Live at Ottawa Bluesfest

After a very dancy and poppy Nelly Furtado warmed up the crowd Live came on to give them a lesson in good old rock 'n roll. Despite the fact that the crowd thinned out quite a bit after Nelly departed the stage (maybe she should have been the headliner), it did not seem to phase the five boys in Live. They remarked several times that this crowd in Ottawa would get them through the nights when they were playing in front of a couple of hundred somewhere in the States. They genuinely seemed happy to be there and the band was definitely 'on' for this performance. They started off the show with energy and it was kept up throughout the whole show.

Now I was a bit trepidatious about this show because while I do like the band's music, they have not had a hit for a few years and I was worried about their rock 'cred' when I saw them on American Idol. I was relieved when from the beginning of the show it was apparent that they have 'recovered' from their appearance on the aforementioned show. The band is as good as they have always been, they are not sell outs and they rock as hard as ever.

Lead man Ed Kowalczyk is your prototypical lead singer of a rock band. He comes equipped with dramatic rocker poses, intensity, a habit of stripping off his clothes, and a bald head. He started off with glasses and a jacket despite the very humid night then took off the jacket and had a blue wife beater underneath and then finally ended up taking that off as well. It was like watching a slow striptease happen throughout the course of their 90 minute show. Ed is definitely a human photo op for fans and journalists alike. He always seems to be doing something 'interesting' on stage.

The show was a nice mixture of their older hits and some songs from their new album "Songs From Black Mountain". It definitely was their older hits, like the brilliant and passionate "Lightening Crashes" – which turned into a big sing-a-long, which got the biggest responses from the crowd. This is a band that, while they are good on their albums, is much better appreciated live. Some of this has to do with lead singer Kowalczyk's charisma and some has to do with the energy and passion they put into their live performances which make their good songs even that much better. Judging by the fact that they performed a very long encore, they did not seem to want to get off the stage, these boys from Pennsylvania love what they do and were really enjoying the love they were feeling from the crowd in Ottawa.

Setlist:
1) Mystery
2) All Over You
3) Selling the Drama
4) The River
5) They Stood Up For Love
6) I Walk the Line (Johnny Cash cover)
7) Wings
8) Lightening Crashes
9) Lakini's Juice
10) The Dolphin's Cry
11) I Alone
12) Heaven
13) Show
Encore:
14) Run To The Water
15) Iris
16) White,Discussion
17) Dance With You

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