It's the summer, which means that it is festival season in Montreal.
For the past 10 years, this has been synonymous with Osheaga, a weekend festival dedicated to every and any music fan in the Greater Montreal. Every year, it seems, the festival becomes bigger and bigger, in the sense that the crowd gets bigger and bigger; the event's directors moved to a three-day format after its sixth edition, and it's been that way since.
This summer, 119 artists will perform on one of six different scenes: if you can't find an artist for you on this schedule, then the problem might be with you and not the music. In light of all of that, here are the five shows that you definitely, absolutely and certainly cannot miss at this year's edition.
Killer Mike and El-P will run Osheaga much like they run the jewels. Is there any doubt that Run The Jewels may not deliver? The pair have taken the music world by storm since forming RTJ, even promising to release a remix of their second album made using nothing but sounds of cats. (Meow The Jewels is exactly what it reads like.)
Run The Jewels are at their best in a small and intimate setting, but they'll be fine in the open air of Osheaga's Parc Jean-Drapeau setting. KIller Mike and El-P have more charisma and energy than all other artists put together, To wit:
Right as the sun goes down, Robin Schulz will keep you dancing. The Dutch DJ's catalogue offers just the perfect mix of pop and mainstream appeal, and deep house grooves. You will likely not know the name of half of the songs he will play, but it doesn't matter: just let yourself slowly drift, on wave after wave.
But please, Robin Schulz. By God, please play your Coldplay remix.
Kendrick Lamar is the good kid in the good city. The rapper of the moment, hip-hop's most talented and virtuoso emcee, headlines the Saturday at this year's Osheaga. K-Dot will delight the crowd, helping those in the crowd dive right into their swimming pools in between a wild night with their homies, and debating how much a dollar costs and man's mortality. There should be no doubt in your mind that his set will be excellent.
It's just entirely too bad that it overlaps with Robin Schulz's. Oh well. Twenty-five minutes of Kendrick is still better than no Kendrick.
You will follow that machine anywhere it leads you. You may say and think that you are going the Florence and the Machine show mostly because your girlfriend wants to go and that you love her oh so very much. Because she loves the band so much, and you love her, then you both will stay at Parc Jean-Drapeau until the very end of the first day for something so big, so blue, so beautiful.
That's what you tell yourself but you're fooling no one, least of all yourself. You'll be at the Florence and the Machine as much for your girlfriend as you will for yourself. Because you also love that band.
SZA, or cutting it short on Sunday. This isn't meant to discredit or disrespect SZA's music, which is as excellent as it is original. But by the time she takes the stage, you'll have two full days of shows under your belt. Maybe you decide to just cut it short on Sunday after her performance.
Please understand that the entire list comes with an asterisk because of Stromae's absence. Yep. The Belgian superstar surely would have been a headliner, but tragically had to cancel his performance. It's tragic because in this world, Stromae stands alone.