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August 6, 2016

Osheaga 2016

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Written by: CT
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Article by Shay Ansari. Featured image by @susanmossphotography as seen on official Osheaga Instagram.

Osheaga flew by so quickly it’s hard to believe it even happened at all. But of course it did. And of course it was everything you’d imagine it would be and more.

DAY 1: Friday, July 29 2016

For me, the first day was what I’d most anticipated and enjoyed. We spent the first half of the day checking out the sponsor tents, getting our fill of free things like a purple NYX liquid lipstick that I rocked out that very day, and eating sweet food from the irresistible food trucks. We were in Montreal so of course poutine for lunch was a must. Osheaga also had rides and games so we rode the swings and got a killer view of Parc Jean-Drapeau and the thousands of people that filled it.

We put the fun and games aside around seven and finally checked out the bands we’d gone to see in the first place. Half Moon Run was our first must-see. The Montreal locals played a chill set, beginning with their latest single, Turn Your Love. The boys spread a wave of unfamiliar calm over the crowd and by the time they reached their final song, Full Circle, the audience was totally feeling the good vibes.

The Lumineers followed HMR on the neighbouring stage. They were tasked with the honour of opening for the legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers. Expectations were definitely high but the American folk band killed it, especially with their radio hits Stubborn Love and Ho Hey that pretty much everybody had to sing along to.

Photo Credit: Patrick Beaudry (www.snapephoto.com) as seen on the official Osheaga Facebook Page.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers ended the night with an amazing set. Seeing them live was a dream come true for me. They’d been number one on my bucket list of bands to see. Their performance was everything I wanted and more. They played hit after hit beginning with Can’t Stop and closing with Give It Away. The crowd was never given a moment to breathe. But who needs to breathe when they’re in the presence of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, anyway?

DAY 2: Saturday, July 30 2016

Saturday was more breezy. In between the colossal headliners: Red Hot Chili Peppers and Radiohead was Lana Del Rey. She had pretty big shoes to fill considering her counterparts had decades of experience on her. Del Rey is more of a cult favourite whose gifs on Tumblr get hundreds of thousands of reblogs. She has a couple of massive hits that give her credibility but it was all up to her performance to prove herself worthy of being an Osheaga headliner. Did she earn it? I want to say yes because her voice is great but her stage presence was not headliner-worthy. She stood behind the microphone and her two backup singers the whole time, barely moving around or interacting with the audience.

When it came to great stage presence, however, Bastille killed it on Saturday. I saw them perform last year at the ACC so I already knew they would be great. Frontman, Dan, jumped into the crowd and danced with the audience, tripped over his set but laughed it off never missing a beat, and got the crowd completely into their cover of Rhythm of the Night. Even those unfamiliar with the UK band couldn’t help but dance along because their energy was so contagious.

Photo credit: Shay Ansari (shayansari.com)

DAY 3: Sunday, July 31 2016

 The final day of Osheaga was bittersweet. Fans were sad to go but the acts that filled the day kept Osheaga-goers in a wicked-good mood. Canadian indie-rock band, The Strumbellas graced the stage in the afternoon, playing to a generous crowd. Their last single, Spirits, really hit the spot and turned into a massive sing-along.

M83 played later in the day and were supposed to be followed by Disclosure but their flight was cancelled and they didn’t make the show. Disappointment was inevitably felt but electronic producer, Gramatik stepped in and kept the dance party going.

Radiohead closed the festival with a memorable two-hour set. Radiohead is notorious for not performing Creep so fans had their fingers crossed that the Paris performance wasn’t a one-time thing. Montreal was extremely happy that night because Creep was on the setlist.

 Photo credit: Claude Dufresne taken from Osheaga’s official Facebook page.

In addition to the artists mentioned above, huge names like Death Cab For Cutie, Future, Flume, Haim and Mac Miller were also on Osheaga’s impressive 2016 line up. Montreal brought it hard last weekend and while the three days felt impossibly short, the memories will undeniably last a lifetime.

The dates for next year are already set so be sure to RSVP!






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