If Eminem’s mind blowing performance on Friday, July 29, wasn’t enough to demonstrate the diversity of the expanding Osheaga lineup, then the range of acts on Saturday, July 30, certainly was.
It’s Day Two, festivalgoers are rested (or not) and at it again, this time for a whopping 35 acts in 10 hours of swaying, head-banging and hyper dancing in the most immense venue that Montreal has to offer: Parc Jean-Drapeau.
The day begins earlier today, with Osheaga opening its doors at noon and shows starting as of 1 pm. Early afternoon sees the likes of The Midway State and Hey Rosetta!, two of Osheaga’s more classic bands in terms of sticking to the indie genre. Both put on good sets, racking up considerable crowds, The Midway State for their soft indie-rock tunes featuring a good number of widely recognizable hits, and Hey Rosetta! for their varied instrumentation and clever integration of a classic acoustic set and backing strings.
Of the more atmospheric variety, Braids sends shivers and vibrations through the makeshift floor at Scène Verte, their music proving just as dreamlike, haunting and intoxicating close-up. Jónsi meets Broken Social Scene between the trees, and is arguably one of the best sets of the fest so far, regardless of it taking place on one of the smaller stages.
Somewhere between this and an electro dance party is SIA, who performs later in the day on the same stage. Standing still in an oversized black and colour-patterned dress-cape hybrid, SIA conveys a tremendous amount of energy through her facial expressions alone. Witty as ever, SIA is a riot with a bit of a potty mouth and a knack for dirty jokes, and was unleashed on an audience that was appreciative of the highest degree of “your momma” cracks. Transitioning seamlessly between undeniably catchy dance tunes to slower, moving Breathe Me types, SIA has the stage down to an art.
Reaching even further into the musical genre gene pool, Lupe Fiasco takes the main stage, pleasing thousands of hipsters with a good dosage of
mainstream rap. Using his talents to their full potential, the Chicago native loads each of his songs with personal meaning and commentary, exemplified when he introduces his hit Words I Never Said, inviting the audience to come to the U.S. if they “really, really don’t want to know where [their] tax dollars go.”
Fiasco’s set is immediately followed by Death From Above 1979, a band that’s been receiving a whole lot of buzz all weekend long, and whose sound is on the complete other end of the spectrum from Lupe’s, with a punk vibe. No one really seems to mind the sudden transition. Considering the band’s lead singer and drummer happen to be the same, seated person – and a massive mosh pit dance party is happening in the crowd – DFA 1979 manage to put on one hell of a show.
Next up, cult classic band Bright Eyes, known for their matchless melancholic storytelling told with heart-wrenching instrumentation and set to the tugging vocals of frontman Conor Oberst. Like all else Osheaga, Bright Eyes goes above and beyond, with an excellent set that manages to pull off more energy than just about every act present for the day, regardless of the band’s slower tunes, demonstrating a fine-tuned understanding of the difference between making a great album and putting on a great show.
Running through the trees post-Bright Eyes to catch the end of Sam Adams’ set at the Scène des Arbres stage, it feels as if one has just chanced upon some secret (awesome) kegger nestled deep in the woods. Sam, along with everyone in the audience, is having the time of his life, running around stage 40-minutes in as if he just started his first song a few minutes ago.
Finally, where calmer indie folks performed just hours before, an outdoor rave forms for Bassnectar, whose core-shaking beats have everyone dancing sans arrêt under two gigantic fans and multicolored lights that, when shining on them, turn the trees purple. With glow sticks, crowd surfing and remixed samples of Blur’s Song 2 and Ellie Goulding’s Lights, with the Montreal International Fireworks Competition at La Ronde bursting in the sky behind, the bass king seriously delivers, closing the night and calling an end to Day Two with a bang… and, of course, a bit of bass.
(Photo by Pat Beaudry)
For more information, visit www. osheaga.com