It is hard to believe that the young pop punk band from Montreal has now entered their second decade as Simple Plan. Their last album (self-titled) threw their fans for a loop with its uneven batch of songs mixing their standard sound with some techno and other experimental soundscapes. However, their fourth album Get Your Heart On! marks a strong return to form that should reignite the fanbase that fell in love with them from the get go. Released back in June, word has slowly been spreading that Simple Plan is back doing what they do best: belting out catchy pop rock tunes that sing about lost love, alienation, and the uncertainty of youth.
Where else in the world would you rather have been on Saturday, July 31 than in Montreal, where the annual Osheaga Music and Arts Festival went down? Over twenty bands shared this eminent day, as music junkies gathered from across the country for this unforgettable experience of talent debauchery.
My heart was pulsating and I could feel the adrenaline creeping as I arrived at the gates of Osheaga 2010, all the bands running through my mind – Jimmy Cliff, Stars, The National, K’NAAN, Arcade Fire – what an amazing day it was going to be! The weather was flawless: sunny, slight breeze, and immaculately warm. I entered, much to my surprise, without any wait, digging out my map to see where I was bound and the first show to see. Beautiful people littered the grounds, everyone eyeing one another up and down – I give kudos to those who braved the show with kids in tow.
July 31 and August 1 saw the fifth annual Osheaga music festival in Montreal. Usually a pretty modest affair, most of what Osheaga does, it does right. Beer, for instance. Osheaga does beer really well: the lines are short and the price isn’t too steep. And they’ve done away with beer tents, allowing Canadians the freedom to roam with their brew – just as God intended. There isn’t an overwhelming sense of corporate sponsorship, and the free metro ride home is very much appreciated. Oh, and the music is pretty good too.
In past years, Osheaga hadn’t attracted as many big performers as Coachella, Lollapalooza, or Bonnaroo, but this year it joined the ranks of the heavy hitters. Weezer and Snoop Dogg were some of the high profile names, but the band that made Osheaga truly transcendent was Montreal’s own Arcade Fire.