CityFolk Day Five: Bahamas, Rodriguez, Scott Helman

CityFolk festival goers were once again blessed with beautiful weather, completing the rare feat of five straight rainless days. While the final day was not spiked with big name celebrities, the acts consistently delighted, and there seemed to be a harmonious relationship between the audience and performer. In a way, the lack of a famous headliner closing out the concert added to the charm of the day. Those in attendance appeared to be primarily returning guests, and had already been to a few shows. Being the fifth straight day of festivities, volunteers, boutique owners, and concert goers all seemed warm and familiar with one another, setting the stage for a beautiful closing party. While the beginning of the day saw […]

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CityFolk Day Four: Father John Misty lights up the night

The penultimate day of CityFolk was slated to be a good one. Concert goers were once again blessed with beautiful weather and music that continued well into the night. At the entrance of the venue, I was greeted with a magnificent farmer’s market. Local vendors sold everything from jewelry and T-shirts to jackets and records. In the far corner, Mill Street Brewery was offering virtual reality tours of their factory, and of course, selling craft beers. As the shows began, the vibe was tame, but the excitement of the crowd was obvious. The audience was composed of parents and their children, university students, locals and even elderly couples, all eager for a day of music. CityFolk is a fantastic display […]

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Review: The National’s Sleep Well Beast

There seems to be an urge among musicians to make each new record its own statement. Your record will only be considered great if it’s a complete left turn in your sound. There needs to be elements of risk, of change, of evolution. You can’t look back, the future is calling, and who are you if you don’t answer it? This is why it feels almost refreshing to see a group like The National continuously resist this urge. Now on their seventh record, Sleep Well Beast, each release up until now has felt like a slow and steady refinement of what they do best: the deceptively cutting lyricism of singer Matt Berninger, the engrossing arrangements of guitarists Aaron and Bryce […]

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CityFolk Day Three: Amanda Marshall lets it rain

The day’s heat was just beginning to break by the time I settled in on the grass of Lansdowne Park, carrying a fresh, mustard-covered soft pretzel and my water bottle. People of all ages and walks of life filtered in and out of the City Stage area where I was stationed to cover the three shows of the night: Son Little, Broken Social Scene, and the headliner, Amanda Marshall. As I waited for Son Little to kick off the first set of the night to begin, I simply sat and listened to the jazz and blues music filtering out from the stage’s speaker system. It was a perfect night for a music festival and a perfect wrap up to the […]

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CityFolk Day Two: Jack Johnson brings good vibes to Ottawa

CityFolk’s second day was sunny and full of music, and it was the first time this week both stages were open. It seemed to be a more mixed-age crowd compared to the mainly young crowd the day before for Post Malone, with a lot of families, couples, and students attending. Jenn Grant attracted a crowd into the Ravenlaw stage area during her melodic set, captivating the audience with songs like “Lion With Me.” The area was crowded but not too crazy, with enough room for people to sit on the ground around the stage and take in the performance. While Grant kept her audience in a trance, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats kept it lively and fun outside at […]

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