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Osheaga Day One: Sigur Ros, Florence and the Machine, Justice and more!

August 4th, 2012

Most into the festival spirit: Florence and The Machine
It’s pretty evident that Florence Welch has become quite accustomed to being on big festival stages. The songstress glided around the stage in her floor-length gown and commanded the audience the way only a seasoned pro is capable of. Her enthusiasm towards the massive crowd was just what festivalgoers needed, though, after a long day of non-stop music. Belting out tunes from both Lungs and Ceremonials, Welch was showing no signs of her recent vocal injury, which forced her to cancel a number of dates. Instead, what we saw was one of the most joyous sets of the day. A sea of smiles and floral crowns!

Best blast from the past: Franz Ferdinand
The last we heard from Franz Ferdinand was back in 2009 when they released their album, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, but since then, the band has been lying low with almost no live appearances. Yesterday marked their return to the stage and boy, did we feel that energy ready to burst! Wired and ready to go, the Scottish rock band packed an entire set of their greatest hits including No You Girls, Do You Want To and, of course, their 2004 hit Take Me Out. With a new album in the works, we can’t wait to see more from these guys – welcome back, Franz!

Most handclap-worthy set: Of Monsters and Men
Icelandic folk-pop band Of Monsters and Men wowed a packed afternoon crowd with their album’s worth of hits, but the key thing about their set yesterday were the audience participation opportunities. Practically carving that out as a part of their set, the six-piece band would instruct fans to sing along to entire verses, a bit of a tough task to ask of a heat-stroked, potentially drunk audience, but most people tried to comply. With anthems such as King and Lionheart and single, Little Talks, it’s hard not to clap along and have a blast!

Strangest band to see outdoors in broad daylight: Dum Dum Girls
For those who might not be familiar with the Dum Dum Girls, they’re an all-girl grunge-rock outfit…who are pretty darn goth-looking. Clad in all black – their signature attire – it was weird to see the band in broad daylight as opposed to a dark bar or club, usually the natural setting for bands. That being said, the Dum Dum Girls still churned out a fantastic set of 90s tinged hits that would fit in perfectly with any teen flick from that decade.

Sexiest set: The Weeknd
Nothing yesterday at Osheaga set a sexier mood than Toronto wunderkind The Weeknd. His Drake-approved music not only translates well live, living up to everyone’s high expectations from his three released mixtapes, but also, singer Abel Tesfaye’s voice soars like no other. His voice alone should’ve sent shivers up your spine. Hopefully, you grabbed the first person you saw and gave them a big kiss.

Most beautiful set: Sigur Ros
If you didn’t feel any sort of extreme emotion watching Sigur Ros’ epically cinematic set last night, you might want to check and see if you have a heartbeat because you might be heartless. This Icelandic (man, lots of people from Iceland!) band brought the show into the dark as the scorching sun was just setting and the night sky accompanied the intensely grandiose songs of this band. At first, you leave speechless, but after some consideration, here’s a list of adjectives I’m going to describe the set with: cinematic, epic, awesome, wonderful, moving, gorgeous, teary-eyed, WTFOMGHOLYCRAP. Especially that last one.

Osheaga by the numbers:
Number of pool noodles waved in the air during Of Monster and Men’s set: 5 (Where are people getting these things?)
People who got sick before the sun went down: at least one, who halted walkers and threw up on her way between stages
Guys who were confused by bands with the name ‘whale in it’: 3, who had a serious debate as to who was playing at Osheaga (“Said the Whale?” “No, Noah and the Whale.” “Freelance Whales?” – the answer was Freelance Whales)
Number of people who were blowing bubbles during a band’s set: at least one at almost every set.
Percentage of girls wearing floral crowns or anything floral at Florence and the Machine: probably upwards of 80%.
Times that Florence Welch spoke to the audience in perfect French: 1
Time it took for you to buy a beer or food after 3 p.m.: We don’t know because we gave up.

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