Music and other modern musings

Bluesfest is giving me the blues




I have been trying to figure out how I am going to say this nicely for the last hour or so and have come to the conclusion that it might not be possible. This year’s Cisco Bluesfest lineup pretty much blows!

The expected diversity is there – Kiss to Ludacris, Ani Difranco to Our Lady Peace, Joe Cocker to Estelle and Ben Harper too  – but if you ask me there is little to no wow factor that the mega summer festival has become known for. Last year’s show was jam packed with old faces juxtaposed with new – James Taylor, The Tragically Hip, Great Big Sea, Fergie, Feist, Brian Wilson, The Black Crowes, Wyclef Jean, Plain White T’s, Akon, Snoop Dogg, Primus, The Wailers, and Donna Summer! 2005 saw ZZ Top, Kid Rock, Simple Plan, Black Eyed Peas, K-os, Alexisonfire, India.Arie. And lets not forget the incredible mix of indie talents. 2007 was a really hard year to beat  as well – Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, George Thorogood, Steve Miller Band, Blue Rodeo, The White Stripes, Manu Chao, INXS, and Kanye West. It as also their biggest year to date with a registered 300 000 in attendance.  While a little smaller, 2002 was my fav year – with the Hip opening and Lauryn Hill playing an amazing acoustic performance abut mid week. 

Very few of the rumours have turned out to be true. No Paul Simon. No Green Day. And the indie lineup….hell none of the Canadian faves are there! No Fesit. No Metric, Broken Social Scene, Stars.

It looks as if this year’s show is showing signs of recession. If they hope to exceed their current title of second largest festival of its kind in North America, the ante will need some amping in coming years. Anyhow, I could blab and bitch about this all day so here is this year’s roster. Hardly any wow factor, just a bunch of old faces if you ask me.  Looks like nostalgia is what the festival is looking to bank on this year. 

Jeff Beck,Jackson Browne, Sam Roberts Band, Loreena McKennitt, Matisyahu, Stone Temple Pilots, Xavier Rudd, Joe Cocker, Neko Case, Our Lady Peace, Blue Rodeo, King Sunny Ade & His African Beats, Cake, Ludacris, Drive By Truckers, LIVE, Paolo Nutini, Jennifer Warnes, Spencer Davis, Estelle, Femi Kuti, Mick Taylor, Ani DiFranco, The National, KISS, Styx, DeVotchKa, Girl Talk, Toots & the Maytals, Alan Parsons Project, Ornette Coleman, Iron and Wine, Los Lonely Boys, The Zombies, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and The Yardbirds.

And so as not to sound like a total party pooper, I have to admit that the show will not be a total loss. As mentioned, the diversity is there and I will still go. The shows I am most likely to check out will be;  

Jackson Browne, Neko Case, LIVE, Estelle, Girl Talk, Crystal Castles, Thunderheist, Alan Parsons….maybe Ludicris and Ani. Not quite as many as I would have hoped for but…what can you do?

The addition of acts like thunderheist, Crystal Castles and Girl Talk are somewhat surprising. While the show has made phenominal strides in past years to embrace different musical genres, the electro scene has been somewhat neglected. Perhaps we are seeing yet another shift in focus for the largest summer festival of its kind in Canada. Perhaps out with the urban sounds and in with electro?

Here are some really, and I mean really notable lineups for summer festivals though,

Gatecrasher Summer Sound Festival
Ultra Music Festival


April 22, 2009 - Posted by | Gigs |

1 Comment »

  1. Love this blog I’ll be back when I have more time.

    Comment by mrred | April 22, 2009 | Reply

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