The Wooden Sky
*Next, we were ready to enjoy one of our favourites of late, Foals. However, the band canceled last minute due to 'scheduling problems'. We call bullshit. However, the disappointment was curbed quickly, as
We were set to check out a set from Eddy Grant, who neither of us knew or had heard before. I knew only that he was a reggae artist, but some research after the fact makes me wish he had been there. Grant’s a pretty prolific figure, and did “
This set was eagerly anticipated by BTA writer mca. He has macked hard on Seeing Sounds this summer, and was anxious to hear the new shit live. However, BTA's shortest contributor was disappointed with set that Pharrell Williams and friends shared. The band started 20 minutes late (a festival faux-pas), the set was marred by pour sound production and a desperation to force the crowd's energy level higher. "Anti-Matter" and "Spaz" came off weak and empty. After a decent rendition of "Rock Star", the BTA team left N.E.R.D's set early to be wowed by
Plant & Animals Grade: B-
Playing the remote and rearmost Meg Stage, hometown natives and Polaris nominees Plants & Animals played the majority of their stellar album
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
After eating some soul food provided by Osheaga's popular poutine shack, we were anxious to check out the festival's Queen of Soul, Ms. Sharon Jones and her Dap Kings. The set began with the Dap Kings getting the crowd going, building anticipation for the entrance of the little soul diva. The beautiful, soulful, and very audible Sharon Jones dominated the stage for the entire performance. As she strutted from stage left to stage right in her Tina Turner dress (and high heeled shoes she would later remove), Sharon Jones showed the Osheaga faithful what Motown/soul should look and sound like. Passionate, natural, fun. Definitely a favourite of the day. And it's soul music! soul.
Devotchka -Grade: A
Little did we know, but this would be the last time Iggy and the boys played their instruments (those specific instruments, to make it clearer, their truck got stolen Monday morning). Iggy made it quite clear during the high-energy set that he didn’t give a shit what anybody thought, which is what we all wanted to see. “Be Your Dog,” “No Fun,” and “Real Cool Time” from their eponymous debut sounded spastic and on the brink of collapse. At the point Iggy invited all his fellow freaks up on stage and kids were pouring over the barrier and up the stage wall, with the only thing coming between them and their idol was his purple-shirted bodyguard who boxed them out like Charles Barkley in his prime. A sight to see. Less of a sight to see was Iggy losing his belt and having his jeans ready to fall at any second, but they remained, keeping Iggy on the edge of the law for long enough to play “Search and Destroy” and some other gems. At 61 it’s not easy to explain how he keeps going, but the leatherbacked wonder keeps entertaining the punks and punks at heart as best he can.
Osheaga met its euro dance party quotient with this German twosome. Armed with a digital drum kit, headset microphones and an odd projection set up, Booka Shade provided a decently-sized audience with an enjoyable and sexually ambiguous 45 minute set. The tracks were solid, but nothing to write home about (sorry mom, one less telegram this week).
Sebastien Tellier Grade: C+
Monsieur Tellier brought his chain-smoking, hobo-haired self and portions of his brilliant Sexuality to Osheaga to close the night as an alternative to those plugs in The Killers. What could have been a very promising, groovy set, especially given the darkness of the Meg Stage and the potential for a dance party dynamic, Tellier and crew played only “Divine” and “Kilometer” to get people moving, disregarding other cuts like “Sexual Sportswear” that would’ve done well with the crowd. One too many slow-burning piano numbers killed the momentum, and solace could only be taken at these moments by observing how incredibly awesome this Parisian is at smoking cigarettes. Like I don’t smoke or anything, but if anybody would get me started into deep, committed chain smoking, this would be the guy to idolize.At the end of Day 1, we were excited for the talent-filled Day 2, and the prospect that our hostel beds weren't already filled by some gruff, oversized Peruvians.
- mca and BA