When two Ottawa radio stations began playing “Brother Down” 10 years ago, they launched the career of one of Canada’s best performers. The Sam Roberts Band is heading to Ottawa on July 12 to play the RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest, and the guys can’t wait.
“As a Canadian band, especially when you’ve been touring in the wintertime in some snowbound part of the country, running from your hotel room to a van to a venue, then you get to play outside at a festival in the summertime, it’s amazing,” says Roberts.
“You’re hanging out outside; everyone’s in a good mood; you’re happy to be on stage–the shows are very unpredictable. The last thing you want a tour to be is predictable. To feel like you’re going through the motions, to me, is the cardinal sin. It’s a reason to stop and really think about whether you need to step back from everything for a little while until you have the passion again. But festivals make that easy because everyday is different.“
So what is Roberts looking for from the stage?
“Some wild dancers, man, dancing and singing along. That’s the enjoyment I get out of the show. That’s when I feel like the music is making the kind of impact that I want it to make,” he says.
“In my fantasy, when I’m writing the songs, I project forward to when I’m on the stage watching people dance to it in a very sort of unconscious manner. So when I see a good dancer out there, a really wild one who is really going for it and needs more than the allotted personal space because their moves are so wild, I like that.”
The Sam Roberts Band will play the Claridge Homes Stage on Thursday, July 12 at 8 p.m.
Check out the October issue of up! for an interview with the Sam Roberts Band.
Steve Mazur on Our Lady Peace’s new record, Curve
Our Lady Peace released their eighth record Curve earlier this year, loosely based on the life of boxer George Chuvalo. This week, the band is bringing their new material to Quebec’s Festival d’été and Ottawa’s Bluesfest.
We chatted with guitarist Steve Mazur, who joined the band in 2002 after Mike Turner left, about the new album and still being the new guy.
I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since you’ve joined the band. Do they still treat you like the new guy?
Alice Cooper at Ottawa’s Bluesfest
Alice Cooper is bringing his unique stage show to the RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest in Ottawa. Currently on tour with Iron Maiden, he’ll be playing the main stage on Saturday, July 7.
Fans can expect the classics like “Billion Dollar Babies,” “Feed my Frankenstein,” “Poison” and “The Black Widow,” the latter from his 1975 concept album Welcome to my Nightmare.
You’d think performing (not to mention pretending to be hung or guillotined) in front of thousands of people would be part of the nightmare, but not for Cooper.
Festival d’été de Québec
Spread your blanket out on the historic Plains of Abraham and watch the (almost-equally) legendary Aerosmith rock. LMFAO, Beirut and the French Elvis Johnny Hallyday are just a few of the other acts rocking out on three main stages. And, because the festival is in the heart of Old Quebec, there are numerous restaurants, shops and (real!) restrooms nearby.
For more WestJet Fun 'n Festival Series information, check out westjetfestivals.com.