The 15 top moments at Osheaga 2013

Cult MTL‘s Music Team was all over Osheaga, covering all the angles. Here’s a collection of our top moments — good and bad.

Rainbow over Osheaga

And so another edition of Montreal’s mega summer music festival has come and gone, and our Music Team was there to cover all the angles, from the stages to the VIP, the food trucks to the Port-A-Pottys, the afterparties to the online gossip. We drank, we ate, we danced, we documented, we people-watched and we celebrity-spotted. You can check out our photo galleries here: bands, street style. And here are our top Osheaga moments — good and bad:


Okay, K-os: just because you have “os” in your name doesn’t mean you need to overstay your welcome at Osheaga. Gracelessly abandoning his 1:35 p.m. performance Friday less than five minutes in (blaming the albeit shitty sound and citing “the love of music” as his moral guide), the TO rapper/singer was subsequently bequeathed a 6 p.m. Saturday slot which got juggled from Ocean to Miguel and finally, to K-os. Due to strength of his band and stage accomplices, he ultimately killed it, but it was too little, too late. And then back to the fest again Sunday for a little more adulation at the bar, K-os? I’m surprised he didn’t try to snatch up that vacant Death Grips slot. I expect that next year he’ll be slotted to busk at Berri metro. (Darcy MacDonald)

Untimely dump

Unassuming 24-year-old U.K. singer-songwriter Liane La Havas took soulful folk and stomping R&B to another zone on Friday afternoon with a show-stopper of a performance, which was unfortunately vastly under-attended. Osheaga organizers might note that dump trucks backing in, alarms blaring, and dropping load after load of filthy sod in the middle of a church-worthy set (much less anything else) is a fucking terrible look. Could that not have waited another 15 minutes? (DM)

Good things in threes

Watching Beach House perform “Walk in the Park” to the soft setting sun while eating cheesy tater tots and a grilled cheese sandwich from the nearby food truck Le Cheese. Triad love connection. (Christina Stimpson)

Robert Smith spotted uptown

Hearing the rumour that Robert Smith from the Cure had a drink at Sparrow post-Osheaga and wondering how his entrance logistically translated into hipster kingdom. (CS)

Old-school earnesty

It was great to see Frank Turner at his absolute best of the Tree Stage with a full-engaged crowd singing “There is no God/ We’re all in this together” in perfect unison. Let’s make it perfectly clear that the brand of music  Frank Turner plays may not be of the so called “cutting-edge” variety but he won me over on Saturday with a sincere display of  “guitar, drums and desperate poetry.” (Shant Aghazarian)

Comfort on wheels

The cauliflower-based mac n cheese by Le Cheese truck was among my food highlights of the festival. I first discovered in on Saturday afternoon and it made the rest of the evening that much better. There’s a pretty good reason why it’s called comfort food, and why I returned to wait in line for 20 minutes on my sullen Sunday afternoon. (SA)

Ace of Spades

This was far from a highlight, but it bears mentioning that Tricky and the rawk band and “back-up” singers that accompanied him played a Motörhead cover for, like, 20 minutes, and brought a stage-full of costumed goofeballs up to rock out to it. By the time he started playing some of his classic material, I had to motor to Azari & III. And when fellow ’90s alt icons the Breeders played the same stage about an hour later, bassist Josephine Wiggs called bullshit on Tricky’s epic metal filler. (Lorraine Carpenter)

Jaws of life

DL Jones

Receiving a giant blow up shark to the face three times while watching Azari & III then waiting 30 minutes with DL Jones for the phantom afterparty shuttle that never came. (CS)

New York x 2

U.S. rapper Angel Haze closed the festival’s second night with an intense set at the intimate Trees stage, packed with fans and curious onlookers who were quickly charmed and cranked by her rapid-fire delivery and no-bullshit demeanour. The way she dealt with a technical clax-up was the total opposite of the K-os debacle — for a 22-year-old industry newb with a rough history that would justify an excess of attitude, it was nice to see such professionalism. My favourite moments were when some chica beside me repeatedly yelled out “FUCK AZEALIA!” and when Haze decided to play her big track “New York” a second time, right after the song ended. (LC)

Pride & Price

If standing for another few hours sounded appealing to you, then the myriad Osheaga afterparties were a godsend. I took in one: Jacques Lu Cont at New City Gas. After spending a solid 20 minutes drenched in my own sweat in a packed room full of shirtless dudes, I realized I had stumbled upon a Divers/Cité-related event and retreated to the main lobby. There, Lu Cont (aka Stuart Price) was remixing Radiohead and playing other tracks too good for the corner of the room. (Erik Leijon)

Lizard King crowd-fuck

Father John Misty was in full force on Sunday afternoon. A set which started off as a pleasant Sunday serenade under the Parc Drapeau sun evolved into a Lizard King-esque crowd fuck finale and public berating of the beef jerky sponsors. (SA)

Mutual appreciation

Compton boy Kendrick Lamar looked fondly on Montreal and his tens of thousands of enchanted fans at his local debut with a set balancing material from 2012’s best record, Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City with cuts from his wildly popular street tapes. Rap fans can be a fickle bunch when it comes to appreciating a live show, but Kendrick received a king’s welcome and delivered in kind, looking enthusiastically sincere when making his pre-requisite promise to return. We only get one Kendrick per generation, and we’ve chosen wisely. (DM)

A taste of Hacienda

No E necessary as New Order turned the main stage into a dancefloor that stretched from the front to well behind the sound tent. I was walking down the hill when the first strains of “586” rang out, and even at that distance, the crowd got giddy — one guy appeared to be jumping for joy while another exclaimed to his friend, “What? THIS?!” Soon enough, “Blue Monday,” “The Perfect Kiss” and “Temptation” were upon us, and the accompanying rave-tastic light show made us forget that most of the band members are a million years old, one of the ex-members is dead* and another one is a total dick. (LC)

21st century rave

Hotly-tipped brother duo Disclosure are a work-in-progress on stage — the Jessie Ware cameo drove home how necessary live vocals are — but being in the middle of the pit during that set was an eye opener. The Piknic stage was its own universe with its own cast of misfit toys revelling in youthful excess and aerated cans: there was puke, pills, inflatable orcas and numerous individuals calling out specifically for Coors Light. (EL)

Umpteenth wind

Hot Chip was the final act I caught on Sunday, and although I didn’t think my aching bones could handle any more busting of moves, there I was, inundated with glow sticks and Subway gift cards, oafishly shimmying while the scientists of pop jubilantly preached to me that there is indeed such thing as a “one life stand.” (EL) ■

Check out our photo gallery of Osheaga 2013 bands here, and our Osheaga 2013 style gallery here.

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