I was actually just in the middle of writing a “First timer’s guide to Montreal’s Osheaga” when I realized I haven’t even really talked about the weekend yet.
It was nuts.
For three days, I basically lived at Parc Jean-Drapeau. Minus the night I found myself at a hipster bar known as the Royal Phoenix and then ended up skinny-dipping with a dozen gay men at a rooftop pool. (At least, they told me they were gay.)
Anyway, the highlights.
Hearing Tegan and Sara’s “Living Room”, live
I missed Tegan and Sara playing in St. John’s last week, and so I was stoked to see them in Montreal. One of their songs, Living Room, has been a favourite since I was about…18. I remember driving around in my beat-up green shaggin’ wagon listening to this track on a DISCMAN. A DISCMAN.
And THEN Tegan and Sara joining Macklemore for Same Love
The crowd went INSANE for this part. (If you didn’t know, Tegan and Sara are both openly gay.)
Him and Frank Turner were basically the reasons I was at Osheaga. I didn’t get very close to the stage to see him, but HE ROCKED anyway. He introduced every song with a story and it was hella entertaining. I love when people spark so much fun.
I CAN SEE HIS MUSCLES! So much respect for this guy.
Lowlight: The dude next to my friend Larry and I who whipped out his wiener and peed all over the ground. We were too stunned to react.
The Lumineers’ lead singer joining the crowd
I didn’t realize I knew so many Lumineers songs until I saw them live. The best part was when Lesley Schultz took his mic and guitar and literally JOINED the crowd below the stage to sing a song. Ballsy, Schultz. Ballsy.
You can see it for yourself in this video.
I didn’t even know who these guys were, but Larry wanted to see them too. So I ended up near the stage for the show, and was pretty darn impressed. And it turns out I actually knew quite a few of their songs.
Plus the lead singer rocks a badass mullet.
Best show of the festival for me, hands down. Frank turner is a folk/punk performer from Britain, and my roommate Mike turned me onto his music. He’s edgy. He’s also bearded.
I consider Photosynthesis one of my anthems. And then there’s The Road, which is all about travelling:
I’ve drunk with drifters in Vienna and with punks in old DC,
and I’ve driven across deserts,
driven by the irony that only being shackled to the road could ever I be free.
His concert took place at Scene des Arbes, a smaller stage away from the madness of the big headliners. I was in my glee: smaller crowds, more energy, AWESOME vibes.
At one point he made us all sit on the grass and then jump up dancing wildly. Because music festivals are all about ditching your shitty life for a few days and just being totally free. It’s amazing how music can bring 100,000 people together like that.
Check out that energy!
Discovering the VIP tent
My theory was that I didn’t need to go near the VIP tent — if I were going to experience Osheaga, wouldn’t it make sense to do it with everyone else? Also, my friends didn’t have VIP passes, so it was kinda lame sitting around at the bar alone.
I did it on the last night anyway. Because beers were $3.
And then I noticed masses of people leaving the bar and following a small path into the darkness. So I followed them.
And found myself literally underneath the main stage for headlining acts Mumford and Sons. You might’ve heard of them.