The Most Heartbreaking Osheaga 2018 Conflicts
This year’s edition of the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival once again has a number of heart-wrenching scheduling conflicts between acts on different stages, as any major festival inevitably does. That doesn’t make these ones in particular any less painful to choose from, though, and some of the ones fans can expect at this year’s festival taking place August 3 to 5 are doozies. Here are our picks for the most heartbreaking conflicts at Osheaga 2018.
ODESZA vs. Lykke Li (Friday, Aug 3)
The first pre-headliner choice for this year’s edition of Osheaga 2018 could leave you choosing between two acts who are equally dreamy and multi-layered both musically and in tone, though their individual styles differ. Seattle’s ODESZA have one of the most spellbinding live shows an EDM act have been putting on in recent years, while Lykke Li is riding off the recent release of her trap-influenced fourth album So Sad So Sexy, her first since 2014’s well-received I Never
Learn. Both artists’ shows fit like a glove in their evening time slots, so there’s no going wrong with either one as far as ambience is concerned. ODESZA: Scène de la Montagne Coors Light, 8:30-9:45 p.m. Lykke Li: Scène de la Vallée House of Vans, 8:30-9:30 p.m.
Travis Scott vs. James Blake (Friday, Aug 3)
This one stings. When you’ve got a raucous, genre-traversing rapper versus a singer- songwriter who’s dabbled in hip hop in the past (working with Kendrick Lamar, Vince Staples, RZA and others), there’s bound to be more than a handful of Osheaga-goers wanting to see both. In one corner is Scott, whose third studio album AstroWorld is still expected to drop sometime this year and whose live shows are equal parts atmospheric and rambunctious. In the other you have Blake, who’s delivered two singles already this year that act as wonderfully-textured additions to his signature electronic/soul sound. Whether it’s him or La Flame, you’ve got quite the dilemma on your hands. Travis Scott: Scène de la Rivière Bell Alt Télé, 9:45-10:55 p.m. James Blake: Scène Verte Banque Nationale, 9:45-10:45 p.m.
Arctic Monkeys vs. Tyler, the Creator (Saturday, Aug 4)
A battle like this one may come down to genre preference more than anything, as the British band and the acclaimed yet controversial rapper are pretty far-removed from one another stylistically speaking. That said, both artists are arguably at the peak of their creative powers: Arctic Monkeys’ sixth LP Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is an beguiling, Bowie-esque foray into lounge pop and glam rock, while Tyler’s Flower Boy is an introspective, earnest and wonderfully-paced album that is also his most critically lauded to date – and as of now, his magnum opus. Expect both sets to be a satisfying closer for Saturday’s festivities. Arctic Monkeys: Scène de la Rivière Bell Alt Télé, 9:20-10:50 p.m. Tyler, the Creator: Scène Verte Banque Nationale, 9:20-10:20 p.m.
Dua Lipa vs. Jungle vs. Gorgon City (Sunday, Aug 5)
Ah, the good old three-way conflict. If you’re looking for a jolt of energy before things truly go down at nighttime, all three of these British acts are solid choices. Dua Lipa’s ascent to pop stardom has been fast and furious, with the Kosovar-English singer achieving major success in particular with tropical house-flavoured breakup anthem “New Rules” and her Calvin Harris collaboration “One Kiss”. Seven-piece soul collective Jungle released their first two singles in four years back in May, and the idea of them possibly testing out other new material is certainly intriguing. Similarly, deep house duo Gorgon City are set to release their first album in almost four years, Escape, in August, and the evolution of their slinky, old school-inspired house sound will be enjoyable to watch first-hand. Dua Lipa: Scène de la Rivière Bell Alt Télé, 5:40-6:30 p.m. Jungle: Scène Verte Banque Nationale, 5:40-6:30 p.m. Gorgon City: Scène de l’Île Apple Music, 5:10-6:25 p.m.
Florence + the Machine vs. Brockhampton
They’re perhaps the most polar opposite acts musically among these five matchups, but it’s no less of a tough call. Following a three-year album gap, Florence Welch and her Machine are back in full force with their fourth full-length High as Hope. Her powerhouse of a voice is matched in grandiosity by her live shows, as seen in 2015 with her mesmerizing first go-round at the Osheaga 2018 headline slot. Hip hop group Brockhampton have rebounded swiftly from the abrupt firing of member Ameer Vann following accusations of sexual misconduct against him, with singles “1999 WILDFIRE” and “1998 TRUMAN” recently released in anticipation for their forthcoming LP The Best Years of Our Lives, the follow-up to last year’s brilliant Saturation trilogy. The self-proclaimed “best boy band since One Direction” will be a fun alternative if Florence isn’t your bag. Florence + the Machine: Scène de la Rivière Bell Alt Télé, 9:20-10:50 p.m. Brockhampton: Scène Verte Banque Nationale, 9:20-10:20 p.m.
Words by Dave MacIntyre