Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Bluesfest Day 4: Maroon 5, Carly Rae and Tyler Shaw

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After two days of unsettled weather, the skies over Ottawa cleared on Sunday, making way for the first truly busy night of this year’s Bluesfest.

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After two days of unsettled weather, the skies over Ottawa cleared on Sunday, making way for the first truly busy night of this year’s Bluesfest

The festival started July 4 and, following a day off on July 8,  runs until July 14 on the grounds of the Canadian War Museum at LeBreton Flats Park. 

With hitmakers Maroon 5 in the top slot on Day 4 and Canadian music luminaries Carly Rae Jepsen and Tyler Shaw warming up the crowd baking in the sun, it was pop night on the main stage, and attendance swelled to an estimated 30,000, the biggest show since Nickelback’s outing on Friday and quite likely even bigger. 

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Maroon 5 performing at Ottawa Bluesfest
Maroon 5 performing at Ottawa Bluesfest on July 7, 2024, at LeBreton Flats Park in Ottawa, Canada. Photo by Greg Kolz /OTTAWA BLUESFEST
Maroon 5 played the RBC Stage to a very full crowd at Ottawa Bluesfest Sunday, July 7, 2024.
Maroon 5 played the RBC Stage to a very full crowd at at Ottawa Bluesfest Sunday, July 7, 2024. Photo by Ashley Fraser /POSTMEDIA
Maroon 5 performing at Ottawa Bluesfest
Maroon 5 performing at Ottawa Bluesfest on July 7, 2024, at LeBreton Flats Park. Photo by Greg Kolz /OTTAWA BLUESFEST
Maroon 5 played the RBC Stage to a very full crowd at Ottawa Bluesfest Sunday, July 7, 2024.
Maroon 5 played the RBC Stage to a very full crowd at at Ottawa Bluesfest Sunday, July 7, 2024. Photo by Ashley Fraser /POSTMEDIA
Ottawa Bluesfest
Fans were having fun watching Canadian singer and songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen rock the RBC Stage at Ottawa Bluesfest Sunday, July 7, 2024. Photo by Ashley Fraser /POSTMEDIA

The crowd for Maroon 5’s first appearance at Bluesfest was bolstered by families, along with throngs of young music fans, from pre-teens and up. 

With tattooed frontman Adam Levine in a white, loosely tailored shirt that soon came unbuttoned and was eventually tossed, the band delivered a fully staged pop-rock show, complete with a digital video backdrop, multiple screens and the latest in lighting design.  

To their credit, the show was not so scripted that Levine had to follow certain cues. His soaring voice was in fine form, and he had the support of a top-notch band, which included a backing vocalist. 

“We love being here so much,” he declared to the adoring fans, soaking up their energy and feeling the heat from the mass of humanity. 

“Embrace the sweat,” he added. “It’s everywhere.” 

One standout was a soulful rendition of the band’s lilting breakthrough hit, Memories, delivered with some sincere words of thanks from Levine, who cast back to its origin 20 years ago.

“Thank you for making this song the song it’s become,” he said. “Feel free to sing it as loud as you like.”

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Carly Rae Jepsen at Ottawa Bluesfest
Canadian singer and songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen rocked the RBC Stage at Ottawa Bluesfest Sunday, July 7, 2024. Photo by Ashley Fraser /POSTMEDIA

Earlier in the evening, Vancouver pop singer-songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen, who went for a girly look in pale pink hot-pants and matching vest with frilly white-lace leggings, cruised through a selection of tunes from her varied repertoire, accompanied by her band.

With an on-stage persona that channelled a combination of Blondie and Madonna, it was a crowd-pleasing set, highlighted by songs like I Really Like You, I Want You In My Room and her massive-selling single, Call Me Maybe. 

Tyler Shaw at Ottawa Bluesfest
Tyler Shaw on the RBC Stage at Ottawa Bluesfest Sunday, July 7, 2024. Photo by Ashley Fraser /POSTMEDIA

Getting things off on the right note was Tyler Shaw, the handsome Canadian singer-songwriter who makes his home in Ottawa, along with his wife and two young daughters. 

In front of a crowd that included his father visiting from Vancouver, his wife, three-year-old daughter and most of her daycare friends, Shaw was laser focused on delivering a great show. 

Backed by a rock-solid band, Shaw performed with intensity and drive, displaying his versatile voice and instrumental ability on guitars and piano. His set included the heartfelt ballad House of Cards, the uplifting Heaven and the rocker Cautious, to name a few, plus a solo acoustic version of his breakthrough song, Kiss Goodnight, and a crisp take on Jimmy Eat World’s The Middle.

lsaxberg@postmedia.com

Ottawa Bluesfest
The hot sun was shinning down on fans at 30th anniversary of Ottawa Bluesfest Sunday, July 7, 2024. Photo by Ashley Fraser /POSTMEDIA

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