U.S. Girls Ottawa Bluesfest, Ottawa ON, July 4
Published Jul 05, 2019As the masses flocked to the main stage to watch alt-radio favourites Chvrches and Alt-J kick off the first night of the ten-day Ottawa Bluesfest, about a hundred hip 30-somethings made their way to the grounds' smallest outdoor stage to witness U.S. Girls' return to the capital.
Armed with a new nine-piece band (including her husband Max Turnbell, fka Slim Twig, and members of his newly-formed Badge Époque Ensemble), Meg Remy looked intense and unaffected, kicking off the set with the rubbery "Velvet 4 Sale." Staying close to her microphone — with her only stage interactions consisting of mugging for the camera and watching herself on the stage's big screen — Remy seemed aloof and occupied during a set mostly dedicated to her latest album, In a Poem Unlimited.
Moving into "Rosebud," Remy removed her dangling earrings and platform heels before unzipping her dress down toward her navel during the slinky "L-Over." As the band extended the instrumental to "Navy & Cream," Remy's stage presence started to loosen, as the Toronto-via-Chicago musician proceeded to prance around the stage, holding hands and dueting with keyboardist Geordie Gordon and backup singer Kassie Richardson (whose staid stage presence played foil to Meghan's onstage antics).
Launching into fan favourite "Pearly Gates," Remy became joyously unhinged, leaving her mic to dance wildly, lick a robotic camera located at the side of the stage and coyly flash her panties at the now-oscillating crowd. Ending her hour-long set with a shaky-but-fervent extended version of "Time," Remy addressed a couple standing in the crowd, wishing them a happy anniversary before hurling into an impassioned stream-of-conscious speech that ended with her on the stage floor, yelling, "Life makes no sense!" over and over.
As festivalgoers looked on with equal amounts of pleasure and confusion, it was clear that Remy gave the crowd much more passion and drama than an 8 p.m. slot on a Thursday should ever warrant.