Sound: Osheaga debuted in 2006, and has since hosted the likes of The Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, The Killers, Arcade Fire, and Weezer, as well as several then-up-and-coming artists such as M.I.A., MGMT, and Crystal Castles. In 2011, Osheaga has evolved to a 3-day event, incorporating a broad spectrum of music, from Eminem to Elvis Costello to Death Cab For Cutie as well as several talented DJs. Although the multiple music genres can make it seem that the festival lacks focus, Osheaga has so far provided concerts to satisfy most music-lovers. The main problem with the sound at the festival is that there are two main stages that are right next to each other such that a concert begins on one stage only after the concert at the other stage has finished. This year, Cypress Hill went well over their 50-minute set, which resulted in the following bands having to cut their sets short and it desynchronized the lineup for the rest of the day. // 8
Perfomance: The most notable performances were: Bright Eyes, who are possibly on one of their last tours as a band, pleased their fans by playing several songs of their older albums; Death Cab For Cutie, touring for their latest album; Canadian favourites City And Colour; and finally, The Flaming Lips, as crowd-pleasing as ever, actually married a couple in front of the crowd prior to their set. Beirut had a pleasantly unique performance with their trumpets and accordion. On the electro-rock side, Ratatat had their audience dancing with their feel-good set, as did Crystal Castles who had security edgy due to frontwoman Alice Glass' haywire, crowdsurfing antics.
Eminem drew out the largest crowd, playing most of his classic hits as well as his latest releases. Janelle Monae, a rising star in the Pop/R&B world, also surprised the crowd with her great music and theatrical set. // 10
Overall Impression: Montreal is about a 5 or 6-hour Drive from Boston and New York City, making the festival well worth the trip across the border for U.S. East Coast music lovers, with lineups that can please anyone. It is also a great opportunity to see promising artists on small stages, which this year were Mother Mother, F--ked Up, and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. Osheaga 2012 is set to take place from August 3 to 5.
See more photos here. // 10