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Concert Photography, Concert Reviews, Music, Ottawa Bluesfest 2013

Concert Review: Ottawa Bluesfest 2013 (Day 10) – Dog Blood, BB King, Alice In Chains, Serena Ryder + More

By: Scott Penner (@ScottPenner) –

Dog Blood at Bluesfest 2013. (Photo: Mark Horton/RBC Bluesfest Press Images)

Dog Blood at Bluesfest 2013. (Photo: Mark Horton/RBC Bluesfest Press Images)

EDM supergroup Dogblood, who consists of Skrillex and German producer Boys Noize, closed off the 20th anniversary of Ottawa Bluesfest.

Last night’s performance was Skrillex’s third Bluesfest performance in as many years, and his second time on the main stage to close the festival. Most Bluesfest attendees remember a very bright and loud show from Skrillex last year, where lasers and multi colored flames shot out of his spaceship on stage, but the Dogblood show was a completely different experience, with more lights than lasers, and more melody than abrupt buzzing and heavy bass drops.

In short, Dogblood’s performance was epic. The main stage’s subwoofers were cranked and the boys were at their best for the thousands of screaming fans who had waited through one of the hottest days of the festival for the bass music superstars. They performed “Middle Finger”, which served as one of their first singles together, early in their set and drew an enthusiastic reaction from the crowd both inside and outside the festival.

While Dog Blood’s and the EDM zeitgeist might not have been for everyone, you can’t deny that the duo provided a thundering performance to close out another Bluesfest

B.B. King was a fantastic choice for closing day of the ten-day Bluesfest. The legendary blues guitarist is now 87 years old, and remains among the top 10 guitarists of all time. He continues to regularly tour the world with his own “B.B. King Orchestra”, putting on a show that the many thousands of blues fans will not soon forget.

The crowd was so immense that it forced security to swap a couple of exits and entrances, to help the flow of people move smoother. King’s brief, but pleasing set-list included Willie Nelson cover “Night Life”, “Guess Who”, “The Thrill Is Gone” and the fan-favourite “When The Saints Go Marchin’ In”.

Juno Award-winning Toronto-based artist Serena Ryder, opened her set with an a cappella rendition of “Melancholy Blue”. Her vocals were perfect throughout her set, even as she walked and jumped around the stage engaging with energetic fans and swapping between instruments. One young fan who made it up to the front of the sea of lawn chairs had a bright pink sign asking Ryder to play “Little Bit of Red”, which Ryder called attention to and read to the crowd before playing the hit from her 2008 album, Is It Okay.

Alice in Chains is one of the heavier rock acts to come out of the Seattle’s “grunge scene”. Having released their fifth studio album, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here, which is their second album with new vocalist and rhythm guitarist William DuVall, who replaced founding member Layne Staley after he died in 2002. Despite this performance being their first with DuVall at Bluesfest and their first Ottawa appearance in over 23 years, they retained their positionof being one of the only heavy rock acts to play Bluesfest this year, and fans came out in large numbers to see them, despite an early 5pm set.  They opened with “Them Bones” from theirPlatnum-selling 1992 album, Dirt, and continued through their 60 minute set with classic hits from the Staley era, including “Man in the Box”, “Would?”, “Down in a Hole”, “No Excuses”, and “Rooster”.

Founding member Jerry Cantrell introduced the band members starting with an energetic “everybody make some noise for William over here” and ending with “and I’m Jerry Cantrell”. DuVall then asked the crowd “you guys know we have a new album out, right?” just before playing “Stone” from their new release The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here. It was the perfect set for the grunge fan and despite having new personnel, the old and the new elements of the grunge legends’ repertoire blended together seamlessly. Rock fans that may have found the Bluesfest lineup lacking overall weren’t disappointed with the grunge legends and their energetic performance.

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Serena Ryder
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Alice In Chains
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Yukon Blonde
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Los Lobos
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Los Lonely Boys
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JW Jones
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