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Concert Photography, Concert Reviews, Music, Ottawa Bluesfest 2013

Concert Review: Ottawa Bluesfest 2013 (Day 7) – The Tragically Hip, LP, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion + More

By: Scott Penner (@ScottPenner) –

Watching a Tragically Hip show is similar to eating chicken, after you’ve had it a couple of times, its pretty much the same and becomes the baseline for comparing other meats (or bands). They treated long-time fans to the same old show, with the addition of a couple of new songs, beginning right from the start as they opened their act with “At Transformation” off  their 2012 album “Now for Plan A“ . The fact that fans keep coming back in droves indicates there is some magic there. Perhaps The Tragically Hip is the quintessential band to provide the background music while you stand in a field chatting and drinking beer with friends old and new on a warm “sultry “ summer night as front man Gordon Downie put it.. For many, this is what Bluesfest is all about. No matter how many times they come to town, playing the big hits like “Ahead by a century”, “Poets”, “Bobcaygeon”, “New Orleans is Sinking” and “Blow at High Dough” will continue to inspire happy drunken sing-alongs among the crowd.

L.P. (born Laura Pergolizzi), originally from NYC recently made it on to a number of “artists to watch in 2013” lists.  Those that were lucky enough to catch her show at the Folk festival last summer already had her on their own personal lists of sorts.  L.P. has a spectacular voice that is described to festival attendees this year as somewhere between Grace Potter and Laura Van Etten.  She drew a substantial crowd to the Claridge Homes stage, with her ukulele playing, singing and whistling. We were treated to a couple new songs from her yet to be released album, which we can’t wait for and hopefully her subsequent return to Bluesfest.

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, who formed in NYC back in 1991, is still together and touring. They still pack a punch and deliver a grungy blues explosion of sound as one may expect to find by just reading the name. They’re now beginning to show their age with their performance as they remained fairly stationary in a small triangle on stage.  The stage crew planned for the less than spectacular performance by moving the side fill monitors closer to the center of the stage to help reduce the stage size for the band.  When organizers have to pull these tricks to accommodate acts who can not fill the main stage, the first question should have been why on earth did they book them for the main stage in the first place.  Aside from the awkward stage setup, they were a treat to listen to while sitting at the back of the park in a lawn chair drinking a beer in the warm sun.

The Tragically Hip




The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion


Autumns Cannon


3 thoughts on “Concert Review: Ottawa Bluesfest 2013 (Day 7) – The Tragically Hip, LP, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion + More

  1. YES! This perfectly sums up what it’s like to go to a Hip concert. I’ve seen them live and they are incomparable. This is a band that I could see again and again and never tire of it.

    Posted by Smash | July 21, 2013, 8:55 am


  1. Pingback: Jon Spencer; A Blues Explosion … | Rick Keene Music Scene - July 30, 2013

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