Saturday is always the best day at Osheaga. It kinda sucked last year because someone at evenko (the promoter of Osheaga), decided to make Elvis Costello the headliner. That failed. Big time. So how bout this year? With Snoop Lion/Dogg headlining the night, and a bunch of superb acts all around Parc Jean-Drapeau, Saturday could easily be the highlight – right?
After checking in at the media tent, where MVRemix is actually listed as MTVRemix, I headed to the Green stage to catch a bit of Cursive. On the way, Kandle was rocking out on the Tree Stage and sounded tremendous. But Cursive? Wow. Despite the small crowd surrounding them, they put on a set full of energy and tenacity. I’m pretty sure they’re no stranger to Osheaga (I remember seeing them on the line-up three years ago), and they should come back again soon. Who knew Omaha indie emo rock could… rock so hard?
Young the Giant took to one of the main stages to what seemed like a less than interested crowd. “Cough Syrup” and “Apartment” sounded amazing live, but the people in my area were more interested in their social lives than what was happening on stage. My colleague said the same thing about the other side of the audience. They kicked it up a notch for “My Body,” and it begs me to ask why they don’t have more songs like it. I understand that its their prerogative as artists to write what they want – but that song kicks ass live. Side note: Someone put Quebecois indie rocker Dumas on the main stage. The mostly out of town crowd ceased to care.
Brand New absolutely kicked ass. There’s no other way to put it. The Long Island alt rock group does not get enough recognition for how amazing they are. “Sic Transit” had everyone singing along, “Sink” and “Gasoline” had people crowd surfing – which never happens at Osheaga, and “Seventy Times Seven” reminded everyone of the band’s early pop punk roots. Honestly, they were the best set of the day, and the best set of the fest so far. Amazing amounts of energy and passion are noticeably infused into their live performance. It’s a real shame that they don’t tour very often. And whenever they do, you can rest assured that no two setlists are ever the same. It’s an unpredictability I really admire about them.
Garbage followed them, opening with some new songs, but then transitioning into “Paranoid.” Seven or eight years removed from their last show in Quebec, the band still had it. Butch Vig hammered away on drums while Shirley Manson said, “We’re Garbage, and if you don’t know us, then I guess we’re Garbage anyways.” Osheaga always has that token 90’s band that fails to disappoint. And over on the Green Stage, A$AP Rocky and his crew were running things. My colleague, Lana, was unsure if the A$AP was really good, or the crowd was insane. The girls in the crowd had apparently been pulled straight from rap music videos, as their moves were, um, bootylicious? (I’m gonna bring that saying back…)
A few quick electronic dance acts to note: SBTRKT were mixing synths with steel drums, cowbells, and piercing vocals; Nosaj Thing was ambient, sounded great – but his equipment kept messing up; Adventure Club decided to remix Brand New – on the day Brand New was perfoming – and they slayed the Picnik stage.
Phew. Okay. Two more acts: Yeasayer and Snoop Lion/Dogg. Yeasayer sounded better than they do on record, had some incredibly trippy lights, and the crowd was insane. “Longevity” may be my new favorite song, and I’m so glad I caught them over on the Green Stage. To finish off the day, I had to witness the reincarnation of Snoop Dogg. After a forty minute delay, turns out Snoop Lion is just Snoop Dogg with a rasta beanie doing a Snoop Dogg verse medley, singing “Gin & Juice,” “The Next Episode,” and “Drop It Like It’s Hot.” Throw in his verse from Katy Perry’s “California Gurls,” his new single “La La La,” and it’s a complete set. Snoop has turned into a novelty act, and seeing him once at Osheaga (two years ago) was enough for me.
All three days of Osheaga have ended up selling out. If they want this to happen next year, I’d hope they take their headlining acts more seriously. There’s nothing wrong with Snoop Lion as a festival act – but headliner? Forget it. Take a gander at some photos of the day provided by the festival. We’ll be back tomorrow with more.
Thanks to Lana, Alex, and Willow.