Bringing us into the swing of the weekend was none other than the insanely talented east coast gem, Jenn Grant. Every time I get the chance to see her live, I’m delighted and so impressed by her professionalism that comes off as pure ease up there on the stage and this time was no different. In an exciting turn of events, Grant brought along another maritime friend, Kim Harris, to accompany her on guitar as well as harmonies. Grant played us a few songs from her most recent album, Compostela, largely inspired by her time in Spain, and did a duet with Harris on “Bring Me a Rose.” I feel like it’s necessary for me to mention that as a teen in rural Canada growing up with 3 tv channels, Heartland was a staple for me, so whenever I get to hear Jenn Grant play Dreamer (the theme song of Heartland) I get a little too excited and nostalgic. Also, that song is just a stellar tune and sounds even better live with its floaty guitar and Harris’ harmonies so you really can’t go wrong there. Up next was my most anticipated set of the festival: Van Morrison. While it definitely didn’t live up to my expectations on account of low volume(possibly because of neighborhood complaints) and very few hits being played, Morrison showed Ottawa that he was still capable of drawing a huge crowd and creating buzz. There wasn’t any banter between songs, and we weren’t introduced to his band at all, but early in his set he played “Moondance” to the joy of many new and old fans. Closing out the night touching on hits like the classic “Brown Eyed Girl” and “Gloria,” Van Morrison exited the stage to a series of solos by each band member. Honestly, I don’t know what was up with the sound/volume at this year’s festival but I think Friday night’s shows on the main Telus stage could have given CBC Music and Parks Canada’s Quietest Concert Ever a run for their money. Photos courtesy of CityFolk Festival.