Bluesfest Day Six: Fevers, The Shins, and LCD Soundsystem
On a cold Wednesday evening, Bluesfest continued for a sixth night with an electric lineup.
At the beginning of the evening, a group of keen local music supporters welcomed Fevers to the Claridge Homes Stage. Led by the melodic vocals of Sarah Bradley, the electro-indie-rock band from Ottawa is coming hot off the recent release of their new album, Apologia.
For their third concert at Bluesfest, Fevers performed a fair mix of dark, pleasant-sounding, and upbeat songs, and created a pleasing and ambient tone throughout the crowd.
Immediately after on the City Stage was a somewhat stylistically similar performance by Phantogram. The duo from Saragota Springs, N.Y. performed numerous loud and upbeat songs, fully delivering their heavy and intense sound.
The filtered vocals of singers Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter, combined with synthesizers that could literally be felt by the people in the front row, kept the crowd engaged, moving, and excited.
As a stylistic change, The Shins took to the Claridge Homes Stage to perform a classic brand of alternative rock. Led by the strong vocals of singer-songwriter James Mercer, the band put on a fun and upbeat show, that was enjoyed by those in attendance.
At the same time, singer Anderson East put on an eccentric Southern blues show on the Blacksheep Stage. The young gospel-inspired singer from Athens, Ala. rocked up-tempo lyrics, catching all the high notes, all while keeping the audience entertained and excited.
Additionally, East took on the unconventional role of band conductor, leading his group in solos, while also stepping aside to make sure that the audience could focus on them.
Headlining the evening on the City Stage was LCD Soundsystem. Under the light of a giant disco ball, the massive Brooklyn-based group filled the nearly two hour time slot with their unique retro electronic sound.
Unfortunately, the rainy weather was not on the band’s side during the show, and within the first 30 minutes, two electric keyboards stopped working. But, they kept powering through the technical difficulties and found other ways to keep the crowd moving and dancing.
As LCD Soundsytem was faced with the issue of malfunctioning equipment on the City Stage, Gary Clark Jr. performed in front of what seemed like a packed, over capacity crowd back at the Blacksheep Stage. In the small space directly behind the Canadian War Museum, Clark Jr. and his band put on a genuine classic blues-rock show, highlighted by his gritty vocals, slick solos, and excellent musicianship.
Overall, Bluesfest’s sixth evening was not as outstanding as some of the previous nights, but many of the acts had something special to offer, and there was something there for everyone to enjoy.