yay-terry rodgers

I just want to rant a bit first before actually writing the review. I was going to do this last night but decided to sleep on it and calm down a bit. But, turns out, I still feel the same way.

Yesterday was a great day. I saw great bands. It was lovely weather. Coldplay was absolutely magical with the fireworks, and the paper butterflies and the big yellow balloon and the various other shenanigans going on. But what do I remember most about last night?

HOW I HAD TO WAIT FUCKING 1.5 HOURS JUST TO GET ON THE METRO. Yeah. It effin’ sucked.

Perhaps you’re thinking, well it would have been a good idea to leave before the show ended, or right when the show ended to hustle your way to the metro to avoid the rush. BUT WHY SHOULD I? I wanna see the encore. I paid for a ticket so that doesn’t mean that I should leave early because Osheaga organizers and the STM couldn’t get their shit together. NO OTHER FESTIVAL, for crying out loud, not even HOCKEY GAMES in Edmonton have this poor organization.

It is not possible to up the speed at which they’re leaving? To run as if they were in rush hour? I get that there are only a few trains that can run max because of the way the tracks are organized, fine, that’s great. What about alternate methods off the island. For example, shuttle buses. Those can fit at least 50-60 people per bus, have 20 some buses going back and forth off the island to alleviate the stress on the metro. Maybe this is too expensive? Maybe this is worsening the carbon footprint? So, fine. don’t have the shuttles.

BUT AT LEAST FUCKING COMMUNICATE WITH US. No one knew WHERE to go. I was one of the unfortunate ones that went to the other fork in the path and ended up coming into the metro on the side, and not the other fork, which would have been directly towards the metro doors. Why weren’t there signs telling people to go the other way, or at least staff? Our side took at least 3 times longer to get to the doors than the other. And probably made the other line much more inefficient as well. Why not group everybody in the line that matters? And if this isn’t the case, still! Why not tell us how many trains are going, how many people can get on per train and how long it takes? Perhaps this isn’t they’re job? Communication is the key to from disgruntled, tired, pissed off people, to disgruntled and tired people who accept what is going on. We’ll still complain but at least we’ll know what’s going on. And that’s better than keeping us in the dark.

Osheaga is a festival that is about to terminate. Organizers even said that if this one doesn’t go well, they might not have another one (once I find the source, I will post it). Shit like this, where thousands of us, with our feet literally so brittle from having been on them all day, bodies tired from the sun and from dancing, and our moods utterly in the deep depths of hot pissed off fiery hell, were complaining our asses off and really frustrated in having to wait over 1.5 hours just to get on a train!

Osheaga, it’s great that you organized free transportation for people who have tickets on the metro, but this is fucking shite. Surely, you learned from the previous three years?! That tens of thousands of people waiting for one fucking metro line will take eternity and piss off a lot of people and doesn’t leave us happy? At. All?

I can only imagine all the people behind me…who must have waited 2+ hours…and I don’t know if the train extended their hours either, as the metro usually stops running until 0100. People were running to different connecting lines when I got off at Berri around that time. You would think that they extended the hours, they HAD to, otherwise thousands of people would have been stuck on an island, or at Berri. See? No communication. Where are the posters saying that there would be extended hours on these days so people don’t freak out and panic that they can’t get home without having to pay for an extremely expensive cab ride or have a long walk home?

I am still pissed off. Mainly because I was exhausted yesterday, and standing in the middle of the crowd like that, inching forward a few feet per 20 minutes on feet that were about to crack from overuse, was getting claustrophobic, and required even more energy (barely any left), just to survive brinking anarchy. I am sure I was not the only one.

So fuck you Osheaga and STM for not having organized a way of getting tens of thousands of people off an island. You suck. And I have more things to complain about like how they were taking the caps off the bottles of water (making them unreuseable), having barely any garbage cans or recycle bins on a vast amount of space (making your grounds super dirty, bottles in the garbage and garbage in the recyling, and not to mention extra time and money in clean up crew), and having so little vendors that the line ups for food and drink took a fucking long time (except for Dagwoods, they knew what was coming and prepared. Probably the best organized thing about this festival). But you know, it’s a four year old festival, but you would think they’d learn from their mistakes, learn from the bigger festivals or even MJF…why do people go back to those festivals all the time and don’t have much to complain about? Because it’s well organized. If Osheaga stops next year, or even the next few years, I won’t be surprised if it keeps going the way it’s going.

But you know what, enough negativity. Though the experience wasn’t as good as it could have been, the music was. I feel better now that I have all of this off my chest. I can’t complain about the shows, they were great, they were wonderful. So come back later today for a full review of the first day!

Edit 05 08 09: Sorry this came so late. This ended up being the only day of the two Osheaga days I went to because the second day was full of bands I’d already seen, and plus, I just didn’t want to deal with the metro at the end of the night. In the days between Osheaga Day 1 and now, I’ve been dancing to industrial, learning how to speak Jersey courtesy of my couchsurfers, and reading in the park. But I realise I gotta get this done before anything else. I HAVE SO MUCH MUSIC TO SHARE WITH Y’ALL. But first, the review of the Osheaga Day 1…after the jump!

atm-la roux

La Roux was the first act of the day. To be honest, I listened to the album a few times and wasn’t as impressed as I thought I would be. But, I thought I’d give the band a chance live. And boy, I am so happy I did, because live, they kill it a thousand times better than in studio. Elly Jackson’s voice is immaculate live. And the electric drums, synths, and keyboards made the entire MEG stage audience a raging dance floor for 35 minutes. Ugh, synth pop never sounded so good.

atm-la roux 02

Dressed in a style that only Karen O can rival, Elly Jackson shows her style is more than just in her red hair. Jiving, grinding, and grooving around the stage in her Pollock styled tights, she delivers the songs with the tenacity that commands absolute stage presence. You just wouldn’t think that her voice sounds that high pitched and dreamy live as they do on the LP, but it is. Her voice is incredible. The synths translated so well live, and some of their songs were changed up a bit as well. I think their best performance was “I’m Not Your Toy”. It’s unfortunate that the studio version wasn’t like the live version, where there was an extended drum beat in the middle, inducing probably the fanciest footwork of the entire set.

I re-listened to the self-titled album and I like it a lot more now, especially “I’m Not Your Toy”. What I really liked was the Jackson spoke to us, made us laugh, and tried out some her French. They are a must see live! Don’t be fooled by the album, which can sometimes fall flat. I feel as if La Roux is like PSB. Live, they kick so much ass because synth pop is meant to be played on the dance floors, not through your monostereo!

Setlist:

Tigerlily
Quicksand
Reflections are Protection
As If By Magic
I’m Not Your Toy
Colorless Color
In For the Kill
Fascination
Bulletproof

Buy La Roux’s album here.

MP3: La Roux – I’m Not Your Toy

MP3: La Roux – In For The Kill (Skream’s Let’s Get Ravey Remix)

atm-k'naan

Having already seen K’naan in smaller and cozier venue, I was really looking forward to seeing how he’d be on an outdoor stage with a much larger audience. Unsurprisingly, K’naan and the band were amazing. The show was pretty much like the one I saw back in Edmonton. So check out my post on that to get MP3s, see live videos, and of course, to read the review!

Setlist:

In the Beginning
Soobax
ABC’s
America
Hoobaale
Take A Minute
Somalia (Acapella)
Fatima
T.I.A.
If Rap Gets Jealous
Waving Flag

To buy K’naan’s LP’s, go here.

atm-raa nils

I’ve been meaning to do a review of this album since forever. And I’ve been wanting to see this band live since forever. Right when they came to Edmonton, I had already moved over to the MTL. It sucks because seeing them in Edmonton would have been amazing. To be there with an Albertan crowd, a crowd that understands and feels these songs the same way they had been conceived, would have been so intimate. But, I take what I can get. The show was set on this small stage where there were no more than 100 people. A very small audience. I think this was because everyone was seeing Jason Mraz. Poo.

Anyways, we were all sitting down listening to them soundcheck, and when it was nearly done, all of us sat up. The gratitude shown on Nils face was so great, and warmed my heart, as he thanked us for standing up. Then the show started. I only wish the the band wasn’t so spaced out! Even though I was less than a meter away, I felt like I wasn’t because the stage was so widespread!

DSC00701

Live, they rocked it. Everyone left feeling so happy and impressed and grateful to have seen this band. Nils’ and Jan’s voices were fantastic and their cute demeanor on stage made my heart swell. They chatted with us after every song, thanking us for coming out even though there was other stuff going on. I feel so happy because they are so genuine and down to earth and I know that this will continue, despite how large they may become in the future. The RAA is just one of those bands where Home, will always keep them rooted and that’s what makes their music fantastic: the emotions, tastes, and smells of something familiar, even though you may never have been to Alberta before. Their home pride and humility shines through each lyric, each note, each drum beat, and it is something that is felt not only on stage, but in stereo too.

For more, check out the other blog I contribute to, Ca Va Cool, for the review of their AMAZING album Hometowns, which you can buy here, as well as a wonderful RAA interview, all by Jan! Woohoo! It’s a much better job than I would have done, so go to CVC!

Their setlist was pretty much nearly all of Hometowns, including a new song which will be included on their forthcoming album (hoooorah!) Unforts, they didn’t play one of my favorites, “In the Summertime”…but you can pretend with the MP3 below!

=)

MP3: The Rural Alberta Advantage – Edmonton

MP3: The Rural Alberta Advantage – In the Summertime

atm-the roots

Another HUGE headliner, the Roots, was up next after the RAA. Just like I thought they would, the funked up Osheaga with the unique sound that can only be called the Roots. It was soul, it was funk, it was r’n’b and hip hop. This is like Erykah Badu mixed with James Brown and All Treme Brass Bands. They played a short version of “The Seed” and covered “Bad” from Michael Jackson. I think those two were my favorite moments next to the crazy drum combat between ?uestlove and and F Knuckles. DAMN.

Though they didn’t play this, this is one of my favorite recent Roots songs which (surprise surprise) happens to be an MJ cover (one of my favorite MJ songs) with Erykah Badu. Can you ask for anything else?

MP3: The Roots Ft. Erykah Badu – I Wanna Be Where You Are

atm-coldplay

The last time I saw Coldplay was over four years ago, back when their most recent album release was their second album, Rush of Blood. I remember that concert like the back of my hand. We lined up 6-7 hours before the show at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton. Our devotion paid off as we were second row from the front. We endured the opener and finally, the band came on. Every song and every lyric was known, sang to, and cried to. It was epic because this was when Coldplay just started, really. No one really recognized Parachutes as much as Rush of Blood, despite it being a better album. When will I ever see Coldplay in a venue which holds under 3000 people ever again? Never. I remember during “Yellow”, Martin messed up the lyrics and forgot them completely to which the already singing crowd filled the void. He looked up with the widest smile on his face, as if he was surprised.

But now, being surprised would be old news to them. Having had follow up success with X&Y and the most recent, Viva la Vida, Coldplay are used to 10 000+ sell out crowds singing every lyric to every song. You’d think this would change their stage performance, maybe turn into U2 or even Depeche Mode, where a semblance of mimcry from previous performances surface through their boredom of doing the same act over and over and over again. But no, Coldplay outshine their studio albums with their stage displays, stunts, and improvisations. They have fun, genuinely, on stage and are still so very apprecative and grateful that they have grown in number and in strength throughout the years. It’s the band itself, a band that likes to make their own clothes, that likes to jam, and kid, and poke around, a band that loves to make fun of themselves, is a band that is never rarified. I think this is why I (and we) love Coldplay so much.

Having not listened to Coldplay for many many years, with the exception of a few listens to Viva, I still knew all the lyrics all the words all the songs for the entire two hours they played. The stage set up was incredible. Three big lit up balls in the middle, changing colors and projections according to the song…my favorite was when they turned into disco balls when a remix of “Viva La Vida” came on. Big yellow balloons fired from the stage during “Yellow”. Fireworks for the last half of their set. Trying to defeat the awesomeness of the fireworks with a cellphone wave from the right side to the left side. A Patrick Watson like stunt when they went into the middle of the crowd. Acapelling. Making shit up. Covering Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” acoustically. Doing a remix of “God Put A Smile On Your Face” and turning it into a progressive number. The entire crowd, literally, singing along to everything. The entire crowd as one. The entire crowd feeling, feeling, together. I teared up four times. My voice beared the weight of singing to songs I haven’t heard in over 3 years. The guy beside me was crying. I don’t know how else to describe this show. I don’t know how. It truly was a magical night. And like the first show, I’ll remember this one forever.

Setlist:

Life In Technicolor
Violet Hill
Clocks
In My Place
Yellow
42
Fix You
Strawberry Swing
God Put A Smile Upon Your Face
Talk
Hardest Part
Postcards From Far Away
Viva La Vida
Lost!
Green Eyes
Death Will Never Conquer
Billie Jean (Michael Jackson Tribute)

Encore 1 :
Politik
Lovers In Japan
Death And All His Friends

Encore 2: The Scientist
Life in Technicolor II
The Escapist

MP3: Coldplay – God Put A Smile Upon Your Face

MP3: Coldplay – Politik

Above are a few of my favorite songs of the night. Enjoy =)

It was a great day, minus the whole metro shit.

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