you're reading...
Concert Photography, Concert Reviews, Music, Ottawa Folk Festival 2013

Concert Review + Photos: Ottawa Folk Festival 2013 (Day 3) – Kendrick Lamar, Shad + More

By: Calum Slingerland –

Day three of this year’s Ottawa Folk Festival was something to get excited about, with some great Canadian talent on display, including Toronto based indie rock quartet Born Ruffians, London, ON-based hip-hop artist Shad and New Brunswick-based blues guitarist Matt Andersen, and a young west coast hip-hop superstar in Kendrick Lamar, who headlined the evening.

Kendrick Lamar


The big draw of the night was of course Kendrick Lamar. The Compton, California native who took the hip-hop world by storm last year with his debut major label effort Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City, and who will be supporting Kanye West on his first solo tour in five years this fall, brought a full backup band onstage with him,

Taking the stage in a grey hoodie, Lamar launched right into the Good Kid… fan favourite “Backseat Freestyle”. The crowd loved every minute of it, as Lamar performed other cuts from the record, such as “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe”, “Poetic Justice”, and ” m.a.a.d City”.

His energy was infectious, and even Lamar had to agree that Ottawa was wilder than the Quebec City crowd he played to only days earlier. He returned for a one-song encore to play something from his earlier self-released Section.80, a track titled “A.D.H.D.”, which whipped the crowd into a frenzy one last time. Be sure to catch him either in Toronto on November 12th or Montreal on November 12th when he opens for Kanye West’s “Yeezus” world tour.


Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell

Matt Andersen


As Canadian guitarist Matt Andersen graced the RavenLaw stage, he became the best-kept secret of the festival so far. Like Colin Meloy before him, Andersen seamlessly interacted with the crowd, while sharing anecdotal stories before songs. Other than those moments, he let his guitar do the talking.

A talented finger style player, he plucked his way through a set largely rooted in blues music, playing a number of songs from his fittingly titled 2011 record Coal Mining Blues, including “She Comes Down” and the title track. Anderson’s stage presence was quite noticeable as well, head banging and shaking his long locks around as if at a rock concert, and thus largely cemented himself as a Canadian artist to watch.




As the crowd shifted to the main stage to check out Shad, the first of two hip-hop acts on the stage that night, the London, Ontario emcee burst onto the stage being backed by a DJ and a live bassist/keyboardist, and the crowd loved every minute of it. With a new album, Flying Colours, coming this fall, Shad made sure to play some new material from it, such as the lead single “Stylin'”, and “Fam Jam”. He also made sure to run through the classics such as “Rose Garden” from 2010’s TSOL, “Compromise” and a flawless version of “The Old Prince Still Lives at Home”, both from the album of the same name.

Though a lot of the crowd was in attendance to hear Kendrick Lamar’s raw, hard-hitting bars later on that evening, they still showed a lot of love for the homegrown hip-hop talent in Shad.


Born Ruffians


Having released their third studio album, Birthmarks, in April, a stop in Ottawa was long overdue for the Toronto-based indie rock quartet Born Ruffians, who headlined the RavenLaw stage.

The sizeable crowd largely enjoyed the set, taking in a lot of newer material such as “Needle” and “Ocean’s Deep”, as well as a fair number of older songs from their 2008 album Red, Yellow & Blue such as “Hummingbird” and “Hedonistic Me”.

Frontman Luke Lalonde wasn’t much for onstage banter, but hoped the band would make it back to the nation’s capital soon.



No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Check out our latest Spotify playlist
%d bloggers like this: