RBC Bluesfest Press Images, Photo: Marc Desrossier
“Greetings people of Ottawa, Canada, Earth, galaxy, Milky Way. We come from the planet Weezer from a galaxy far away.”
Rivers Cuomo was on point! The W’s made a return to the air on Wednesday night, but they were a little different than those for Wu-Tang. Weezer still have it after nearly 20 years of nerd rocking us, their performance was amazing.
Other than having so much fun that the little kid in me was doing jumping jack in my brain, I learned three things from the show. One, it appears that every song Weezer has was a hit single. They played,”My name is Jonas,” “El Scorcho,” “Hash Pipe,” “Troublemaker,” “We are all on drugs,” “Island in the sun,” “Beverly Hills,” “Say It Ain’t So,” “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To,” “Buddy Holly” and the crowd favourite “Undone (Sweater Song).” I rest my case. Two, they have a guitar solo in almost every song, something I had not noticed before. Three, Rivers does most of the guitar solos and is probably the coolest geek on the planet.
Opening the day was one of the best solo rap performances I have ever seen. Killer Mike tore it up at the River Stage. The show was riddled with technical difficulties on DJ Trackstar’s gear, but that lead to some amazing a capella rapping by Mike. Killer Mike’s most recent album is called R.A.P. Music. The R.A.P. stands for Rebellious African People, and even though the crowd was 99 per-cent Caucasian, we brought the energy. Killer Mike’s lyrics are politically charged and angry, take for example his song “Reagan,” the song explains the demise of America since an actor became a president. His music is for the people, he is not wasting much time rhyming about bitches and hos, he is looking out for the little guy, the normal guy, the guy getting shit on by the system. He is one of the most punk rappers I have listened to in a while, and I loved it. He was joined on stage for a few songs by his partner in crime, El-P. They dropped a bunch of songs from the album they did together called Run The Jewels (which can be downloaded for free here).
Killer Mike thanked Canada for the “great whiskey and marijuana,” that he has been sampling in the past ten years while visiting our beautiful country. He finished his set by getting down into the crowd while still spitting rhymes at us. He is a must see for all fans of no-nonsense rap.
After Killer Mike there was a lull of sorts. I tried to check out Animal Collective, but maybe I had to be high to enjoy it. Animal Collective just did nothing for me. I’m normally a great fan of organized chaos, but this to me was just weird noises all over the map.