Posts Tagged ‘Osheaga 2012’

Day 3 was a bit of a struggle because my body started getting angry with me. My back had had enough and I was forced to start popping Advil to get by. I also had to succumb to buying more supportive shoes – apparently flip flops aren’t the sturdiest – so that I could survive the day. Which I did. Barely.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It was raining on and off all day, the grounds were disastrously muddy, skies were dark, but it was still humid as ever outside. The first act I stumbled upon was Woodkid. Sadly I only caught the tail end of their incredible set. Hailing from France, Woodkid, aka Yoann Lemnoine, sings in English accompanied by indie rock music with obvious tribal influences in it. The rain had stopped for a while and during one of their songs while the drums were coming to life, fans were jumping around to the music and all of a sudden it started to pour – almost like the crowd was doing some sort of rain dance that induced the waterfall. It was a glorious scene to witness. I became a fan on the spot.

Next up was Bloc Party, who I was looking forward to seeing since Day 1. I was surrounded by a bunch of giant guys which didn’t really concern me until they started playing. All the giants then decided it would a good idea to start moshing – ie body checking in dance form – and crowd surfing. Again, not the biggest deal in the world, actually seemed kind of fun. Except when you’re my size, it’s quite possibly the scariest thing ever. My claustrophobia kicked in and in a true fight or flight response, I fled. Saved myself from what could have been a traumatic episode, with only a bloody broken toe nail. Gross, I know. I watched the rest of their performance from further back, but was surprisingly underwhelmed by it. They did a good job, I just prefer listening to them with my noise canceling headphones so I can fully absorb their music.

Next, I caught Toronto’s own Metric. I adore watching lead singer Emily Haines perform because she is as elegant as she is edgy. Perfect blend of loud and soft, fun and serious, poetic and to the point. I then trekked over to see France’s electronic group M83, most commonly known for their track “Midnight City” which was on HBO’s How to Make it in America. The packed crowd and insane beats made everyone go wild. The lighting and effects on stage made the show come alive, so you could enjoy it even from any distance. Last but not least, the festival ended with headliners The Black Keys. The subway ride home was bittersweet because the music was finished, but my body could finally get some rest.

There are plenty of reasons to attend a music festival: travel, spend time outdoors, hang out with friends, grab a few beers, sport the latest fashion trends – for girls, high-waisted shorts, hippie braids and baggy tank tops. My reason was the music. For everyone who really understands that, I wish you were there with me.

For photos check out Me vs. the Music Blog Page
For video footage check out Osheaga 2012

Day 2 began similarly to Day 1: crazy heat, masses of people and music everywhere. The grounds felt a little used, the air was full of a variety of fumes, a bottle of water was necessary at all times to prevent dehydrating and fainting.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           I made it my mission on this day very clear: see Garbage play live. A great band from the 90s, back together again after almost a decade. They weren’t playing until later on in the day, so I opted to plant myself around the stage where they would be performing and watch all the bands that came on before them, whilst moving my way forward in the crowd to get as close as possible. Normally, this wouldn’t be an ordeal or very taxing; however, I’m not very tall and my back was already aching from all the standing on the previous day. Oh and did I mention the blistering sun?                                                                                                                                                                                                                          First band to go on was Dumas – a  Quebecois rock band. That’s the beauty of a music festival in Montreal: sure you have all the big names, but interspersed is a large number of Canadian bands as well as French speaking bands. It caters to more people and broadens the musical experience for all fans. Dumas put on a good show, the lead singer seemed to be riding the coattails of how cool he may have been say ten years ago, which was fun to watch. Next alt-rockers Brand New played a nice loud set to get the blood pumping, then it was Garbage’s turn.To my surprise I had worked my way up as close as possible with only one unnecessarily tall guy in front of me. Then lead singer Shirley Manson came on stage and everyone went bananas. For those of you unfamiliar with their music, it’s rock, it’s loud, it’s angry and it’s perfect when you just want to go nuts. Which is exactly what happened. They played new music and every time they played an old track, there was mass hysteria, giddiness and excitement amongst the crowd because we never thought we would hear it live. They destroyed it, they nailed it. Shirley put on a fantastic performance, moving around the stage, lying on the ground, standing on the speakers; not to mention drummer Butch Vig, aka man behind Nirvana’s Nevermind album. Being in his presence was like being surrounded by history – what a great feeling. It was hands down the best performance of the entire weekend.

Feist was up next to sort of mellow everyone out then it was the big headliner: Snoop Dogg. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of his, but I was already front row so I decided to check him out it out. My back was essentially on fire at this point, my legs were sore and my voice was gone courtesy of overextending myself during Garbage’s set. It was so humid out, and everyone was right up against each other, one girl behind me started to have a panic attack and almost passed out. Snoop finally graced us with his presence, 45 minutes late. He had a Jamaican vibe to his set and outfit, in honour of his alter ego Snoop Lion, but his performance was nothing special, despite his efforts including smoking a joint on stage. Admittedly I couldn’t stop giggling the entire time because he really looks like a dog, plus any attempts he made to “dance” were just out of control hilarious.

Getting to the subway took forever as everyone was going to the same station, but once on the train, an impromptu a cappella version of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” began – people just didn’t want the music to stop. An incredible Day 2, now all that was left was to make it through Day 3.

For photos check out Me vs. the Music Blog Page
For video footage check out Osheaga 2012

Montreal has played host to Osheaga Music Festival since its start in 2006. Every year it grows in size and popularity – this year they hit 120,000 fans over three days- thereby attracting a broader range of musicians and fans alike. This year was no exception.Parc Jean Drapeau on St. Helen’s Island was the venue, and the minute I got there the sun was beating down and the humidity was so intense it was just absurd, but that didn’t stop anyone from having a good time. There were five stages (one entirely dedicated to DJs) spread across the park, simultaneously featuring different bands. It’s impossible to see every band, but the beauty of music festivals is that there are so many options – even if you’re walking from one stage to another, you get exposed to music on the way.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           First stop was to see Halifax’s Wintersleep who were participating in War Child’s “Busking for Change” event, where they play a stripped down version of their music in return for donations to the charity. Luckily, I was able to experience them as up front as humanly possible – three of the band members were sitting on chairs, I was sitting on the grass right in front of them. From Vancouver, Hey Ocean! also played for War Child. Their music is a mix of folk and indie pop and their performance started out well, but things quickly went amiss: they were having issues with their sound and somehow couldn’t really get it together and kept complaining. No offense guys, but no one’s heard of you so it’s way too early for you to be having a diva moment.

The day continued with performances by Of Monsters and Men to a huge crowd, Franz Ferdinand who ignited everyone’s dancing shoes, the Weeknd whose bass was way too loud that it completely drowned him out. Headliners that day were Icelandic sensation Sigur Ros, who managed to generate goosebumps on every human being around; French electronic duo Justice, and the one and only Florence + the Machine. Not surprisingly, her performance was flawless. She was so energetic, free spirited and dedicated to her music, backed by an incredible band including a harpist. I would even go so far as to say she was almost like a fairy godmother turning all of us into Cinderellas and making us feel as happy as anyone could be. I realize the ridiculousness of what I just said, but for anyone who has seen her live, you know what I mean; for those of you who haven’t, you will.

Day 1 came to an end and the combination of constantly standing, dancing around, singing along, eating overpriced mediocre food, baking in the heat, using outhouses and standing my ground in large crowds, left me exhausted. Day 2 was up next.

For photos check out Me vs. the Music Blog Page
For official video footage check out Osheaga 2012