Ottawa Folk Fest 2014: Day 1 ft. Blues Traveler & Foster the People

Posted: September 13th, 2014

Day one of Ottawa’s 20th annual Folk Festival was a different palette of music for us here at Envy Magazine; Luckily, hip-hop culture is all about expanding outside the box, so we made our way to the Ravenlaw stage to check out the blues-rock band, Blues Traveler. There was a spark of excitement as familiarity hit our ears with covers of Charlie Daniels’ “Devil Went Down to Georgia” and Sublime’s “What I Got”. The band moved on to more original songs like “Run-Around” and “Hook” which amped up the crowd. Although John Popper’s harmonica skills are what the band is most noted for, it was his charming personality that intrigued us; Pausing every few songs to raise his solo cup of Tequila to say “cheers” to the crowd was hilarious and endearing. The band did an amazing job engaging the crowd, both during their songs and during their solos with no lyrics. Blues Traveler really gave us an authentic festival experience; Pouring rain, mud, and all.

Here’s a quick clip

Through the rain, we made our way to the Eh! Stage for the night’s final performance from Foster the People. Although the band was one we personally haven’t had much exposure to, we were curious about what they were going to do with the smorgasbord of instruments on the stage. We were not disappointed. The band opened up with “Pseudologia Fantastica” and it sounded like an electro symphony in its huge presence of music filling the park. While we weren’t familiarized with lyrics as such, we were drawn in by the front man, Mark Foster’s, strangely beautiful vocals; Reminiscent of Our Lady Peace’s, Raine Maida. Pre-judging the stage setup, it wasn’t surprising that there was a lot going on during the band’s performance. In every corner there was a different instrument being played and many played by Foster himself, backed by Jacob Fink on bass and Mark Pontius on drums. The lighting was a mesmerizing and psychedelic rainbow of colours swirling around the band and the four-foot ice crystals that adorned the stage. Much to the dismay of residents in surrounding areas, but to the delight of the fans, the power-band could be heard from 4.5km away. What’s better than shutting down the show with a measly noise complaint? We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Here’s a quick clip

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