48 hours and we’ve finally recovered from a seriously wicked, unbelievably fulfilling day performing at the Ottawa Bluesfest! The Claridge Stage was an amazing place to be, and strolling the festival after our set was damn exhilarating. Obviously, there was a lot of relief when we wrapped up at 5pm, given we were sharing the stage with Interpol and Simple Plan and playing for our biggest crowd yet. And we’re extremely stoked to have pulled it off without any hitches!
A lot of people put a lot of work into making it all happen and into just straight up making our day, too. The Claridge stage crew and hospitality team were awesome and really treated us like gold, getting us comfortable on a huge stage, making us sound amazing, and taking care of us into the evening with beer and good vibes. On the subject of good vibes, our stage manager Bill Sibbit was actually one of the highlights of our day. We couldn’t have been working with a cooler guy running the show backstage. It was particularly fun to watch him nail his crew with water-guns and tear it up in the festival cars. When you’re stepping up to one of the biggest gigs you’ve ever played having a guy who’ll crack jokes with you and keep everyone grinning is just about the best ever.
Our crew was great for that, too! Our tech Fabien Melanson was ready to troubleshoot problems we hadn’t even imagined and was so comfortable taking everything in stride that it, thankfully, rubbed off on us. Having a great tech is such a confidence booster, Fabien let us rock out without worries. Having Patrick Brewster and his assistant (our pal) Jason Juneau taking video just made the crew all that much more fun and, honestly, kinda made us feel like stars. Even more so when our little posse came backstage to celebrate with us. It was great seeing our friends have such a blast at the festival with us, and we`re pretty sure Simple Plan`s stage crew made at least one of their nights by inviting us to throw huge beachballs into the audience. Its the little things, folks.
The other real highlight was heading down to the autograph booth and meeting some new fans. In particular little Gavin and Serena were a joy to meet and talk about Baba Yaga and being scared with. Their mom and dad are pretty cool for bringing them over to meet us. Ashley really thrilled us by saying we were her festival surprise and AJ actually defected from the Simple plan autograph line-up to come see us! Robert thought we were hooked up enough to be able to get Air Supply`s autograph for him as well as ours. Sadly, we weren`t able to do that but he still seemed pretty happy. There were so many cool people to meet we can`t list them all but suffice to say it was great to chat with folks after the show, and to run into a number of our friends and fans enjoying the rest of the day.
To sum it up, it was a real honour being on this year`s line-up. Bluesfest is just wickedly fun to play and we`re so glad to have a major festival in our home-town that is so supportive of its local bands. We feel really lucky to have had two Bluesfest gigs in three years and especially to have been on such an incredible, exciting stage with such great energy all around us. Weird Al played that stage the next day! Unreal. So now were wondering is it possible, just maybe, that Baba Yaga actually approves of us and has our back? Probably not. That’s a lot to hope for. But a bunch of other folks certainly do, and that actually is enough for us.
Yours truly, with a grin,
-Riishi & Michel
photo by Music Insanity