Concerts Concerts Ottawa Bluesfest 2011 - Day 1

Ottawa Bluesfest 2011 - Day 1

The Flaming Lips at Ottawa Bluesfest
Ottawa Bluesfest 2011 - Day 1
The Flaming Lips, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Coheed And Cambria
Ottawa, ON
July 5, 2011

Review by: Jordan David
Photos by: Jamie Kronick

July 5th to July 17th means one thing in Ottawa, Canada — it marks one of the biggest festivals this country has to offer.

Ottawa Bluesfest manages to capture some of the best musical talents while running for nearly two whole weeks. When comparing Bluesfest to other festivals in the country, it's difficult for a few reasons. First, it's the city I grew up in and the festival I have come to love. It manages to bring some of my personal favourite acts each year and for the past few years has been held at Lebreton Flats Park which is a beautiful place this time of year.

Coheed And Cambria

Bluesfest opened with Coheed And Cambria, a band that has been one of my favourite for years. I was excited because, for whatever reason, I have such a huge soft spot for this group. I had an idea of what to expect in terms of great musicianship as well as sing-along songs that work extremely well with large groups of fans, which was the case when I caught them in Montreal, Quebec in 2005 at The Vans Warped Tour. Since then the band has put out two studio releases so I didn't exactly know what to expect in terms of a set list. So when hearing tracks from the bands first and second releases "The Second Stage Turbine Blade" and "In Keeping Secrets of silent Earth: 3" I was delighted and knew I was in for a great show. The crowd seemed to agree as they cheered every word from Claudio Sanchez (vocals, guitar). Coheed And Cambria seemed to be having a great time on stage. The weather was pleasant and this was a wonderful way to kick off the fest.

Coheed and Cambria at Ottawa Bluesfest   Coheed and Cambria at Ottawa Bluesfest   Coheed and Cambria at Ottawa Bluesfest   Coheed and Cambria at Ottawa Bluesfest   Coheed and Cambria at Ottawa Bluesfest  

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

The crowd grew quickly as the small army that is Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros took the stage. Everyone in attendance seemed to be in a groove as the band played "40 Day Dream". Alex Ebert (vocals, guitar) captivated the audience with his antics, commenting on a bird that flew overhead a few minutes into the bands set. It was one of those moments that seemed almost too perfect. Maybe even planned (although I'm not trying to imply Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros travel with caged birds). Whatever the case, this was a great experience.

It is evident this small community has had some practice in giving fans just what they want. This is a group of talented musicians who have learned a few things about entertaining their largely diverse fans. The crowd was in a complete frenzy by the time the band played their final and most known track of the evening "Home".

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros at Ottawa Bluesfest   Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros at Ottawa Bluesfest   Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros at Ottawa Bluesfest   Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros at Ottawa Bluesfest   Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros at Ottawa Bluesfest   Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros at Ottawa Bluesfest   Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros at Ottawa Bluesfest   Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros at Ottawa Bluesfest  

The Flaming Lips

Sometimes the stars and the moon align. Magic fills the air and positive vibrations are among you. For whatever reason, the universe chooses you to make a decision that will change you for the better — to take you through a portal and spit you out again.

To say The Flaming Lips put on a great show is a huge understatement. It's way more than a show, with many songs about death, love, and fear, it's a complete emotional experience. Huge balloons, confetti cannons, and red smoke filled the stage. I was able to catch The Flaming Lips in 2010 and have been on a slight high ever since. I knew people seeing them for the first time were in for a ride.

However, this time around, it was slightly different. A friend and I found ourselves on stage with the band dressed in Wizard of Oz apparel. Once we had our Lion and Tin Man costumes on, we were given instructions on where we would be located on stage. After the briefing we were given a blessing from Wayne Coyne (singer/guitar) and off to Munchkinland it was.

This band puts so much of themselves into their performance. The entire audience resembled a sea. The 15,000 or so fans watching seemed to be connected while singing "Do You Realize?". After the set that seemed to fly by, the band took some time to thank the 28 people selected to join them on stage. Chatting and taking photos with everyone, the band insisted on giving every participant a gift for their involvement.

I will forever remember this day as one of the coolest experiences I have ever had. If you ever get the chance do yourself a favour and check out what all the hype is about. You might just find yourself onstage in front of thousands of people having the time of your life.

The Flaming Lips at Ottawa Bluesfest   The Flaming Lips at Ottawa Bluesfest   The Flaming Lips at Ottawa Bluesfest   The Flaming Lips at Ottawa Bluesfest   The Flaming Lips at Ottawa Bluesfest   The Flaming Lips at Ottawa Bluesfest   The Flaming Lips at Ottawa Bluesfest