The second night of Bluesfest in Ottawa was heavily pop-infused with performances by tween favourite Carly Rae Jepsen, Dragonette, and half of the crew from LMFAO.
Redfoo, the one with the “big ass fro,” explained that his partner Sky Blu hurt his back from “wiggling” so was not at the festival. Earlier this year the group had to postpone shows in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. Despite what would have been a set-back for most musicians, the dancers and musicians in the LMFAO entourage put on a great show.
You can’t really have a party without fake dumb bells, a costumed zebra, confetti, and one of North America’s best breakdance groups – the Quest Crew. Costumes weren’t limited to the stage, plenty of home-made shuffle bot costumers, leopard print spandex and fake afros were present.
So what happened earlier in the day?
It was a relatively tame affair during Jepsen’s 45 minute performance. A veteran of ‘Canadian Idol’, Jepsen seemed at ease gesturing to the side cameras with waves and smiles.
Not shying away from self-promotion she mentioned she is finishing up her new record with a planned release in the fall. She gained the most applause from a down-tempo version of ‘Call Me Maybe’.
Would I pay to see Jepsen on tour? Probably not. Part of the spectacle that is pop music was missing from her performance. Don’t get me wrong, Jepsen wasn’t shy; she has toured with her mentor Justin Beiber and obviously has performed in front of larger audiences. However, she didn’t command the stage like Madonna or Katy Perry. For now the pop star will have to be happy as an opener for large stadium tours.
Next up was Dragonette who went against the common concert conventions and started their performance with their most well-known hit ‘Hello’.
Martina Sorbara, the group’s lead singer, said this was their “biggest Ottawa audience so far” as she surveyed the crowd. In 2007, Dragonette play Zaphod Beeblebrox, a small club in the market area of Ottawa, to promote the release of their debut album Galore. It was a strong performance and solidified the group’s fanbase in Ottawa.
“You guys are good at dancing to the lesser-known jams, too,” said Sorbara following the song ‘Animale’.
While Jepsen had over-powering vocals during her performance, Sorbara was battling the synth and drums of her bandmates the entire time. All in all, it made me wish I was seeing them inside a club again. Sorbara’s energy and movement across the stage were excellent, but her vocals were off point.
The best performance of the night was given by headliners LMFAO who used hits like ‘Sorry for Party Rocking’, ‘Put That A$$ To Work’ and ‘I’m in Miami Bitch’ to get the crowd into a frenzy. Redfoo did not shy away from cheesy opening remarks between each song.
“After I do it, I like to get a hot dog and put mustard on it and put poutine on the side,” he said with a grin. “I’m gonna get a hot dog” he said, before the song ‘Hotdog’ started.
Of all the song on their setlist ‘One Day’ was the most prolific and included a breakdancing interlude by the Quest Crew (a series of headspins and flips were completed over a medley of Michael Jackson’s ‘Remember the Time’ and Steve Aoki’s ‘Earthquakey People’) .
Raunchy lyrics, silly stage banter and a key member missing didn’t seem to deter people from having a good time.
LMFAO could have ended the night with ‘Shots’ and the guitar-heavy cover of the White Stripes’ ‘Seven Nation Army’, but came back for two encores. The first one included ‘Party Rock Anthem’ and ‘Champagne Showers’. Redfoo ran along the fence between the soundboard and the stage spraying chamapagne. For the second encore, he got down to his skinnies (Full Monty moment) for ‘I’m Sexy And I Know It’.
Although Blue Sky wasn’t there, Redfoo proved the show must go on and when it does, it can still be a good.