest came to close, the feeling of bliss and gratification was in the air.