Bluesfest Review: Rise Against and Three Days Grace

RBC Ottawa Bluesfest
Rise Against, Three Days Grace, Dear Rouge

Bluesfest pulled out all of the stops for its grand finale Sunday, whereas Chicago punk rockers Rise Against pulled no punches in an explosive, politically-charged efficiency.

“It’s good to be back,” mentioned frontman Tim McIlraith, who appeared to recollect the band’s final Bluesfest present in 2011 as fondly because the followers did.

“I remember you guys, I remember your voices, I remember your passion, and I remember an epic rain storm,” mentioned McIraith, who had a completely totally different scene to take in on this night time because the solar set on a sizzling, humid festival-closing day.

“We’re gonna go out with a bang here,” the band promised, kicking off their dizzying, speed-demon set with The Violence, from their newest album Wolves.

The band blasted Satellite, from 2011’s Endgame, at a breakneck tempo, drummer Brandon Barnes pounding the beat at a near-impossible tempo that gained extra pace with Zach Blair’s thrashing, razor-edged guitar riffs on Survive.

The depth didn’t let up for a second with I Don’t Want to Be Here Any More, the band’s massive, brash sound bending the already-strained audio system.

The blistering House on Fire additional stoked the flames of a steaming sizzling crowd, with fists raised all the way in which again to the doorway gates on the LeBreton Flats garden.

The band took discover, thanking the feverish followers for his or her timeless help over time for the reason that band first ventured north of the border. (McIlraith gave a shout-out to certainly one of their first-ever exhibits in Canada on the previous Snowjam, together with quite a few early tour stops within the metropolis.)

“We discovered a whole helluva lot of love coming from Ottawa,” he mentioned. “You guys never cease to amaze us.”

His lyrics laced with biting social commentary, McIlraith didn’t cross up the prime alternative to wax on concerning the “crazy world” we stay in.

“It’s about using your voice, being the change you want to see, and putting your hand on the steering wheel of history and turning it where you want to go,” he mentioned introducing Megaphone, a 2017 tune about “using your voice.”

“And hope is not enough. Friction and action is how change happens.”

There was loads of each to go round Sunday.


Lead singer Tim McIlrath, left, and Zach Blair from Chicago punk rock band Rise Against carry out on the City Stage on the final night time of RBC Ottawa Bluesfest on Sunday.

James Park /


Before Rise Against scorched the City Stage, Bluesfest had already dished up a fist-pumping feast of rock with locals Animal Confession making their competition debut, hitting the sunny afternoon stage on the actual time Environment Canada was issuing a warmth warning as yet one more sizzling, humid air mass settled over the capital.

Iqaluit’s The Jerry Cans introduced a blast of contemporary northern air, mellowing the temper with their reggae-tinged mix of roots-rock (half sung in Inuktitut) earlier than issues actually received heated on the all-Canadian undercard with Dear Rouge and Three Days Grace rocking the primary stage.

Three Days Grace made their long-awaited return to the Bluesfest stage (like Rise Against, they final performed the ‘fest back in 2011) hitting an early peak with hard-chugging opener The Mountain from their latest Outsider, the band’s sixth album.

Barry Stock, left, and Matt Walst of Three Days Grace performs on the final day of RBC Ottawa Bluesfest on Sunday.

James Park /


With livid frontman Matt Walst urging the followers to “keep that mosh pit going,” the sweltering crowd complied with fists raised in a devil-horn salute by way of I Am Machine, Break and the searing Pain, with guitarist Barry Stock rocking a Gibson double-neck.

The monumental night crowd confirmed the delight of Norwood, Ont., loads of love, chanting the band’s identify after each tune as they served up samplings from their complete catalogue — from Home and I Hate Everything About You off their 2003 debut, to World So Cold, Painkiller, The Good Life, Never Too Late and the raucous nearer Riot.

Vancouver rockers Dear Rouge got here out swinging within the night set, and overcame an early setback with some technical difficulties with a sound system already put by way of a high-pace exercise over these ten competition days.

After a momentary pause the band roared again with a riff on the White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army earlier than peeling off sizzling tracks Flashes and Little By Little from their second full-length Phases, launched in March.

Led by husband and spouse Drew and Danielle McTaggart, the Juno-winning digital rockers had been named the Breakthrough Group of 2016, and they confirmed why with a string of school radio hits from their breakout album Black to Gold.

Looking like a glittering mermaid decked out in a flashy gown of fish scale sequins, Danielle McTaggart roamed the stage leaning into the mic on Best Look Lately and the hard-driving Tongues.

The set ended with McTaggart streaking by way of the sweat-soaked crowd, exchanging high-fives with adoring followers because the band kicked up a swirling wall of sound.

Until subsequent yr.

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