Parting Shots from Ottawa Bluesfest 2010

Luckily I got most of the shots I wanted before Bluesfest started enforcing a ban on ‘people with nice cameras‘. At one event I was asked to put away my camera, while the guy behind me continued to videotape the entire show… wha? I will assume that they didn’t discriminate against me because my lens was white.  🙂

That one negative experience aside, I really enjoyed the music at this year’s Bluesfest, and taking pictures of some of my favourite performers!

Here is my last selection of shots, from Matthew Good and Crowded House.

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IMG_7815 Clap for me... like I care...
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THIS is ‘Drummer Face’

Security didn’t like me, but I managed to get a bunch of shots of Matthew Good last night at Ottawa Bluesfest. Apparently their camera policy has changed for the second week, probably based on the realization that camera technology has advanced so far that people were taking 1080p HD bootleg video that was of similar quality to the pro’s.

They seemed to be picking on people with big cameras, particularly ones like my trusty ‘Light Bazooka’. Meanwhile, the guy behind me with a tiny camera took video of the entire show.

Anyway, back to the point of this post. Some people don’t know what it is when I say ‘drummer face’; I saw such a good example of this last night that I had to do this post! This is the drummer from Matthew Good’s backing band (name please?).

IMG_7795 Classic Drummer Face!
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RUSH v. The Light Bazooka

I carried my trusty ‘Light Bazooka’ to try and capture one of my favourite –and oft-maligned*– musical acts, RUSH. I arrived over an hour early hoping to snag a reasonable mid-field location for the 100-400L to work its magic, but I forgot two important things about RUSH that could thwart the mighty Light Bazooka:

  1. Rush fans are overwhelmingly male, which means my usual height advantage in a typical Bluesfest crowd is negated for picture taking.
  2. Never underestimate how may RUSH fans there are! Even showing up 1.5 hours early I was relegated to the cheap-seats. I had been to big Bluesfest shows already (Metric, B-52’s, Flaming Lips) but this crowd was HUGE.

Below represent my best efforts to capture the 3-hour marathon (particularly for Neil Peart) that was the highlight of my Bluesfest so far!

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*For anyone who think these guys take themselves seriously, come to one show –especially on this tour– and you will find otherwise.

Adrian & His ‘Light Bazooka’ @ Bluesfest

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P.S. If you are wondering what a ‘Light Bazooka’ is, it is my nickname for THIS.

Sam Roberts: Bronson Centre, January 30, 2008

As an early celebration of Clint’s birthday, we went to the Sam Roberts concert at the Bronson Centre.  I had lived next to the Bronson Centre my first 7 years in Ottawa, and had no idea that it was used for concerts.  Perhaps that is a new thing?  It turns out that it is actually quite a nice venue, with good acoustics.
It wasn’t advertised who the opening band was, but I was really pleasantly surprised to find out (4 songs in, when I recognized ‘Don’t Talk Down’) that it was The Stills, also from MTL (Sam Roberts is).
The Stills at the Bronson Centre Ottawa

The Stills at the Bronson Centre Ottawa

The Stills Set:

  1. … I missed the first two songs before I even realized I was listening to The Stills!
  2. ??
  3. Snow in California
  4. Don’t Talk Down
  5. Snakecharming the Masses  (introduced as the ‘f-ing masses’)
  6. Lola Stars and Stripes
  7. Panic
  8. Hands on Fire
  9. ??
  10. Being Here

They did an awesome live version of ‘Being Here’ which really ended their set on a high note!  This was a great bonus to the Sam Roberts show.

Sam Roberts at the Bronson Centre

Sam Roberts at the Bronson Centre

Sam Roberts Set:

  1. Love At the End of the World
  2. The Resistance
  3. Fixed to Ruin
  4. Hard Road
  5. Stripmall Religion
  6. Bridge to Nowhere
  7. Up Sister
  8. Where Have All the Good People Gone ***
  9. An American Draft Dodger In Thunder Bay
  10. Lions of the Kalahari
  11. Them Kids
  12. Brother Down.***
  13. ??  Not sure if this was just an extended ‘Brother Down’ “Got something to live for…” in the lyrics


  1. Detroit ’67
  2. Words & Fire
  3. Mind Flood

Sam Roberts is GREAT live!

Mind Flood was an interesting choice to finish off the set.  I think it must have gone on for 10+ minutes in a very ‘psychalelic’ rendition that made me think I was at a Pink Floyd concert, pot smoke and all.

Sam Roberts is a class act, I was really impressed that at the close of his set he must have spend 5-10 minutes leaning off the state shaking hands with the front three rows of people against the stage.  This wasn’t your politician giving a quick hand shake to every person, but a solid handshake while the made eye contact and said something to each person (can anyone comment below on what he said?).  A lot of work, but I am sure each one of those people are a fan for life!

If you have any corrections on the set list, or other comments, I would be very happy to hear from you!

My Favourite Concert Photo (by me)

I like this shot for a lot of reasons, but here is a few:

  • I had no business getting a shot this good from the 300 level (go Canon G9!)
  • Taylor Hawkins is one of my favourite drummers
  • Hey, he is a Foo Fighter
  • I really like the way the concert lights shine off that top cymbal
  • The blur in the image really captures his dynamic motion
  • He appears to be having a blast!

Technically speaking, you aren’t supposed to take pictures at concerts unless you have permission, but with the number of camera phones in existence, it is really pretty silly to try and enforce this (although one of the security guards did tell me to turn it off).

Great concert by the way!!

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