By Adam Slight
Bluesfest has spent the last 5 years really stepping up its act and attracting bigger names and larger crowds than ever. I think the culmination of this (with all musical tastes put aside) is when KISS took the stage in 2010 and attracted 40 000+ spectators (many of whom were not actually paying spectators, but rather enjoying Gene Simmons’ theatrics from lawnchairs outside of the grounds).
Now we’re starting to see a lot of familiar faces: Blue Rodeo, Nickelback, Iron Maiden, Skrillex, and many others have become repeat performers. While I have no complaints about seeing major bands return to Bluesfest’s main stage (minus Nickelback…why couldn’t the stage collapse on them instead of Cheap Trick?), you can’t help but long for other A-list performers who “could have been” for 2012.
Here is my dream list for the Bluesfest lineup, and I think it is quite reasonable. I know anytime someone starts talking about music people feel passionately oppositional to what you say, so save it for the comment section below!
Why not right? While they may be a “joke” bank, Jack Black and Kyle Gass have some serious musical abilities and a roster of tunes that would be awesome to hear live in the capital. They have an obvious appreciation for rock and blues, and their style of presentation (humour and egotistical ridiculousness) would be refreshing to see at Bluesfest.
I’ve always dreamed that The Rolling Stones would headline a Bluesfest show. Even as I write this, I deep down hope that Mick Jagger or Keith Richards Google their names and find this and think “Yeah! What a good idea!” If The Rolling Stones played Bluesfest our scalpers would become millionaires.
I know he technically performed with Them Crooked Vultures last year, however, I had the sense that everyone was there for Jack and that they would rather he just play his own stuff since he made the trip here anyways.
KISS has proved that Bluesfest is an appropriate venue for high-octane stadium rock. Now that the model has been proven, let’s see what other loud and cheesy bands can do. AC/DC really stands for any other band of its kind (I was tempted to suggest Metallica here, but I’m not sure how their 8-minute thrash ballads would do with Bluesfest crowds).
Neil Young seems to be a natural choice for my wishlist. He’s a Canadian artist, much more “bluesy” than many artists that have been featured at bluesfest (yes I know: many genres have been born from blues roots), and Ottawa is an ideal place for a musician as political as Neil Young is to perform.
We can’t forget a washed up b-lister for this list (or maybe Lou has dropped down to H by now). I just hope he can find time for us with his busy schedule (or if he can get the day off work).
Obviously this Top 5 plays to my tastes–Who do you want to perform at Bluesfest 2013?