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Osheaga 2010: What went down and who brought it!

August 6th, 2010

This past weekend Osheaga took over a beautiful lil island in Montreal and turned it into a beautiful weekend of amazing music! There was snow, dance parties, sing-a-longs, collective boo-ing, a walk off stage, performers in the crowd, and fireworks! Yeah. I’m not kidding. Wanna hear more? Reviews, recaps and more photos of Osheaga 2010 after the jump!

Let’s start things off with Saturday! Osheaga day one!

The day kicked off at 1pm and even at that early hour, the crowds gathered ready to start the weekend off right. Unfortunately for some, the day had a bumpy start. Owen Pallett (formerly Final Fantasy) took to the Green stage (one of the four stages), but right from the start of his set he faced technical difficulties. Stopping in the middle of “E is for Estranged“, he complained but made an effort to work through the issues. After a handful of more songs without the problems being fixed he had all he could take. Apologizing to the crowd, he ended his set early and walked off stage. He later apologized again on his Twitter: “ Apologies for cutting the last song. Playing without monitors is like building a house of cards in an earthquake.” Yeah, that doesn’t sound too fun. All that being said, that wasn’t the last Osheaga saw of Owen Pallett…. (To be explained later)

Around 3pm Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros hit the main stage and drew quite the large crowd. Upon arrival Edward Sharpe was quick to confess that their last show in Montreal had apparently not been that great. Apologizing, he announced that he and the rest of the Zeros were going to bring us their best. And that they did.

Brimming with lighthearted smiles and laughs, the outdoor island festival setting matched the bands folky fun sing-a-long sound and complimented their performance, bringing out their best. Plus check out these outfits. Tye-dye, am I right? They too faced a few sound issues, but the problems were quickly dealt with and everyone went back to dancing!

Time flies when you’re having fun, and Sharpe himself was surprised when told that their set was over and they were out of time. When he told the crowd how they planned to close with “Home” (their single that can make the coldest of hearts warm up), boo-ing ensued. Sharp then explained that he didn’t want to be a jerk and so they’d play it anyways, and he’d take the blame, this of course lead to much cheering!

“Home” closed their set, this version being slightly abridged, and included a giant crowd chunk of crowd vocals. A festival highlight.

5 pm brought Osheaga Vancouver garage rockers Japandroids. Hitting it hard from the start, they tried to fit as much as they could into their short set. As you can see in the photo above, that includes a lot of vigor and even more hair swooshes. So many hair swooshes.

5:30 and it was time for hometown-ers Stars! They hit the main stage with gusto but one song in, they too were cursed with sound problems. Amy’s stunning voice could not be heard, and Torq’s keyboard didn’t seem to have any sound coming out from it at all. Needless to say, they were quite frustrated.

A couple songs later, Amy’s voice could be heard, but Torq’s keyboard was still having issues. Torq, being the passionate performer that he is, stopped using his keyboard, and instead put all of his energy into his vocals and the lyrics.

He went to the edge of the stage to interact with the crowd and in doing so his mic cord tangled into his keyboard stand, causing his equipment to fall of the stage. It didn’t matter, Stars were going to give it all they got.

They worked through the sound problems, playing many songs from their new record The Five Ghosts and closing their set with “You’re Ex-Lover Is Dead”. Although the sound issues kept their set from being the best it could be, Stars pulled through like troopers.

By the time 7pm rolled around, we were all in need of a break. Luckily, Beach House was there to play us some dreamy pop. Their calming music went along perfectly with the slowly setting sun. Beach House has been making waves in the indie world for quite a while, and they drew a large crowd around their smaller stage. Even some of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros came to check out the set!

Oh the magic of a festival! So many great artists and at the same show! Pretty cool right?

Robyn was up next to headline and close up one of the smaller stages. The Swedish pint-sized pop star was set to hit the stage at 8:30, but due to delays and soundcheck, didn’t start her set until and hour later. The crowd was chanting and cheering in anticipation, and as soon as Robyn strutted on stage, they went wild! From start to finish, Robyn was jumping, dancing, and shaking it while the crowd joined in. Her stage presence and voice filled every corner of the park with energy.

With a set list the covered both her self titled record Robyn, and her latest record Body Talk Pt 1, Robyn closed up her set “With Every Heartbeat” and as if everything wasn’t perfect enough, fireworks just happened to go off across the river from us! Could Osheaga get any better then this?

That question was answered by a “yes” as The Arcade Fire closed the night on the main stage. The Montréalers were back in their hometown with a newly release record, The Suburbs, that they were ready to share with 25,000 of their friends. And yes, the crowd was that big. Even original member Owen Pallett showed up to play along on violin, even though he had walked off his own set earlier! Covering the new album with song like “We Used To Wait” and “Rococo”, as well as going back to old favorites such as “No Cars Go” and “Rebellion (Lies)” they preformed with heart and passion.

Their encore then took the set from amazing, to memorable and phenomenal. “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)” built and built up and until at the song’s peak, white confetti snowed onto the crowd! Regine’s voice soared and sent chills down many a spine as they then preformed “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)” live for the first time, saying they had saved it for their friends. The entire night came to a close with what else but “Wake Up” causing jubilant dancing and heart fluttering. Needless to say, it was nothing short of the perfect way to end day one Osheaga.

Day two! Sunday!

Sunday had a slow start, but by the time The Gaslight Anthem‘s set rolled around they were ready to pick up the pace. The New Jersey boys were met with a warm welcome as they walked on stage. Front man Brian Fallon greeted the crowd with a smile and kicked off the set ready to have a good time. The setlist focused on their latest record American Slang, with a few ’59 Sound favourties mixed in. A great way to ease into the day!

Blues-rockers The Black Keys kicked things up a notch, as a crowd gathered to check them out. Patrick Carney on drums and Dan Auerbach on guitar preformed as a duo for the beginning and very end of their set, mixing a keyboardist and bassist into the equation in-between. The real highlight of the set, was Carney’s face as he drummed.

Classic drummer face.

Now? Dance party time. Up until this point the electronic tent had been somewhat empty but come 5pm on a Sunday (yes, kind of a random time) mass amounts of party people showed up to dance to some Major Lazer. While a press release describes Major Lazer as “a renegade commando with a lazer arm and a rocket-powered skateboard who fights the spoils of vampires, zombies, pimps, mummies, and other unsavory forces of evil,” he’s actually made up of DJs Diplo and Switch. Only Diplo was in attendance, but he brought along some hype men (and one hot hot hot chick) to get and keep the crowd going crazy. From “Pon De Floor” to spinning Sleigh Bells, the set reminded Osheaga crowds that even though it was a Sunday, they still had the right to go wild.

While there was lots of indie rock at this year’s Osheaga, Snoop Dogg was there to throw some hip-hop into the mix. First off, everything is Snoop when it comes to Snoop. What’s his name? Snoop Dogg. And he’ll make sure that we never forget it. The Dogg (with two Gs) had fun during his set chatting to the crowd about this that and the other, meaning booze, illegal drugs, and hotties with bodies. Highlights of the set include, “Gin and Juice”, “What’s My Name” and a lil’ cover of “Jump Around.” As he tweeted later “Montreal ya definitely got it in!!”

Oh and here’s a picture of two Gaslight Anthem band members enjoying the set.

Metric were up next, ready to show the festival some stadium sized love. Blasting Lou Reed’s “Real Good Time Together” as they hit the stage, Metric lived up to the song’s lyrics as we did indeed have a real good time together! Emily Haines was an angel not simply because of her beautiful voice, but also due to the fact that she was dressed in white sequins with her hair blowing in the wind.

The setlist focused on Fantasies, with some old faves thrown in, such as “Empty” and “Dead Disco”. Emily chatted in between of the beautiful city of Montreal and seeing Snoop Dogg backstage. Nearing the end of the set, she laid down on the stage, took a deep breath, and told us “sometimes dreams do come true.” The set closed with a stunning acoustic version of “Combat Baby.” Awwwwwe!

The last show of the last night! Weezer! While many will go on to say that Weezer, while fantastic in the past, haven’t been doing so great lately, Sunday night proved them wrong. Several expected a show of only new tracks, and a lack of old, so when they opened with “Hash Pipe” the crowd burst with happiness! While new songs were stirred in, Weezer made a point to play many classics such as “Undone (The Sweater Song)”, “El Scorcho”, “Say It Ain’t So” and more! Amazing! Frontman Rivers Cuomo busted out all the moves, including but not limited to crowd crawling into and crowd sneaking into. They even played their cover mash-up of MGMT’s “Kids” and Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face”! During a second encore, the weekend was brought to an end with what else but “Buddy Holly”! Yeah! The best!

And that my friends brought the entire memorable Osheaga weekend to an end. Be sure to check out more photos of the festival here!

Photos by Kate Millet

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