Montreal’s massive outdoor music festival Osheaga seems to outdo itself every year, impressing music lovers not only with big-name bands but with up-and-coming talent from the city’s own rock ‘n’ roll hotbed…
Thousands of fans are ready for Osheaga to live up to its headliner hype once again this year. From August 1-3 at Parc Jean-Drapeau, the fest’s main stages boast Outkast, Skrillex, Jack White, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Arctic Monkeys, Lorde, The Replacements and many more stars – yet a short walk through the festival’s forest-like site might just result in a musical discovery to talk about for years to come. Just as Arcade Fire skyrocketed from humble local beginnings, so might the Montreal musicians playing Osheaga this year – you never know when you’ll see a star on the rise.
Some choice Montreal bands do grace the main stages with their presence: Sam Roberts Band gets ready to entertain fans with songs new and now-classics on Friday evening while Dear Frederic gives us a reason to get there early on Friday afternoon, and Half Moon Run makes Sunday evening even sweeter. Thankfully Osheaga’s programming makes it easy to grab a drink and some food from one of many food trucks stationed on-site and head towards the fest’s smaller stages to chill out, rock out or dance it out to other local talents. On Friday, catch Montreal punk-pop band Le Trouble, a live set from atmospheric-electronic producer Jacques Greene, an awesome party vibe from Chromeo and ever-entertaining and eclectic singer-songwriter Mac de Marco.
Saturday brings Quebec award-winner Jimmy Hunt, formerly of popular Montreal band Chocolat, to the festival’s Scène des Arbres stage along with Haitian-Canadian electronic artist Kaytranada on the Piknic Électronik stage. On Sunday, hear one-woman synth-pop phenomenon Foxtrott, hip hop in true Quebecois style from Dead Obies, French-pop perfection from Joelle Saint-Pierre, monstrous beats by dancefloor-shaking legend Tiga, and a last-minute addition to the fest but definitely deserving of it, Mozart’s Sister wows with all-new songs from a new album, on the Green Stage. While you’re in the woods, stop by the Osheaga Arts Village to see what local artists have created for the festival, from poster art to live painting to a lounge-able installation called the Dunes.
Even if they’re not from Montreal, we can’t gloss over the fact that several other Canadian bands at Osheaga definitely deserve a spot in your busy festival schedule. Early Friday afternoon on the main stage, don’t miss Waterloo, Ontario folk-rockers The Royal Streets and then go in search of Toronto’s The Beaches and July Talk. On Saturday at 1pm on the main stage, see what Kevin Drew of Toronto music collective Broken Social Scene is up to in his solo music, then soak up the heavy guitar-rock of Reignwolf, witness the depths of Basia Bulat’s talent, find out why Vancouver’s The Belle Game has garnered great praise, get into the folk-rock ways of Calgary’s Reuben and the Dark, and hear the indie-pop of Winnipeg’s Royal Canoe and Toronto’s Wildlife. And on Sunday, singer-songwriter Matt Mays (formerly of The Guthries) starts the mainstage antics early, followed by the high-energy of Newfoundland’s Hey Rosetta!
After the day is done at Parc Jean-Drapeau, head back to the city for even more music at Osheaga’s official pre-party and numerous afterparties. Get to know the city’s late-night music scene on Thursday night with the made-in-Quebec indie-pop-folk of Emilie & Ogden, Fire/Works, Men I Trust and Secret Sun at La Sala Rossa. Follow that up on Friday as famed Montreal duo Chromeo own the fest’s afterparty at the Corona Theatre, with openers Bear Mountain and Basecamp, and French DJ Danger gets dance-floor support from Montrealers Pomo, Mr Nokturn, Das Mörtal and Omni at Le Belmont. Late on Saturday night, Montreal mainstay Tommy Kruise brings tripped-out bass to Le Belmont, while locals Sibian & Faun and Massyl join Four Tet and Jon Hopkins for a night of off-the-hook brilliant electro at the SAT. Sunday night ends the festival with Montreal electro-disco duo Beat Market opening for Chvrches DJ set at the Corona Theatre.
Osheaga, August 1-3, 2014
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