Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine
City Stage, RBC Ottawa Bluesfest
“Best day of my life,” a radiant Jamie Fine remarked to her musical associate, Elijah Woods, as they have been tearing up the principle stage at RBC Bluesfest on Saturday afternoon. Accompanied by a full band, the made-in-Ottawa pop duo referred to as Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine turned their homecoming gig right into a passionate, joy-filled celebration of a profession that acquired an enormous enhance barely six months in the past.
The duo emerged in January as winners of The Launch, a actuality TV collection aimed toward launching an act that’s able to ascend to the subsequent stage of rock stardom. They injected their assigned tune, Ain’t Easy, with a soulful dancehall-inspired vibe that not solely received the present but in addition made it to the Top 10, the highest-charting single generated in the present’s six-episode season.
That form of rocket-fuelled success typically prompts hypothesis as as to whether the reside present can match studio prowess. Well, as they demonstrated in entrance of a hometown viewers baking in the solar on Saturday, they’ve a terrific reside present, plus a bunch extra songs. One-hit wonders they don’t seem to be.
With Elijah Woods stationed at his keyboard-synthesizer stand churning out endlessly creative hooks, it fell to Jamie Fine to step out as frontperson, a task that was made for her. Her boundless power was infectious, and she or he emanated a confidence that compelled the viewers to observe her each request, whether or not to sing alongside or put their arms in the air. Her staccato type of vocal supply bore the affect of a variety of artists, from Alanis to Adele. When she delves into her soul, it’s a cathartic outpouring that rings with uncooked emotion.
In their white shirts, Fine and Woods dazzled in the daylight, a visible distinction with the all-black stage and band members in black shirts. The band, by the way in which, consisted of gamers on electrical guitar, bass, keyboards and drums, a configuration that lent a hard-rock edge to the duo’s model of slick electro-pop.
In addition to their very own catchy tunes, the likes of Chasing Feels, eight:48 and Ain’t Easy, to call a couple of, they tackled an bold model of Aerosmith’s Dream On, dismantling it with a rhythmic beat and a few over-the-top soulful wailing.
Woods, who’s additionally a composer, arranger and producer, seems to be the musical genius behind the duo. A light-mannered younger man, he and outgoing Fine make a fantastic staff. The spirit of affection and camaraderie between them was endearing, evident in the grins they exchanged. They’re on a thrill trip by way of the music business proper now, and so they’re sensible sufficient to know they’re fortunate to have one another.
Woods and Fine have been an early spotlight of a day that featured pop and hiphop on the principle stage, courtesy of Atlanta hiphop duo Rae Sremmurd, Toronto pop darling Jessie Reyez and digital dynamo Yaeji.
Rae Stremmurd, that includes the brotherly duo of Slim Jxmmi and Swae Lee, occupied the principle stage’s earlier-than-usual headlining slot, getting right down to enterprise in entrance of an exuberant crowd by stripping off their shirts, lighting up joints and riling up the mosh pit with a pounding beat.
Performing with a full band, Jessie Reyez delivered a present that balanced her penchant for upbeat dance music with confessional singer-songwriter fare, together with a shout-out to the #MeToo motion in the highly effective tune, Gatekeepers, primarily based on her personal uncomfortable expertise with a producer. The younger crowd went wild for her honesty.
Meanwhile, the scene behind the museum was worlds away in phrases of music and viewers. The older demographic congregated on the Black Sheep Stage for a day of true blues, that includes Canadian guitar hero Colin James, one-man blues band Steve Hill and two succesful Ottawa-area blues acts, Lyle Odjick and Northern Steam, and River City Junction.