This review was first published on Aug. 7, 2012
I am a concert junkie, so naturally summer music festivals make me crazy. After going to Bonnaroo music festival last summer in Tennessee, I made a promise to myself that I would go to a new music festival every summer.
This year took me to Montreal last weekend. I discovered Osheaga the moment my favorite band, psychedelic rock geniuses MGMT, announced their spot in the lineup. I remember I jokingly mentioned it to my parents, never believing we'd actually make it. But strangely enough we ended up going. It didn't really hit me until we were driving into the park with the music pulsating through the heavy foliage.
The Friday festivities began and I was trying to soak in every moment. Like any first day of a multiple day music festival, the air and people were clean. The festival fashion was at its height, girls sporting flowery headpieces and long flowing skirts. The band Fun. led off our long day in Parc Jean Drapeau with their high energy anthems. After a pizza cone (use your imagination) we trekked over to the stage where MGMT would later play. As we sucked the cheese out of our pizza cones we passed by an eclectic band called Atlas Sound, made up of one guy who began the set by thanking Delta for losing all their equipment and pulling a guy from the crowd to be the drummer.
The sun began to ease out of sight and the masses of people began to march in. MGMT began their set, and a few minutes later the sun was gone. Every head in the field was nodding to beat of the chill waves of synths and guitars. Neon versions of the band were projected against a backdrop of throbbing technicolor matching the flow of the music.
As the hoards rushed in, I began to lose my view of the stage. Right as frustration was setting in, Siberian Breaks began and Fourth-of-July worthy fireworks exploded at almost the exact moment the band sang "Being here's always changing tunes." The experience was surreal; purple and gold weeping willow fireworks twinkling down above my favorite band during my favorite song. Even with the rushing masses, I realized it couldn't get much better than this.
After recovering all day Saturday, it was back to the festival. On Sunday, Montreal was about to get hit with the same storm front that shut down Lollapalooza the day before. But the rain didn't stop us, or Osheaga. Watching Passion Pit in the pouring rain was almost a religious experience as the storm washed all the mud and dust from our bodies. The band sounded better than ever after having to cancel several shows in July because of health reasons. The songs from the new album were catchy and surprisingly sophisticated.
After watching a little bit of Common's set, we jammed to Tame Impala, a trippy Australian rock band. Their set really was the calm before the storm. As they played their last chords, menacing clouds rolled toward the festival again. We decided we had had enough of the mud and rain. Lightning flashed all around us as we made our way to the car, The Shins providing background music.
Covered in mud and completely content, we sacrificed the Black Keys' set for dry clothes and nice dinner in the city. Montreal served up a great weekend of music and food (if you don't count the pizza cone).
Now I guess I have to pick next summer's adventure. Or should I shoot for spring at Coachella? Groupie girl probs.
HANNAH ELLIOTT, Robinson High