Posted by Caelin Meredith
Day 5 action on the RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest Electro Stage kicked off at 2 pm with a lineup that included Toronzo Cannon, Flight Distance, Lukas Nelson and Drastik (another Red Bull Thre3style finalist).
But it was local heroes A Tribe Called Red who really blew me away.
One of the benefits of a festival setting is the opportunity to discover an unknown act. Since hearing A Tribe Called Red perform live, I’ve become mildly obsessed, to the point of downloading their free album. For a taste of what these guys are like, CHECK OUT THEIR SOUNDCLOUD.
A Native Canadian trio, DJs Bear Witness, Shub and NDN are into “mixing pow wow with contemporary club sounds,” as their Web site describes it — but that understates their impact. Performance-wise, they juxtapose politically charged visuals of First Nations culture against remixes of Adele and UK bass drops. All in all, a bass-heavy set with some truly organ-shifting moments.
“The set felt good, though very different from a club gig where you have four hours to get it going,” they told me afterward. Still, the crowd clearly appreciated their hard work. “The applause at the end was overwhelming; I had Goosebumps on my arms.”
On the other Bluesfest stages that day, the acts included Orgone …
… Down with Webster for the shrieking pre-teen set (a suitably PG-13 set with no thrown underwear) …
.. and Seal — who, for all his MOR rep, delivered an impressive performance and remixed a lot of his hits (but, thankfully, stayed true to “Crazy”).
Day 5 Electro Stage closer Chromeo turned in the BEST set I’ve heard all week — one that will go down as one of the standout performances of this festival. Sunday’s crowd showed no signs of fatigue and “raved” harder than previous nights.
Dave 1 and P-Thugg were generous in their selection and full-on with their performance, even coming around from behind the decks a few times to join the party. “When The Night Falls” and “Heads Will Roll” were big favorites, but it was the extended full mix of Duck Sauce’s “Big Bad Wolf,” with accompanying visuals, that had everyone jumping and howling.
Toward the last half-hour, the set shifted gears into “Ball So Hard” and a steady hip-hop interlude featuring the likes of Kanye, DJ Khaled and Rick Ross. It all wrapped up stunningly and had the crowd begging for an encore — a sentiment clearly appreciated by the band — but once again the strictly enforced injunction against music after 11 pm left those hopes dashed.
More Bluesfest Electro Stage recaps still to come …