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City, Music

Ev and Nika's Osheaga coverage - Sunday

Posted by MP / September 3, 2006

10:14pm
We were so lucky, after a week of threatening forecasts, it never really rained. Well at least not enough to merit opening my umbrella.

It seems like the Plateau itself has slid right down to the St-Lawrence River today and formed the island we have called Osheaga for the last 2 days. Past all the fashionable galoshes and the over-sized aviator glasses hid a slew of positive, well-mannered music lovers. We're hard to impress, us Montrealers and my immediate impression of Osheaga, now that it's all ended for Ev and I, now that the mud has finally started to dry on my wet feet, is that this thing was a hit. Two jam-packed days and nights of wall-to-wall candy for the soul. Not only is it primordial to ensure a top-notch line up and impeccable sound quality but what it really comes down to, at the end of the day, is organization. Because people are creatures of comfort and we all just want to have a good time.


Before the sun had a chance to set, Patrick Watson and his perma-players warmed up the soggy audience with songs off hs upcoming album "Close To Paradise". The master of tension and release, Watson's beautiful voice seemed so natural flaoting throught the trees at Scene des Arbres. In the same vein, The Bell Orchestre (joined by Islands hottie Patrick Gregoire on bass clarinet) lit up the Scene MEG at few moments after Patrick's last note finally faded, their classical/experimental songs adding to the pastural setting by the riverside. Just keep pretending that the Puey Louie isn't just a toxic bath.

By no mere feat, Ev and I actually managed to do all three simulaneous big shows tonight: Flaming Lips, Lady Sovereign and a final fling with Toronto's Holy Fuck. I consider myself an athlete, running for the cause. Lady Sovereign still talked a shiteload to the crowd (does she know it's just a short set?), was joined on-stage by a live graffiti artist and was missing one bassist who supposedly got all his gear ripped off. Holy Fuck was... holy fuck! In a nutshell, catching the last 3 songs of their heavy electronic rock was akin to a mind-blowing orgasm. I even caught myself pointing my toes.

Unfortunately, out trusty MP photographer couldn't make it today, so in his stead, check the Osheaga tag on Flickr for more pics over the next few days to come.

Osheaga's last gig and headliner Ben Harper is playing right now. Ev and I are starving, wet and cold, so we're out.

9:02pm

I've taken time out, dear reader, just to fill you in on the going ons that are going on at Osheaga...right the eff now. As I'm sitting here, The Flaming Lips are stealing the show. 50 foot confetti guns, giant balloons bouncing about the crowd, projections...why aren't these guys the headliners? Ben who? Anyway, the singer is shooting fireworks from a gun (according to a text message from Ev) and Lady Sovereign is playing somewhere in the woods over there and... I gotta run!

6:45 pm

C'est clair, ce festival a du charme. Et ce clavier, pas d'accents. De voir des bands se produire sous la lumiere du jour (qui a l'air de souffrir d'un hangover solide, faut l'avouer) est simplement charmant.

On est arrive a la fin du set de Final Fantasy. Entrevue avec l'Owen Pallett qui la compose:

I you were backed by a band, what would it be?
Actually, I've been talking - I don't want to jinx it... I talked to a band -

Do we know them?
Yeah, you'd know them. They're really good and really young, so... I'm excited about it.

What kind of violin student were you? What age did you start?
Started when I was 3 years old. I quit during high school, because it wasn't ''cool''. Played keyboards and guitars.

When did you get here? What bands do you want to see?
We got here today from Boston. I'm gonna go to see the Hidden Cameras.


5:40pm
fransssa tantot...

Running around in the mud. Thank god I saved those galoshes I bought years ago when I used to be a dogwalker.

A run, skip and a jump over the bridge and into the woods I found myself in front of the MEG stage once again to see the 50s surf rock 'n' roll sound of Call Me Poupee. Cute matching blue outfits for the front girls, matched up with some serious hard playing musicians made for a good time. But French pop couldn't hold my attention for too long before I felt the need to shuffle my feet towards the larger Scene de la Riviere for Wolf Parade's 3:45 show. Is it me or does French pop always sound the same?

The WP started late, fiddling with their sound and their intruments for a good 15 minutes before they graced what seemed 95% of the total festival goers with a medley of a couple of their most popular tunes. This of course meant that their already brief 45 minute set was shortened to a painful 30 minutes. Osheaga runs like clockwork and in contrast too the lackadasical scheduling of the Montreal show scene, there's no room for late-comers... WP included.

Back again towards the MEG stage for Final Fantasy... can this day more hectic? I have the impression that everyone from the WP show had the same idea as me and coasted over to the woody MEG stage for another notable Montreal act. One-man wonder Owen (aka: Final Fastasy) played to a packed grassy knoll, a breath of delicacy and electronica in this big booming rock fest. Stay tuned for Ev's interview.

What next? First off, Patrick Watson with his perma-band (the Watsonettes?) on at 6pm. The Bell Orchestra at the MEG stage at 7pm. Then uhhhh, only the most athletic of all show-going feats: catching The Flaming Lips, Lady Sovereign and Holy Fuck. Deliciosuly playing all at the same time on 3 different stages from 8pm onwards.

In preparation, I just drank a 5 dollar Gatorade.

2:50 pm
English will follow -

Dimanche, repos du guerrier. Le soleil en tout cas prend un break, et de ce côté-ci on accuse une carence de sommeil qui accentue le look justement guerrier qu’il faut adopter si on veut passer à travers les heures sans trop sacrer. Un passage au Canadian Tire s’impose.

Je maintiendrai toujours comme règle que le saxophone doit être utilisé avec modération, et James and The Contortions constituent définitivement l’exception qui la confirme. Une fois leur stridente performance terminée, un genre de doute s’empare de la foule qui réalise simultanément qu’elle a faim, froid (l’île Ste-Hélène c’est pas Rouyn-Noranda, mais les Celsius y sont plus timides, au contraire du vent) et on entend des bribes de « ben là, qu’est-ce qu’on fait en attendant Sonic Youth? ».

Le consensus général est d’aller vers les grandes scènes, Clap Your Hands ont débuté. Ça aussi je le maintiens : oui ils ont été overplayed, d’accord ils ne sont pas super originaux, mais ils savent jouer et donner un spectacle digne de ce nom. C’est là que le dernier post de Nika ponctué d’autant de coquilles que de bières ingurgitées a vu le jour. Countdown au n’importe quoi.

Avant tout ça par contre, le détour par Wintersleep a été surprenant. Les porteurs de polos paraissaient s’y être donné rendez-vous, ce qui change de la crowd généralement associée à leurs shows (dans cette ville à tout le moins). Bonne énergie, spectateurs néophytes et habitués comblés; il semble que le quatuor ait été capable d’instiller de l’intérêt pour les solos complexes sous plusieurs des casquettes présentes. Ainsi, côté découvertes, même si le programme de la fin de semaine n’en était pas truffé, c’est bien de revoir les groupes à l’extérieur, entourés de visages moins connus et disparates.

Sonic Youth clôt la journée, fidèles à eux-mêmes. Harmonies trash, batteur exquis et vol de vedette pour Kim.

Tout le monde rentre chez soi fourbu, métro/douche/bouffe/on troque la jupe pour le pantalon LONG et on fait une croix sur Chromeo. Passage au Metropolis, le Savoy bouge mais Ellen Alien dans la salle principale pas mal moins, on reprend un cab pour un party de maison. Maaaaison.

First one here!

Well I'm here, it's Sunday and it's muddy. But I've got my trusty rainboots, some headache pills and a nasty, fuzzy hangover that I must beat down with a few pints of Heineken and a veggie dog.

Islands are presently finishing up their set on the Scene de la Riviere with their hit "Rough Gem". I have to admit I still get a excited to see a truly talented band from Montreal get such a great venue and an impressively large crowd. I love this band but I think I've seen them eleventy thousand times this year, so on to other gigs.

So last night, wow, Sonic Youth, what can I say? What do you expect me to say, dear reader? Yeah well they were impeccable, overwhelming, passionate and everything I've always hoped they would be on stage. Ev and I were blessed to see them from the little side stage area. Excuse my groupie-ism, but they passed right in front of me when they left the stage and I *think* Kim stepped on my toe. I'm never washing my shoe again. I'd like to take this moment to thank Midnight Poutine for the media pass that was graciously given to me for this event. No, that wasn't usual Nika sarcasm. I love you man!

Before I dash over to catch Wolf Parade play on the Scene de la Riviere, I will trek through the woods to see some Tokyo Police Club, maybe some Call Me Poupee... because right now I'm being subjected to Ben Lee aaaand I'm not in the mood for Australian pop. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Later!

Discussion

25 Comments

Sara / September 4, 2006 at 11:24 am
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all three shows at once? damn, that IS impressive. we only caught the beginning of ben harper as we made our escape, but P-U. the band with the biggest confetti canons should totally be the headliner anyway.

nice work, gals! and yeah, folks should check out flickr for some great photos... including a bajillion wicked shots of sonic youth by "hasemeister."
Dave / September 4, 2006 at 01:39 pm
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So, it turned out that it required me seeing Sonic Youth live to understand why they are so loved. Holy shit are the a good live act.

I find it amazing how, even with some sound issues, Wolf Parade were still absolutely incredible.

Flaming Lips gave me shivers.

Kid Koala made me want to ball.
mike / September 4, 2006 at 01:57 pm
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who did you want to "ball" dave? kid koala himself? i'm afraid he's taken.
Dave / September 4, 2006 at 01:59 pm
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Only one person on my list, and it's The Big M.
Andrea / September 4, 2006 at 02:03 pm
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I'm assuming Dave's last comment is just another hilarious typo...
Hans / September 4, 2006 at 06:11 pm
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I'm also jealous as crap! Did anyone manage to see Vitalic, or did he actually end up cancelling?
Marie-Elaine / September 4, 2006 at 07:01 pm
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" What age did you start? " - Hahahaha. Tsé.

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