The Late Night tent at the Ottawa Jazz Festival is always worth stepping into at 10:30. Nearly every night, there will likely be something that will keep the curious around, wind them up and get them dancing until midnight. Last year a fine example of this experience was Lake Street Dive's set. They literally, not figuratively, promised to "come back real soon". It's been 1 year of that broken promise but don't be surprised to see a band from this intimate party turn up on the main stage on a following year.
Snarky Puppy, another plywood-dancefloor shaker from last year's festival were slotted in the same tent, instigated a dance party, while this year they are elevated to the main stage. It's difficult to imagine a dance party anywhere close to what happened in the tent considering a large portion of the crowd have chairs or blankets to sit on.
Smash cut to tonight where The Soul Rebels debuted themselves at the Ottawa Jazz Festival scene displaying their lung capacity and power with a full stage of horns. Their set was impossible to avoid dancing to, and those that weren't were encouraged with a few moves from the band.
The set was loaded with their own tunes and a dusting of solid covers like the Beatles 'Come Together' (a guitar tune on horns …awesome), the opening cover of Gloria and the Sound machine's 'Conga' while later on, they administered a dose of Daft Punk's Get Lucky.
It's a strange feeling to have a deep bass loaded groove going when it's driven by a sousaphone (a tuba that you wear) and recognizing that there is a musician blowing air into it from his freaking mouth. For an hour and a half. How did he not pass out?
Around midnight, it was time to say goodnight to the Jazzfest crowd but the audience would not leave without an encore. A few of the horns had already walked off of the stage towards the soundboard. That was a clue that more was in store. They launched into one more funky number, Uptown Funk, and the members who left the stage were walking through the crowd as they played their parts, enhancing the intimacy of the show, and landing a satisfying finish.
The danger of missing a show like this is that they will likely be invited back and have their show escalated to the main stage. This is the kind of math one must consider when looking at multiple stages at any music festival. It's wise to pay attention to the side stage or the late show. Any of these acts could become the next headliner and become much harder to get close to.