Osheaga 2019 Day Three

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Osheaga 2019 Day Three

Woke up pretty sore.

True story, I had a blood test on Monday morning and they called in the afternoon asking if I’ve been doing any extreme physical activity lately. Yeah…I covered 3 days at Osheaga and did close to 40 KM of walking over 3 days.

Was it worth it? A resounding YES. Like I mentioned previously, this year, for me, was all about the small font bands. Today would be even more so!

It’s 12h45 and I’m about to Interview Sam Fender. If you haven’t heard of him yet, you will. He’s blowing up in the U.K., which Evenko has this superpower to find these bands that are on the cusp of greatness, and bring them to Canada before anyone else.

We spoke about his upbringing, how he felt walking from the green room to the stage for Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show and the heroes he has yet to meet. Interview coming soon.

Bad Child

Bad Child

After the interview, I caught the end of Bad Child.

Bad Child lost his mother at a young age and had to survive heartbreak. The result is bottled into his first song “Bad Child” at the tipping point between 17 and 18 of age.

The result is a mixture of the Indie sound with some Hip-Hop which just works.

Fontaines D.C.

Fontaines D.C.

The Fontaines D.C. are blowing up in the U.K. Thanks to the tip from our editor Steve, I made sure to catch this band that is selling out shows across Europe.

The show started with the recital over the P.A. of a poem written by Luke Kelly to express his displeasure as to what the Irish nation had become by 1980.

“Too Real” is a great introduction to the band, yet their live show turns it up to 12…two louder in terms of energy.

Grian Chatten is bursting with restless energy. He walks around the stage between songs like there is a small explosion within him for the next song and he’s just giving us a moment to catch our breaths.

Obviously, the ones in the front around me are singing the songs, which means I’m a step behind. Regardless, I feel that I’ve just caught Joy Division playing in a pub and one day, I will remember this day as: Remember when we saw Fontaines D.C. play early on the Green Stage of Osheaga?

When I bumped into Grian in the queue for the loo, he told me they are returning for a date in Toronto on Friday September 13th, 2019 at the Phoenix Theatre then Sept 20th in Vancouver for their only two Canadian dates on their tour.

Anybody up for a road trip?

The Franklin Electric

The Franklin Electric

The Franklin Electric brought their own brand of energy to the main stage.

These Montreal boys keep getting bigger stages, and for good reason. They deliver on performance and received a Juno Award nomination for Breakthrough Group of the Year (2018).

Jon Matte was recently at the secret Laval show for Half Moon Run and I find they are kindred spirits. If you love one, you will love the other.

That’s the thing about Montreal bands…they support each other and it’s nice to see them represent Montreal on the big stage.

Sam Fender

Sam Fender

Although he shares a name with guitars he plays, I don’t think there is any relation. But with a name like that, how could you not be in a band?

It turns out, it was a matter of financial survival, he told me during his interview. When he sang at the Low Light Tavern, where he worked at in his home town (which he refers to a drinking town with a fishing problem), Ben Howard’s manager heard him and signed him. The rest is history in the making.

Sam went from 0 to 60 in terms of attention like a supercar. He stays grounded by being connected to his friends and family in his home town of North Shields U.K. He thought me some Geordie sayings during our interview, which is a language all in its own.

Some fans behind me came from Scotland and had the chance to see Sam on the Honda Valley Stage, rather than the sold-out shows back home.

Sam explained before singing his hit “Hypersonic Missiles” that they couldn’t afford to bring their saxophone player on tour, so his bit was programmed into the keyboard and we should just pretend he was there.

The girl in front of me was telling her friends: “I swear he keeps giving me eye contact!” Yes…he’s got that swagger and the girls are all swooning over him.

Despite the rugged good looks, it’s the raw talent that is unfolding before our eyes that gets me. There is a mini Bruce Springsteen inside of him that can command a stage. There is a charm that is undeniable and of course, the catchy songs that go along with it simply makes this a performance well worth attending.

Yet again, Evenko picked a winner.

Mac DeMarco

I honestly didn’t know what to make of Mac DeMarco. I know he’s Canadian…and that is about it.

So I’m looking at this dude on stage wondering…what the heck?

He’s part clown, part musician in this weird symbiosis.

Towards the end, he takes off his t-shirt and with his shorts riding just below his belly button, he proceeds to goof off on stage, bumming cigarettes off the crowd like a homeless person.

It was during his rendition of “Enter Sandman” from Metallica that I got it. Here is a guy that’s like you and I. Well…like you and I at a campground, after a few beers. Did he burp on stage at Osheaga? Possibly.

What made him stand out like a sore thumb also made him endearing in a way. Gone is the pretentious attitude that many bands bring to the table. That “we are better than you” attitude that we put up with if the music is good.

No…this is a talented singer who is who he is. A regular Joe. Therein lies his appeal.

By the end of his set, he had won me over. I could appreciate the talent, and if I’m being honest…he has a better body than I do…which is scary!

Metric

I’ve seen Metric a few times. This is a Canadian National Treasure as they keep getting better and better. Metric just played MTelus not too long ago, yet, we can’t get enough.

As tight as ever, they show us what a performance is all about. It’s about energy, musicianship and charm. Emilie has a way of converting just about anyone, even die-hard Imperial fans to the Metric side.

Songs from “Art of Doubt” are starting to gain traction and becoming just as catchy as the favourites such as “Breathing Underwater” and “Help I’m Alive.”

Yet another highlight to the 3-day festival.

Kaytranada

The Green stage has a party all its own with Kaytranada. Yet another hometown hero doing his thing to a receiving crowd.

Tame Impala

Tame Impala

Psychedelic dance music featuring laser beams and confetti is what you get with Tame Impala.

I find it impressive that he creates this all on his own, being a multi-instrumentalist, and has a touring band.

The dark Montreal sky was lit up by the awesome light show presented.

He started with the classic “Let It Happen” and ended with the last track of the same album “New Person, Same Old Mistakes.”

He also played some tracks from his older “Lonerism” album.

The result was a full Osheaga dance party.

Childish Gambino

The big draw this year seemed to be Childish Gambino, as he returned to Osheaga, having performed in the 2014 edition of the event.

Somewhere between the stage and the sound tent, a lighted platform rose from the ground, shrouded in smoke. Perched atop the platform was Childish Gambino, like a Roman statue, soaking in the applause. “Atavista” & “Algorythm” started us off and Childish Gambino came to life.

Childish Gambino

The show was a mixture of choreographed moves, which shows his ability to deliver a world-class performance.

It was also somewhat improvisational, like when he took two big tokes from a fan’s joint…to using the corridors to get up and close with his fans.

Childish had two rules for us: Have a good time and put your phones away.

He broke his own rule when he took a few cell phones and posed for selfies with the fans during his set. He even corrected one fan by turning his phone horizontal, instead of vertical. YES!

Childish Gambino at Osheaga Festival, Montreal

Childish seems to feed on attention. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. If it’s a true need, then it’s a lonely state to be in, as people might love you, but they don’t know you. If it’s all an act, then we see some Donald Glover acting, and he’s amazing at it.

You have to especially love his quirky dance moves and that crazy stare you can see for miles!

I hope it’s all an act. It would show that Gambino is a true performer, giving the Montreal crowd an amazing performance that was engaging, fun and out of the ordinary.

He let some kids shine on stage, with some cool moves, including the jump to splits move, which would leave me on the couch for weeks with an ice pack!

Of course, the crowd went wild for “This Is America”, “Sober” and the last song “Redbone.”

Childish Gambino was the dessert for this 3-day buffet.

Conclusion

Like I mentioned previously, this year had alright headliners. The smaller font bands are what made this festival a success and introduced us to some of the next wave of Rock Stars. We love the new expanded original venue and look forward to many more years of this world-class festival.

Organization was amazing and the security team really felt they were levelheaded, not trying to prove something. That made us all feel safe and kept incidents to a minimum.

Childish Gambino sang a song that well describes this year’s Osheaga experience: “Summertime Magic”


Review: Randal Wark is a Professional Speaker and MasterMind Facilitator with a passion for live music.  You can follow him on InstagramTwitter and YouTube.

Photos – Steve Gerrard

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