The Ottawa Bluesfest's River stage tonight had a very unique trifecta set-up yet missed in the promotion of the connections. Alejandro Escovedo, who couldn't be missed after stumbling into his just-started set a few years ago at the old Bluesfest site at City Hall, started it out early in the hottest festival day so far at 5:45. He's really too great of a performer to be playing that early to people that are shielding themselves from the sun. There wasn't much he could do to make them respond. But enough did and I'm sure they got it. They're from Texas,the audience was mostly from Ottawa.
His band was followed by Los Lonely Boys, who launched into serious guitar chops with a cover of Hendrix's Voodoo Child (Chile? Can someone explain the difference?). While the three Garza brothers (Henry, Jojo, and Ringo) were going apeshit, and if you were there, you'd have seen Henry going serious apeshit on his guitar, there was a huge crowd forming in the main area for B.B. King at the secondary Main stage.
It's clearly secondary, so why put a majorly reknowned act there and hope people fit in? The MC had to ask people to put away chairs in order to fit more people in. As well, word was the scanners were down at the main entrance, but conspiracy theorists guessed that this was a ruse to redirect the crowd to another entrance where there was actually room to breath.
The real musical comfort was all happening again at the River Stage tonight, and since B.B. King was over at 9, a crapload of people that felt musically robbed headed over and filled that stage for Los Lobos. They started out to plenty of cheers, but the crowd engagement built as the night went on as the band started adding more energy to their performance including inviting out Henry Garza from Los Lonely Boys to add to the already, almighty guitar work of Cesar Rosas. Along with an on-stage-dancer-vocalist, there was an amazing energy that compelled people dance and party knowing it was the end of another year.
Some people noticed that the Skrillex thing on the main stage during Los Lobos was a bit distracting. It wasn't evident during tunes, but it's still funny.
@ottawabluesfest omg what is that crap coming from Bell Stage??? Trying to listen to Los Lobos!!!— Feisty (@Fffeisty) July 15, 2013
Here are some tweets pointing out what many were feeling during B.B. King. Some were happy that B.B. King was there while others felt that he should have been on the Bell stage.
Poor planning @ottawabluesfest , not putting B.B. King on the main stage made for a human traffic nightmare— Jody H (@KamakaziKid) July 15, 2013
Not putting B.B King on the main stage was the dumbest idea in Ottawa Bluesfest history. These crowds are crazy!!!— Aaron Nilsen (@AaronNilsen) July 15, 2013
"We are fairly trapped and dripping." B B King fan in the sweltering rolling mob of fans waiting the king of blues at #ottawabluesfest— Jacquie Miller (@JacquieAMiller) July 14, 2013