Day two of Osheaga began with a single hitch. While Osheaga employees rustled festival-goers into the event with the enthusiasm of camp counselors, Action Bronson cancelled his performance last minute due to “travel issues” that may or may not have been related to an incident in Toronto. In spite of gloomy weather forecasts, the day was sunny and breezy until about 6:30 p.m., when the rain hit hard and turned the crowd into a mess of mud and ripped ponchos. Here’s your recap for day two:
The Rural Alberta Advantage provided a strong opening performance, starting off with an upbeat set laden with gratuitous thank-yous and we’re-so-excited-to-be-heres. The early crowd was lithe and energetic, bouncing along eagerly.
Leikeli47 brought girl power and raw energy to the stage, rapping non-stop under her ski mask between pauses and exclamations of “oh baby.” While Leikeli47’s backup dancers, also donning masks, jammed enthusiastically to her beats, her hype man kept the crowd revved to a crushing bass and instructions to throw their middle fingers up during “Fuck This Summer Up.” The set ended as positively as it began, with the rapper asking everyone to squish together so she could take a photo with the crowd.
Carte Blanche À Karim Ouellet lived up to their name, providing a 50 minute set that, while consistently fast-paced and enthusiastic, was a confused jumble of francophone sounds. Everything from indie-pop to grunge rap was produced by the group which fluctuated from seven to 12 people on stage at any given time. The early crowd didn’t seem to mind.
Seoul’s atmospheric sound and synth overlays drew in a slowly swaying crowd like flies to honey. Happily proclaiming that this was their first official music festival, the band jammed comfortably to the throngs of flower crowns and glitter tattoos, providing a mellow—but certainly not sleepy—change of pace to the first half of the day.
With Action Bronson gone, festival organizers made a quick change in schedule, introducing Narcy with Yasiin Bey (of Mos Def) to the stage. The crowd seemed more than happy at the change and chanted wildly during the set, only to be rewarded later in the evening with Bey's reappearance during Kendrick Lamar’s headlining performance a few hours later.
St. Vincent gave an unsurprisingly theatrical performance. Donning a holed-out black jumpsuit, the singer jerked and swayed to her music, gearing up the crowd for the star-studded second half of the day and reminding everyone why Saturday was the first day to sell-out.
The most up-lifting and enthusiastic performance of the day came from Pierre Kwenders. The singer and rapper bounced and danced to his self-described afro-futuristic sound, smiling heavily and enthusiastically inviting two guest rappers on stage. Two-thirds of the way through his performance, the crowd nearly doubled in size when Kwenders’ DJ, Funky Falz, blasted a remix of the intro theme to the Lion King.
Milky Chance gave the most unintentionally humourous performance of the day. The duo from Germany attracted a massive throng of people, many of whom had just arrived at Parc Jean Drapeau. The crowd yelled excitedly to the singer and danced along aimlessly. When Milky Chance began the first few chords of “Stolen Dance,” the previously silent crowd (in terms of singing-along) broke into song to join the singer in the one track they actually knew the words to.
Starting just five minutes late, Nas took the stage to a swarming crowd of screaming people. As his DJ hyped up the crowd, Nas, rap legend, took advantage of the enthusiasm and encouraged multiple sing-a-longs, breaking to talk about being inspired by NWA and Ice Cube and how he dropped his first cassette tape in 1994. The crowd was excited, though struggled to remember the words to his songs. Half way through the performance, rain poured down and while Nas kept a significant portion of the crowd focused on him, throngs of people ran for shelter away from the main stage, hoping they would dry off and warm up before the headlining events.
Stay in the loop, first read our coverage of Osheaga day one and come back tomorrow for our coverage of day three.