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Music, Year in Review 2013

Year in Review: The Best Concerts of 2013

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Calum Slingerland
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Artist: Björk
Venue: Lebreton Flats, Ottawa
Date: July 13, 2013

An uncommon artist to pass through Ottawa, Björk was well worth the four-hour wait at the front of the stage all afternoon. Security wasn’t allowing anyone to document the show as per the Iceland native’s wishes, and I feel that helped me enjoy the performance even more. On stage in a wonderfully frizzy wig accompanied by a choir, a tesla coil, a percussionist, and a keyboardist, Björk brought her music to life in excellent fashion both visually and aurally. It could certainly be described as a tour de force by anyone in attendance.

More photos & read the review here.

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Band: Rush
Venue: Lebreton Flats, Ottawa
Date: July 8, 2013

Stopping in Ottawa on the second leg of their Clockwork Angels tour, Rush proved once again that they are more than capable of maintaining their status as Canadian rock royalty. As they had done regularly this tour, they dedicated the first half of the set to rolling out a bunch of old material from the ‘80s vault that hadn’t been done live in a while. It was quite refreshing to hear songs like “Grand Designs” and “Marathon”, and Geddy Lee rarely missed a high note. The second half featured a bevy of material from their latest record, while also incorporating a string quartet. It added an entirely new dimension to what the audience was hearing.

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Artist: Kendrick Lamar
Venue: Hog’s Back Park, Ottawa
Date: September 6, 2013

Kendrick Lamar. (Photo: Scott Penner/Aesthetic Magazine Toronto)

Kendrick Lamar. (Photo: Scott Penner/Aesthetic Magazine Toronto)

Last time Kendrick Lamar came through Ottawa was when he was still relatively unknown, having just released his acclaimed album,Section.80. Now hailed by many as the undisputed king of west coast rap music, his appearance at the 2013 Ottawa Folk Festival was a much bigger occasion. Taking the main stage in Hog’s Back Park on a chilly evening at the start of September, Lamar and his backing band electrified the FolkFest crowd with a setlist that drew from his acclaimed album, Good Kid, M.a.a.d. City, while he also played a few deeper cuts from Section.80 and O(verly) D(edicated).

More photos & read the review here.

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Band: Death Grips
Venue: Lebreton Flats, Ottawa
Date: July 13, 2013

Listening to a Death Grips recording is one thing, but having their visceral, aggressive hip-hop pumped at you through a festival-calibre sound system is entirely different. Minus drummer Zack Hill, Death Grips put on an incredibly raw performance to a crowd of both fans and utterly confused onlookers. Both Stefan ‘MC Ride’ Burnett and Andy ‘Flatlander’ Morin brought the ruckus to the main stage, looking incredibly intense and engaged in their respective performances. The set was a nice mix of material from across all three of the band’s releases, keeping the fans up front moshing and shouting along throughout the show.

More photos & read the review here.

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Artists: Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor
Venue: Knox Presbyterian Church, Ottawa
Date: October 24, 2013

Celebrating 20 years of the band’s seminal album, Five Days in July, Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor of Blue Rodeo were in Ottawa as part of the city’s International Writers Festival to lead a special event dissecting the album track by track. Led by CBC Radio One’s Alan Neal, the two reflected on the songwriting and recording process, and performed the album front to back with the help of a number of special guests. JullyBlack, Andy Maize of Skydiggers, and Ottawa locals Lynn Hanson and Mike Dubue all made appearances, and it was incredibly cool to take a trip back and reflect on a Canadian music staple

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  1. Pingback: The Best Music of the Year Lists from Music Blogs and Press | That Eric Alper - December 18, 2013

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