10 Predictions for Osheaga weekend in Montreal

1 Aug

Caitlin and I are getting to leave the country together for the first time, but like most of our vacations, it’s for a festival*. Though it’s not just going to be about the festival. We’ve traveled to Chicago, L.A. and Houston for festivals and spent no time exploring the attractions, food or nightlife of the city itself. We’re determined to change that this time. Sure, we set-up an early hotel check-in Friday afternoon so we could head straight to the fest, but we promised ourselves we’d carve out time for Montreal adventures. We’re not going into the fest until mid-afternoon Saturday and we’ll leave before Snoop headlines so we can check out the Biodome, have some poutine and smoked meats and go out for a couple drinks when we still have energy. We’ve got a couple things planned, and have 10 predictions about how the weekend will go, so we figured we’d share them now and then write about how well we did or didn’t stick to the plan. We position them as questions, so feel free to make predictions as well.

*After all, this is how we met and part of why we fell in love. We are the festival couple.

1. Will we get lost because all the signs are in French*?

Montreal’s first language is French, so, naturally, their street signs are in French. Even though one of my best friends, Melissa, and I had a French club running for a good 6 months, and even though there are awesome guides to help us not get lost, let’s be honest — between Zack’s propensity for getting lost in his own hometown** and my still-very-lacking knowledge of the French language will likely mean at least one wrong turn a day. That’s ok, though! We just have to look at it as an excuse to explore Montreal and discover little hidden gems within the city. This one is a definite “yes, it will happen,” and I put the over/under for us getting lost at 4*** times.

*Ahhh! This triple Montreal sign is in English and it still boggles my mind.

**Let’s get real. I get lost in the cabinets.

***If we’re counting asking someone for directions as being lost, I’m taking the over and betting all my loonies and toonies on it. I doubt we’ll end up somewhere we don’t want to be, but we’ll be asking for help a lot. 

2. Will Caitlin cry at Sigur Ros?

I have a unique and very personal relationship with Sigur Ros. They were one of the bands I listened to in college who opened the doors to a world of new, exciting and not-just-singer-songwriter music that I discovered in DJing on a student radio show, and their live show lives in my memory as one of the best, most moving concerts I’ve ever experienced. They have a unique power to soothe me and make me totally emotional all at the same time, and so it is my estimate that this is a no-brainer:  I will bawl at some point during the band’s set at Osheaga. Now, to be fair, there are many times when I’ve thought I’d certainly cry at a performance* because of x, y, or z reason, and then I’ve ended up leaving with dry eyes**. Circumstances affect this a lot — if Zack and I get unlucky and stand near loud-talking douchebags, it might break me out of a trance and make me angry and annoyed. But of all the bands in the world who can ever help me transcend annoyances and  lose myself in their music, Sigur Ros has the most power to do so. So I really think it won’t even be hard — I figure I’ll cry at least once, probably a few times during this set***. And I can’t wait.

*Not just a performance. Caitlin cried at “Dark Knight Rises” pretty unexpectedly Saturday night. 

**We were confident she’d cry at Bright Eyes and Arcade Fire and she didn’t, but she did cry at Coldplay? It’s harder to predict than you’d think. Like why did I cry at Arcade Fire and bawl like a little girl during Robyn? OK, that last one was the two bottles of wine talking (babbling).

***I think she’ll lose it as soon as Jonsi starts singing and will basically be in another world the entire set. It will be tough to shake her from it and get dancing at Justice, but if anyone could do it, it’s them.

3. Will the crowds be as kind as we hope/dream in Montreal?

I’ve got high hopes for the Canadians. Even if they’re French Canadians (kidding.*) It’s really gotten ridiculous how many people think it’s OK to get drunk, push their way to the front of the show and blabber about nothing throughout a show. If you feel the need to chat it up, at least go to the back and leave the rest of us music fans alone. Coachella had some nice people, but the self-important L.A. douches were out in full force. And Austin hasn’t been much better lately. I’m really hopeful the good, kind people of Canada know how to respect the band playing, eh?**

*This just makes them superior. Also I’m a Francophile.

**Please, oh Canada! I beg of you. If you’re quiet maybe we’ll even move to you someday.

4. Will we make it to, and enjoy, the Biodome?

One of the things that my lovely, friendly Canadian hotel helper* told me we should do when we get to the great city of Montreal is to check out the Biodome. She told me it was an indoor tropical rainforest with animals and plants and all kinds of other cool features. I was sold at “we have penguins**.” I am 100% that I will love the Biodome — if we ever make it there. It is on the same island as the festival, so we really should be able to visit. But then again, I loved directly on the border of France for 6 months — literally just a 2 hour bike ride, if I wanted to — and never crossed the border. But, I say to myself — but, but, the penguins!!  I say we may not make it to the Biodome, but if we do, I will be in heaven.

*She means the woman who booked her hotel room over the phone.

**Penguins? Say no more. Saturday before we head into the fest, we’re going to the dome.

5. Will we actually swim in the hotel pool?

This is another one of those things that we really should make time for*, but may very well just miss altogether. Zack and I adore swimming — we try to fit in one visit to a local swimming hole every weekend during the summertime. We had to miss this past weekend due to each only have a one-day weekend, so we’re overdue for a good swim, and hotel pools can be just lovely. At the same time, I could totally see myself chickening out if there are a bunch of other festival-goers in the pool, for fear (read:  self-consciousness) of there being bathing beauties lounging around flirting with attractive men, and setting their sights on my very attractive boyfriend. Hopefully I will throw caution to the wind and enjoy the pool like I should. I’m going to say we will** swim, and I will only feel self-conscious for the first 10 minutes.

*Indoor pools when you’re on vacation? Are we children? Unless there’s a hot tub, I don’t even want to pack a suit.

**I’d take all the money I bet on us getting lost and double down on NOT swimming. Zero chance we do it before the festival Friday. The pool closes at 9 p.m. Saturday we’ll want to get out and exploring as soon as we’re up and dressed. Sunday morning? That may be the best time, but meh.

6. Will Caitlin like Poutine?

Short answer: no. Long answer: Kind of, in a picky way. Poutine is french fries with cheese curds and gravy*. You can have other ingredients, like meat and truffles, but let’s not get crazy with a vegetarian. Caitlin loves fries (who doesn’t), she’s a bit iffy on curds (though I don’t know why, she loves most cheeses) and is strongly anti-gravy. I think her aversion to gravy will really keep her from enjoying this dish. Our local Canadian, Lisa, tells us there’s vegetarian gravy, but those two words just sound weird together. Personally, I love all 3, so I’ll be buying all of the Poutine all of the time. And I won’t be the slightest bit offended if Caitlin just picks out some dry fries. A spoon full of curds and gravy sounds mighty fine to me**.

*Why, why, why would you ruin french fries this way?? If it was cheddar cheese all melty on top, sign me up all day long. Cheese curds? With GRAVY?! Nothankyou.


7. Will the top 10 bands we’re most excited to see actually be our 10 favorites? 

I think we’ll be close, but there’s no way we’ll hit all 10. For one, we’ll barely see 15 minutes of Feist’s set*, since we’ll be locked in at Yeasayer, who we have at #2 and #3. If Sigur Ros isn’t Caitlin’s favorite, something went seriously wrong. There’s a decent chance someone will upset them for me, but after listening to Tuesday night’s NPR live stream of their Brooklyn show, I can’t imagine anyone will top them**. There will be some significant movement on the rest of the list, with anyone from Aloe Blacc to Young the Giant to Gary Clark Jr. sneaking into my top 10.

*Eyes on your own top 10, bub. I know we’ll only catch a chunk of Feist, but I still stand by her being a strong enough artist to make my top 10 anyway. However, Garbage may knock out one of my 8-10.

**Even if someone does upset them for Zack, I hope he doesn’t tell me until I have to read about it in our write-up. Sigur Ros! Sigur Ros!

8. How many times will Zack talk about Jack White/Lollapalooza? 

Lollapalooza started becoming a Chicago-only festival in 2005. I’ve been to every single festival, missing only two of the 20 festival days in the last seven years. It’s a tradition I’ve kept more religiously than anything in my life. So to miss it on a year where Jack White’s headlining is quite a big deal* for me. I fully think we made the right choice on trying a new festival in a new place this year and know this line-up is better suited for us. But needless to say, I’ll be thinking about it. Caitlin thought I’d talk about it a lot, but I think I’ll only bring it up on Sunday when Jack White is playing and we’re not there. Once, maybe twice** is my prediction.

*I sincerely, seriously appreciate Zack passing on Lollapalooza this year so we could hit up Osheaga. We get to see Jack at ACL, yes, but I know when it’s your favorite artist you’re talking about, it’s very hard to miss out on seeing them, especially at your hometown fest you have such a long relationship with.

**I think he’ll talk about it at least 4 times (taking the under), but I won’t mind, as long as he keeps his yapper trapper shut during Sigur Ros, Yeasayer and M83:) 

9. How many times will we talk about Scooby?

When Sam and Britney visited us in February and were already talking about how much they missed their dog the first day they arrived, I thought it was a bit odd. Then we got Scooby and I totally get it. I ask Caitlin how he is at 8 p.m., when she gets home from work, even though I left him at 2:30. He’ll be in great hands, visiting his doodle friends at Heath and Kelsey’s, but I’ll put the over/under on how often we’ll talk about him at 8 times. More if they text us cute pics of him*.

*Totally pick over on this one. Let’s be real — we were supposed to see Young the Giant the day we adopted him, and ended up standing in the back with sick stomachs wondering when it would be acceptable to peace out and go play with him. God help our future children.

10. Will we want to move to Montreal at some point after the trip?

I could really see this one going either way. And by “either way,” I mean I will likely want to move there immediately, and Zack may never want to. He and I are compromising on visiting tons of cities so we have an idea of where we might want to go when we’ve outgrown Austin, and even though Zack feels far away from being ready to uproot*, I was ready in 2009 when I graduated from the University of Texas. Of course, now I have tons of friends here in Austin, and Zack and I have made a home together** with Scooby, so I’m trying as much as I can to take a breather from being stir-crazy. But, I am an army brat by my nature, and I’ve got a “Go! Go! Go” mentality when it comes to settling for too long. I’ve been in Austin for 7 years now, and I’m starting to get that itch. Perhaps it’s because I’m informed by stereotypes, but I suspect Montreal will be filled with friendly folks, absolutely gorgeous, and a nice place for both young folks like Zack and me, as well as a future family. I put it at 70%*** that Montreal will end up on my short list of possible future hometowns.

*Texas, forever (in Riggins voice)

**It’s Rock Love Austin, not Rock Love Montreal. Seriously, I do think we’ll move eventually, but not for a few years. Austin’s my favorite. 

**I bet I’m closer to 20%. I can’t raise kids that have Canadian accents, and I don’t plan on ever learning French, but I do think it will be a lovely place I’ll want to visit often.

For more Osheaga preview coverage, check out Caitlin’s day by day suggestions on Austin Writes Music and Zack’s Top 15 on Festival Crashers


3 Responses to “10 Predictions for Osheaga weekend in Montreal”

  1. pansyaxx August 1, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

    The Quebecois are the friendliest people, they happily switch to English if you’re struggling in French, it’s easy to get around on the metro and they are so much fun. Montréal is in my top 5 for cities I would move to in a heartbeat. Also poutine is amazing! Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it, esp at La Banquise.That place had the best poutine. I’m so excited for you two, it’s gonna be a great fest!

  2. Sam August 6, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    Sounds like you guys are going to (or already had at this point) a great trip! Looking forward to hearing about it. It is pretty crazy how much we worry/think about our dogs, but they make coming home so much better!


  1. Zack’s 15 to See at Osheaga 2012 | Festival Crashers - August 1, 2012

    […]  For Caitlin’s Top 10 and Zack and Caitlin’s 10 Predictions about the weekend in Montre… […]

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