Sun Kil Moon Valley Stage, Hog's Back Park, Ottawa ON, September 14
Published Sep 15, 2014Mark Kozelek's past few performances at the sprawling Ottawa Bluesfest have found the Ohio musician unceremoniously dealing with chatty audience members, overzealous photographers and run-off noise from competing stages. So it seems that his appearance at Ottawa's comfy Folk Festival would come off as a better fit for the reticent singer/songwriter. Booked to play the outdoor Valley Stage, Kozelek's four-piece Sun Kil Moon outfit was greeted by a mud-soaked crowd for the second evening of their two-day stand. Dressed for comfort and the unseasonably chilly weather, Kozelek performed his opening number before ordering the press to leave the photo pit, half-jokingly saying, "Okay, no more fucking pictures, I want to put on this toque and I don't want any pictures of me with this toque on."
Mostly sticking to songs from Sun Kil Moon's latest LP, the critically-acclaimed Benji, including "Carissa" and "Truck Driver," Kozelek attempted to launch into the album's confessional "Dogs" before noise from the main stage drew the singer into a couple of false starts, prompting him to address the crowd with, "Who the fuck is that?" When audience members jovially informed him that it was Philadelphia band the War on Drugs, Kozelek replied by saying, "I hate that beer commercial lead-guitar shit" before exclaiming, "This next song is called, 'The War on Drugs Can Suck My Fucking Dick.'"
After battling sound issues, Kozelek put down his Portuguese guitar and stood from his chair to perform "Gustavo" while throwing a few more shots towards the War on Drugs, humorously referring to them as "John Cougar Mellencamp." After begging the festival crew to give him three more minutes, Sun Kil Moon left the audience with a tender rendition of "I Can't Live Without My Mother's Love," giving those in attendance an inside glimpse into the often-moody/always-brilliant mind of Mark Kozelek.