Osheaga 2015 Festival Preview and Band Recommendations (Montreal, July 31, August 1 to 2)

Twitter: @PeteHatesMusic

We’ve attended the last 2 Osheaga festivals in Montreal (2014 reviews, 2013 reviews), and they’ve gotten better in each year. 2015 is the 10th anniversary, and they have unveiled a fantastic line up with a few cool treats. Things kick off this Friday, July 31 in Montreal’s Parc-Jean Drapeau on Ile Ste-Hélène, and wrap up Sunday, August 2.

Osheaga 2015 poster

You spent a lot of your bitcoins buying tickets, so who should you see? Let us present you 5 bands that you should see each day, but know that you can’t go wrong (unless you drink too many beers and pass out in a portapotty in 30 degree heat, missing every band).

Friday, July 31

Run the Jewels: Playing at the somewhat early slot of 3:25pm (?!), the rap duo of Killer Mike and El-P threw down one of the best albums of 2014 with their Run the Jewels 2 disc. With hits like Blockbuster Night Part 1, Oh My Darling (Don’t Cry), and the Zack De La Rocha featuring Close Your Eyes (and Count to Fuck), as well as a new Beats 1 radio show, the band are at a high. Oh, and they are remixing their album ala Jingle Cats, and releasing Meow the Jewels. True story.

Run the Jewels feat. Zack de la Rocha – Close Your Eyes (and Count to Fuck)

The Decemberists: These folk rockers who love concept albums return with a ‘regular’ album that is vintage Decemberists. They are a phenomenal live band, often engaging the crowd to sit down, make sounds like you’re been eaten by a killer whale, or other shenanigans. Catch them at 5:35pm.

Stars: Like Osheaga, the Montreal/Toronto band are celebrating an important 10th anniversary. 10 years ago, the band dropped their breakout album, Set Yourself on Fire. They will be playing it top to bottom, with some “friends”. Don’t miss this (6:25pm).

Stars – Your Ex-Lover Is Dead

Of Monsters and Men: They continue their meteoric climb with another album full of radio hits. Come and sing along with thousands (at 8:25pm).

Florence + the Machine: They headlined one of the biggest festivals in the world – Glastonbury (well, in part due to Dave Grohl’s broken leg) – this English band knows how to play to a crowd. With their third successive critical and commercial album, they will bring FREE CANDY a huge close to Friday night.

Saturday, August 1

St. Vincent: After impressing at Ontario’s new festival, WayHome, you will want to see Anne Clark belt out songs from her self-titled St. Vincent album. She plays at 3:40pm.

Alvvays: Now that the buzz has settled and everyone seems to know who Alvvays are, come enjoy their live show and perhaps hear some new songs, or one of our favourite songs of 2014, Archie, Marry Me. They’re on at 5:35pm.

Alvvays – Archie, Marry Me

Interpol: Indie veterans who always put on a good show, they are riding the success of recent release El Pintor. They play at 6:20pm.

Weezer: Sure, they’ve released a few duds along the way. But when a band starts off their career with the Blue Album and follows it up with Pinkerton – both pretty much flawless from the time you press play – you’ve earned my ears at a festival (and if you played one of them top to bottom, I would love you forever).

Caribou: I have only seen Caribou at a festival in Portugal, before they dropped last year’s stunning album Our Love. With danceable hit tune after another, this would be a great band to end the night to, along with my bad dance moves.

Caribou – Can’t Do Without You

Bonus: Kendrick Lamar, who I am skipping for Caribou. But many people will be there, and you will see why if you don’t dance to Caribout with me.

Sunday, August 2

Father John Misty: He has one of the best albums of 2015. He killed it at Osheaga 2013. He has some of the best stage banter I’ve seen. You know what to do.

Father John Misty – Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)

The War on Drugs: In need for some Sunday afternoon rock? You’ve come to the right place. Expect to hear a lot of tunes from recent album Lost in the Dream.

Hot Chip: In 2013, they headlined against Mumford & Sons, but managed to draw a bit of a crowd (including me). With another great album under their belt in Why Make Sense?, these English electronic musicians will make you dance dance dance with their great live show.

Alt-J: Another English band, these lads have shot up the festival circuit to the large font at the top of the posters. With sophomore album hits like Hunger of the Pine, Left Hand Free, and Every Other Freckle, you can see why so many people are flocking to see them.

The Black Keys: This rock duo has been impossible to miss the past few years, after slowly growing legions of fans, and dropping 2010 hit Brothers, and following it up with a couple of other radio-friendly albums. These guys know how to rock. Sure, they’ve ditched their muddy, simple sound of their first few albums, bringing Danger Mouse into the fold to expand their sound. But that doesn’t mean they can’t write a mean hook, and bring some loud rock to a live setting. A great way to close out 10 years of Osheaga.

The Black Keys – Your Touch

Bonus: Banks, who has a hell of a voice and good beats, but conflicts with Alt-J.

Maybe we’ll be in store for some 10th anniversary surprises? Let the Arcade Fire rumours begin, for no reason other than they are hometown favourites.

Let us know on Twitter @PeteHatesMusic who you’re seeing or who we should see (or where we can meet you to get some free beers).

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