Osheaga 2014 – Executive Summary Day 3 (Sunday Review)
Osheaga 2014 Day 3: Arctic Monkeys show they deserve to be festival headliners in North America, too.
The first two days of Osheaga were great. The crowd was fun, and they even had cool signs and objects. One guy had a giant picture of his friend’s face on a stick, for everyone to see.
I thought it would be cool to not only meet this guy, but to pay homage to him. So I photoshopped the above picture and made masks for me and my friends, and then we hoped the guy would be there on Sunday. He was, and we approached the guy with the infamous sign and blew his mind.
A lot of people wanted to know who the guy on our mask was, and sadly, we never met him. The mystery lives on! Anyway enjoy festival stupidity – on to the review!
The Kooks: We’ve seen the Kooks many times recently, including opening for Noel Gallagher and at Optimus Alive in Portugal. The band are about to release a new album called Listen and we were curious to how it might sound.
The English rockers opened with Junk of the Heart (Happy), which sort of makes you think Pharrell ripped them off for his megahit.
Debut album tracks Ooh La and She Moves In Her Own Way had the crowd in fine spirits and moving, perhaps in their own way. The band carry themselves with the energy and feel of bona fide rock superstars and it comes through in their performance.
Singer Luke Pritchard played Seaside by himself on stage to much applause and sing along from their fans. Another highlight from the five piece dressed all in white shirts and black jeans was Sofa Song, reminding fans how vital their debut album was back in 2006. The band then finished with “Lily Allen cover song” Naive to high crowd approval. Dancey Brit pop tunes throughout their set, what’s not to like?
Portugal.The Man: The band opened with Pink Floyd cover Another Brick In The wall before seguing into Purple Yellow Red And Blue. They also covered Oasis’ Don’t Look Back In Anger, oddly covering two songs in their short set.
They tore through a rocking set, mixing hits and other tight rock tracks, with the two cover songs. With a mix of rock and organ-led tracks, they played a very solid rock set.
CHVRCHES: It is a little difficult to review a band you are now seeing for the fourth time on the same album tour. And it’s now because I’m a die-hard fan (even if they did sit down for a video interview with me) – part of it is circumstance and they’ve been touring a hell of a lot.
The Scottish electro-poppers opened with We Sink, which was upbeat from the get go. Without a break, this led into Lies, with Lauren moving to the upbeat groove. Her stage presence continues to grow with each live appearance. While Martin has always rocked out, Lauren is slowly adapting this to her skill set as she sings.
Gun was a rocking track that had all band members – and the crowd – lapping up the pulsating beats. Night Sky was next, with its Jingle Cat-esque parts.
By the Throat had mixed results from the crowd, while Recover sparked a crowd clap along, with great vocals from Mayberry yet again.
As usual, Martin brought the energy for his vocal lead. The band then finished with The Mother We Share, rounded out a danceable set. I’m looking forward to where album number 2 goes.
Cut Copy: Despite seeing these guys in Toronto a couple of times many years ago, I vowed not to see them again for a long time, due to their pre-programmed and lack of “live” performance. A couple of albums passed, and despite having schedule conflicts, I thought I’d return to see them and their strong new album, Free Your Mind.
We Are Explorers kicked off proceedings, with its funky synth sounds and loud bass. After a brief introduction, the loud bass continued with the title track from.recent album Free Your Mind. The inflatable sea creatures were in full display, being hoisted by the crowd to the rhythm.
Free Your Mind then segued into Where I’m Going. The singer still sings with his hands and arms a lot, as I first noticed during their In Ghost Colors touring cycle.
A feedback intro led into So Haunted, a song in which I’ve never loved the intro or verses but really like the chorus. This then bled into the excellent Hearts On Fire. The crowd was really full for a large area of the Verte stage, but a bit sparse near the very back – arguably the area where the most dancing was happening. As amazing as the Hearts on Fire is, I’d kill for that saxophone ending to be a live sax.
More excellent tracks from their sophomore album followed, with Out There on the Ice Again promoting another clap and dance along. A Zonoscope track was up next, with the dark, synth track Let Me Show You Love up next.
More “love” titled tracks were played, including Meet Me In the House of love. The song once again was a DJ set-like segue into Lights and Music, which was a set highlight.
The band have definitely elevated their live show since i saw them on their album tour several years ago. They now play more sounds live instead of pre-recorded and are a “proper” live act now. With the tunes to back it up, they were the best band not named Arctic Monkeys on Sunday.
Arctic Monkeys: After years of headlining giant European festivals, the amazing new album from Arctic Monkeys (AM) has finally propelled them to headlining status on this side of the pond. Can they put on a show to prove they deserve this spot? Read on to find out.
The Sheffield foursome, consisting of singer Alex Turner, Jamie Cook, Nick O’Malley, and Matt Helders, managed to get Montreal to rock out and dance to an eclectic mix of tracks spanning the band’s five album discography. The band does everything at breakneck speed, as they whipped through 20 songs from their catalogue in about an hour and a half.
Singer Alex Turner is still doing his Elvis meets Hamburg-era John Lennon look, while the band only had a simple album artwork as their backdrop – no flames or videos. Drummer Matt Helders still plays with the numbers 0114 taped to his drumkit, a nod to the Sheffield area code.
They opened with megahit Do I Wanna Know, immediately evoking a clapalong from the large crowd. Another single from AM, Snap Out of It, followed, and the crowd did their best to sing the falsetto backing vocals in the chorus.
The AM tracklist continued, with the bass-led Arabella, with Turner putting down his instrument to strut around the stage as he sung. Sophomore album single Brianstorm continued the upbeat set, which then gave way to the slow, muddy Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair.
Turner has a thing for saying a sentence then ends up hinting or describing what the next song will be. He did this by asking if the crowd had on their “dancing shoes”. Guess what song was next?! After Dancing Shoes, the band tore into another past single, Crying Lightning.
A little musical dabbling disguised the intro to Knee Socks, with the ending of the track seguing into to My Propeller.
The hits continued, with I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor making the crowd explode halfway through their set.
A few solid tracks that the crowd didn’t seem to know followed, with Library Pictures and then subtle AM standout Fireside.
The crowd waved their arms to the slow No. 1 Party Anthem. Teddypicker followed, and then the band rounded out their set with 3 solid tracks – the Dr. Dre-esque beats of Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?, Florescent Adolescent, and 505. The last track sort of missed the mark, as the music and vocals seemed misaligned at times.
The band re-emerged for an encore, and kept the mood slow for the first couple of tunes. One For the Road was first. Turner told Montreal that we’ve shown him what it is to be in love, and ” I wanna be yours”. The AM album closer was excellent live, and might have gone slightly under-appreciated by the crowd.
The band ended on a high (which is when they often call me), and left fans with a buzz after playing R U Mine. The band played for an hour and a half, and it was an assault of hit single after hit single. The English rockers have shown they will be on festival headlining slots for years to come.
Arctic Monkeys Setlist at Osheaga, August 3, 2014
Do I Wanna Know
Snap Out of It
Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair
I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
No. 1 Party Anthem
Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?
One For the Road
I Wanna Be Yours
R U Mine
That’s a wrap! If you know who the guy at the top of the post, tweet us @PeteHatesMusic. Or talk to us about anything.