Posted by Caelin Meredith
Another gorgeous day — and The Weather Network says it’s gonna stay this way for the next 10 days: 28 and sunny. You couldn’t ask for better weather for an outdoor concert. Especially since we’re right on the river, so the evening brings fresh breezes — a bonus when you plan to be dancing for hours at a time.
A technically accomplished DJ, he played with flawless professionalism, even though the crowd seemed shy about dancing. That’s the drawback of having the first slot of the evening: you tend to get the “dinner or sunset set.” Still, that didn’t stop him from delivering a solid, high-octane performance — most notably dropping “Crush On You” with Mark Knight’s “Alright.”
Sacramento dance-punk outfit !!! (pronounced chk-chk-chk) followed — and what an amazing show they put on! A live band with heavy funk and percussive influence, they were an unusual programming choice, but it all worked brilliantly sandwiched between two DJ acts. The energetic live performance really got people primed as the sun went down.
Then there was front man Nic Offer: charismatic and kind of crazy, sporting garish Rolling Stones Some Girls shorts and dancing his way furiously through the hour-long set. He got the audience fully engaged by jumping into the crowd and performing a song on ground level — at one point holding a note for an astonishing 20 seconds.
Unlike the previous evening, which saw LMFAO performing at the same time as Paul Oakenfold on another, there was no competition for the EDM audience, so Tommy Lee and Aero got the kind of crowd numbers they’d hoped for — just shy of 1,700.
They played a progressive/electro hybrid, with 20 subwoofers added on stage to give a clear but distinctive sound.
It’s no surprise (considering Ottawa is such a rock town) that House Of Pain’s “Jump Around” got the biggest reaction. Then, Aero subtly dropped the “900 Number” by The 45 King, flirting just enough before pulling it back. This is a favorite of his so he only ever plays just a few bars, to keep it fresh.
The visuals — mostly well-endowed ladies — were well suited to the Mötley Crüe drummer, even though this was a family night for some. It took more than an hour of the set, I felt, before they really found their groove and came alive, pulling cheer after cheer from the crowd — all of which prompting Aero to grab the mic and say, “Ottawa goes off … we had no f**king idea!”
The dancing became less polite and more hedonistic as Benny Benassi’s “Satisfaction” and some raunchy dubstep pumped from the speakers.
“We were at Tila Tequila in Ottawa in 2008,” Aero told me after the show. “Joel Zimmerman opened for us then — before he was you know who.” They were ready to keep going and locate some kind of after-party, despite having to fly to Aspen the next morning.
I’ve been surprised, actually, that there haven’t been any club gigs tacked on to the festival programming. I was expecting after-parties and club nights to be organized to take advantage of all the talent passing through, but so far the only “official” after-party is scheduled for Thursday, when Big Boi plays a DJ set after his main stage performance.
And so ended Day 3. Still to come: Mustard Pimp, MSTRKRFT, A Tribe Called Red, Chromeo and much more. Stay tuned.