Osheaga returned to full-force last weekend and FTB was there. Here is a gallery of photos from all three days by Chris Zacchia:

The final two days of Osheaga seemed promising. The lIne-up looked intriguing but would the performances be any good?

We started out day two still getting over last night’s epic Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Arcade Fire closing performances wondering if it could be topped. To answer that question: yes, yes it can be!

Mitski

I started off checking out Mitski who is known for her gyrating performances with a full 80s synth pop sound. I saw her at the smaller stage a few years ago and she was very impressive.

Now at the main stage, I realized I enjoyed her performance better last time. Maybe it was her being on the main stage that threw me off, or maybe it was the fact that I was surrounded by so many people who seem utterly distracted or detached from her music.

I wish more people at the main stages were more interested in seeing Mitski, but I guess they must have been waiting for some other performer. 

Photo by Chris Zacchia

Polo and Pan

How weird can French disco/techno can get? Well, if you let Polo and Pan show you the way, you’ll understand how much. I know the weird DJ man wearing a house coat showed me. It was a surprising to the end of the performance. Definitely something you should check out.

Photo by Chris Zacchia

Caribou

What can you say except Caribou may have stole the show at this years Osheaga, especially Saturday. They were one of my top highlights,

Caribou was everything I hoped they would be. I was looking forward to them playing Odessa but then I remembered how many other songs I loved and wanted to hear them play. I danced late into the evening with thousands of other people dancing around me. It was pretty crazy,

Khruangbin

Khruangbin were one of those surprising bands that sounded better than even their recordings. With elements of seventies funk, blue grass and country, Khruangbin is one eclectic romp through American music.

Blood Royal

How much noise could two people make. Well Royal Blood proved that two grown men could make a pretty impressive racket.

Great songs, powerful bass and the crowd went pretty crazy. This included an impressive mosh pit swarm, which I haven’t seen at Osheaga in quite a while.

Wet Leg

The highlight of my festival was seeing Wet Leg. They just plain rock. I had so much fun jibing to this 5-piece that still played to perfection with only four.

Cheers to the ladies that rock this good, great riffs and catchy tunes. They definitely put a smile on my face.

Idles

While most normal people were ending the night at Dua Lipa, people who like hearing British people swear were busy at the Idles show.

And boy did that man ever curse! But they put on one hell of a show.

Photo by Chris Zacchia

Dua Lipa

I don’t know much about Dua Lipa except that she is extremely popular, her stage was dangerously packed and, well, she ended the festival. It was most definitely one night to remember. 

Photo by Chris Zacchia

The first day of Osheaga was a positively radiant day of sun, suds and tons of great acts culminating with an Arcade Fire rain dance that ended the evening. The short burst of rain left the crowd slightly soaked but very satisfied with Osehega’s return to full capacity after a brief halt due to the pandemic.

With a few surprises and a solid lineup Friday I think everyone was a little excited to start their weekend of music .

To start out my day I checked out the Local Naives at the valley stage. Their atmospheric rock sound was a good way to slowly get into the Vibe of the scene. And after a few beers and a few songs, I was totally into the festival experience.

It seemed like this year’s Osheaga, after a two years hiatus, felt very full.

The surprise treat of the evening was a very good performance by Arcade Fire. I didn’t think their last few shows were as energetic as I remembered them being in the past, but what they did right Friday night was know how to play for a local crowd.

They had a perfect group of songs, from Funeral and The Suburbs to Wake Up and Sprawl II. It felt like Montreal’s band was back, even after these last two dreadful albums. 

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

What can you say about the always intriguing performance of YYYs? They brought the crowd back to aggressive pop rock. The crowd loved Heads Will Roll and Maps

Video courtesy of Kyle Cadogan

Definitely recommend checking them out next time they are in town.

Honorable Mentions:

Charlie XCX: Her catchy pop 90s song I Don’t Care was a wild romp and the crowd went pretty crazy,

Johnathan Summit’s DJ set at the Island stage was excellent the beats got me transcendental.

Jason C. McLean and Dawn McSweeney welcome Special Guest Jerry Gabriel to talk about the full-force return of Osheaga and the final weekend of the full-force return of Just for Laughs – both this weekend!

For live Osheaga coverage, follow @forgetthebox on Twitter and Instagram

Follow @jerrygabrielrocks on Instagram

Follow Dawn McSweeney @mcmoxy on Twitter and Instagram

Follow Jason C. McLean @jasoncmclean on Twitter and Instagram

Well, after a year-long hiatus, and last year’s semi-return, Osheaga has finally returned to full capacity with some pretty interesting acts, both local and from far away. Montreal band Arcade Fire will headline the opening night, filling in for Foo Fighters who had to cancel due to the unfortunate death of their drummer Taylor Hawkins.

To say that there has been a lot of drama in everyone’s life over the last two years would be an understatement! Here’s hoping that we can get back to doing what we love best in Montreal: listening to live outdoor music carefree. Hopefully Osheaga signals that return to normalcy.

To get you through the return of live outdoor music, here are some of the bands I recommend you check out:

Gus Dapperton

If you like the lo-fi sound of Mac Demarco then you will definitely like the tasty twisted direction that Gus Dapperton has taken it. A very interesting take and I would say worthy of seeing on the main stage.

Friday, 2:40pm, Mountain Stage

Arkells

I have a soft spot for bands from Hamilton and that most definitely includes Arkells. After watching them do an impressive Grey Cup half-time show in their hometown, I enthusiastically welcome the high energy rock of this band. And since this is Saturday and it’s slim pickings when it comes to rock, I am especially excited to see their performance.

Saturday, 5:45pm, River Stage

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Maps is one of my all time favourite songs and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs will always have that big aggressive pop sound that I enjoy. They are one of my headliner band picks because never disappoint in their live shows.

Friday, 7:45pm, Mountain Stage

Mitski

I saw Mitski for the first time a few years ago at Osheaga. I was captured by her reinvented renditioning of 80s pop sound and was enchanted to listen to more. Definitely will be a highlight performance for the Saturday crowd.

Saturday, 6:45pm, Mountain Stage

King Hannah

The best way to describe King Hannah is that they have hints of Americana and early 2000s minimalist-pop and some interesting drum arrangements that make for unique escapist songwriting. Big Big Baby is a great song where the vocals remind me of Neko Case, but are still unique. Enjoyable if you’re into slow tempo.

Friday July 29th, 4:40pm, Tree Stage

Caribou

For over 15 years Caribou has evolved form a minimalist low-fi electro acoustic set to where he is now. And no one would fault him for evolving, because I’ve enjoyed every step of the way. Andorra and Swim are two of my favourite albums. If you ‘re going to go out dancing on Saturday, then Caribou is the act to see!

Saturday, 9:45pm, Island Stage

IDLES

What are IDLES but a really good take on post punk and old punk but with a harsh talking method of yelling out street spittle. Very aggressive and very effective at giving off some really harrowing performances, definitely worth seeing what happens!

Sunday, 9:20pm, Green Stage

Featured Image from Osheaga 2019 by lamyazpixels

Osheaga 2022 runs July 29, 30 and 31. Tickets and info at osheaga.com

So after a two year hiatus the full version of Osheaga is finally back! Yes there was a smaller version last fall and yes concerts have been back for a while, but this is still a big deal for Montreal music fans.

As usual we at FTB aren’t going to preview the Dua Lipas or Arcade Fires of the world since you know who they are already. Here is some lesser known talent to put on your radar if you’re planning to attend any or all of the three days of fun in the sun this weekend.

This comes with the standard disclaimer: This list is completely biased, unsystematically researched and only meant to inspire you to do your own digging about who’s playing.

Boy Golden

The show I’m the most curious about is Canadian alt rock/country singer, spiritual advisor and mullet enthusiast Boy Golden. His online promotion flirts with the line between cult leader and musician in a very tongue in cheek way and his songs are perfect to listen to on a warm summer day.

His latest album The Church of Better Daze seems to be attracting many converts to his ministry and on Sunday at 2 pm on the Mountain Stage you can check it out for yourself.

Les Louanges

The last time the Fest was in full swing I randomly stumbled into a set by an artist I’d never heard before and was immediately hooked on the warm fuzzy sounds coming from the stage . A short check of the program later, I figured out it was Quebec native Les Louanges.

He’s back again this year on the Tree Stage, Friday night at 7:45 pm. I’ll be checking out his set again, but this time not by chance.

Mitski

Speaking of Osheaga veterans, Mitski is also performing in back-to-back (with a covid hiatus) years. Last time I was super impressed by her energy and stage presence.

Back in February she released her latest album Laurel Hell and I’m excited to hear the new tracks live. She’ll be on the Mountain Stage, Saturday at 6:35 pm.

Idles

My “I don’t really know them but let’s give it a shot” pick this year is British rock band Idles. When I’m trying to decide who to check out for a festival I usually steer towards live performances as the best method of assessment.

I happened to land on the one below and was completely blown away. The energy from this band is just amazing and they didn’t even have a crowd to feed off of for this performance. They’ll be playing the Green Stage, Sunday at 9:20pm.

Les Street Monkeys

The latest Indie sensation is a Cambodian fusion band out of Montreal with tunes that have been inspired by… nah I can’t keep this up. Les Street Monkeys is a restaurant in Verdun and they’re the food truck I’m most excited to try now that Grumman ’78 is no more.

The part about being Cambodian was true and their menu looks pretty awesome. They’ll be playing the food truck area all weekend long.

Osheaga 2022 runs July 29, 30 and 31. Tickets and info at osheaga.com

More previews tomorrow and full coverage this weekend on FTB

Osheaga is back! After being forced to cancel in 2020 and offering a stripped-down all-Canadian October edition last year, the summer’s biggest music fest is back in full force in 2022.

They just announced this year’s lineup and it’s as big as ever.

Foo Fighters, who were supposed to play both in 2020 and 2021, will finally make it across the border and headline Friday night. They will be joined earlier in the day by indie rockers the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, British singer/songwriter Charli XCX, American rapper Big Sean and more.

New York-based rapper and producer A$AP Rocky is the big name closing off Saturday. French DJ Sébastien Léger, Hamilton rockers Arkells and New Jersey indie pop act Bleachers are among those also performing on the middle day.

Sunday night, English singer-songwriter Dua Lipa closes out the night and the festival for the year. She follows rapper and Pete Davidson buddy Machine Gun Kelly, Quebec City singer songwriter Safia Nolin, British indie rockers Glass Animals and many more local, Canadian and international acts.

This is the kind of mix Osheaga is famous for and once will be again.

Osheaga 2022 runs July 29 – 31, for the complete schedule and tickets (single day tickets on sale this Friday) please visit osheaga.com

It may be fall, but this weekend is Osheaga Weekend in Montreal! More specifically, it’s the Osheaga Get Together this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Parc Jean-Drapeau.

Sure, the three days in early August chock full of both international, Canadian and local musical talent and tons of audience members (aka Osheaga Proper) skipped this year and will return in 2022, but this weekend’s event promises the same level of excitement with some key differences.

Osheaga Get Together will exclusively feature Canadian talent. We’re talking some of the biggest Canadian music stars as well as up-and-coming acts to look out for. Plus many of the performers are also local.

While it will be the usual three days, there will only be two stages, which, of course, gives you a chance to catch more of the acts. The event is limited capacity (so get those tickets while you still can) and will be implementing all current Public Health protocols.

Normally when we cover Osheaga, we focus on the local and Canadian acts instead of the headliners. This year, though, the Canadian and local acts ARE the headliners, so I’ll just talk about some of them.

Here is some of what you can look forward to:

Friday

Montrealer and pop-electro-jazz singer songwriter Charlotte Cardin is the big name capping off Friday night. She is currently on tour supporting her Canadian chart-topping studio album Phoenix.

Friday will also feature Toronto-based R&B duo DVSN (signed to Drake’s label), Montreal band The Franklin Electric’s first show at home in a few years and much more.

Saturday

Saturday boasts a hip hop and RnB-heavy lineup. Toronto-born and Juno Award-winning singer/songwriter Jessie Reyez makes her Osheaga debut in the headlining spot.

Majid Jordan, the Toronto-based RnB duo also signed to Drake’s OVO Sound label will perform as will rapper Roy Wood$ and many more.

Sunday

On Sunday, it’s largely an all-out rockfest, featuring Montreal-based headliners Half Moon Run, Montreal-based festival favourites The Damn Truth, and Montreal punk rockers Les Shirley all play. Come to think of it, Sunday is largely an all-out Montreal rockfest (well, there is some Toronto, Quebec City and New Brunswick thrown into the mix, but I did say “largely”).

Osheaga Get Together is October 1, 2 and 3 at Parc Jean-Drapeau. For the complete lineup and tickets, please visit Osheaga.com

Featured Image from Osheaga 2018 by Joe McLean

Now that the hybrid Just for Laughs is over, festival season continues. This week, we’ve got two Montreal summer mainstays back in different forms and a Rouyn-Noranda-based festival running a mini-fest in our city for the first time.

Let’s get started:

Osheaga Through the Ages

While it’s sadly true that Osheaga won’t be returning to Parc Jean-Drapeau with its 15th full event until summer 2022, the people behind one of Canada’s most popular music festivals have found a way nonetheless to be a part of Montreal’s 2021 festival season. Three ways, that is.

Osheaga Through the Ages will run in the Quartier des Spectacles during the month of August. The first part of this, Music on Paper, starts this Friday at l’Astral and runs until August 21st.

It’s an art and photo exhibit featuring the “most jawdropping and eye-popping photos from years past featuring images courtesy of acclaimed photographers like Susan Moss, Patrick Beaudry, Tim Snow, and others.” The exhibit will also showcase silkscreen posters created for the festival over its previous 14 incarnations.

The second part is a series of concerts at MTELUS and l’Astral featuring local acts that have performed at Osheaga in the past. The third part is a fashion show in collaboration with the Fashion and Design Festival on August 21st featuring over 50 artists, dancers, musicians and models

Music on Paper runs August 6-21 at l’Astral, 305 Ste-Catherine Ouest. For details on this event and the emerging schedules of the other Osheaga Through the Ages events, please visit Osheaga.com

FME de l’Avent Mini-Fest on the Banks of the Lachine Canal

The FME Festival (or the Festival de Musique Émergente en Abitibi-Témiscamingue) has been welcoming up-and-coming and top-name Canadian talent as well as audiences to its idyllic Rouyn-Noranda setting for close to two decades. This year, for its 19th Edition (September 2-5), capacity at the site will be limited and some might forego the nine hour drive from Montreal to avoid travelling far when the pandemic situation isn’t completely resolved.

With that in mind, organizers are bringing a mini-version of the fest to Montreal this weekend. Called FME de l’Avent, it runs this Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the banks of the Lachine Canal (Parc Riverain de Lachine, specifically) and features local talent performing in the genres of folk, rock, hip hop, funk and electro. Featured performers include Gab Paquet, Paul Jacobs, Mort Rose and more.

FME de l’Avent runs August 6, 7 and 8 at Parc Riverain de Lachine. Admission is FREE but limited to 500 people. For the complete lineup and tickets, please visit fmeat.org

Under Pressure is Back Online

The Under Pressure International Graffiti Festival is back for its 26th Edition. Last week, it held a street exhibit and dance party, but the official battles and DJ sets are this Saturday and Sunday. The big difference this year of course being that they will be streamed online.

The DJ lineup for Saturday from noon to 8pm is Killa Jewel, Manzo, Noyl, Eazy El Dee, Overflow and Ashl$n. There will also be an after-party from 8 to late, guided walks of the site and more DJs and MCs added for both days.

Under Pressure 26 runs on Twitch August 7 and 8. For schedule updates please visit their Facebook page

Featured Image: Beach House performing at Osheaga by Pierre Bourgault from the Music on Paper exhibit

If you know of an event that you feel should be covered, please contact arts@forgetthebox.net or music@forgetthebox.net

No promises but we’ll do our best

Osheaga and Île Soniq, two huge music festivals run by Evenko that have become summer staples, won’t happen in 2021 as planned. Instead, the 15th anniversary of Osheaga will take place July 29th-31st, 2022 and Île Soniq will happen August 5th and 6th, both at Parc Jean-Drapeau.

This is “due to an ever-evolving COVID-19 situation and our commitment to the safety and health of festival attendees,” according to organizers in social media posts announcing the postponement.

With hopes that the COVID-19 situation would improve and everything would be back to normal or at least semi-normal by late July, Evenko scheduled these events and even announced the Osheaga headliners late last year. Unfortunately, there is still much uncertainty over where we will be pandemic-wise by then, and festivals like this can’t be planned on short notice.

Osheaga founder and Evenko Senior Vice-President Nick Farkas explained in the same Facebook and Instagram posts sent out this morning:

“We’ve been working since last summer to try to deliver the full festival experience to fans. We are keenly aware of how important live music is to our fans and our city, and how much everyone misses it. We want to be back there in the midst of it too, but the truth is it takes several months to line up the various elements to create a festival, and with the current uncertainty, we don’t have that luxury. We remain hopeful that the situation will improve enough.”

– Nick Farkas

Evenko’s other summer events, such as Heavy Montreal, hadn’t already been scheduled for 2021. Those who purchased tickets for the 2020 or 2021 events can have those tickets honoured at the 2022 events or get a full refund.

Featured image from Osheaga 2018 by Joe McLean

Jason C. McLean and Special Guest Dawn McSweeney go through the week’s big news stories:

Quebec Premier François Legault injects himself into the campus “free speech” debate and considers restricting English school enrollment.

What Montreal events and festivals will go online in 2021 and which will happen in person?

Ted Cruz leaves Texas freezing.

Justin Trudeau’s new gun control measures.

Dawn Mc Sweeney is an author and FTB contributor, follow her on Twitter @mcmoxy

Jason C. McLean is the Editor-in-Chief of ForgetTheBox.net, follow him on Twitter @jasoncmclean

In what has got to be their earliest partial lineup announcement ever, or at least in a while, Osheaga has given us the headliners for its 15th Edition. It will be Foo Fighters on Friday, Cardi B on Saturday and Post Malone on Sunday.

The event is scheduled to take place July 30, 31 and August 1 in Parc Jean-Drapeau, so it might still be a bit of time before we get the full lineup. Those are usually released in March, anyways.

This early announcement, while sparse, is quite welcome. After a summer devoid of in-person festivals and a spring and fall devoid of live in-person shows of any kind, it’s good to know that what is arguably Montreal’s largest music festival will be roaring back next year, and with some huge names, no less.

It’s also a reminder that while Montreal is pretty much locked down now, there are some things on the horizon like a vaccine, a return to semi-normal and, by the end of the summer, Osheaga.

Yesterday, the Quebec Government requested suspending all public cultural and sporting events across the province until August 31st in order to keep fighting COVID-19 through social distancing. Following the request, Evenko announced that Osheaga, Île Soniq and the new country music festival LASSO won’t take place in Parc Jean-Drapeau late July and during August as originally planned.

“We are truly saddened by this situation, but everyone’s health must remain our top priority,” evenko President and CEO Jacques Aubé said in a press release. “It is too early to specifically announce the status of each of our events. We want to take the time to properly think about each of them and evaluate our options. Of course, we will do everything we can in order to minimize the impacts of this decision on all parties involved, by trying to postpone events, when possible.”

evenko now says it is in “solution mode” and will announce the fate of these events as soon as they work that out. They had already announced months ago, before COVID-19 was a concern, that their other festivals Heavy Montréal and 77 Montréal would be taking a break in 2020. Now we’re waiting to see if the other festivals will do the same or if they will be rescheduled, fully or in some form.

We previously learned that the Montreal Jazz Fest, Francofolies and Fringe Festival won’t happen this year and that Just for Laughs has been moved from July to late September/early October. This request by the Quebec Government, in effect, extends a municipal Montreal decision to cancel all festivals, public events and sporting events until July 2nd. is

It is clear that even if we flatten the curve and social distancing restrictions are loosened and things get back to something that resembles normal, summer in Montreal will look and feel very different this year.

Featured image from Osheaga 2019 by lamyazpixels

Osheaga was a great three days of hardy drinking and music and all I can say about this year’s festival is that there were so many pleasant surprises.

Let’s get right to it: Sunday night was the big night because of its two headliners: Tame Impala and Childish Gambino.

Tame Impala put on a near perfect show. The crowd was transfixed with the neat light beams coming from the stage that seemed to put everyone in a trance. They played most of their songs from their latest LP but did a few good oldies like Feels Like We Only Go Backwards and Elephant.

Childish Gambino then brought the crowd to complete ecstasy by hitting it home and closed out the night with some spectacular fireworks right after the crowd sang along to This is America.

Photo by lamyazpixels

Earlier in the day Metric got the crowd going. At times Hains started speaking what seemed to be poetry about getting shit done in your life.

Mac DeMarco was acting all goofy all day. It culminated in him doing a funny cover of Metallica’s enter Sandman.

Saturday night’s romp with chemical Brothers was one for the bucket list. These superstar DJs were definitely one of the highlights of my festival experience.

Honourable Mentions:

Teke:: Teke, Fisher and Vladamir Cauchmar to name drop a few, were as entertaining as ever. And Kurt VIle put on one of the best live performances I’ve ever seen him do.

Strangest Act:

Black Tiger Sex Magic was definitely the strangest act of the festival with helmets that light up and the oddest crowd mix of electronic dance music bros, pretty ladies and weirdos.

Coolest Performance:

The coolest performance trophy goes to Reignwolf to for their use of the space to play their guitars and bass and the final meshing of the guitar and bass together to end the set.

Side note: As for the venue the park new old location was definitely noticed by people for being more spacious and with a lot more amenities.

The only one negative thing I noticed with the amount of dust I was at this year’s festival maybe it was caused by the amount of construction in Montreal or on site or perhaps it was the sand that was laid out at the base of the mountain but whatever reason a lot of people were covering their face as because of it. Hopefully next year it won’t be as dusty.

Featured image by lamyazpixels

Day Two is now in the books, let’s try to recap the blur that just happened, shall we. Like with any festival you’re always experiencing something while missing out on something else. It’s the nature of events like this so someone else’s snapshot of the day might be completely different.

Vladamir Cachmar (photo Jerry Gabriel)

We at FTB went into the Saturday with a plan that we wouldn’t at any point make a plan. Just follow a friend to what they’re going to, ask a stranger for a suggestion or wander aimlessly. Here’s a few of the places our wanderings took us to.

Photo by Jerry Gabriel

We happened in on King Princess who a friend told us was the next big thing waiting to blow up. She didn’t disappoint, we’ll have to remember to check her out again.

We decided to hang in the back for Janelle Monáe, see the big picture of the festival.

It can’t all be high energy, met up with some old friends and made some new ones hanging out on the hammocks

The crowd for Black Tiger Sex Machine was a drum of gasoline waiting to go up and the Montreal based trio didn’t waste any time lighting the match that set the whole thing off.

The best hidden gem for the day (and strong candidate for highlight of the festival) were garage rockers Reignwolf who used every possible inch of the stage and every ounce of energy they had during their performance.

Frontman Jordan Cook seemd hell bent on climbing to the top of every structure he could find while playing his guitar solos. Amps were swaying, patch cords were being pulled tight around beams, security was having a panic attack. You know, standard rock and roll stuff.

He even jumped into the crowd for a little bit one on one time with everyone. All this while singing the chorus “Are you Satisfied?” Yes Jared, very much so.

The Chemical Brothers capped the day off with an immersive performance combining their music with a multimedia light and video show complete with confetti, giant robots and beach balls. Probably the most complete top to bottom performance we’ve ever seen and a masterclass on how to combine music with other medium.

Featured image courtesy of lamyazpixels

Osheaga 2019 finishes today (Sunday). Tickets at the gate or through Osheaga.com