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Osheaga 2012 Review/Recap: Florence, Of Monsters and Men, Dum Dum Girls, M83, Austra

Posted on by lauren in Concerts | Leave a comment

Photo By: Jordan DiCecca

Osheaga has easily become the largest music festival in Canada. This year’s fest on Parc Jean-Drapeau in belle Montreal, hosted a three day music festival to over 120,000 people. That’s a huge jump from the 80,000 of 2011. It’s a festival  I have frequented for the past 4 years, and I prefer to the hot and dry backdrop of say, Bonnaroo or Coachella.

So what were the highlights and lowlights of this year’s Osheaga? Well, I’ll begin by saying, I missed Justice and it’s now on a list of small regrets I plan to rectify in the near future.

FRIDAY

Photo By: Jordan DiCecca

Highlights

Of Monsters and Men: Straight out of Iceland, these guys warmed our hearts with their melodic folk-rock. They were the first band we managed to catch of the day in the delicious blistering heat, and it was definitely a great start.

Dum Dum Girls: These girls are fantastic live, all dressed like a sexy Lydia from Beetlejuice. I officially have a girl crush on every single one of them. Even though they suffered through technical problems and their set was cut short, it was still worth every second of that surf punk.

Florence and the Machine: Every time I see Florence Welch make a television appearance, I’m left breathless by the power of her vocals, and the ethereal witch-like presence she evokes, however I have never seen her really do much on stage other than wave her arms around in a flowing gown. This performance was manic, she was all over the place, in the crowd, jumping, yelling, twirling, you name it. She played mostly her new album and a few well known hits from Lungs, and she didn’t miss a beat.

SATURDAY

Photo By: Jordan DiCecca

Highlights

SBTRKT: These guys brought a serious fucking dance party on Saturday afternoon in that almost unbearable heat. Highlights included people climbing the tree to get a better look at the stage, security having to climb said tree to get them down. Sadly Little Dragon, whose set was after SBTRKT didn’t join for Wildfire, but their live rendition of it blew the pants off of the very little amount of people wearing pants.

Yeasayer: Caught half of their set, but they were the highlight of Saturday. Playing old hits and new songs from the upcoming Fragrant World, Saturday was a day of drinking, dancing, and being merry. If you haven’t seen Yeasayer, add them to your list.

SUNDAY

Highlights

Austra: Classically trained Canadian musician Katie Stelmanis has had a myriad of musical projects on the go, but latest band Austra, formerly known as Private Life, until discovering another band under that name, they changed their name to Austra – Katie Stelmanis’ middle name. It was brutally hot after the rain that early afternoon and she brought a pretty big dance party to the table.

Buraka Som Sistema: These guys are out of Portugal but generally create a variation of African beats called “Kuduru”, the final product is a percussion heavy non stop EDM project that you can’t stand still to.

Bloc Party: It was raining heavy during their set, but that didn’t stop the massive crowd from going absolutely nuts. Bloc Party has finally reunited after a long hiatus, and we couldn’t be more excited. They put on a hell of a show despite the shitty weather, and I have never seen that many people crowd surf in the middle of the day since my Warped Tour Highschool days.

M83: THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEKEND. I said earlier in the Osheaga 2012 Preview, that come hell or high water, I would not miss these guys and I sacrificed seeing the Black Angels to squish my way up front, waiting 45 minutes for M83 to begin. The unbelievable light show, coupled with the EPIC performance made them the last set I saw that night, because… nothing could top it.  Just, speechless.

Low-lights of the weekend: 

Missing Justice: My own fault. Forever a regret.

The set up: in 2011 there was 80,000 attendants over the three day fest, this year it jumped up to 120,000 people. This required larger capacity areas for the stages, which is understandable. However, they set up sketchy ass staircases that you had to use to get from stage to stage. Besides the fact that they wobbled when you used them, it bottlenecked the crowd and made travel time between stages twice as long as normal. I managed to only see a quarter of the bands on the schedule because of this, and would have to leave 3 songs into a bands set to make the next band.

The crowd during M83: If anyone was near the front and can attest to this, please do. Seriously, what the fuck was that. I have never seen people my age (26) behave so moronically. There was a group of about eight people that were so high and drunk out of their minds that they decided a mosh pit and crowd surfing were great ideas, however they were so fucked up they couldn’t support anyone surfing over them, or stand their ground so they caused a lot of injury. Also, a guy ended up collapsing unable to stand up and his girlfriend kept jumping on his head behind us…

Security: To continue with the rant above, security was pretty awesome aside from this set. A dude collapsed, couldn’t get up, and about ten people in the crowd tried to get security in to pull the guy out and they wouldn’t do it. He was literally getting trampled on by his own girlfriend.

Lessons learned: If M83 plays next year I will lay on the grass from afar, enjoy the light show and enjoy my beer.

 

Osheaga 2012 Preview! Part 3 What to see on Sunday!

Posted on by lauren in Concerts | Leave a comment

So Sunday, the last and most exciting day of the festival is also calling for thunderstorms and 20mm of rain. When have mudfights and soggy clothing ever slowed concert goers down before?

Here’s who I will be checking out Sunday, as they are far more important to name than others.

1) Doe Paoro – Playing the earliest slot, this girl’s talent promises that she will be a headliner in no time.

2) Zola Jesus – Not much needs to be said about her, gothy, ethereal, beautiful voice.

3) Aloe Blacc – Rocketed to popularity when his song was used as the title sequence for the now defunct How To Make It In America (RIP)

4) The Airborne Toxic Event- Heard them on a show that will remain nameless (guilty pleasure), interested to see what their live show holds.

5) Tame Impala – I describe them as genre and decade bending psychedelic 60s indie… How could you miss that.

6) Austra – While I despised Katie Stelmanis as an outfit, Austra is smooth danceable electronic, Paper Bag Records newest success.

7) Santigold – Not much needs to be said about her. Always brings it, great stage presence and her song featuring Karen O is one of the best on the new album.

8) The Shins – Stoked to cross these guys off the bucketlist. Mercer’s voice sounds impeccably clear on all live videos I’ve watched.

9) Buraka Som Sistema – My go to exercise album at the gym. African based EDM trumps dubstep any day.

10) Bloc Party – Kele! Yes! Excited to see these guys back together. Sunday promises to be a day of dancing.

11) The Black Angels – Listening to these guys is like traveling back to the 70’s. It’s grungy, dirty psychedelic. I also heard they killed it at Lee’s Palace their last tour.

12) M83 – In torrential downpour, lightning and whatever else that day will throw at us, I will fight tooth and nail to get to the front at their set. M83 created one of the best albums of the year and the best way to describe their sound is “cinematic”, and “epic”.

Notables: Zeus, Common, Black Keys, Dan Mangan, Metric.

Song of the Day: Trust / TRST / TR_ST / ? – Bulbform

Posted on by Ricky in Song of the Day | Leave a comment

Trust is Toronto based duo Robert Alfons and Maya Posteps, who judging by their press photos, are also daytime Urban Outfitter models. I have a hard time deciphering what their actual name is but I think they should make it more distinct since there is also a French and Belgium band with the same name.

Either way, the duo was signed to Arts and Craft last year and will release their debut record at some point this year. In preparation for this luminous event, the band will be playing a host of shows in early spring, including a March 3rd date at the Wrongbar, which is actually the most perfect venue you can pick for their type of music.

I’m not sure how to exactly frame Trust’s type of music, I think I would like to call it midnight electro or something. I think songs like Bulbform are best played really late in the night at a dark club. It has that type of atmosphere to it and contains (but effective) arrangements alongside cold, distant lyrics, which is all backed by a pulsating beat. Probably in the same realm of Austra’s Beat and the Pulse in terms of atmosphere. It’s pretty good, check it out.

Nostalgia 2012: Concert Photos of 2011 Explained

Posted on by Ricky in Rickys Random Articles | 1 Comment

Can’t believe 2011 was 4 days ago. Missing it already.

In 2011, Winters were warm. In 2012, winters are cold. That’s enough for me to want to go back.

I fancy myself to be a concert photographer. More specifically, I fancy myself to be an Iphone concert photographer. It’s a rare breed. Sure, a lot of people take snapshots of concerts with their phones during a show, but how many of them use them for their music blog? Not many. Those other people just look through their albums one day, wonder ‘what is this?’ and then delete the picture. I however, put it on this site for the world/12 people who visit this blog to see.

Here are some of my favorite iphone concert photos from last year, in the interest of nostalgia. As an artist, I have given each picture an appropriate title.

“What Did You Expect From My Iphone?”
It’s a play on the title of the debut Vaccines album. I had carefully framed this picture to only expose half of lead singer Justin Young’s body, because it represented the half-hearted effort they put in their debut. They would later redeem themselves at SXSW and prove to be one of my favorite new acts of the year.

“Dye It Small”
I intentionally went thirty feet back from the front of the stage at this Smith Western gig to carefully frame this shot. The smallness of the band within the picture represented my tiny expectations of this Chicago trio upon entering the Horseshoe Tavern. I only went to this show because my friend Josh was going by himself and I didn’t want the rock and rock hipsters to eat him up. The band did exceed my low expectations with a solid set of guitar riffs lifted from various 70s rock bands.

“Singularity”
Foals is a band that, underneath their massively kick ass tunes, are quite nerdy. They sing about singularity, for god’s sake. Given their penchant for writing about singularity, I tried to capture lead singer Yannis Philippakis descending onto the darkness. In this shot, half of him is human, and the other half – darkness. This image is a reflection on our increasing dependence on technology and how we are becoming less human because of it.

“Keep Shining”
The bright light featured in this picture (taken at a Shad concert) represents a rising sun. For a long time, the Canadian hip hop scene has been in the dark, but now, thanks to the popularity of artists such as Shad, Drake, The Weeknd and K’naan, Canadian Hip Hop has never been hotter. This picture shows the light/sun penetrating the darkness, much like how this hip hop scene has penetrated our world.

“The Beat but no Pulse”
It looks like I am really far away from the stage at this Austra show but really, it’s just a solid depiction of how far away I felt emotionally from the show. Despite really liking their debut record, I felt strangely disconnected from the band at their recent homecoming at the Phoenix. I needed to take this picture to convey my feelings.

There you have it, some secrets of the trade. Look for more deep Iphone concert photos this year.