Osheaga 2013 – Day 3 Executive Summary (Sunday)
Day 3: Conflicting interests – British banjos vs. British dance music
Be sure to check out our cover of Friday (Day 1) and Saturday (Day 2) to see our thoughts, which are not really important, but might help you kill 5 minutes of your bus ride. Follow us on Twitter @PeteHatesMusic and let us know your thoughts on Osheaga.
Atlas Genius: I missed the beginning due to some of the amazing free stuff that vendors at Osheaga were handing out. Instead of shitty Dell lanyards or some generic crap that most festivals give out, we got free Fruttare frozen fruit bars and free cans of Coke. Amazing!
Anyway, this is a music blog not a free shit blog (although this might be an excellent second blog). The band had good vocals and a cool guitar sound. They also had a good percussionist with a driving beat. The music was nothing too complex but there’s nothing wrong with straight forward. I didn’t know a lot of their stuff ahead of time but it was a solid set from Atlas Genius.
Frightened Rabbit: I first saw these Scottish rockers at Lollapalooza a few years ago, and since then they have signed to a major label and put out the excellent Pedestrian Verse. After a mellow first song, the band really picked up proceedings with second track The Modern Leper, with its build up and explosive chorus.
Singer Scott Hutchison told us to make some gentlemenly moves – grab an arm, but don’t grind. “I believe we have some rappers on later, they’ll tell you something different.” The song played was the wonderful Old Old Fashioned. After the song, Hutchinson asked how people got on and if we’d had any Frightened Rabbit babies. “If so, they’d be miserable babies!”
Perhaps it was fitting that the dark clouds rolled in during their set, and their oft depressing lyrics. The track Backwards Walk was a nice clap along that was beautifully sung.
Random observation: Their drummer has one menacing face when he drums. Don’t mess with him.
The singer asked the crowd if they could do a simple sing along, noting that they can do it in Toronto, then mocking himself for making such as easy joke. The crowd sung and the singer noted we were adequate. “You think I care about quality but I want volume!” All of this preamble led into the song Swim. All in all it was a really good set with some funny stage banter.
Charles Bradley and the Extraordinaire: Rich had previously seen him so I had an idea what I was in for. We had horns, a soulful and jazzy sound with some veteran blues vocals.
I don’t think the crowd really knew him beforehand but they were definitely appreciative and loving the tracks. It put everyone in a good mood. But let’s talk about those vocal screeches – I could never come close to that without destroying my throat and having my neighbours call the police.
His slow songs were also well done and oozed sexiness (unlike me). He had a great stage presence, twirling around and doing tricks with the mic. He then hopped down to the crowd and starting handing out high fives and hugs like it was his last day to live. The man is high on life and it’s great to see.
Silversun Pickups: Some mainstream rock followed the blues rush minutes earlier. I don’t know the band very well except a few singles and that odd but unique voice from the singer. Brian Aubert showed a bit of range with some of their heavier songs, which was a pleasant surprise. The live version of Panic Switch was good, with the band playing in sync and with a sense of urgency.
During the set, the blue skies went away in a hurry. A rainbow came out as the band finished the set, perhaps symbolizing happiness and a change in mood. This wasn’t necessarily how I felt about the set but it was cool if you’re into symbolism, or perhaps rainbows.
Big Boi: For no apparent reason, Big Boi was about about 10 minutes late. I have no patience for lateness given the unique set up of the main stages at Osheaga. At this point, Big Boi’s DJ started playing some intro music but the speakers blew. If he was k-os, he would’ve walked off the stage. Thankfully, Big Boi came on stage and sat on the cool throne that was in the middle of the stage. Big Boi noted he was “fresh out of customs” as he was surrounded by some hype men and a live band. “Customs thought we had drugs. We had no drugs!” Note: they probably had drugs.
The beats immediately had the crowd putting away the ponchos and moving to the rhythm. He played Rosa Parks while retro Outkast video segments played on the video screens, clearly not shying away from footage of Andre 3000. Due to a recent injury, he rapped from the throne while two hype men patrolled the stage and the DJ scratched. Rosa Parks was followed up with the frantic yet fragile Apple of my Eye.
The crowd drew some interesting and spirited fans. I saw a Georgia Tech flag and a retro Spud Webb Hawks jersey. Big Boi was wearing a knee brace after his injury that cancelled some tour dates, so he just rocked the throne instead. He stood up from time to time but was basically limited to that.
An almost unrecognizable intro into Bombs Over Baghdad kicked off, with the crowd quickly catching on and singing the lines from the chorus when the music purposely dropped away. He followed this up Ms Jackson which had crowd singing along. Big Boi rapped Andre 3000’s parts for a bit but it was a shortened version. That, and it was missing the irreplaceable Andre 3000.
Next up with The Way You Move which had some random VIP girls and guys join the stage to dance. It was cool but definitely not Girl talk stage invasion. Big Boi left the throne with the help of a crutch for In The A.
He had an anticlimactic ending, not hyping up the crowd or really saying goodbye until he was halfway through walking off the stage after the song finished. This sort of summed up his set – brilliant in stretches, but a bit disappointing overall.
Father John Misty: I wasn’t sure what kind of show to expect, after being informed by Aesthetic Magazine Toronto that he smashed his guitar and walked off the stage in Toronto on Saturday night. After listening to them hysteriously soundcheck (hey, UGH, ahhh, oooh, water buffalo, etc), their set kicked off with Fun Times in Babylon. After the first note, singer Josh Tillman immediately requested the volume to be increased, and the sound people obliged. During the end of the first track, Tillman told the crowd to shut up before the final part, sarcastically noting that there’s a band playing over there and they need to hear.
First impression – man, is he tall! Also, his vocals don’t match what you would think they would sound like based on his appearance. His vocals were both soft and gentle as well as loud and raw. Tillman liked to use his mic stand a lot, which reminded me of Gord Downie from the Tragically Hip.
The 6 piece band broke into Nancy From Now On, which is sort of a disco folk song. Appropriately, the band had a couple disco balls on the stage.
Tillman’s stage banter was absolutely hilarious, surpassing that of Frightened Rabbit. “I’ve said it before but I wish there was one part of America that was full of French speaking babes. Can we take over Ohio?” Another gem was after he took a drink, he noted “You know it’s not a bad line of work when you get cheered for drinking alcohol” Another one was commenting on the large field and the space the crowd had at the back, that we should “Make sure these guys at the back have enough room to play frisbee.”
Some idiot decided to throw a few things on stage. Given my knowledge of last night’s events, I was a little nervous, but he calmly reacted to the debris.
They finished a very strong set with Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings, which saw Tillman picking up the mic stand, throwing a cymbal down on the stage, and dancing, twisting, and crawling around the stage. At this point, Father John Misty’s folk rock was the best set and best banter of the day. He managed to rock a little more live, and expand his booming yet delicate vocals from their studio counterparts.
Hot Chip: I was a little worried 20 minutes before the show and there were less than 100 people around me at the front of the stage. Seriously though, what is with the Green stage and that entire half of the festival? There were never any line ups, barely any people at some parts, and no crowd spillover for the bands to enjoy the benefits of.
Thankfully, this didn’t matter – the crowd filled in and it was a massive dance party for one hour solid. A Michael Jackson intro of Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough brought the band on stage and then they kicked things off for How Do You Do It? Singer Alexis Taylor was wearing some weird yellow jump suit (ala Devo) that I wouldn’t be caught dead in.
For the next track, And I Was A Boy From School, the glow sticks and drugs came out. The stage show kicked it up a notch and started shooting lights into crowd. The track had a bit of a slower start but the glow sticks warmed up crowd, with a cool little keyboard bit at the end.
Up next was Don’t Deny Your Heart, with its retro keyboard sound. One Life Stand saw Alexis Taylor move to the front of the stage, with a massive 7 people backing him. The band didn’t acknowledge the crowd too much, with the tracks following in quick succession.
The band kept the high tempo up with Night and Day, also from their latest album (which I really liked). The glowsticks continued to be passed around, with them eventually being thrown around and emulating mini Star Wars fights in the sky.
Up next was Flutes, which was my favourite track from all of 2012. Amazingly, the track was even better live. It was a bit more synth-driven, and had some cool effects not present on the studio version.
Hot Chip followed Flutes up with Over and Over, and amazingly, crowd surfing broke out around me. New single Dark and Stormy followed, making me wish for even more new Hot Chip stuff.
“Here’s one about your number one guy” was the intro to Ready for the Floor, a great track off of Made In The Dark.
The band announced it was their last song and the crowd predictably booed. They launched into I Feel Better and finished to loud applause. I honestly didn’t want the set to end – me and seemingly everyone around me were having way too much fun. We jumped, we danced, we threw glow sticks, we helped people crowd surf. We were friendly and we wanted more.
Hot Chip threw down the best set of the day, and possibly the best set of all of Osheaga. As hard of a choice as it was to skip Mumford & Sons, seeing Hot Chip up close and dancing for an hour beat out watching Mumford & Sons from a mile away and somewhat predictable song climaxes (although they do put on a great show).
That’s a wrap! Final thoughts to hopefully follow on Tuesday. For more concert coverage, great band interviews, and general awesomeness a) “follow PeteHatesMusic on Twitter” and b) “Like PeteHatesMusic on Facebook“. We do more than just Osheaga!