D’Angelo @ Mojo Stage
There’s no better word to describe this show than ‘Sassy’. Michael Eugene Archer, R&B and soul singer/songwriter took the stage fashionably late (emphasis on the ‘fashionably’, as he walked out in his feather coat and slouched hat). His charisma and feisty spirit encapsulated the audience within seconds.
With impeccable vocals, Archer had everyone grooving out to some of his greatest tunes, including ‘Brown Sugar’, ‘Lady’ and ‘Cruisin’. The two-hour set allowed D’Angelo to be as relaxed and un-rushed as he needed to be. Plenty of call and response with the audience and improvisation got everyone so involved throughout the whole 120 minutes. It was so enjoyable to witness how interactive he was with his fellow band members, taking time to jam out and have a laugh with everyone on stage as well.
D’Angelo took a lot of pride in his costumes, creating the exact vibe he wanted for his tunes. As he finished his set he walked off stage with the rest of the band members, the crowd roared for an encore, hoping he’d return to the stage for one last tune. With the band being off stage for at least 10 minutes, the audience was banging on everything they could, creating their own beats on the metal poles holding up the stage, whatever they could do to keep themselves entertained. After such a wait, D’Angelo appeared back on stage, having a seat at the grand piano at centre stage. His very late tune, ‘Untitled (How Does It Feel)’ had everyone in the singing along with him. With ‘How does it feel’ being sung over and over by the tranced crowed, he finally walked off the stage for the very last time announcing ‘It feels so good’.
Eagles of Death Metal @ Mojo Stage
Eagles Of Death Metal have the most memorable stage presence of all, cussing, outrageous comments and a lot of loving to the ladies of the crowd, ‘I’m very thankful for this heat, all the ladies are wearing less clothing’. I felt such an emotional connection to this band, after the devastating Paris attack when the band played the Bataclan on that very night with numerous fans and friends of the band being killed during the live gig. Lead singer, Jesse Hughes, mentioned how much he loved playing in front of the crowd Bluesfest.
The power and passion this band show is extremely commendable after such a horrible last few months for the band, but man do they know how to rock and roll and but the bad times behind them, the amount of old rockers at the show was crazy. Bright red suspenders, an 'I don't give a f**k' attitude, and enough guitar picks to throw at least 10 out to the crowd in between songs, Hughes brought an extra twist with an improvised guitar solo
Hiatus Kaiyote @ Mojo Stage
Wow.. what an incredible set and if you ask anyone else about it, I’m positive they will share nothing but love about this band. I’ve known of them for quite some time after hearing the album ‘Choose Your Weapon’, released last year. A collection of beautifully crafted tracks that build from places you didn’t know existed, this band is beyond incredible and I would love to be able to pick their creative brains but instead I enjoyed their set immensely and grooved for the entirety of the set.
You know when you picture a band in your head after only listening to them and never actually knowing what they look like, well I pictured something completely different to what was in the flesh of Hiatus Kaiyote. A strong female lead vocal was something that set this band apart from the rest, full of sass and pure brilliance and behind this all is Nai Palm. The fact this band is from Melbourne makes me so proud as an Australian because we produce some amazing music in this country that is going to make such a difference in the music industry as a whole. I think this band is the most talked about act of Bluesfest 2016 and is most definitely the highlight for many, including us. INCREDIBLE.
The Decemberists @ Mojo Stage
The Oregon based band, The Decemberists graced the Bluesfest crowd with something truly special in their afternoon set. I’ve known of this band for quite some time now, really appreciating and connecting with their nostalgic and heart driven tracks and beautiful coloration of instruments and various percussions. Some of my favourite albums from the band include ‘The King Is Dead’, ‘The Hazards Of Love’ and ‘The Crane Wife’, all much earlier material ranging from the early 2000’s to 2011 so I hoping to hear some of the older tracks from the band that I love dearly. The set started off beautifully with a massive live band all so vibrant and extremely blessed to be there, you know when you can tell by the looks on their face that are they are just damn stoked, also the lead singer,
Colin Meloy described the festival as ‘one of the most beautiful festivals’, which just makes you feel even more connected with Bluesfest as a punter. The band are extremely well established and have been in this industry for quite some time and you can definitely see that in their live performance, such grace and passion is evoked throughout the set. What a beautiful set, if you missed them you have a chance to check out their set today at 8:45 tonight at the Mojo tent.