This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Sunday, August 05, 2012


What a day.

The first day of the Osheaga music festival was incredible.

Incredible and exhausting.

We headed to Parc Jean-Drapeau, which is an island on the St. Lawrence River. We took the metro. This is Tim and the girls in front of the Osheaga advert while we wait for our tram/train/subway. WTF do you call it?

Anyway, it just reminds us how badly Raleigh has it: no public transportation. How the hell do you build a subway now? In an established city? But my god, it is so nice to just go anywhere so easily this way. It took two stops to get to a transfer station, then one stop to get to the island. Under water. It's like the miracle of life.

The first scheduled concert, according to CJ's Osheaga app, was LP at 1:30. We walked around to get acquainted with the park.

This is a shot of the two main concert stages. Wait until you see what it looked like by the end of the day. But now, at 12:15 in the afternoon, it's nearly empty.

There are four concert stages: these two, which have big screens that are viewable from outer space. Not really but you can sit way back in the back and still get an excellent view, if the sun is not shining in your eyes.

We walked to the edge of the island, where there were some food stands and had a bite to eat. This was our view. When I approached it, I couldn't believe the view. It looked too good to be true that it looked like a fake. It was just so beautiful.

We headed to one of the concert stages which is furthest from the main entrance, where the two main concert stages were. Even though the official schedule had a band starting at 1:30, there was a band playing at this stage. We sat in the very back, in the shade, because by now - despite starting out with a nice breeze and cool weather - it was sun-shine-sunny and getting hot. The band sounded great until the singer brought out her flute. I'm just not into flute sounds unless they're in an orchestral movement. Sorry to you rock flute players :(. She played well! And she sang great! And the entire song put together was great! Until the flute... It just sounded like all that 60s music with flute playing and, well, me no likey.

Remember this shot, or to come back to it, because later in the day, CJ and I would return to see Of Monsters and Men and this scene would look very different.

We returned back to the main stages in time to catch the last few songs of LP. I've never heard of her but WOW. She was amazing.

She played with a ukelele but this sound was something I could deal with. A ukelele does not sound like a flute and was not reminiscent of some 60's psychedelic, three hour song. Nope. This stuff was really good. I'll be downloading some of it when I get back. As it stands, there is no verizon service in Canada for me (well, there is ROAMING but apparently, we spent over $50 in those charges last night) and no WIFI! at Osheaga. tears. :( )

We were in prime location for fun. No. That's not the end of the sentence. That would be the band, Fun. A band that CJ introduced me to and yet I am the one with the entire album on my iPhone. I was most excited about seeing this band at Osheaga so I was glad to have front row access to the stage.

And when they came out, WOW. I'm not 14 so I don't obsess over bands anymore and, except for the most awesome shirt I bought from their website. They put on a great show, my favorite of the day. Nate Ruess, the lead singer, is flawless live. And they had one cute girl backup player that I loved watching.

They were dressed like some 80s pop band, which just made me laugh. But their music is a mix of pop, Elton John-ish, Queen-ish, and just some of their own made up shit-ish (good shit-ish). Loved it, loved them.

After Fun., CJ and I walked back to where we were for the first concert. Remember when I told you to remember that picture? This is what it looked like when we returned:
Incredible. We sat within the fenced area for a bit but the sun was just blazing and decided to seek out shade. People would pass by this crowd and just gasp at the amount of people they saw there. I sent the picture to Tim and we was like "That's where MGMT is playing later". Uh-oh, I think. This is *the* band that CJ wants to see. The crux of the trip, the Osheaga tickets, everything. 

MGMT is CJ's love. Well, Andrew is and there is no way in hell that we traveled this far to sit far back for CJ to not see Andrew up close. We were going to figure out how to get her up close to that stage, like we did for Fun., who mean NOTHING to her. As I write this, nearly three days later, we've become masters of getting to the front of the stage at a MASSIVE concert festival.

While we sat in the shade, I did notice this oddball:

There was *a lot* of walking. And *a lot* of standing. There are a lot of people here. And a lot of tattoos, pink, purple, blue, orange and blonde hair. A lot of piercings. Not a lot of older people. I'm in the minority. There are a few dads with their daughters, which is sweet. But this is definitely a festival for the young. It's really a great sight to see. It doesn't make me envious or wish for my days as a young person again. It's just like being a voyeur, or a sociologist who studies people: I just enjoy seeing these people enjoy being young and having fun. It's invigorating. It's vastly different than what I've seen at concerts in Raleigh.  
There are a lot of gay people and it's a beautiful thing. There isn't a lot of overt public display of affection from gays or heteros, just a lot of hugging and occasional kissing. Very intimate public displays of affection that warms my heart. There are a lot of warm looks of endearments to MiMi, one of a few sets of very young children that are at the concert. They are free and welcomed. There's even a playground :).

We did find seating up on the hill and watched a bunch of concerts on the main stages, including Franz Ferdinand. 
We roasted a bit in the sun for them. I stayed sober because all they have is beer and canned bourbon and coke, which apparently is pretty weak, according to Tim. I'm not a bourbon fan and while I like beer, with my migraine medication, everything carbonated tastes flat so I can't enjoy it. Wine is not available but if it was, it is not necessarily something that sounds great in such hot weather. Water. That's all I can think about.
Tim forms a plan to get CJ close to Andrew and that's taking her to very early on to get as close to the front, which means missing Florence and the Machine. Of course, I love Florence (CJ does too but loves Andrew more) and so MiMi and I stay behind to get close to Florence. And we do.

We again get close to the stage. The price we pay is we stand to one obnoxious dude. But the other price is we are nearby very nice people. Although at one point, one young girl did pass out behind us.

Florence is beautiful. I love redheads, both male and female. It must have started with seeing a picture of Tim as a kid, with his red hair. Or maybe it was a natural thing because I loved watching Boris Becker. But nonetheless, Florence is gorgeous to me.

She puts on a good show and had everyone with their loved one put them up on their shoulders, which is a big deal since security makes people stop that. But you can't tell Florence what to do!

At one point, a nice gentleman asked MiMi if she wanted to go on his shoulders. Ah, so sweet. Actually, the people around us were trying very hard to accommodate her: do you want to come here to see better? Move here? Such a beautiful thing. I loved the aura of beautiful people around us.

After Florence, MiMi and I take the long trek to the other side, where MGMT will be playing. I know we may not get close to where Tim and CJ have planted themselves but we decide to give it a try. We get close. So close that we are at the gate. The only problem is we are at the _side_ so we don't see the front of the stage. And we see all the special people go _through_ the gate that get to see MGMT from the stage.

I hoped CJ was enjoying seeing them so close. I couldn't see Andrew's face. His head was a mass of hair. I know their music all to well based on CJ's endless playing of it, as well as MiMi, who of course follows in her sister's footsteps and also loves MGMT and Andrew. Their music is sooooo funky, which makes me proud. She's no Bieber fan, nor does she enjoy what hits the top pop charts. I love learning all the alternative music bands from her. Unfortunately, she doesn't share my taste in metal...but she doesn't hate Marilyn Manson. The dude. Not so much the music. :)

It was near impossible to get a decent picture of them. This is as close as possible to a decent picture. Everything else is just a blur of color and outlines of Andrew. I have clear shots of people in the audience. :) No matter. The experience is what matters and it was amazing.

Getting back, after MGMT, was HORRENDOUS. We were way on the other side of the island, which is the opposite end of the exit. We were stuck in a crowd. This is not the place to be if your claustrophobic. And by now, it's well after 10PM and it is DARK. We have to negotiate stairs (37 steps up/37 down) and then we are stuck in a bottleneck to get to the metro. If I really thought about how stuck we were, I could panic.

I am in a lot of pain. I'm so fucking tired. We'd been there since 12:15, not including the time we were up to _get_ there. I've been standing in crowds to watch concerts for god knows how long. And walking back and forth across the park for how long. And now, I'm just relieved that day one is over and I want to sit, especially in the comfort of my hotel room.

Oh, but I haven't eaten since the hot dog and fries at 12:30ish. And did I mention, it is now around 10:45? And I'm still in a mass of too many people, waiting to get to the entrance of a building that holds the key to my way back home.

My feet hurt. My back hurts. I am so, so, so tired. And hungry. I try to think that this will all pass. Endurance. I just have to keep my brain and spirit up because I'll get there.

And once we get through the building, the crowd is not as bad. We get on the metro and make it back relatively easy. We decide to just eat at our hotel's restaurant. Big mistake. They don't do a disservice to terrible hotel food. Bleh.

But, we made it through Day One.

No comments:

Post a Comment