If day one at Osheaga didn’t sink Ile Saint Helene with the weight of all the bodies festing, day two would surely send it up in flames since the sun would just.not.stop! Starting off the day (feeling fresh and cool) was a performance at the main stage by my Ottawa home-girl Kathleen Edwards. With the sun beating down hard throughout her set, the audience swayed slowly in the hope to conserve energy. Relief came when she started playing A Soft Place to Land and shivers ran down spines as her voice echoed over the Mountain stage haze. This capital babe was prepared to keep the crowd revived though, throwing down tunes from her recent album Voyageur that narrated the scene all around:
“The hottest days of the summer
They brought us here together
You know it’s true”
I knew our time with the curly haired songstress was coming to an end as she sent out the jogging beat of her hit single Change the Sheets. Then noticing herself how much the temperature had risen, Kathleen called out for a hosing down of the audience and waved farewell to a multitude of grateful cheers. At this point the flow of the crowd, like a school of fish, edged towards the shade and cooling sources. Like many others, my friends and I cornered an ice cream vendor for some sugary and cold delight – meanwhile thinking to ourselves how very business savvy it was for them to have picked Osheaga weekend as their fest-of-choice. After stocking up on some chill-factor we flocked once again to the main stage (or as I liked to call it that day, the ‘oven’ stage) to catch us some of Tucson, Arizona’s Calexico. As a well-established group of musicians, the six guys knew how to call on audience participation and how to deliver a dance-along dynamic. Their Latin infusion came through during the horn and acoustic guitar combos and when one of the trumpet players led the group through their sentimental ballad Inspiracion – an ode to one of the members’ brothers. Hoping to keep pace through the day, I had to retreat under the shelter of the grove of trees a ways back from the main stages. This was a harder task than I had expected as a mass of others had had the same plan as me much earlier. Every bit of shade was claimed by some bum or blanket, that by the time I was able to find my own plot, Plants and Animals had begun their set. Caving to the heat wave, my friends and I decided to let the sound of the Halifax/Montreal-based boys make its way to our patch of paradise. It was from our chosen spot that we witnessed the harsh effects of the day’s conditions, as a girl collapsed on her walk to the River stage. Luckily her friends and surrounding concertgoers were ready with water and encouragement to bring her back to a fit enough state to travel to some first-aid.