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Ottawa Bluesfest Day Two – Zedd

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Zedd performs at the RBC Bluesfest in Ottawa on Friday, July 4th, 2013. The RBC Bluesfest is ranked as one of the most successful music events in North America.

Ottawa Bluesfest Day Two – Zedd

Who: Zedd

From: Germany/Russia

Where: Bell Stage, RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest, Ottawa

When: Day Two, July 4th 2014


Style: Electro house DJ with a background in classical music. Inspired by Justice, the 24-year-old began mixing music a few years ago and has since been nominated for seven awards. Zedd’s portfolio includes work with Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas, Skrillex, and the movie soundtrack Divergent.


Crowd: A party of epic proportions. Girls were rocking out on people’s shoulders, a man shook his crutches enthusiastically in the air, and the smell of weed was everywhere. Zedd’s music seemed to seep inside the limbs of his audience and force them to move without much self-control. The large screen graphics were fascinating and hundreds of people filmed the performance with their phones. The crowd loved the combination of sound and visual and the evening turned out to be a dramatic show for the young ones.

Technicalities: Zedd’s performance was an entertainment of technological theatrics. He created exciting pieces of art in the form of moments that could only be truly captured with a memory. Each song was embellished with impressive visual graphics, crazy pyrotechnics, flames shooting from the floor in rhythm to the music, streamers and smoke clouds. But it wasn’t just the visuals that made the audience feel alive; it was the rumbling under their feet, the building of the music, and the tangible energized atmosphere. Zedd’s classical background gives him an understanding of music that many DJ’s lack and each song is clearly formed with an awareness of musicality. Sure, his music makes a great party but he also gives you different things to chew over; interesting lyrics, weird instruments and strange turns in the music.


Sex Appeal: You know that kid in high school who gets on with everyone and throws the craziest house parties? That’s Zedd. He’s not arrogant or too cool to talk, he just wants everyone to have a good time. And that kind of unpretentious nature is highly attractive. Not to mention that Zedd is handsome, young, successful and knows how to make people move. And just like that the cool kid from school he is undoubtedly going to have an awesome time at college, Zedd clearly has new and exciting things heading his way.

Memorable moment: The beginning. Darkness flooded the arena and the ground shook with rhythms and beats. Zedd built the tension slowly; people screamed with excitement and after 20 or so seconds the world was engulfed in colours and noise. Bluesfest was transformed into a mega house party and even the stars came out in full force for the party.

Overall: Zedd manages to succeed where most electro and house DJ’s fail. His music does not fall into the trap of repetition, shitty lyrics or “the louder, the better” mantra. Instead Zedd cooks a feast of music for his audience. He skillfully manipulates the music into something interesting and every 10 seconds a new sound is introduced into the mix. Zedd is a teasing DJ but his work is also very generous; the music is captivating and constantly provides new, new, new, and more, more, more. The night was a startling passionate three-way love affair between music, art and technology. And the audience loved every thrilling moment of it.

Zedd performs at the RBC Bluesfest in Ottawa on Friday, July 4th, 2013. The RBC Bluesfest is ranked as one of the most successful music events in North America.

Review by Jill Stevens

Photos by Mark Horton/RBC Bluesfest Press Images


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