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Concert Photography, Concert Reviews, Music, Ottawa Bluesfest 2013

Concert Review: Ottawa Bluesfest 2013 (Day 6) – A Tribe Called Red, Solange, Animal Collective + More

By: Scott Penner (@ScottPenner) –

Ottawa-based EDM trio A Tribe Called Red headlined the BlackSheep stage on Wednesday. Their unique style, which blends First Nations music with reggae, dub-step and hip-hop, was in full-force during their energetic set.They downplayed their political nature, which includes vocal support of Idle No More, to focus solely on their music, which drew mostly from their 2013 Polaris Music Prized long-listed album Nation II Nation. As they told the crowd that they were very happy to be playing a long-await homecoming show, each DJ’s kid slowly make their way to the front of the stage to dance along. Having the children of the performer dancing on stage might not have worked out so well for other acts that day, but for A Tribe Called Red, it seemed “just right”

Solange, best known for being pop superstar Beyoncé’s younger sister, took to the River stage as the sun set. She apologized to the crowd for lacking a few band members due to “technical difficulties” and suggested giving a more “unplugged” performance. Her blend of 70’s/80’s style R&B and pop, probably best suited for a small club or wine bar, worked reasonably well. She asked the crowd to dance along to her songs, but she remained reserved with her own dancing at first, promising to dance more after the photographers had left the pit. Perhaps her shyness is due to an understandable desire not to be compared with her superstar sister. From the R&B-fuelled opener “Some Things Never Seem to Fucking Work” to the funky “Don’t Let Me Down”, which she performed in a stripped-down style due to the aforementioned glitches, Solange did what she could and proved that her talent runs deeper than who she’s related to.

The area surrounding the main stage of the festival was kept closed as a precaution due to weather warnings concerning high winds when the main gates opened. Luckily the weather calmed down and organizers opened the area for fans to flood in moments before Animal Collective took the stage.

New York City-based experimental psychedelic quartet Animal Collective downplayed their performance to say the least. Without their signature psychedelic projections, or lights, due to the risk of wind damage,  AnCo, as fans affectionately call them, tore through their 10-album discography of weird psych gems as they played a mix of their mellower, instrumental songs and their more upbeat danceable tracks.

While most in the crowd stood around,  a surreal dance party of hardcore AnCo fans wearing full animal costumes erupted near the back of the crowd, which gave the Bluesfest

A Tribe Called Red




Animal Collective





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