New Swears  is seen here performing at the RBC Bluesfest in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 14, 2015. The RBC Bluesfest is ranked by Billboard Magazine as one of North America’s top ten festivals. ~RBC Bluesfest Press Images PHOTO/Scott Penner

New Swears is seen here performing at the RBC Bluesfest in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 14, 2015. The RBC Bluesfest is ranked by Billboard Magazine as one of North America’s top ten festivals. ~RBC Bluesfest Press Images PHOTO/Scott Penner

If you want to have the most insane party, I think New Swears would make a fantastic addition to your guest list. Spouting carefree lyrics, this local garage punk band brought the crazy with not only their catchy melodies but stage antics as well. Microwaving popcorn on stage and throwing it into the crowd, shooting off hand held confetti cannons, and making sandwiches with a band shirt filling were just a few of the hijinks fans have come to expect at the band’s live shows. While each member of the four-piece band sang, out came a friend and member of another local band on saxophone. It’s easy to see what New Swears’ stance on music is in the song “Main Stream” with lyrics “we’re just having way too much fun to care about the bullshit.”

After the rain of the evening had come and gone, and with an uncountable number of instruments on stage, out waltzed Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros. With what seemed like an unmade set list, the band members (I counted ten that night) would take turns choosing which track they were going to play next, and while they only played a total of nine songs, each was filled with whimsy and passion. S they moved through a few tunes from each of their three albums, they touched on “I don’t Wanna Pray,” which was a mix of a church choir and sixties band, Country Joe & The Fish. Frequently in their live performances lead singer, Alex Ebert, throws away formalities and gets right into the audience, asking fans to sing verses. In the case of former member, Jade Castrinos not being there to sing her parts in the band’s biggest hit “Home,” Ebert handed off the mic to have the crowd tell their stories in place of the original back and forth of Ebert and Castrinos.

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To the amazement of the band and crowd, one young gent in the audience took this opportunity to propose to his girlfriend of over six years. As the mic was handed back and the crowd started cheering and singing, it was quite the exciting note to end the sixth day of Bluesfest on.

Photos courtesy of Scott Penner, Mark Horton & Ottawa Bluesfest