Florence / Dum Dum Girls / the scene, Osheaga Fest 8/03/2012
"I can't believe we walked the whole thing."
This was the opening of an e-mail Saturday morning from my friend, the Montreal based singer-songwriter Leif Vollebekk. Day 1 of Montreal's Osheaga Music and Arts Festival (8/3) was in the books and instead of joining the crush of people all trying to get into the Metro, we opted to walk with a much smaller group of people from Parc Jean-Drapeau, the festival's home, over the closed-off Jacques Cartier Bridge back to the Mile End.
"You know," Leif's e-mail continued, "we could've all just waited for the subway, but then we might have been accused of being reasonable."
What came before the trek from the island to the mainland was a hot, dusty, sweaty blur of music and dancing and a sold-out crowd determined to pull every ounce of enjoyment from their day out.
The highlight for me on Day 1 was always going to be Sigur Ros, who I'd seen just a days before in Philadelphia. Sure, Justice may have been the official headliner on the day, but the Icelandic band, even restricted to their one-hour time slot, felt like the real headliner and reduced the electronic duo and their glorified DJ booth to the equivalent of an afterparty.
Earlier in the day, The Walkmen featured Skyler Skjelset of Fleet Foxes on bass and guitar and Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men packed the field at the Scene Verte stage on the other end of the park for their mid-day set.
The Dum Dum Girls set was delayed with sound issues and once they got going the tech guys spent most of their set running back and forth across the stage adjusting and fixing gear. It was the beginning of a trouble-filled weekend at the Scene des Arbres stage where delays were constant and, on Day 3, Zola Jesus' set was controversially cut short as thunderstorms rolled through. (Festival officials shut her set down just as the worst of the storm had passed.) She took to Facebook to voice her frustration (though what happened in Montreal was nothing compared to what went down at Lollapalooza in Chicago the same weekend).
Gary Clark, Jr. impressed over at the Scene Verte as his loud, fuzzy guitar riffs conjured dancing girls and good vibes.
Along with a beautiful set from Florence and the Machine and a raucous end-of-the-night set from Montreal's Les Breastfeeders, it was a great start to the festival.
Stay tuned for more on Day 2 and 3. More Osheaga Day 1 photos are below.
Bombay Bicycle Club
Of Monsters and Men
Gary Clark Jr.
Dum Dum Girls
Florence and the Machine