It’s finally here, one of summer’s most anticipated festivals — Osheaga, version 2016. On this beautiful day without a rain cloud in sight, Parc Jean-Drapeau opened its gates to a world where locals and visitors alike can bond through their love of music. A good mix of new voices and veterans of the music scene took the stage to blow our minds with their talent and skill by delivering music that connects with us in a unique way.
The Scene de la Riviere first unveiled Banners, an incredible English singer/songwriter with whom we had the chance to sit down with for an interview, so keep your eyes open for it in the coming days. He played his anthem-like songs with a contagious excitement that started the festival off perfectly. Next on the Scene de la Montagne was Dragonette whose vibrant energy exploded from Martina Sorbara, the lead singer. Their peppy synths, her silver stained cheeks and metallic shorts all set the stage for the lively performance that the crowd adored.
Further away from the main stages, fans cheered as Jack Garratt appeared on stage at the Scene de la Vallee to rock his synths, play the drums and his guitar all at once. They were so crazy about him that Garratt even exclaimed “Why are there so many people here?” which is endearing to hear from a beloved up and coming artist. The intensity with which he delivers his music is overwhelming and riles up the audience. He lives his songs to the fullest, to the point of breaking his drumstick mid-song. His music only gets better live.
Dear Rouge’s charismatic singer Danielle gave her all in a fantastic performance at the Scene des Arbres SiriusXM. She showed off her French by wishing everyone a good time and telling the audience to make some noise. She danced around the stage tirelessly for the entire set an infectious energy. Their fans also got the chance to hear some of their new material.
Back toward the main stages, Passenger was reminiscing about how his hit single “Let Her Go” came to be as big as it is. He confided that he often joked about how it was his only famous song, but that it wasn’t really a joke because according to him it’s true. Just before strumming away to that song with thousands of people singing along, he proclaimed that his journey from street corner to Osheaga was proof that everyone should follow their dreams and do what they love despite negative responses from others, because you never know what will happen.
Cypress Hill brought an added flair of hip hop to the day. They’re particularly known for their endorsement of marijuana, so it isn’t surprising that for their song “Legalize It,” they lit and smoked a joint during the set. They got the crowd going with “Insane in the Membrane” and a battle of which side of the audience could be louder, using techniques like their song “Jump Around” and “Feels Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana.
Montreal-based band Half Moon Run then slowed the tempo down afterwards on Scene de la Riviere with their dreamy set. They said how good it was to be home before the singer Devon Portielje bewitched the crowd with his falsetto. Then, The Lumineers’ folky touch revved the audiences up with the likes of “Ophelia” and of course their hit single “Ho Hey” got the crowd going.
When The Red Hot Chilli Peppers were announced via the Osheaga app, everyone on the island flocked to the Scene de la Riviere to see the iconic band. For an hour they reached into the past for hits that have become a fixture in pop culture like “Dani California” while also playing more recent work like “Dark Necessities.” The video footage that was being broadcast on screen was even saturated with color to make it feel like it was one of their music videos. The band was having fun and the fans loved every second.
The second day of Osheaga promises to be even more exciting with bands like Death Cab For Cutie, HAIM, and Coeur de Pirate on the scheduled. Come back tomorrow to relive the Osheaga experience once again!