As the laundry machines spin and spin and the house is slowly getting cleaned up after a weekend of nearly nonstop partying, we reflect on the third and final day of Osheaga.

Sunday did not start well for us. The battery meter on my camera flat-out lied to me and told me that I was going into the day with around 66% power. Somehow on the trip to the festival site it died completely. Stupid lying camera. That meant that all of today’s photos had to be shot on my phone. Fortunately my phone’s camera is pretty sweet. Secondly, the lineup to get into the site was disastrous. Sarah had to wait for over 45 minutes just to get in.

The good news is that it was all up hill from there.

With Sarah still stuck in the never ending line I took the opportunity to bounce around to catch a couple of songs of performers woefully booked at the same time. I managed to catch the tail end of Bishop Briggs set and then head over to the Island Stage to watch some of Weval‘s set as well. The crowds for both acts were a good indication that the Osheaga festival goers had kept something left in the tank for an epic finale to their weekend.

I caught just one song from Phantogram’s set while I got my first beer of the day and honestly, I am glad to report that they’ve upped their energy level from the last time I had seen them play (Osheaga 2014 if my memory serves). Phantogram has always been a band that I have enjoyed in the studio but never really clicked with me live. Either way, it seems like 3 extra years of touring has helped them knock the kinks out of their live performance.20170806_154102

I also managed to catch a couple of songs from Whitney‘s set, where Julien Ehrlich complained about the heat and pulled swigs from a bottle of wine. The crowd chanted (rightly) that maybe he should just take his flannel off. But that was probably “off brand”. Whitney had been one of my bands to watch and they delivered exactly what I was hoping for: psychedelic indie pop with a laid back sense of charm and enthusiasm. The band really comes off as just some chill kids making chill music. So, mission accomplished.

Sarah finally made her way onto the site and we reunited at the River Stage for Local Natives. The band seems to have ditched their Hawaiian shirts and jeans for a more “urban Californian farmer” look, but let’s be real, that’s not really a surprise. I’ve seen the band perform a number of time and like almost every other band this year they seemed to have found another gear in their live performance. When Taylor Rice took down his man-bun for their finale “Sun Hands” there was a collective squee from the audience that transformed into a roar as he leapt in to the crowd while belting out the last chorus. Can’t ask for more than that at 5:00 pm on a Sunday.

I was hesitant to head too far away from the main stage since I really did not want to miss Run the Jewels so we recharged our beverages and emptied our bladders and caught bits and pieces of Tegan and Sara’s set. Sarah seemed to think that they complained too much. The wished they lived here, they wished the sound was better, they wished they were younger. Honestly it seems like they captured the feelings of the audience pretty accurately.20170806_174229

On the subject of bad sound I nearly lost my mind when for the entire opening song of Run the Jewels’  set the sound was tinny and filled with a high-pitched pinging noise. A few thousand people chanting “fix the sound” over and over seemed to do the trick though (even if the vocals could have been louder in the mix). RTJ have been on my list of acts to see live for a while now and circumstances prevented me from making it to their Metropolis show back in February. Now, I admittedly don’t review a whole lot of music so I’m not sure if I’m using this term correctly or not but, RTJ delivered hot fire. Did I use that right? Hot. Fire. Despite only having the stage for under an hour, Killer Mike and El-P made the most of it. Thumping beats that ripped through the crowd and had everyone bouncing and back and forth raps so tight you couldn’t close the zipper. They made a solid play at being the highlight of the whole of Osheaga in my opinion.

We watched a little bit of Foster the People and then made our way back over to the floating dance floor to check in on Daniel Avery’s set. I had a hard time figuring out how to describe Avery’s music (as is so often the case in electronic music) and found a writeup at Pitchfork that said:

Daniel Avery eschews the hyper-rhythmic minimalism and throwback New Jersey garage sound that currently power UK club music in favor of soupy, riff-driven compositions that borrow from UK fetishes past: burbling acid house, elegant Detroit techno, big beat.

So I’m going with that. It was loud, hard and was great to dance to. How about that?

The end of Day 3 had all sorts of bands with overlapping set times that there were bound to be some casualties. Sadly Vance Joy, Foxygen and Alabama Shakes all ended up the cutting room floor for our Osheaga timeline. Until I have the ability to be in multiple places at once it’s just always going to be the case with a festival this size.20170806_200846

We stuck around at the Island Stage to check out Crystal Castles. It would be my first time seeing them with new vocalist Edith Frances, who replaced Alice Glass back in 2015. While not quite the style-icon that Alice Glass was I really loved how much energy Frances’ brought to the stage. She had some big shoes to fill as so much of Crystal Castles’ live performances hinged on Alice’s manic performances. Somehow, Ethan Kath managed to find someone who could straddle the perfect balance between “not giving a fuck” and “going all out”. Edith maintained that balance throughout what was about as intense of a set as you could want from Crystal Castles.

How intense? Well, I’ve spoken a lot about the floating floor that made up most of the dance floor at the Island Stage. Made up of interlocking heavy-duty plastic panels that float out on the water it’s supposed to be designed to assist with bridge construction. Well, during Crystal Castles’ performance the crowd was so raucous that water began to shoot up from the cracks in the floor. Maybe we were all moments away from being washed away in the water. We’ll never know.

Anyways, here’s Die Antwoord.

Die Antwoord brought by far the biggest technical setup to grace the “smaller” Valley Stage. Multiple levels of giant LED screens that YoLandi and Ninja bounced around on like the cranked up high-octane caricatures that they are. They drew a crowd that easily could have been on one of the main stages and delivered so much intensity that even all the way at the back people were dancing and fist pumping like madmen.20170806_212455

We headed towards the Green Stage to get good spots for Death From Above 1979 and joined bassist Jesse Keeler to watch the end of Die Antwoord’s set. Keeler took to the stage and gestured that everyone should turn around and watch the madness unfolding across the way at the Valley Stage as the principles of Zef were flashed around the stage at a fever pitch. Pretty cool show of respect from one band to the other.

As the final notes of “Butterfly” echoed across the crowd, Sebastien Granger joined Keeler on stage and it was time for our last performance of Osheaga. Death From Above 1979. The duo of Granger and Keeler ripped through a relatively “low tech” DFA set (only the bare minimum of synths and samples) which heavily emphasized their rock and roll/punk rock roots. They trotted out a few new tracks and Granger kept the audience engaged with his offbeat version of “audience interaction” that included jokes about anal bleaching. Because DFA1979. One highlight was when Granger left his drum kit for a scorching alternative take on the vocals of “Romantic Rights” that ended with him throwing the mic at the ground in a true moment of punk rock gusto.

Perfect way to cap off the final day of Osheaga.

We took advantage of the first night of no rain to grab BIXIs and bike across the bridge home. We were rewarded by seeing a man basically naked (bare ass out) rollerblading along the bike path. I took a look at his wrist and was not surprised in the least to see an Osheaga wristband.

See you next year.

Happy Osheaga! Check out the rest of our Day 3 Osheaga photos on our Facebook page (click the FB logo in the top right):


Keith does all sorts of things here on 9to5.cc, he works with the other founders on 9to5 (illustrated), co-hosts our two podcasts: The 9to5 Entertainment System and Go Plug Yourself and blogs here as The Perspicacious Geek.

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