We are back at the Ottawa Bluesfest for a THIRD consecutive year and we couldn’t be anymore excited! Check out our coverage for the first half of the festival (July 3rd – 8th) below.

Check out the second half of our coverage (July 9th – 13th) HERE SOON!

July 3rd

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RL Grime

Wasn’t familiar with Grime’s working heading into Bluesfest but left me VERY impressed – being a hip hop fan to begin with helped. Grime’s remix of Kanye West’s “Mercy” remix of Benny Benassi’s Satisfaction, which was seamlessly mixed into Flux Pavilion’s “I Can’t Stop” was the highlight of the show.

When I got home I scurried to SoundCloud and checked out all of stuff – definitely a DJ worth following!

Adventure Club 
Adventure Club sure knows how to party – I managed to get myself front row for a part of this and nearly got trampled! The energy was there from the start. The two openers got the crowded hyped up, and Adventure Club did not let their fans down.They crowd surfed, interacted with the fans, and even sprayed champaign on everyone at the end of their set. Great music, great times, great memories.

Blake Shelton

Just as funny in person as he is on the VOICE, couldn’t believe how many diehard country music fans there were in Ottawa. He played to the audience and of course used all the tricks to make Ottawa fans feel special. sounds just like his recorded songs. He is a great performer, interacts with the audience, definitely has a way with the ladies – he did land Miranda Lambert after all! Muscians who are still down to earth even after the fame are my favourite and Blake fits into this category perfectly. He is a true leader in the country music industry!

July 4th

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Zedd

Easily one of the highlights of the entire festival and EASILY the most energetic crowd over the two weeks of shows.

Basically, it was amazing. Zedd killed it with his entire set. His energy was amazing and his team of screens, lights, and lasers just added to the experience. He played all of his popular songs as well as many others. At one point I felt like I was at the Swedish House concert again. His opening acts were great as well. Alex Metric set the good vibe and slowly built up the energy, Oliver they pumped it up so fast it was amazing I loved it when they dropped MYB, and when Zedd came on himself the energy just kept getting higher and higher. Overall Zedd lived up to expectations and surpassed it.

July 5th

Lady Gaga "The ARTPOP Ball" Tour Opener

Lady Gaga

If you’re looking for a non-stop dance party, Lady Gaga does not disappoint. Show relied HEAVILY on the current album, however, so if you haven’t heard it yet, and don’t know the words to the new songs, you may be disappointed. Stage design was fun, see through catwalks, secondary and tertiary stages, made any view a fantastic one.

With that being said, some of the “genuine” moments of the night felt staged which definitely took away from the show. For instance there was one scene where she read a fans letter and almost seem disinterested, as if she wanted the show to continue or had already read the letter beforehand.

All in all, still an entertaining show nonetheless.

July 6th

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Lady Antebellum

Lady Antebellum are all class and charm – which seems to be a theme with country superstars. This was my second time seeing them, having previously seen them at the Canadian Tire Centre a few years back thanks to the folks over at Live Nation!

From their opening number to their flawless performance of all their favourite hits, to their engaging interaction with the packed Bluesfest crowd, they were tremendous. In addition to being ridiculously talented songwriters and performers, the members of Lady A are the kind of people who are so cool and fun you just want to hang out with them.

July 8th

Styx at the RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest 2014
~ RBC Bluesfest Press Images PHOTO/Mark Horton

Styx & Foreigner

Foreigner was really good. The lead singer, not the original, was high energy, entertaining and had a good voice – quite authentic. They played lots of their hits and two new numbers from the new album. Their concert was fun and a lot of the older crowd got out of their seats and danced around

Dōmo arigatō, Mr. Roboto!

Styx was LOUD and a bit obnoxious but come on, Mr.Roboto is an all-time classic – so they get a pass.