Baauer and RL Grime Blacksheep Stage, LeBreton Flats, Ottawa ON, July 8

Baauer and RL Grime Blacksheep Stage, LeBreton Flats, Ottawa ON, July 8
Photo: Jessica Deeks
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Garnering a large enough following to headline the Blacksheep Stage before even releasing an LP, internet sensation Baauer shared the stage with 22-year old producer RL Grime to help close out day five of the sprawling ten-day Ottawa Bluesfest. Situated more than ten feet above the stage while surrounded by massive LCD screens and flood lights, Baauer and Grime thrilled the youthful Monday night crowd with a tight 90 minutes of EDM, pop and trap.

Equipped with the perfunctory baseball hat, T-shirt and hand towel, Baauer and Grime appeared stifled by their commanding stage setup, limiting their body movements to fist-pumps and towel-twirls. Accompanied by arrestingly vibrant visuals that seemed to lean towards the macabre, the duo moved through a Gen-Y-tailored DJ set that blended their own tracks and remixes with music from A$AP Rocky, Hudson Mohawke and Rihanna, while visions of skeletons, gravestones and crosses flicked across the screens. As the set edged towards the midway point, the duo's performance began to wear thin — as the images started to repeat themselves and their original material began to sound too similar — leaving the crowd with a performance devoid of energetic peaks and valleys. And oh yeah… they played "Harlem Shake."