Niagara Falls-born producer Murda Beatz performs on the Videotron Stage. Photo: Jean-Luc Ducamp
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Leikeli47, Murda Beatz and Shakey Graves shine on stage

With thunder and lightning in the sky, day seven of Bluesfest was electric.

At first glance, the weather was sending bad vibrations among festival attendees. The first seven days of the festival were filled with sun and heat, from the sky to the stage, but day eight brought four artists cancellations due to weather concerns: DJ Pauly D, Brea Lawrenson, Gavin McLeod and Abby Stewart. 

The gates finally opened at 7 p.m. with a shocking amount of people. As they walked onto the festival grounds, the clouds cleared up and the rain disappeared, almost like mother nature was proud of the strong attendance. 

Because of the late start, some of the acts were moved and adjusted. At the Videotron Stage, Leikeli47 took over at 7 p.m. The New York-based masked rapper came in with the kind of energy that satisfies old fans and wins over new ones. This stage was ready for the soon-to-perform Murda Beatz, and it was obvious. The age range was 13 to 23 with most attendees dressed in hip-hop street fashion, exactly the type of crowd Leikeli47 wanted.

With pure bars and amazing energy, she was able to get people dancing and moving. The highlight of Leikeli47’s set was when she let three fans come on stage and dance with her. Some took Snapchats and were mimicking her moves. One of her most popular songs Money had the audience grooving. It was entertaining.

Since Leikeli47’s set was late, she stayed on stage longer than expected, pushing Murda Beatz start time to 8:30 p.m. instead. This didn’t bother the crowd because Leikeli47’s performance delivered. 

Leikeli47 performs on the Videotron Stage. Photo: Greg Kolz/Bluesfest

When Murda arrived the Videotron stage was packed with people. Murda started the set relatively meekly and even told audience members to calm down. There were two fights going on within the first 10 minutes of his show. After security handled the situation, Beatz started to turn up. What surprised me was the amount of energy he brought out. 

Being a hip hop DJ, there is no expectation to be a great performer but Murda did the unexpected. While playing out a collection of famous songs he’s produced, from Drake’s Nice For What and Migos’ Motorsport to Sheck Wes’ Mo Bamba, the Niagara Falls native was bouncing, dancing and giving the audience a night to remember. 

On the other side of the festival at the Bluesville Stage, Shakey Graves was giving a fluid and smooth performance leaning on his blues, folk and rock n roll origins. What stood out was his guitar skills. It was easy to see that he is a seasoned performer. His hit Roll the Bones was magnificent and had the audience hypnotized. 

On the CityStage to close out the night country singer Kane Brown performed an intimate show in front of a big crowd. The Chattanooga singer would insert personal stories about his childhood and family to paint a picture to the words he was singing. It seemed like most of the crowd was new to Brown but he won them over after playing his hit song Heaven.

Despite the weather conditions, day seven of Bluesfest persevered to bring a whole lotta sunshine, from the sky to the stage.