rbc bluesfest experience

A couple of weeks ago I attended my 1st RBC Ottawa Bluesfest! The festival is over a period of 10 days. My friend and I decided on 3 day bracelet. We chose to see bands on the 4th, 8th, and 9th of July!

On the first day, we were really only going to see Journey. I arrived earlier than she did, so I got to eat a delicious dinner with my parents from the Hintonburger stand while listening to Silkken Laumann (the band not the rower, I know, confusing).

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Later I met up with my friend and her mom and watched Darius Rucker for a while. He was a good performer, but definitely not our music taste.  Soon it was time for Journey who were awesome! My favourite performance was probably Lights or Separate Ways. Arnel Pineda sounded great and my friend and I thought he was cute. Little did we know that he is 46!!?! He looks way younger than his age, good on him.

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On the 8th we saw Tokyo Police Club, Styx, Queens of the Stone Age, Foreigner and Jake Bugg. Unfortunately it rained for about 2hrs and shows were delayed (damn lightning!) I was not thinking and did not bring rainboots on the trip :( My friend and I huddled under one umbrella and wore ponchos over our coats. Not a fun experience. I really enjoyed Tokyo Police Club though!

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It stopped raining for Foreigner and Jake Bugg which was greatly appreciated. Thank you Mother Nature! Kelly Hansen was an awesome performer. Even got to see Mick Jones, the original founder of Foreigner! We stayed for half of their set and left to see Jake Bugg after that. We fangirled a bit when we first saw him up on stage. I would love to see Jake Bugg again in concert. He is an amazing singer.

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The headliner for our final day at Bluesfest was The Killers! Yes. I’ve religiously listened to Hot Fuss and Battle Born so I was naturally super excited for them. And of course, Brandon Flowers. The first act on was Tyler, the Creator. My friend is a fan of him, so we went to watch his set. His fans are pretty crazy and I was smushed up against the person in front and behind me for half the time (everyone wants to get to the front!) Although he songs are really vulgar, I thought he was a great performer and was fun to watch!

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After him we walked around Lebreton Flats. It is a nice outside venue and it is not overwhelming at all (unlike Osheaga!) We went back for some fries at Hintonburger and went to the merch tent to buy some Killers shirts. Lining up an hour and a half before before The Killers was somewhat rewarding. There was a group of pushy people, but we met some siblings from Italy which was really cool. The crowd was really loud which I enjoyed! Brandon did a lot of call and answer in their songs. I was happy that they played The Way it Was, which is one of my favourites off Battle Born.

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Hope I can attend Bluesfest again next year, or even be a volunteer. A really chill festival! Now one week until Osheaga!

 

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recap: osheaga day 3

And Sunday was the last and final day of the festival :( I wanted to visit the McGill University campus and check it out, so my mom and I went and took the Metro there (my friend and her mom stayed back and chilled in the hotel). Although everything was closed on the campus because it was a Sunday, I thought the campus was beautiful and I loved the architecture. 

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After a bit we walked back to St. Catherines, but not after I snapped this random pic…

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We walked more in the Underground City and decided to eat in one of the many food courts. Around 2:15 we left for Parc Jean-Drapeau once again and met up with my friend and her mom who had been there since the first act on the main stage. My friend and I decided to check into one of the many Osheaga kiosks as it did not have a big line (surprisingly) and was entered to win tickets to next year’s festival! As Jessie Ware came on it started to rain. Good thing we were prepared…we whipped out our raincoats and umbrellas! After it died down, my friend and I walked over to the Scène Verte Sennheiser stage to catch some of Little Green Cars’ set. I also really wanted to leave because I couldn’t stand to listen to Jessie Ware a minute longer. Although I didn’t know many of their songs, Little Green Cars were really good. I loved when they performed My Love Took Me Down to the River. Check out their song The John Wayne. Fay O’Rourke is talented! 

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After some songs we headed back, but not before signing a note and putting it up on the H&M board. It was fun to read all the other notes on it (sorry, I forgot to take a pic!) When we got back our moms decided to register their bracelets in the Chevrolet contest since they both had two pairs of matching ones! My friend and I sat waiting at a picnic table her mom and her had nabbed earlier on. We sat through 90% of Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires’ set. His music is soul/R&B (which I don’t usually listen to) and he is 65. It was an interesting performance, but he’s definitely still got it for his age! It seemed like we had been waiting forever for our moms to come back. We wanted to get into the Silversun Pickups crowd halfway through their set since The Lumineers would be playing there 45 minutes after, but we couldn’t leave with all the bags at the table. My mom hurried back shortly after I spammed texted her – thank god – and we headed into the crowd with about 15 minutes left of their set. I was surprised…there weren’t many people in the Silversun Pickups crowd so we got halfway to the front fairly quickly.  And then it started to rain. And I had forgotten my coat back at the picnic table. I convinced my friend to stay where she was and I rushed back and grabbed my coat. I was lucky…there was a woman in front of us who had been waving her hands like crazy…and she was still doing that as I entered the crowd. If it hadn’t been for her fangirl actions I would’ve never found my friend! 

As people filed out at the end of Silversun Pickups set, I followed my friend and we rushed to the front. We were both pleasantly surprised…even though we entered the crowd later than we hoped, our place was better than for Two Door Cinema Club! And a bonus – two tall guys (okay, everyone is taller than us) in front of us let us stand in front them. I THANK YOU! Downside: there was an even taller SHIRTLESS guy in front of me wet and sticky from the rain. Ugh.

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As they started playing the crowd shifted (thankfully) and I could see a bit better. One of the two guys that let us in front of them was hilarious – he was obviously very excited and screamed “I LOVE THIS SONG” as The Lumineers performed Flowers in Your Hair. The best part of the set? WHEN WESLEY AND STELTH WALKED INTO THE MIDDLE OF THE CROWD TO PLAY. Up on stage Wesley announced for everyone to make a path so he could come out and play some songs. My friend and I were smack dab in the middle so as the crowd separated, there were only 2 people in front of me who were on the inside of the path. When they returned to the stage only one guy was in front of me and I guess he could see that I was trying to lift my arm to film and he let me stand in FRONT of him. All these nice people who have let me stand in front of them makes me forget about all pot smokers and rude fans…haha. So the greatest thing occurred after that. I touched Wesley and Stelth. YES. You read that right. It sounds kind of creepy, but I mean thats what most fans (girls) do, right? And it was only on their shoulder. I couldn’t believe it happened though. I mean, I made physical contact. Ok, i’ll stop obsessing now.

Later we watched Kendrick Lamar from the picnic table. Weird story – we came back to find our mothers socializing with some 20 some-year old girls from Toronto. And they seemed to be having a good time! Part way through New Order we left to see some of The Neighbourhood’s set on the Scène des Arbres Galaxie stage. We only stayed for a couple of songs because they came on late and also the crowd was really annoying. A group of French girls behind us were obnoxious and had no respect for other people (one girl was turned around and kept backing into us with her backpack several times) We surprisingly got back in time for the beginning of Mumford & Sons set. What was more surprising was the fact that one of the girls that our moms had been talking to bought my mom a shot and was trying to get her to take it. And later she was pressured into taking a sip of beer. Weirdest thing ever! (my mom isn’t really a big drinker) The girls talked to us when our moms left for the bathroom saying that we had the “coolest moms ever” and that we “definitely look old enough to order a drink”. Ok. I look like I’m 12. My friend and I look at each other in disbelief. But I guess it was cool that they liked our moms (even enough to Instagram a picture of them together…still to this day I cannot find the picture)

We watched Mumford & Sons for a good hour or so, standing atop the picnic table overlooking the crowd. They were amazing. 

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We left Montreal around 10:45 and didn’t get home until 3 am! I was exhausted, but I would definitely do it again.

 

*watch for my august collective haul soon!*

 

Recap: osheaga day 2

We lucked out again on Saturday – no rain (except for a bit during Imagine Dragons) We weren’t really interested in seeing any of the earlier acts that day, so we decided to hit up St. Catherines again since we didn’t walk much of it the day before. We went into a few different shoe stores and I made sure we made it to Brandy Melville (where I was determined to buy something!) My friend had never been there before and was very impressed with the store, so naturally she walked out with quite a bit. I ended up getting the Stay Weird top which I had been looking for originally in Toronto. I was satisfied! I was contemplating on a floral skirt as well, but it was $30 and I felt like I didn’t want to spend that much on it. After a couple more stores, we went our separate ways to get lunch. I ended up getting a meal from Kojax (yum, Greek!) and while my mom and I walked back on St. Catherines to the hotel…guess who we spotted? Maxime! We were both surprised and said a quick hello. I couldn’t get over how I met the guy who had the same Chevrolet bracelet as me outside of Osheaga. What are the odds? It definitely made my day!

After finishing up lunch, my mom and I looked for the subway in the Underground City (interconnected complexes in downtown Montreal) We passed by a clothing store called Lime and when I looked in I saw a bunch of denim vests. I had been looking for one for a while, but I hadn’t found the right one for the right price (yet) I saw one with a grey hood attached which was cute and for $25. Not the best price, but the others I had seen had been more so I settled for that one. 

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Later we headed to Parc Jean-Drapeau in time to hear some of the last songs performed in Jimmy Eat World’s set. We all walked around to the other side of the island to explore and entered the Chevy contest again (my friend found a guy with the same bracelet, but he wasn’t bothered and gave it to me!) After my friend and I walked over to the Air Miles tent and showed them my mom’s card so we could get a free Polaroid taken! :) Our moms were back at the Chevy tent entering since they’d also found a match, so my friend and I headed back to the main stages to catch the last bits of Stars’ set. I loved when they played Hold on When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It at the end (Yes, long song name) We stood in the crowd of the opposite stage since Tegan and Sara were playing next! We also wanted to stay on that side because Imagine Dragons were playing an hour after T and S. 

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Tegan and Sara were awesome and I especially loved How Come You Don’t Want Me Now and Alligator. I was annoyed partly during the set since the guy in front of me smoked at least 4 cigarettes in that hour…and the smoke drafted into my direction of course. After they finished, my friend and I pushed as much as we could near the front (which was very difficult!) We don’t really like to be rude. Thankfully two taller guys in front of us let us stand in front of them. I was thankful until everyone around us (including the two guys) starting smoking pot. The smell was intoxicating and it was a big turn-off for my friend and I. I was also very squished as we waited and I could barely move in the hour waiting for K-os to end (I was very unimpressed with his set, I have to say). After what seemed like a long, long time, Imagine Dragons were finally on! I was so excited. 

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They were phenomenal. Throughout the whole performance their energy was amazing, especially Dan’s. He had a huge bass drum which he used quite frequently through the show and it was awesome. The number of crowd surfers during On Top of the World was crazy though – my friend and I were so paranoid that we’d get crushed or hit on the head (crowd surfers in my opinion were a big downside in the standing area) Besides that, their set was probably my favourite from the entire weekend. I was a bit bummed they didn’t get to play Bleeding Out, but Amsterdam and Tiptoe were my favourites. They were great performers and interacted with the crowd. At the end they threw their drumsticks into the crowd and a girl behind us caught the one that Dan threw (after it hit her friend on the head) If only we had been a bit farther back!

After Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were playing, but I wasn’t all that interested in going into the crowd, so my friend went with her mom. I’m not really a big fan of rap, but I don’t mind it. I admit, after seeing Macklemore, I like him a little bit better. He was an amazing performer and interacted with the crowd the most from what I had seen the whole weekend. My favourite performance was Same Love, where he invited Tegan and Sara onstage to sing with him. It’s a really catchy song too. 

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Overall, Macklemore surprised me and I was more impressed with his set that I had thought I would be! 

After he left, we also did. My feet were on fire from the pain of standing in the crowds for 3+ hours (and we weren’t all that interested in seeing Beck’s whole set), so we took the Metro back to the hotel and grabbed a late dinner. 

 

 

 

Recap: Osheaga day 1

Sorry I have been so MIA the past week…my friend and I attended the Osheaga music festival in Montreal from August 2-4. It was such a fun experience.

Although I listen to One Direction, my music taste is mainly alternative/indie. Back in March Osheaga released their lineup and I was very impressed. I was already going to One Direction, so I didn’t think much of going, but when tickets when on sale I decided to needed to go! My mom gave in and since I am only 16, she and my friend’s mom came with us. Good thing they didn’t hover the entire time, thanks mom! We purchased the three day pass and I added another countdown to my phone. :)

Unfortunately, many of the ticketholders (including me) received our bracelets quite late. This was due to fraud issues. My mom had called Osheaga worried we wouldn’t get them in time, but they assured us we would get replacement ones in case we didn’t receive them in time. Although the bracelets came only 4 days (4 days!) before the festival, I was glad we finally had them!

We left on August 1 on a 3 1/2 hour drive. We stopped a bit to shop at the Fairview Point Claire mall and then ate at an allergen free restaurant (I have a peanut/nut/shellfish allergy) in the Latin Quarter called Zero8.

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I ordered the steak and fries (+ salad) and managed to save enough room for a chocolate cake dessert. I go to Zero8 every time I’m in Montreal, and I have to say they have gone downhill a bit compared to previous years. I was satisfied with the cake though!

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The Latin Quarter!

Ok, on to what this blog post was supposed to be about – Osheaga day 1! The festival didn’t officially start until 1 (which was when the first act was playing), so we decided to take a walk down to rue St. Catherines for a little browsing/shopping. I only ended up getting a shirt from Simon’s (a French clothing dept. store), but that was good enough for me!

We were lucky – the Metro was literally steps away from our hotel. We hopped on and after 2 stops we were at Parc Jean-Drapeau! I was beyond excited. We entered with a swarm of people and checked through the security quite smoothly. Osheaga time!

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Me and my friend!

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The first act of the day were Capital Cities. I had heard of them before from their popular song “Safe and Sound” and I knew a few others so we decided to stay and watch. I was pleasantly surprised. They were really good live and they covered “Stayin’ Alive”. Their performance was very entertaining and I will be purchasing more of their music!

My mom and my friend’s mom sat on the hill while they waited for us and watched the other acts. After Capital Cities we left and decided to look for the water stations where we could fill out bottles (for free!). Unfortunately, parts of the map were inaccurate so we ended up at a farther water station since the one that showed closest to where we were didn’t exist! My friend and I stood in the semi-long line waiting for our turn. Now before I write about the next story, I forgot to mention. Chevrolet was holding a contest at Osheaga. Two Chev Sparks were up for grabs and once you entered the venue you were given a bracelet of a colour and specific number (see here) 200 people are given the same bracelet each day, and if you find your match you can be entered to win one of the cars. My thoughts were…what are the odds? How could you find your matching person in a sea of 40,000 people a day?

Well, I was wrong. Bored in line, I glanced over to the guy next to me and on his wrist is a black bracelet with the number 914. THE SAME AS MINE! I honestly didn’t know how to react, so I motioned to my friend and she was nodding and telling me to confront him. So I did. I said something like “Is your bracelet 914?” or “Excuse me, I think our bracelets are the same..?” And then the first words out of his mouth was in a French accent, “Do you speak French?” I was all freaked out and using my .1% of French I answered “Un peu…” Haha. Good thing he spoke some English, because I was worried we wouldn’t be able to communicate. I had to explain to him about the contest, so after we got our water we walked to one of the many Chevrolet stands set up. Too bad there was a huge lineup! I wasn’t willing to wait a long time just to enter a contest – especially since we’d be missing some acts. Before I could suggest it, he asked if  we could exchange numbers so we would be able to meet later and enter. I agreed and he left to watch Oberhofer (I’m glad we didn’t stand in line, or else he would’ve missed this band!) My friend and I met our moms back on the hill and relayed my story. We sat on the hill for a while watching Oberhofer, which I liked a lot (yay new music to listen to!)

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View from the hill (photo courtesy: my mom (+ dad’s fisheye lens)

After my mom and I went to fill our waters again, but I decided I wanted to line up at the merch tent. Waiting there for a while, I finally got a shirt while Daughter played in the background. I made it back in time to watch half of Ben Howard’s set in the standing area. My friend and I were determined to stay at the Scène de la Rivière Virgin Mobile stage as Alt-J was playing on the stage next to it (Scène de la Montagne Molson Canadian). Also, after Alt-J, Two Door Cinema Club was playing at the stage where we were already standing. We needed to get close to the front!

As people filed out after Ben Howard was off, my friend and I raced to the front. Though we weren’t against the gate, we were fairly close and I was satisfied! Thank you to the tall guy who moved over to let us in beside him. We waited 45 minutes as Alt-J played their set (which was very good) and finally Two Door Cinema Club was on! You don’t know how happy I was.

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TDCC was perfection. Alex’s vocals were amazing and spot-on. And of course he brought a drink out with him. I loved it when they played the opening guitar part to “Something Good Can Work” and everyone started cheering. It was pretty cool when Alex announced that it was Kevin’s 24th and everyone tried to sing “Happy Birthday”. My favourite performance was probably “Next Year” or “What You Know”. I would definitely see them again!

After TDCC, we left for a much needed food/bathroom break. My mom and walked around to the other side of the island to meet up with Maxime (the guy with the same bracelet) I was glad the line was fairly short and the Chevrolet worker took our picture which was put on to Instagram (yeeikes!) The picture was a bit awkward, but oh well! We entered the contest on 1 of 4 iPads at the tent and then said goodbye. He was very nice and I’m glad that we met!

We headed back after meeting Maxime.  As Ellie Goulding finished, my friend and I entered the standing area again where she had just performed her set. Vampire Weekend was on the stage beside and after them would be Phoenix! I was pumped. Vampire Weekend were awesome, but I wished I knew more of their songs. When Phoenix finally came on I was excited. They played “Entertainment” first and I really enjoyed “Litsztomania” and “1901”. It was cool how the lead, Thomas Mars, went to the front crowd and also crowd-surfed in the end! I wished we had been closer. Phoenix really impressed me and they turned out to be great performers.

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Ezra from Vampire Weekend

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After Phoenix performed, we were done for the night. The Cure was playing next, but we weren’t very familiar with their music (Except for “Friday I’m in Love” & “Just Like Heaven”), so we decided to call it a night. The weather was forecasted to rain that day (along with the next two days), but we lucked out!

*stayed tuned for tomorrow’s post of day 2!*

july collective haul

I have been saving my money for a while for my summer trips. I really wanted to shop online a lot, but I’m glad I resisted. Bought this stuff on separate occasions…on my Southern Ontario trip and a shopping trip I went on recently to Ottawa. Just wanted to share some of the clothing I bought for back to school.

 

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H&M Black Jeans by “Divided” – $24.95

Zara Equestrian-like Pants – $29.99

Campus Crew White Denim Cutoffs – $12.99

I love the Zara pants. In real life they are more of a green-khaki colour. I also love the leather detailing on the belt loops! I think they were originally $50-$60, so I’m happy they were on sale. I’m also happy with the shorts too – they were originally $34.99. If you’re ever near a Campus Crew, check out their sale items. They have a lot of good deals.

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Zara Pullover – $15.99

Trendyland Brand Crop Top (Brandy Melville Knockoff) – $12.99

Abercrombie Kids “Haven” Top – $32.50 (now on sale for $22)

Aerie Lace Bandeau – $12.95

I was excited when I found the knockoff Brandy shirt at Winners. Although the make of the shirt is not as soft as the Brandy cotton, I won’t complain for 12.99 and proper sizing (Brandy Melville is one size fits all). Especially happy with the Abercrombie Kids purchase as well (yes, I still fit their “kid” sizes, but in XL, #shortpeopleproblems) because I’ve been looking for more preppy tops, although I find that A&F is changing their style. I got the white bandeau from Aerie to wear underneath since the back is lace.

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I bought this “Party Cam” for $14.00 from Urban Outfitters. It’s disposable and it puts different prints on your photos. I thought it was really cool and I bought it to bring to the Osheaga music festival in Montreal my friend and I are going to this Friday through Sunday. So excited! I am pumped to see Two Door Cinema Club, Imagine Dragons, and others. 3 days, 14 hours, and 41 minutes!