Venue: Parc Jean-Drapeau
Festival: Osheaga 2013 (Day 2)
Had an incredible time again at the festival's second day. Here's what I saw (the ones that aren't rated aren't because I didn't catch enough of their songs):
Corb Lund (7.5/10)
The Heavy (8/10)
Jimmy Eat World (7/10)
Flogging Molly (8.5/10)
Bob Mould (8/10)
Explosions in the Sky (9.5/10)
After eating my lunch and grabbing free yogurt and popsicles, I went to see Corb Lund, from rural Alberta, who gave a good, humor-stuffed set of heavy country. My highlight was "Bible on the Dashboard", a song about getting arrested when you're touring in the southern USA and "having long hair and a Led Zeppelin shirt", but getting away by acting as if you're a christian band.
Another funny moment was when he said that all popular country bands had a religious song and that, in order to get famous, he wrote his own religious song: "Time to Switch to Whiskey".
I then catched the last song of Wild Nothing - it was a pretty good ethereal dream pop/shoegaze track - and also catched the end of indie pop sensations Grouplove's set, back at the bigger stages; they had great energy and their stuff was so catchy that it was hilarious.
Things started to get serious again with The Heavy, from England. They played a heavy
(you would never have guessed, huh?) kind of rock with horns, organ and a soul singer. His voice sounded a bit tired, but he knew how to get a crowd animated, making us clap and sing to their unique brand of rock. "The Big Bad Wolf" was especially fun.
After that followed two back-to-back punk performances, starting with emo superstars Jimmy Eat World, who presented songs from their new album. Jim Atkins' voice was beautiful and most of the songs were fun, but it just didn't lift up until they threw a series of hits from Bleed American
at us, unleashing a stream of elementary school memories in our minds with "Sweetness", "Bleed American" and the anthemic "The Middle".
Though I had fun during the previous bands, the one that really got the party started was Ireland's celtic punk poster boys Flogging Molly. The raw energy emited by this band is hard to describe. The whole band moves a lot, movement which quickly contaminates the crowd, and Dave King is a great frontman. He's funny, entertaining and honest in his speeches. He's the kind of guy you would really want to have a beer (probably Guiness) with. A courtesy of him, his wife and the rest of his band, fiddle and tin whistle ladden hymns like "Drunken Lullabies" and "Devil's Dance Floor" got the crowd moving more than for any other band that played before them at the festival.
I then, a bit absentmindedly, watched part of local indie/synthpop stars Stars (okay, this pun really sucked, I admit it). It was catchy and probably fun, but I wasn't that much in the mood, and they played way too loud for their style.
I then went back to the "smaller" stages to catch a performance of the mythical english trip-hop producer Tricky. It was an absolute disaster. He and his band went on late and they started with some kind of wierd (and a bit boring) instrumental metallic song (
). When it ended, his musicians started a really hazy trip-hop song, but he told them to stop and instead brought about 50 people on stage and played a horrible rendition of "Ace of Spades" for over 15 minutes. Tricky was obviously wasted on an unknown substance, as he kept shouting at us "ARE YOU SCARED?" about a hundred times. His band seemed extremely confused and didn't really know what to do. At some point, they finished the song, got the people out of the stage and went on with a few metallized soul songs. I was still hoping for at least one good trip-hop tune, but I was disappointed again. The bassist started a riff, but each time the band wanted to start a build-up, he told them to stop and proceeded in staring at the sun, making wierd faces and talking nonesense for 10 minutes over the bass riff. At that point, I gave up and went to a food truck to get a smoked meat poutine, while watching a few songs of Frank Turner's melodic punk/folk. He was pretty good, but I wanted a break so I left.
After eating, I took a walk to the electronic stage for my first time in the weekend to see a DJ set by the british genius that is Bonobo. He was astonishing: he gave an hour of creative and varied electronic music, switching genres and cultural origins with impressive fluidity and precision, while always keeping a dreamy/uplifting atmosphere and keeping our ribcages vibrating with enormous basslines. Plus, the visual effects were cool. This would have been one of the best shows of the festival for me if the crowd hadn't been that horrible. Don't get me wrong, they were definitely into it, but they kept talking loudly, yelling and playing with pool toys, treating the music as it was secondary. It was extremely hard to concentrate.
When he gave the stage back to the next DJs, I went back to the smallest stage to catch the second half of Bob Mould's set (he's the mastermind behind Hüsker Dü and Sugar). He played a couple songs from his latest solo album and then two Hüsker Dü ones, and finished with a Sugar song. There weren't many people there for him, but it was still fun. His guitar and voice tones are unmistakeable and he gave a straightforward, honest performance with his two bandmates.
As soon as he finished, I heard some notes coming from the other stage and quickly ran to it, in order not to miss a second of post-rock legends Explosions in the Sky. What I witnessed during the hour that followed was of a beauty and intensity that can't be rightfully be described with words. It's something you have to witness by yourself and I already can't wait to witness it again when they'll open for Nine Inch Nails this fall.
Once again, I ran, this time back to the main stages, to catch the headliner of Day 2: the american musical experimenter/iconoclast Beck. It turned out I ran for nothing, since he and his band got on stage 30 minutes late, but the good thing is that I scored a spot up front while people were still watching Macklemore. Beck finally showed his face and usual hat to the sound of his bouncy hit "Devil's Haircut". The sound was perfect, the wierd lights he had on stage were pretty cool and he simply gave the most fun performance of the festival. Each song was different from the others, but they all related well together, and he communicated really well with the crowd. All of this not leaving an inch for boredom. Thus, he's one of the funniest frontmen I've heard so far. The first part of his set got us dancing, clapping and singing with him (the majestically heavy rendition of his super-hit "Loser" with sitar, banjo and all was especially impressive) and then he switched to his softer, emotional side by bringing back the sitar for the shoegazing "Chemtrails", followed by a string of folky songs. While he played that part of his set, there were fireworks at La Ronde, which is very close to the festival grounds, that only made the moment even more beautiful. He also played a song from the album he released as a sheet music book last year, a tune called "Just Noise" (with ukulele!). He then brought the party back to the place with "Sissyneck" from 1996's Odelay
and in the middle of the song there was a drum break. Beck started joking around and the bassist busted out the bassline from Michael Jackson's "Beat It". At first, they laughed, but they ended up playing the whole song, brilliantly adapted to their style, and smoothly switched back to "Sissyneck". Beck then finished us off with the anthemic songs "E-Pro" and "Where It's At"; making us dance, sing and jump like never before, and ending the second day of the festival on a pleasant note.
I then waited way too long to get into the metro station, like always
, fighting not to fall asleep and/or killing the hipsters around me. One in particular, that was complaining and claiming that Macklemore should have headlined over Back and that Phoenix should have played after The Cure, would have deserved it. Seriously, what the fuck dude? An arguably ordinary rapper and self-proclaimed poet that's getting hype for his first album should headline over an influential, groundbreaking and legendary artist? F.O.A.D.
Anyway, day three begins in a few hours, and I should probably get a shower and a huge ass coffee (since my work schedule habits make me wake up at 6 even if I go to bed at 1 AM). I can't wait to see Silversun Pickups, New Order and Kendrick Lamar, but I probably won't be able to write another review like this one, since I'm working for the next four days and I have band rehearsals. Waking up tomorrow at 5 AM is going to be rough, but who cares? Kthxbye, I'm going to have a blast again.
Explosions in the Sky
Catastrophe and the Cure
Postcard from 1952
The Birth and Death of the Day
Your Hand in Mine
Let Me Back In
The Only Moment We Were Alone
Beck (went on 30 minutes late, so a few songs were cut)
Soul of a Man
One Foot in the Grave
Tainted Love / Modern Guilt
Think I'm in Love / I Feel Love
Qué Onda Güero
The Golden Age
Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime (The Korgis cover)
Fourteen Rivers Fourteen Floods
Sissyneck / Billie Jean
Where It's At