Last weekend, I flew to Montreal to attend Osheaga music festival with three of my closest lady friends.
They had convinced me to meet up with them by throwing the word “fun” around a lot. “It’s going to be so much FUN!” “You’ll never forgive yourself if you miss out on all the FUN we’re going to have.” “Music festivals are so much FUN!” Etc. etc. Don’t get me wrong; I love live music. I just don’t normally enjoy it surrounded my 135,000 other intoxicated and sweaty homo sapiens. Especially, when several thousand of them are under the age of 20.
Side note: Montreal, I love you. I love your unbelievably efficient Metro system. I love your French accents. I love your strong-handed feelings toward jaywalking. And let’s not forget your lovingly crafted nutella crepes. I would visit you again in a heartbeat.
In order to cut down on costs (the tickets to the festival alone cost $242), we stayed at one of McGill University’s dorms that had been converted into a hotel just for the festival. When we got to our rooms, there were free earplugs, cute Osheaga pillowcases, samples of Axe (I played these off as gifts for the Southerner. “Look, I brought you 20 samples of bodywash and deodorant!”), and 4 Molsons in our fridge every night. The discovery of the Molsons was initially met with a lot of excitement, but by the end of the trip I could not look at one without wanting to gag. More on that later.
We also bought a special 3 day metro pass ($15) and took it to and from the festival each day. The metro is awesome. The amount of people on it going to the festival was not. There was actually a metro stop that dumped you out right at the front gate of the festival, at which point you were stuck for roughly 15 – 30 minutes trying to make your way past security. Stuck amongst 18 year olds that were already so drunk by 1 pm that spittle was running down their cheeks and their friends had to carry them through security. Stuck next to the valley-girl who was “So totally stoked about the music. Oh my god, aren’t you just stoked? Because I am soooo stoked! ” I would have been stoked to punch her in the face, but then I vividly remembered how I acted at that age and just ended up wanting to punch myself in the face instead.
Day 1: We make it past security and immediately find ourselves walking toward the sound of the Capital Cities.
They are wearing white, shiny, vinyl bomber jackets while dancing together! They are dancing and it is good and coordinated. And I am having so much FUN! First band of the festival, and they remained one of my absolute favorite shows over the course of the 3 days. (I bought their album the minute I got back home. When did I stop buying entire albums?) We also saw Phoenix, Ellie Goulding, Alt-J, Ben Howard, Daughter (had never heard of her before and she was amazing), and The Cure. The Cure! Not one band was disappointing. The beer selection, however, was in need of serious improvement. Have you guessed it yet? Molson. And only Molson for as far as the eye could see. One beer at a music festival??? I managed to get over it and make a lifelong dream come true by trying Poutine for the first time:
French fries smothered in gravy and covered with cheese curds? Yes, please. Also, Air France, you are my new best friend for handing out free inflatable ottomans and water bottles. Me and my ass will proudly proclaim the bounties of your goodness across the land of North America. Thank you.
Day 2: This is the point in my post where I wish someone could extract my memory and turn it into a video so I could accurately show you how this day became one of the greatest of my life. How just when I thought it couldn’t get better. It did. How the lead singer of Imagine Dragons had a drum that was bigger than he was. How gracious and amazing the band was. How my friend and I turned to each other in a moment of pure euphoria while dancing and just maniacally and joyously laughed out loud together. They were that good and better.
Before Imagine Dragons, Tegan and Sara played. Prior to hearing them live, I was not that familiar with their music. I am a total fan now with a serious girl-crush on Tegan. They were so good. Every song. That night, I asked my friends if Tegan has a girlfriend and they burst out laughing. I was also slightly infatuated with her ridiculously cute outfit and wavy bangs.
And then Macklemore and Ryan came out. WTF. I’ve liked them ok in the past, but they blew me away. Then they did this:
At minute 5:12 100,000 or so people had one finger raised to the air together and I’m pretty sure there were not very many dry eyes left in the crowd. Normally, I find this kind of display of emotion cheesy and I have a hard time letting myself go in a large group of people. Not the case that evening. The message was important and the song was beautiful. I’d also had about 20 Molsons by that point:
The last act of the night was Beck and he did not disappoint. I got to hear all my old favorites and revisit memories of making out with my pillow when I was 14.
Day 3: Given the fact that the evening of day 2 we left the festival and continued to party in Montreal, rounding out our magical day at a 24 hour taco place that saved all of our lives, we took it easy on day 3. Unfortunately, this meant that we missed seeing Atlas Genuis and Icona Pop. I know many of you don’t care for the “I don’t care song,” but I love it. I especially love driving to it with the stereo blaring and my windows down. I hope I get the chance to see them in concert again. However, we did get to see The Lumineers, Big Boi, New Order and Mumford and Sons. New Order, you may be a little older, but when you played Bizarre Love Triangle I lost it. How many times did my cousin and I sit in my bedroom as teenagers and replay this song and dance? Thousands. When they started playing it, I had mistimed my need to urinate and was stuck in a porta-potty cursing myself for the error in judgment. Damn you, Molsons! I ran like the wind, pushing 18 year-olds out of the way in order to get to my friends. My friends who knew all the lyrics and danced their asses off. My friends who made me laugh so hard this weekend my cheeks hurt for two days when I got back home.
Thanks again, ladies, for forcing me out of my comfort zone and convincing me music festivals are FUN. I will never question you again.