Shad, We Are the City and Zoo Legacy @ Ritual Night Club

Shad slaying Rituals Night Club in Ottawa.
Shad slaying Ritual Night Club in Ottawa.

Shad was on his game as he rolled through the capital Friday night at Ritual Night Club.

He is one of the smoothest and smartest hip-hop acts going, and he did not disappoint. The sultan of Canadian hip-hop performed a great high intensity set that seemed to never end, in the good way.  Shad and his band (gotta love live instruments in hip-hop) played plenty of tracks off his new album Flying Colours, but did not neglect his other albums either, digging deep into his repertoire. Some of my favourite tracks of the night were ”Stylin,” ”Progress (Part 1: American Pie , Part 2: The Future is Here)” and ”Rose Garden.” But nothing was cooler than when he stripped it down and did an a cappella rendition of ”Epilogue: Long Jawn.” You could truly see how he is head and shoulders above the competition.

We Are the City played before Shad providing a little dose of rock between the two hip-hop acts. This three-piece from Kelowna, now based in Vancouver, BC had a lot of depth in their sound. And I loved that they didn’t shy away from the fact that they weren’t hip-hop, they owned their sound. If I had to compare them I found like they sounded a little like a proggy Cage the Elephant. The band was very well received and they were feeling it, none more than their lead singer who dove off the stage and crowd surfed.

Ottawa's Zoo Legacy getting crazy and wild at Ritual.
Ottawa’s Zoo Legacy getting crazy and wild at Ritual.

Getting the show on the road was some great hometown talent Zoo Legacy. As previously mentioned, I love it when it is a hip-hop band, aka live musicians rocking out supporting the MC.  Zoo Legacy do it very well. I liked their song ”Light it on fire” which was dedicated to the women in the audience, as well as their closing track “L.K.U.T.