Bluesfest Day Nine: Dead Obies, Busty and the Bass, and Muse

After a rather frustrating night of pouring rain, lightning delays, and performance cancellations, Mother Nature seemed to be in a good mood as the second last night of Bluesfest was welcomed with warm and sunny weather.

Behind the Canadian War Museum, the Blacksheep Stage once again welcomed numerous exciting and unique performers. Early in the evening, Dead Obies took to the stage. The six-man group from Montreal’s South Shore brought their experimental “Franglais” hip-hop style, which is common among Quebec rappers, to the stage.

While their crowd was smaller than some of the other rappers who previously performed at Bluesfest, they seemed to be engaged and having a good time, just like the guys on stage.

Continuing a series of Montreal-based performers, Busty and the Bass was up next. The nine-person band formed when they were all jazz music students at McGill University.

It is hard to describe their style, but perhaps this is the best way: if you were to combine every genre that was represented at this year’s Bluesfest (except for country) and put them all into one show, you would get Busty and the Bass.

“They’re jazzy, but they bring in a modern feel to the jazz,” said long-time fan Lynn Allenby. “They’re very appealing for young people, which is amazing.”

Busty and the Bass’ big brass sound, combined with powerful rap and R&B vocals created a truly unique performance that the entire crowd, young and old, really enjoyed.

The Blacksheep Stage offered numerous stellar performances throughout the evening—however, the main highlight of the night took place on the City Stage, thanks to Muse’s world-class performance.

When the Bluesfest line up was first announced, Muse was one of the biggest names to appear on the list. After months of patient waiting and excitement, the British rock band delivered, and they could not have lived up to it any better.

The trio featuring lead singer and guitarist Matt Bellamy, bassist Chris Wolstenholme, and drummer Dominic Howard played a fantastic mix of songs, old and new, as well as upbeat and laid-back. Their big electronic rock sound kept the crowd energized, singing and dancing throughout the entire show.

Bellamy was by far the stand out performer of the band, tackling challenging guitar solos with ease while maintaining a strong and powerful voice.

Referring to him as a “guitar god,” fan Rob Lauzon said he enjoyed the performance.

“He’s one of the few guys who doesn’t have to scream in front of a huge loud rock band and you’ve got to respect that,” he said.

The musical aspect of Muse’s show was only the tip of the iceberg, considering they also focused quite a bit on the visual aspect. Wearing LED-covered glasses, the performance was coloured with bright lights and background animations, while the audience was showered with confetti, streamers and massive balloons.

Going on past their designated time slot and the City of Ottawa’s 11 p.m. noise bylaws, Muse enthralled the crowd and presented an unforgettable show.

“The crowd’s energy was really good tonight,” said fan James Keast. “Everyone seemed to be just having a good time, and overall just a good night.”

Muse’s performance at Bluesfest was more than a rock concert—it was an audio-visual masterpiece enjoyed by everyone in attendance.

Photo credits: Meagan Casalino