Ottawa Explosion Day 5: The conclusion featuring Roberta Bondar and more at Saw


The greatest music weekend in Ottawa, Ottawa Explosion, came to a close Sunday June 23 at Saw Gallery.

Beautiful weather returned, as yYesterday’s rain was long gone and replaced with the blazing hot sun.

Boyhood were added last minute to close out the fest but I had to run to Jazz Fest for David Byrne, so for me Roberta Bondar was the concluding act.

The Ottawa gloom rockers were and excellent finisher for a day that saw a ton of great bands once again.  Roberta Bondar played an awesome set, with a fog machine complementing the ambiance perfectly. The set was not all darkness though as Emmanuel came around with cupcakes for everyone and Roberta Bondar lead singer ,Lidija Rozitis, kept inquiring if anyone had a pool for a pool party. Love the sound of the new track ”Salt” live and as always ”STD” is just so a wicked tune.

Setting the stage for Roberta Bondar was Mannequin. They played some spacey rock with a lot of echo on the vocals. I really liked their sweet instrumental jams, there is no lack of creativity with this trio from Ottawa/Montreal.

The big hair garage rockers from Victoria, BC, Babysitter took care of business.  The guitarist had a freaking awesome looking see through guitar. Absolutely loved the songs ”Gotta be Me Gotta be Free” and ”Holiday.”

The oddest band of the day was The Pink Noise.  The Montreal band comprised of keys,  a guitar with a ton of pedals, drums and singer, do some odd music but it grew on me as the set went on.  Their cover of the Ramones’ ”Outsider,” was pretty awesome. Their last song ”Nowadays,” had me completely won over.

From oddest to youngest, Grime Kings, were for sure the youngest band playing, as only one legal drinking age. The Belleville boys are way too good for such young lads, and they already have an album and an EP under their belt.  I was really impressed with their set, even if their are the self-proclaimed ”worst tuning band on the planet.” The bass player can really lay down the riffs, which is a nice twist on most punk and garage bands. It was very cool of them to work in ”I Want You (She’s so Heavy),” by the Beatles into their noisy finale.

One of the coolest moments of the day belonged to Organ Eyes from Ottawa. For their last song they invited the drummer from Roberta Bondar, Tyler Goodman, to join them. He had a floor tom and just wailed on it, so much it was falling over so a crowd member held it for him. The fan then raised it in the air and Tyler kept banging (photo below). The rest of their set was quite fun as well, with some cool sound effects from the bass player’s pedals.

Ottawa’s Swollen Eyes opened with a steady dose of garage. Half way through their set the pizzas they ordered arrived.  They put them down on the ground in front of them and told the crowd to eat up. When only one piece remained a friendly wrestling match broke out between two guy, which finished with one having the slice slapped on his face….delicious. I really like the band’s song ”Not the Same.”

Well that is it.  My Ottawa Explosion experience has come to an end, but what a wicked whirlwind of a weekend.  I plan on writing up a summary of my highlights sometime this week as well as a feature length article for Herd Magazine, so keep your eyes peeled for that.  Ottawa my heart explodes!

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Tyler Goodman of Roberta Bondar joining Organ Eyes for an epic finale
Tyler Goodman of Roberta Bondar joining Organ Eyes for an epic finale


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