The best part about a music festival is roaming around and stumbling upon new groups and artists. After Young the Giant’s set, Matt and I wandered over to the other set of stages which are a bit inconveniently located across a temporary bridge. I understand the need for separating the stages, but the crowds of people crossing over between shows for popular artists boxes you in that particular section (Scene Verte and Scene des Arbres). Both stages are reserved for lesser known or more indie bands. The upside to watching shows there is that there are trees that provide much needed shade.
Young the Giant
Photo by BLARE Magazine
I’m not the type of person who enjoys moving through crowds and decided to stay away from the main stages as much as possible despite knowing I would miss Snoop Dogg and Feist. I didn’t regret my decision as I discovered Young Galaxy, a group described as playing dream pop. Their sound was different and the singer’s voice was lovely.
Feist at Osheaga
Photo by Joel Pinette, BLARE Magazine
I then caught A$AP Rocky, a rapper who apparently had been arrested a week before. The music was pretty good. I’m always amused at rap and hip hop shows when the artist gets the crowd going. A$AP Rocky definitely managed to get everybody’s arms in the air and put on a good show with what I consider hilarious lyrics.
As I made my way over to the electronic stage to check out SBTRKT (Subtract), another group that Scott had talked up, I caught the last two tracks put on by Brandt Brauer Frick. I managed to stay for a couple of tracks before the second hand smoke got in my eyes (and my lungs).
I also caught Yeasayer – I enjoyed their Osheaga description as “middle eastern-psych-snap-gospel” music. The light show did not disappoint, nor did their crowd-pleasing show.
On my post-Osheaga to-do list: Get some Brandt Brauer Frick, SBTRKT and Yeasayer for serious listening enjoyment.
Garbage at Osheaga
Photo by Joel Pinette, BLARE Magazine
Garbage is a band I remember from back in the day, before being a responsible grown up and going to festivals and shows around the world. Garbage was a discovery courtesy of a music festival in Britain in the 90s, so seeing them at Osheaga had a ‘Back to the Future’ feel for me. Stupid Girl and I’m Only Happy When it Rains are two songs that were oft played on my old Discman. Seeing them on the main stage at Osheaga was a blast from the past. Shirley Manson seemed to have been cryogenetically preserved somewhere and revived to put on a performance that was old and new a la fois. Garbage played a mix of songs from their latest album, Not Your Kind of People, ending on I’m Only Happy When it Rains from their 1994 album debut.
Keeping with the Scottish theme of the evening, after hearing Garbage, I ended up near the other stage to catch The Jesus and Mary Chain. The Jesus and Mary Chain are another foundational alternative British indie band who used to be dubbed the original Oasis given their cantankerous shows in the 90s. They have been around since 1983 (!), but broke up in 1999. Hats off to a group that’s been more or less together for almost 30 years – it’s a true testament to the lasting power of their music. It’s hard to believe that any band these days could be as solid 18 years after their first release, but Garbage has managed to pull it off.
Their show was plagued with technical difficulties involving excessive feedback sounds and general grumpiness that harshed the vibe a bit. The set was really solid despite it all as they played the hits they’re known for, my favourite being Sometimes Always. Psychocandy and Honey’s Dead are two great albums that played almost on constant repeat when they came out. The feedback and use of the wa-wa pedal gave the music a definite 90s sound that brought back memories of Lolapalooza festivals of that time. The trip down memory lane made for a nice end to a mellow Osheaga Day 2.