Saturday’s helping of music was much more engaging that Friday’s lineup. Including standout performances from Coeur de Pirate and Lana de Rey, the ladies ruled the night.
We started the second day of Osheaga with Bastille. The British rockers have been around the festival block a few times now and they are old pros at getting the crowd going. Throngs of people gathered near the stage while others held back on the grass and they blazed through Bad Blood and a slew of other songs, some old and some we will be hearing soon when their new album, Wild World is released. Bastille (named for the French holiday that falls on Dan Smith, the band leader’s birthday) is the type of band that Osheaga is made for.
We left before the end of Bastille so we could catch as much of Coeur de Pirate as possible. Beatrice Martin (aka Coeur de Pirate) has come along way since launching her career in 2007. Her presence on stage has become more magnetic, engaging and carefree. She floats across the stage like Stevie Nicks and rocks out like Debbie Harry but above all else she seems to be finding herself and being more comfortable with herself as each year passes. Her music in both French and English is engaging and at time electric while she seems retain a little of the softness she has been known for. Her show was one of the wildest highlights of Osheaga for me. My expectations were blown out of the water by the music, the lights and the energy of the crowd. I can’t wait to see more from our hometown girl.
Returning to larger stages we stumbled in during Haim’s set. Haim’s The Wire won me over back in 2013 and I bought the rest of the album right away. Needless to say, the rest of the album was one of the biggest musical disappointments of my music buying life. The Wire’s fun, zippy appeal, smart lyrics and rocker-chick badass appeal was the only gem on the wet soda cracker of album, Days Are Gone. The crowd seemed a little more sparse during their set as well. Their performance was good enough but it didn’t change my mind on the Angelenos.
Sticking around the main stages, we headed back into the VIP area and upstairs to try and get a good spot to see the remaining bands of the evening. Death Cab For Cutie was up next on the de la Montagne stage and they rocked through their set while almost not breaking a sweat. DCFC has been around a long time (since 1997) but they’ve remained modern in their musical style. They’ve coasted through the weepy aughts and held their place as the alt rock American princes of their time. Their show didn’t set off any sparks and it didn’t offer anything new or surprising but they held their own and stayed true to form.
Lana de Rey was the main draw for me at Osheaga this year. I’ve been a fan of hers for years and I was as excited to see her as I was worried. Land de Rey is as much an enigmatic character as she is a talented performer. She is a character created by Elizabeth Grant that conveys the pain of love and the importance of glamour of a time gone by. Through her videos and music she has crafted an image that I was scared would be ruined by seeing her live for the first time. I can tell you now it wasn’t. Lana del Rey entered the stage with a roar of applause from the crowd. She kicked things off with Cruel World and continued to sail though wonderful songs like Pepsi Cola and Blue Jeans. The latter was complimented by the last showing of the fireworks festival that added an element of Americana to the woman who has used so much of its iconography in her work. She also performed High By The Beach, Video Games and more. She spoke in brief snippets to the audience and seemed to be as happy to be in Montreal as possible. Her voice was confident but she still plays the shy ingenue who was forced onstage by the bad man in the back. At 31 years old she seems to be waiting to play the forgotten ingenue and I can’t wait to take that ride and see what happens along the way. I left her show feeling elated and happy to still have my illusion of Lana de Ray alive and well.
Image credits: Tim Snow, Pat Beaudry and Pierre Bourgault
Thanks to Osheaga for the imagery.