A collection of musically themed musings by Brendan Bush in Burlington, VT

Osheaga 2010 Wrapup: Stars

Filed Under: Concert Reviews
Written by Brendan
Thursday August 5, 2010

Stars are easily one of my five favorite bands. They’ve put on some of the best shows I’ve ever been to. And their live performances have made me love songs of theirs that I previously couldn’t stand listening to (The Ghost of Genova Heights comes to mind). So it’s fair to say that I had high expectations for their set at Osheaga – in their hometown.

Amy Millan of Stars @ Osheaga 7/31/2010

Unfortunately, things didn’t quite go as I’d hoped. We headed over to their stage about halfway through K’Naan’s set (he was playing on the other main stage) to stake out a good spot, which we got. Unlike the other bands that had been playing back-to-back on alternating main stages, Stars didn’t take the stage right after K’Naan ended. I could hear the seconds of unplayed music being wasted.

They came onstage to huge applause and threw out some of the roses tied all around the stage to the audience – a nice touch. Then it went quickly awry. As the first note was played, Torquil Campbell (1/2 of the lead singing duo with Amy Millan) began throwing what ended up being a half-set temper tantrum because the sound in his earphones was either completely broken or just way off.

Stars @ Osheaga 7/31/2010

No matter how justified he was, his attitude immediately turned me off of the music. I couldn’t help but cringe as he whipped the corded microphone around the stage, leaving mic stands, keyboards and stage crew on the ground in his wake. By the time he got over it, Stars did manage to really nail “Take Me To The Riot,” and “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead,” two of my favorites. So ultimately there was redemption, and Amy Millan sang as wonderfully as ever, but what I’ll remember most about that show is the attitude.

I’m planning on seeing Stars again in Montreal in December, and I’m hoping Torquil can leave the other stuff off stage and put on a performance that I know he and the rest of the band are capable of putting on.

note: all photos in this post are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.


Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

Osheaga Wrapup: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

Filed Under: Concert Reviews
Written by Brendan
Wednesday August 4, 2010

After a fairly disappointing show in Burlington earlier in the week, I had fairly low expectations for Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros at Osheaga. After all, if they seemed tired and uninspired on Tuesday, and didn’t have a break between then and their Saturday set, chances were they’d put on the same lackluster performance.

As an aside, and an introduction to the following photo, it amazes me when singers smoke cigarettes. It just seems like the two things are completely at odds with each other. Here, Jade Castrinos and bassist Aaron Older share a smoke backstage just prior to their set:

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros @ Osheaga 7/31/10

Luckily for me, the band (and particularly lead singer Alex Ebert) were able to really turn it on for their Osheaga set. Their connection with the audience was so much better (it helped that Alex came out into the crowd for a bit), their energy as a band seemed so much more complete, and the music was spot on.

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros @ Osheaga 7/31/10

There was no sitting down for this one (thankfully, as the ground at the main stages was covered in gravel and rocks), but they didn’t need that kind of gimmick to get the crowd into the show. All in all, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros completely redeemed themselves in my eyes, and put on one of the best performances of the festival.

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros @ Osheaga 7/31/10

When the stage managers told Alex that it was time to wrap up their set, he wasn’t really into it, so they played another song. Jimmy Cliff, who was set to go on directly afterward at the adjacent main stage (an excellent setup, for what it’s worth), found his way over to give the band a hard time. After a few seemingly harsh words for Alex as he left the stage, the two of them hugged it out and Jimmy ran over to start his set.

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros @ Osheaga 7/31/10

note: all photos in this post are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.


Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.