Best of the Fest: Osheaga 2012

Dancing Concert Girl sitting on shoulders, The Black Keys

Alright so Osheaga was almost two weeks ago now…… buuuut how timely was I with that closing ceremony post!? eh?…. ehhh?

In a city renown for its music, the crowning jewel of Montreal’s indie-scene is the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival. Launched in 2006 with 25,000 concert-goers this month’s edition hosted more than 120,000 fans. This was even a big jump from last year’s 80,000.

I believe the most integral part of any live show is its audience. Joy is contagious, as is dissatisfaction. With most indoor concerts, the hall is filled with hundreds, if not thousands of admiring listeners, they paid money to be there, so you’re pretty much golden. It’s a bit more of a risk with festivals. When listening to a set those around you might not actually be true fans of the band playing, the weather can sour moods, along with long lines for food and facilities. Worst of all, there’s the chance that the sound technicians have done a poor job, resulting in most of the music’s power getting lost in the open air. Kind of like the performance Fun. did on the Colbert Report’s StePhest Cobchella ‘012 on Monday night. After the auto-tuned intro, the song loses its muster, despite efforts from the lead singer to pump it up. Fortunately, Osheaga’s sound was stellar.

Anyway, all this to say that when you’re one of 40,000 milling about an island of concerts, mini microclimates of elation and bordom seem to form. A close friend, who I couldn’t locate among the throngs of muddy music-lovers that day, said that two of his favourite acts were the same two that I thought had completely fallen short of the other performances.

My favourite show was undoubtably the set put on by Passion Pit. The words of Barney Stinson come to mind when thinking of it: “Now people think a good mix should rise and fall. But people are wrong. It should be all rise, baby! Now prepare yourselves for an audio journey to the white, hot center of adrenaline!” Passion Pit’s performance was incredible. They also had some sense of pathetic fallacy on their side. Sunday Funday of the fest was not so sunny. In fact, when Passion Pit started playing, the already raining clouds unleashed such crazy amounts of water that you could only laugh and keep on rockin’. A wordsmith friend of mine re-dubbed the event “Soaksheaga.” Imagine listening to “Moth’s Wings” under torrential rain. I loved it. Then, all of a sudden, the sun was shining down on us, sparkling in all the raindrops caught on stage fixtures, concert-goers, and the spray from the hose organizers needlessly, and probably jokingly, then used on the crowd. The sun came out just in time for “Sleepyhead” their most known track and my ringtone for the past 4 years.

These next two songs are from their newest album Gossamer, released about three weeks ago.

This video is best on full screen:

“Take a Walk” by Passion Pit

“Carried Away” by Passion Pit

P.S. The photo was taken during the Black Keys! Just because I’m sly like that.


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