Results of our 10 Predictions for Osheaga Weekend in Montreal

6 Aug

Oh, Canada. You weren’t what we thought, were you. We thought we could come up with 10 questions about the weekend and know with almost certainty how it would go. Sure, we could count on getting a little lost, Caitlin crying during Sigur Ros and me loving and her not liking Poutine, but we were wrong about most everything else. We couldn’t keep to our festival schedules because when push comes to shove, we simply tried to do too much*. With two international 6:20 am flights, how did we ever think we could pack three full days of festivaling in, while still managing to enjoy the sights and tastes of Montreal? We didn’t factor in travel or the fact that things come up and a vacation isn’t the ideal time to make everything rush rush rush. We’ll break down our ten predictions here and then write a recap of what really happened in another post.

*I originally worried this was because we were too old to do as much as we once did when we were younger, but when I was honest about it, I think I always over-plan for a festival and think I’ll see way more bands than I end up having the energy to see.

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

Prediction: Yes, it will happen. Over/under at 4 times.

Actual: We got lost early, but not often. Taking the bus from the airport to our hotel was confusing right off the bat. Our stop was vague at best, and the “map” on the bus didn’t seem to match up with what was actually happening. Luckily I had wifi working and we tracked where we were on my iPad. We won’t even count that as getting lost, we just had to really keep an eye on it*. We did get significantly lost trying to find the train station for the first time when walking from our hotel, but we found some kids heading toward the fest and together we asked for, and received help. A 10-minute distraction and that was it the whole weekend. Caitlin was an awesome leader. I just followed her. Or went the wrong way without thinking and had her tell me where we actually needed to go. I’d still be looking for our hotel if it weren’t for her**.

*I was in high-stress mode at this point, asking Zack to check the map over & over while our little blue dot selves traveled down the road.

**My dad was in the army and taught me well how to read maps — in fact, I was the official guide on his and my pre-collegiate trip from San Antonio, Texas to Niagara Falls, New York by truck. This is one of the handiest skills I have.

2. Will Caitlin cry at Sigur Ros?

Prediction: I figure I’ll cry at least once, probably a few times during this set.

Actual: Ding! Ding! Ding! As the Teiblooms would say, WWCD (Winner winner, chicken dinner). I was openly weeping before the first notes came barreling out of Jonsi’s electric guitar*, and even teared up again at the end of the band’s set. The whole thing was incredibly and beautifully emotional and moving.

*Caitlin turned around to face me and started nodding, with tears streaming down her face, as soon as they took the stage. She teared up again as they made their final bow. 

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

Prediction: I’m really hopeful the good, kind people of Canada know how to respect the band playing.

Actual: Oh, lord no. They were as bad as Coachella and far worse than Austin. The non-stop crowd surfing and drunken dick heads talking during M83 made for the worst crowd we’ve ever come across together. They completely ruined the show for us and Caitlin got kicked in the head*. We definitely met some cool people. The Sigur Ros crowd was quiet and respectful and the guys we met who travel the world to see them were true fans**. And the Yeasayer crowd was appropriately rowdy and the crowd surfing wasn’t as non-stop and over-bearing. It wasn’t all bad, but the general crowd member was your typical neon-clad douche. Individually they were mostly good people, but collectively, they sucked.

*Twice.

**Not to be repetitive, but I do just need to emphasize that the Sigur Ros crowd was perfect. Zack said there were two girls near him who talked through half a song, but otherwise you could have heard a pin drop during the songs before the crowd erupted in applause at the end of each. It’s part of what made that show so great.

4. Will we make it to and enjoy the bio dome?

Prediction: Saturday before we head into the fest, we’re going to the dome.

Actual: Well, we made it to the Biodome. We arrived at this glorified zoo around 1 p.m. and found ourselves staring at an hour and a half line full of children. Did we want to miss half the festival day waiting for a chance to see a few penguins and try to not step on some little kids? Nope. We used the bathroom and headed to the fest. Oh, well. I’ve always liked live music more than penguins*.

*We contemplated returning for all of half a second the next day and then immediately decided against it. Music wins at everything.

5. Will we actually swim in the hotel pool?

Prediction: I’m going to say we will. I’d take all the money I bet on us getting lost and double down on NOT swimming.

Actual: Never even considered it. Bathing suits never left the suitcases. Sunday morning we chose getting donuts and watching TV in bed. No regrets. We have Barton Springs and Deep Eddy to come home to*.

*The pool sat there, tempting us every time we passed in the elevator (which has clear walls so you can always see out to either the city or the pool), but it was usually filled with families with children, and children in pools = boogers everywhere. Nothankyou.

6. Will Caitlin like poutine?

Prediction: Short answer: no. Long answer: Kind of, in a picky way.

Actual: “It’s just fries. Wet fries,” Caitlin said on first bite. Later she got a good bite with curds and said, “No. Just no. This is terrible.” She really didn’t like the curds. More for me! I had four servings this weekend and loved every bite. Yup. Hated it. Why would you ruin perfectly good french fries? I just don’t get it. Sorry, Canada.

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

Prediction: I think we’ll be close, but there’s no way we’ll hit all 10.

Actual: We weren’t close at all. The only thing we really got right was our top 3. Sigur Ros was Caitlin’s favorite as predicted. I loved them as well, but Yeasayer was too much fun for me to keep them off my top spot, bumping Sigur Ros to two flip flopping my prediction. A nightmare crowd at M83 bumped them down, even though they sounded spectacular. Aloe Blacc was the big mover, shooting all the way up to #3 for me and #4 for Caitlin and we didn’t have him in our top 10 at all. No one played poorly to move down, but we were too tired after a full day of travel on Friday to make it longer than 15 minutes at Justice, and the rest of our trouble was logistics. We were still checking into our hotel when Freelance Whales went on, and the fact that we needed to take two flights of stairs up and down and go through the woods to make it back and forth from the Verte stage to the main stage caused us to miss all of Metric and Wintersleep and most of Garbage. Shame*.

*It is. But it also illuminated the point for me that one should never make a schedule one plans on keeping before one knows the layout of a festival. Seriously, just don’t do it. You’ll set yourself up for disappointment. I’m not telling you to not have a general plan of who you want to see, but I know Zack and I both felt bad at various points for ducking out of a spectacular music performance because we just couldn’t handle the terrain.

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

Prediction:  Once, maybe twice** is my prediction. I think he’ll talk about it at least 4 times.

Actual: I was really surprised that Zack only brought up Lollapalooza and Jack a couple of times. I asked him if he felt that was because he’d bet he wouldn’t talk about it (subconscious suppression), but he said he was really just into what we were doing enough to give it too much thought. Despite the weekend being so different from our expectations, I think it was enough of what we needed that it really occupied our attention. Most of all: it allowed us to really bond with each other more than any other trip we’ve taken together.

9. How many times will we talk about Scooby?

Prediction: I’ll put the over/under on how often we’ll talk about him at 8 times.

Actual: Man, did we go over on this one. At least 3 times at every sit-down meal, Scooby photos came out. A couple times at the festival, the same Scooby photos* came out. We watched videos we’d taken with the pup, wondered aloud if he missed us. There was a lot of puppy love over the weekend. Zack was physically bouncing on the way to pick up our man.

*This pic of Scoobs chewing on his harness always made us laugh the hardest. I don’t know why I love it so much, but it’s just perfect trouble maker Scoobs. 

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

Prediction: I put it at 70% that Montreal will end up on my short list of possible future hometowns. 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.

Actual: I was so, so wrong on this point. I love so much about French culture and bands, but in Canada I disgusted myself, yearning for English signs so that I could understand better where I was going. I would still say “Bonjour!” and “Merci!” to people, which then put me in the predicament that people would start speaking to me in French* (what can I say — I have a convincing accent, apparently) and then I would look at them, wide-eyed, and have to shrug or switch to English. That wasn’t the biggest point for me, though. Really, I was just surprised and disappointed that, more than Europe, Montreal reminded me of Chicago, which is admittedly not my favorite of the big cities. It was just lots of tall, cold buildings and very little to do after 11PM on a weekend night. On a weekend night!!

*I said Merci a bunch, but never bonjour or anything else. As someone who fancies himself on having a strong hold on the English language, feeling completely unable to express yourself is incredibly frustrating. The default in Montreal is for someone to speak to you in French until you show you can’t speak it. I promise I’m not that much of a lame American all the time, but it was difficult.

I found myself missing the Live Music Capitol of the World, and it really illuminated how much Austin earns that nickname. Even though I still want to continue checking out other cities and sniffing out new places to call “home,” I can say with certainty Montreal will never make that list. I would still like to return and actually vacation there, taking in Old Montreal (which we shamefully never visited) and places other than Saint Laurent or St. Catherine, which apparently are just made up of loads and loads of sex shops and strip clubs. Anyway, while I did have a fun, memorable weekend in Montreal, I missed you, Austin*, and I’m happy to be home.

*I never feel as at home as I do in Austin. I already love being back.

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One Response to “Results of our 10 Predictions for Osheaga Weekend in Montreal”

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  1. Results of our 10 Predictions for Osheaga Weekend in Montreal | Home Far Away From Home - August 7, 2012

    […] Canada. You weren’t what we thought, were you. We thought we could come up with 10 questiosource This entry was posted in north_america by poster. Bookmark the […]

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