| August 6, 2010 | Comments (1)

Featured Photo: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

For the forty-odd thousand concert goers who stepped out of the Parc Jean Drapeau’s subway station and onto the artificial island this weekend was like stepping out of the claustrophobic heat of the real world and into a magical island where there was a concert around every corner, American Apparel handed out free underwear, and water cost $4.00. The fifth edition of the supposedly alternative arts and music festival boasted its largest turnout yet, thanks to extensive promotion, acts like Snoop Dogg, and the ideal outdoor concert weather that forty eight hours of clear skies and twenty five degrees provide.

Entering the festival as Canadian folk singer Sarah Harmer took the River Stage – one of the two main stages – her upbeat folk songs set a healthy, grassroots tone for the early afternoon, the usually no frills singer songwriter jokes, “Wow, Osheaga. I even wore heels for the occasion,” as she performed tracks from her Oh Little Fire album – recorded between Toronto and Kingston, Ontario. The river stage was next to the Budweiser sponsored Mountain stage, as the main performance area was scattered with hotdog, ice cream, pizza, and beer stands. On the other side of a small bridge, laid satellite stages – The Green Stage and The Tree stage, where you could find a Pop Montreal stage selling granola bars, local bands, environmental initiatives amidst tattooed rockers, long haired bohemian types, and the occasional kid stumbling away from the Piknic Electronik (the weekly techno event that usually takes place on Sundays) DJ set.

The Green stage hosted Owen Pallett of Final Fantasy and more recent composer recognition as well as Vancouver-born rock duo Japandroids. With the memory of the mayhem reeked by the drum and guitar duo last year during their Pop Montreal showcase at Divan Orange, where a few hundred odd rain soaked music lovers piled into the dimly lit bar only to be further drenched by cheap beer, body heat, and sweat, and the merch guy had crowd surfed from one side of the bar to another, the crowd that gathered on Saturday was anticlimactic. A few diehard fans amidst the audience attempted to crowd surf, but for the most part the young crowd stood still despite the mosh friendly music and raw energy of Brian King’s guitar and David Price’s drums.

Festival goers lounged on the hill late afternoon Saturday as Montreal band Stars played their standard, forgettable set. Through some arrangement with the sound system at Osheaga, the music was noticeably louder far from the main stages then at the front, rendering comfortable conversation almost futile. The park, however, filled up in time for the concluding triple bill of PavementThe National, and Arcade Fire. The reunited Pavement and the two Montreal bands killed it, with Arcade Fire putting on one of the most memorable sets of my recent memory by perfecting the post rock sound Of Montreal had taken a stab at the night before. At ten o’clock, just as the group spurred forth in the last hour of their set, the weekly fireworks that take place at Jean Drapeau went off. Being to the left of the stage, my section had a clear view of the rockers with the fireworks going off in the background. At about ten thirty, confetti cannons in front of the stage went off, re-inventing the memorable Coldplay moment that occurred last year. There wasn’t a disappointed face in the crowd on Saturday night, even as tens of thousands of concert goers struggled to cram themselves on the metro….

More stories to read on our next Osheaga post!

Photo Galleries of performances from Day 1 of Osheaga below!

Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros

Ingrid Michaelson


Jimmy Cliff



The National

Owen Pallett


Sarah Harmer

Shane Murphy


The Walkmen

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Category: Photo Updates, Reviews