The final day of Osheaga 2015. As the second day drew to a close, I thought that the final day was going to be relatively quiet with only two bands I wanted to see. Then I looked at the lineup and saw that there were five on the list. You never realize that when you’re at a festival with lots of artists you want to see you end up seeing what could be considered to be a ridiculous number of bands. Including the bands I saw on the final day. I saw about 6 bands a day. Madness. But it’s some of the best times you’ll ever have. While the final day may not have been the showstopper that day’s 1 and 2 were, it was definitely full of surprises.
The first time I saw Glass Animals was in Toronto at a small bar with a only slightly larger concert space in the back, the Horseshoe Tavern to those familiar with the city. At the time I thought the somber tones of their music was most at home there as my friends and I said in the darkened beer hall. But as I stood in the bright sunshine of Parc Jean-Drapeau listening to them this time with significantly more people, I thought they fit in well in a festival too. The music was sublime, and it will definitely be interesting to see how far they go and whether or not they’ll move to the main stages in a future festival.
I’d only heard one Ms Mr song before seeing them at Osheaga, although seeing is a bit of a misnomer as I sitting in the shade trying to figure out where my friends were. Neither the less I enjoyed their show and look forward to hearing more by them in the future.
After meeting up with my friends near the main stages, we then went back to exactly where I was before (oh the irony) to wait for First Aid Kit. In the next stage Charlie XCX was performing, who I only know through her work with other artists, not any of her own work. Now, because I only knew the songs where she collaborates with other artists, a majority of the show was lost on me. For example one of the last songs she played, if not the last song, was Fancy. Without Iggy Azalea, the song lacks a lot of the essence in the original piece. Perhaps if I knew more of her own work, it wouldn’t have felt so boring. Mind you I was technically waiting for another band to play, not really focusing on her.
First Aid Kit
Oh Sweden, you make the best stuff. Ikea, Volvos, and awesome folk rock. After Anamanaguchi, First Aid Kit was probably the band that I wanted to see the most that I hadn’t seen yet. And boy, did they deliver. First of all, their on-stage energy is awesome. Yes, they’re a folk rock band, but they definitely put an emphasis on the rock. Which by no means is a bad thing. Second, was the War Pigs cover.
Yup, they did a phenomenal cover of Black Sabbath’s masterpiece which somehow seemed to fit in amongst all the folk songs. Now I don’t know if that means they’re gonna pull a Mumford and Sons and do an exit from folk rock in the future. But either way, I will gladly follow them. Needless was bloody brilliant and I’m definitely looking forward to see them again.
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes
Well this show was certainly… something. I’m still trying to figure how to feel about the performance. In many ways it was incredibly moving and beautiful. In others it was chaotic and shabby. That said, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes was definitely the most engaged with their audience. In fact, it had been the most audience interaction I’d seen all weekend. No more evident when a disabled man in a wheel chair was crowd-surfed onto the stage, where he and his friends got to be on stage for the last couple songs. Probably the most touching moment I’ve ever seen at Osheaga.
Now my biggest point of contention with the show was how “Home” was handled in the finale. The biggest problem with playing Home is that as Jade is no longer with the band, the song is missing a big piece of it’s heart. Despite our best intentions to fill the void with the audience singing her verses, it just didn’t feel right in my opinion.
Despite this I think overall the show was great despite any residual mixed feeling I may still have. I just didn’t feel quite at home (sorry couldn’t resist).
A nice low-key ending to the festival for me, alt-J brought their surprisingly soothing songs along with a really cool light show. At this point I had seen approximately 18 bands, not including those that I listened to a couple songs (though those last 10 minutes of Goldroom were fantastic). In a way, with all the excitement from the other shows I’d seen this weekend, alt-J was just what I needed to end on a high-note.
Only time will tell whether or not I’ll be returning to Osheaga again. It’s a ton of fun, but it is exhausting if you’re actually their to see tons of bands at once. For 2016 it will wholly depend on the lineup. But with amazing performances by Of Monsters and Men, Florence and the Machine, Anamanaguchi, First Aid Kit, and Young the Giant (just to name the top five), I’ll being looking forward to what might be in store for next year.