Entertainment

We Reviewed Every Band Playing Ottawa Bluesfest

Before deciding to spend time in Ottawa this summer to see Rage Against the Machine and Blink-182, instead of literally anywhere else on the planet, read this article.
February 19, 2020, 11:00am
Rage Against the Machine, Alanis, Blink-182, Ottawa Bluesfest
Photos via The Canadian Press.

Coachella. Glastonbury. Rock in Rio. Primavera. Roskilde. These are the names of some of the world’s most popular music festivals.

And then there’s Ottawa Bluesfest. Which also exists for everyone too impatient for Osheaga.

The one thing Bluesfest has on all of those legendary music festivals, you ask? Well can you get sucker punched by a hockey bro from Alexandria that smells like Doritos and White Claw at Glastonbury? Didn’t think so.

Bluesfest, which started in 1994 with actual blues musicians, has almost evolved past the annual “this isn’t the blues!!!!” complaint from people who never leave Kanata. Headliners in recent years include Kanye West, Foo Fighters, and Lady Gaga—however, it is still held in Ottawa.

In honour of the great Noisey tradition of seriously and accurating reviewing every single band playing Coachella, we have spent thousands of seconds researching each and every act at Ottawa Bluesfest to help you decide if going to our nation’s capital is worth going to literally anywhere else.

RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE
Can some of those that work forces make it easier to get tickets?

JACK JOHNSON
Jack Johnson is like the guy who whips out an acoustic guitar at a house party and plays Jack Johnson songs.

BLINK-182
Would prefer if Tom DeLonge strolls out and casually gives an hour-and-a-half Power Point presentation about how Aliens Exist.

MARSHMELLO
More like marsh-hell-no.

ALANIS MORISSETTE
High chance you’ll be soaked by wine spilling out of a novelty guitar neck cup.

DANIEL CAESAR
Please resist the urge to propose to your crush of five weeks.

THE NATIONAL
Nothing says festival season like contemplative indie rock for the divorced or soon-to-be divorced.

BOYZ II MEN
More like Men II Olds. (Sad trombone.)

VANCE JOY
A teary-eyed crowd will sing along to the one (and only) Vance Joy song everyone knows.

TASH SULTANA
Oh yeah, Australia still exists.

DEAN LEWIS
See previous.

LIL TECCA
Somehow the only Lil booked.

KING CRIMSON
More like the Adult Diaper of the Crimson King, amirite?

BLUE RODEO
Your dad still talks about the time he lined up at centre against Jim Cuddy in beer league.

BILLY TALENT
Dress me up and call me emo because I’m about to get bangs, smudge mascara down my cheeks, and scream at Bluesfesters to Try Honesty.

GARBAGE
Combat boot and mini dress hive rejoice.

6LACK
Real fans know it’s pronounced “Slack” or “Six-lack” through wet lisp.

SAINTS AND SINNERS TOUR (BIG WRECK, HEADSTONES, MOIST AND THE TEA PARTY)
I guess Our Lady Peace’s Summersault revival didn’t take.

ALI GATIE
Unfortunately not the stage name of a singing crocodile.

NELLY
Not Furtado.

JULY TALK
[bad Tom Waits impression] Hello
[bad Emily Haines impression] Ottawa

DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL
Love to relive my first breakup, which left me crying into my pillow every night for a full calendar year.

CHARLOTTE DAY WILSON
If you evolve her at night she becomes Charlotte Umbreon Wilson.

JADE BIRD
Put a bird on it!

TRAVIS TRITT
We see you, secret Brad Pitt side project.

PATRICK WATSON
Fantastic in The Conjuring.

SHARON VAN ETTEN
Our old, sad editor refuses to let us say anything mean about her.

CASH CASH
Should’ve been Ca$h Ca$h.

DJ SHADOW
If the DJ sees his shadow you get six more weeks of free Monster Energy.

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS
Would be considered Canada's greatest band if they weren't from Vancouver.

CAT POWER
ฅ^•ﻌ•^ฅ

TURKUAZ W/ JERRY HARRISON & ADRIAN BELEW: REMAIN IN LIGHT TURNS 40
Honestly, we've got no clue either.

GRANDSON
Sorry ma’am I haven’t seen him, try child services.

BRANDY CLARK
It’s Brandy O’clark somewhere.

DELTRON 3030
DJ Roomba made it to the big time.

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT
Sharing a name with an acclaimed television show is terrible SEO.

THE BARR BROTHERS
One letter away from being a half-decent pirate band.

JEREMY DUTCHER
Warning you will cry but in a good way.

PROTOJE
Protodge?

DUCKWRTH
[laughs uncontrollably]

NAHKO AND MEDICINE FOR THE PEOPLE
Expect a crowd full of white people with dreads and mandala tattoos. (Sorry, Nahko.)

MATT MAESON
His “early life” Wikipedia entry makes us wish we googled him earlier.

JOAN OSBORNE
We wish your dad nothing but the best.

BARNS COURTNEY
Tractor McGee was unavailable

LEIF VOLLEBEKK
Against all odds he is not a Norweigian metal band.

THE CINEMATIC ORCHESTRA
Hopefully it's a silent movie.

CHARLIE CUNNINGHAM
Should have been a curler.

THE DIP
I hope their openers are The Chips.

WISHBONE ASH
Sadly this band has nothing to do with a hyper-literary Jack Russell Terrier

EZRA FURMAN
Hell yeah Sex Education.

DURAND JONES & THE INDICATIONS
What, not Durand Durand?

HAVIAH MIGHTY
Drake detox.

NOBRO
Bro… no.

SOUTHERN AVENUE
Should team up with Ocean Alley to cover "Ocean Avenue."

OCEAN ALLEY
Should team up with Southern Avenue to cover "Ocean Avenue."

JONTAVIOUS WILLIS
If you say Jontavious three times in a mirror a harmonica appears.

THE TURBANS
Thank god this isn’t four white guys.

VANESSA COLLIER
Sadly not three collies in a trench coat.

CROWN LANDS
Playing their biggest hit, "What reconciliation?"

CRYSTAL SHAWANDA
I don’t know who this is but I’m excited to get my tarot read.

FÉMINA
I think we have the same Hormone Monster.

LLOYD SPIEGEL
What Professor Frink yells after completing an invention.

MARCO BENEVENTO
Polo!

MICHELLE HOPKINS
Shoulda been Anthony.

JESSICA MITCHELL
Member of the Kim Mitchell Cinematic Universe.

THE COOPER BROTHERS SOUTHERN ROCK ALL-STAR REVUE
Hopefully your single cousin is free to join you for this one.

ALBERT CASTIGLIA
My favourite Sopranos character.

MIKE ZITO
My least favourite Sopranos character.

DWAYNE DOPSIE & THE ZYDECO HELLRAISERS
I have no idea who these people are but this is the best band playing this event.

THE TEXAS HORNS
Country ska band, I hope.

JOHNNY SHAY
Sashay away. (OK, getting pretty tired now.)

RED YOUNG
Red, red young / Stay close to meeee.

ALANNA STERLING
How’s she trading after Brexit?

AMANDA LOWE
Someone fix her levels.

ANGELIQUE FRANCIS BAND
Angelique Francis banned.

BIG ZEE
Should be Big Zed whenever you play in Canada, bud.

BRADEN FOULKES
We get it, Braden Fuc—wait, what?

ÉTOILE NOIRE
Etoile Noire means 'Black Star' en francais

FRASE
Hey baby I hear the blues a-callin, tossed salads and scrambled eggs! Mmmercy.

GAVIN MCLEOD
Hi, yes, I do own flannel.

GENTLEMEN OF THE WOODS
We call them Sasquatches around here actually.

JT SOUL
Rejected album title for Justified.

JESSICA PEARSON AND THE EAST WIND
Weird, I don’t remember this Harry Potter book.

KIMBERLY SUNSTRUM
Kim Mitchell’s full name.

LIA KLOUD
Only Cloud I acknowledge defeated Sepiroth.

LORA BIDNER
If I’m going to be completely honest I prefer Laura Duotang.

LYLE ODJICK & THE NORTHERN STEAM
After Bluesfest will be continuing their tour of every coffee shop open mic within driving distance.

MACK & BEN
We assume this is just two hosers talking about Internet Nazis.

MISCHA
Fuck y’all, Grace Kelly still slaps.

MISS EMILY
Not a Slate columnist.

MURRAY KINSLEY & WICKED GRIN
Congrats on whoever wished their DeviantArt characters to life.

RENÉE LANDRY
Dollar store Zellweger.

SLY HIGH
How I’m tryna be.

SOPHIA RADISCH
Artists named after root vegetables are known for bringing the party.

THE COMMOTIONS
Next time you pick a band name try a little harder plz.

THE SPLIT
Which is exactly what we’ll do 10 seconds into this set.

TONY D BAND
Could you not afford the Tony C Band?

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