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Ice Dragon Boat Festival in Ottawa - Day 2

Ottawa’s 46th Annual Winterlude at the legendary home of live music, the Rainbow Bistro, is at it again! Hosting nearly two weeks of free indoor concerts headlined by Aysanabee, Born Ruffians, Chris Murphy, Dizzy, Elliott, BROOD, JJ Wilde, Joel Plaskett, and OMBIIGIZI. Stay turned as Hidden Beats covers it all!


Stoby kicked off the second night of Ottawa’s Ice Dragon Boat Festival with raw and unmitigated energy. The passion this alternative-rock band exuded throughout their session was unhinged in the best way possible. The set pulled elements of hardcore punk, alt-rock, pop-punk, and moments of fuzz-rock. Lead singer Maryse held everyone’s attention captive with her bubbly personality and quirky dance moves all over the stage. Mid-set the band invited singer song-writer Adam Ferris and Max Trepanier, lead singer of Ottawa band The New Hires. From start to finish, Stoby brought the energy. Audience members could feel the tangible passion this band holds for their craft. It was a blessing hearing the band perform at the Ottawa’s Dragon Boat Festival last year, and it was just as such this time around.  

The New Hires

Following hot on Stoby’s tail was Ottawa’s very own Indie Rock band The New Hires (TNH). Despite the challenges associated with the pandemic, this spirited group stepped into the music scene early 2022 releasing their debut single ‘Save First and Foremost’. It’s been a steady uphill climb in popularity for this 5-piece band over time. Within a year, the band had successfully sold out numerous respected venues and garnered recognition as one of the top 100 contenders in the CBC Searchlight Annual Talent Search. TNH jumped on the energy that Stoby had sparked and stoked the fire relentlessly. Between the copious amount of energy, raw panache and catchy hooks, the crowd was riveted. Originals like ‘Sharpshooter’, ‘NYC’, ‘Darling’, ‘Weekend’, and ‘Whisper’ were played in perfect succession. The most impressive part was the band’s ability to ensure their individual muses fused together seamlessly, all while engaging heavily with the crowd and each other. Truly, a show to remember. 

JJ Wilde

The energy of comradery fostered by The New Hires continued all through the half hour break between sets, as the audience belted Bohemian Rhapsody at the top of their lungs. Excitement for Canadian rock singer JJ Wilde to approach the stage was tangible – and oh did she represent! JJ Wilde’s rock debut single ‘The Rush’ simultaneously topped three individual rock charts in 2020 (Modern, Active, and Mainstream). Additionally, her album ‘Ruthless’ won Rock Album of the Year at the 2021 Juno Awards, an award last awarded to a woman 25 years previously (Alanis Morisette, 1996). It’s safe to say that concert goers exploded with anticipation once the beat started and the lights began pulsing. Every individual element of the set was planned from the synchronized flashing lights, to the coordinated outfits – this band was prepared to rock the night away. JJ Wilde and her band rode the high energy wave from beginning to end, fully exceeding all expectations. 

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