Live Review: Bluesfest Day Two

31 March 2018 | 11:56 am | Bernie Winter

"Bluesfest at its finest."

Photos by Pete Dovgan & Kyle Butcher

Photos by Pete Dovgan & Kyle Butcher

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The sun goddess shines! She returned to Bluesfest today. Ponchos gave way to board shorts but yesterday's mud still sticks between the toes.

The #StopAdani sentiment is growing strongly at Bluesfest. Music as a platform for social change and all that. Many are now waiting for The John Butler Trio on Sunday to bring the energy together.

Harts, known for his Hendrix-like guitar playing, joins his two-piece band on the Mojo stage. His single Red & Blue landed a spot on triple j's 'Hit List' a while back and was played in high rotation; it lights up the Bluesfest audience. When A Man's A Fool and Power round out his solid setlist. Many new sets of ears are turned on, the following grows strongly.

Icelandic indie songwriter Asgeir has received international attention since the release of his first English album In The Silence, followed by his acclaimed 2017 release Afterglow. There seem to be as many varied pronunciations of his name as people that speak it. Four keyboards and tight drums couple with his sublime vocals, entrancing his audience across his set. Higher, Torrent, Going Home and King And Cross seamlessly transition across his playlist. Five soft "thank you"s and a final bow complete a kickass hour. Studio artist — 10/10. Performance artist — 0/10. Still love this fella.

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Music brings great joy. On the Delta stage, Bobby Rush, at nearly 85 and with over 300 published blues recordings, knows exactly how to delight his audience. Millennials and baby boomers pile into the venue. A mix of 12-bar blues, a white dinner suit, sequinned dancers, the smoooothest backing band, shared life experiences and Bobby's harmonica ensures not one person leaves before the last trill. Bluesfest at its finest. May he live forever!

On the Mojo stage, anticipation builds for headliner Ms Lauryn Hill. Widely acclaimed as a member Fugees and for her critically lauded solo album The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, followers have learnt it can be dangerous coming to her gigs with any expectations. Her DJ takes the stage, "One time, make some noise Brisbane," repeat loop. Say what? 25 minutes later, the audience is still making some noise. Hill is known for her tardiness to her performances. As the music echoes from other stages, festival-goers begin to filter out of the Mojo. Hill is quoted as saying the "challenge is aligning my energy with the time". So it goes. Killing me softly...