With a “Glorious” Day 3 in the books, and with no weather issues to mar the festivities (as was GUARANTEED yesterday), it’s on to the first Bluesfest Sunday to wrap up Week 1. We’ll even go out on a limb and promise you another perfect summer night.
Sundays tend to focus on a major act on the City Stage, with fewer well-known artists on the secondary stages, so beyond The Killers, there might not seem to be as much to catch your eye. That said, if you give these bands a listen, you might discover some new favourites.
City Stage: Christina Martin (5pm), James (6:30pm), The Psychedelic Furs (8pm), The Killers (9:30pm)
Videotron Stage: River City Junction (5pm), The Proven Ones (6:30pm), Bad Child (8pm), Keys N Krates (9:30pm)
Bluesville Stage: Mike McKenna Jr. (4:30pm), William Prince (6pm), Justin Saladino (7:30pm), Carleton County Crew (8:45pm), Ashley MacIsaac (9:30pm)
Barney Danson Theatre: Outside I’m a Giant (3:30pm), Moonfruits (5pm), Guy Forsyth (6:30pm), Elisapie (8pm), All-Star Blues Revue with The Split (9:30pm)
Spin Stage: Jeff Dougler & Balu (6:30pm)
Outside I’m a Giant have the honour of opening the festival, performing at 3:30pm in the Barney Danson Theatre. The Gatineau band’s mellow folk songs are tailor-made to ease yourselves back into festival mode if you’re still recovering from Saturday night. With a new album released this year, they have a solid catalogue to fill their set, each song sparsely arranged around Jérémi Caron’s smooth, deep vocals that have a touch of Gordon Lightfoot and Leonard Cohen.
Ottawa’s Moonfruits will then take the stage with their purposefully bilingual blend of folk. Regulars on the circuits around town, they’ve built a dedicated fanbase who are looking forward to new material to follow up on their 2017 Ste-Quequepart album.
The All-Star Blues Revue again features Ottawa’s The Split, with some of the day’s other artists, and the Spin Stage features Jeff Dougler & Balu closing out their weekend.
Sunday offers festival-goers a chance to reminisce with main stage openers James and The Psychedelic Furs. Of course, The Killers will draw a huge crowd, but make sure you get there early to not only secure a spot up close, but get treated to a few blasts from the past by these English veterans. Manchester band James’ major hits “Laid” and “Sit Down” are sure to occupy key spots on their setlist, but given that the band has been actively releasing music for over 30 years now, with 15 studio albums to draw from up to their most recent Living in Extraordinary Times, released last year, they’ll have plenty of material to fill their 45 minutes.
Further south, in London, The Psychedelic Furs had a similarly successful initial decade in the ’80s, but with no studio albums since 1991, their set should focus much more on their hits, including “Love My Way,” “Pretty In Pink,” “Heaven,” and “The Ghost in You.” Interestingly, the influence of their ’80s new-wave sound can be heard in some of The Killers’ hits as well.
When Mustard cancelled his appearance, Bluesfest organizers managed to land a perfect substitute with Toronto’s Keys N Krates, who will take over the Videotron Stage at 9:30pm. Based on their Live In Toronto album, released last year, their blend of EDM and hip-hop should have the crowd bouncing nonstop.
RBC Bluesfest is at LeBreton Flats (Canadian War Museum) from July 4–14, 2019. Visit ottawabluesfest.ca for tickets, the complete schedule and lineup. Check back for more on Bluesfest 2019, including our Day 5 preview Tuesday to kick off Week 2.