With the sun shining high in the sky, thousands of fans eagerly made their way through Parc Jean Drapeau to their favourite acts. With a fabulous set of artists lined up, festival goers appeared in good spirits, dressed in tanks, shorts, and rocking their pair of raybans—the final day of Osheaga began and finished on high notes.
Father John Misty
In one of the most intriguing performances of the day, lead singer J. Tillman made his way through an extremely well-executed set on the River Stage to a surprisingly large crowd. Moving across the stage and down into the crowd, there was almost a sense of Fleetwood Mac in the way he performed, with his hands and arms constantly moving and up in the air, reflecting the setlists’ wistfulness. He humourously apologized halfway through the set “to all the people who’s ecstasy is just kicking in now”, before diving into a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born In the USA” to the crowd’s delight.
With his fairly odd and raspy signature vocals, Samuel T. Herring of Future Islands led his way through an hour of some of the band’s best songs, playing to the crowd and getting them engaged from the beginning. Between the pounding of his chest and bizarre ‘dance’ moves, Herring’s voice roared over the synth-pop sound that the band is known for. Somewhat romantic, the songs were nothing short of stunning: The sound quality was fantastic, and all the instruments complimented each other magnificently. Herring is a man who lets it all out on stage, and highlight song, “Seasons (Waiting On You)” provided for the perfect sing-along moment the crowd seemed to have been longing for.
In arguably one of the most energetic performances of the day, Charli XCX celebrated her 23rd birthday by blazing her way through her 50-minute consisting of insane dance moves, a massive blow-up guitar, which she ‘played’ during third song, “Breaking Up,” and a continuously excited stage presence. Never short of sass and attitude, the British punk rocker pleased the crowd by playing some of her best-known songs (“Boom Clap”) as well as “I Love It.” But it was her lesser-known songs that really stole the show: “Hanging Around” provided one of the best dance parties of her set, while “Famous” upped the energy with the release of dozens of inflatable bouncy balls. A fantastic and clearly enthused performer, Charli XCX commanded the crowd’s attention through her set.
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zero’s
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zero’s provided an extremely cohesive and interesting performance, despite having seemingly a dozen members on stage. Dressed in a cut-up tank and baggy white pants, lead singer Alex Ebert pranced around the stage and engaged with the crowd on multiple occasions, the most notable of which was brought to life by asking a random member of the audience to come up with a verse to the song, “40 Day Dream,” which went something like: “Today is the best day of my life / Alex Ebert is the man!” While the energy of the band never ceased, the crowd’s energy did begin to die midpoint through the set; however, when the band brought onto the stage—through the crowd—a man in a wheelchair, the crowd went wild. After allowing the fan to make a quick speech during the middle of their standout song, “Home”, there were tears in some people’s eyes.
This New Zealand brother and sister duo produce music, on record, that is nothing short of complex; however, that same level of complexity didn’t quite translate into a live setting—especially at a festival as large as Osheaga. While lead singer Georgia Nott’s vocals were impeccable, and brother Caleb provided sufficient instrumentals to support her, the band’s sound never quite managed to leave the ground. They are hugely likeable but they seemed to pack much less into their 50-minute set than Charli XCX was able to in hers—an increase in their energy and possibly a more varied setlist would create a more uplifting atmosphere.
One of the most resounding entrances of the evening belonged to Alt-J. Even before Edward Sharpe had finished, people were already making—or pushing—their way across to the adjacent Mountain Stage, getting in position for Britain’s most surprising indie-rock band success story this past decade. Despite their relatively low-key aesthetic and performance type, Alt-J commanded the stage in totality, making their way through a single-studded setlist including opener “Hunger Of the Pine,” “Dissolve Me,” and “Bloodflood.” Set highlight “Something Good” proved to be one of the most memorable moments of the night—as the pitch shifted during the chorus, the majority of the crowd were swaying, eyes closed, hands in the air, totally lost in the moment. The band, adorkable in their own way, made few comments to the audience, but each was heartfelt, thanking the audience massively for their participation in the singalong choruses, and even for their success in general. Accompanied by black-and-white footage of the band on the screens either side of the stage, the band closed off their fantastic set with crowd-pleaser “Breezeblocks,” to which the line, “Please don’t go,” sung over and over by the audience, seemed an incredibly appropriate way to end.
Missed out on day one or day two? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Also stay tuned in the coming week for exclusive interviews with some of the acts that wowed this year at Osheaga 2015.