Rich Aucoin Tree Stage, Montreal QC, August 2
Published Aug 03, 2013Halifax's Rich Aucoin is known for his spectacular live show and his performance at Osheaga was no exception. After a few humorous introduction videos, the performance quickly became a celebration of life, with affirmations about existence and loving oneself and each other. While Osheaga's Piknik Electronique stage was supposed to be the designated dance party stage, he turned the Mountain Stage into one too. Each song began with Aucoin introducing the chorus to the audience so they could all sing along, followed by a popular viral video remixed until the original material was no longer discernable, at which point Aucoin and his cohort of musicians would begin to perform the song proper. Hits such as "P:U:S:H," "Undead," and "It" from his We're All Dying to Live LP were transformed from fun, poppy tunes into full-blown spectacles, with Aucoin, ever a master of the crowd, shouting out instructions to the audience all the while.
The two drum kits and backing beat tended to overpower the guitar and bass, but this wasn't too much of an issue in the end. The songs themselves were simply one part of a larger exhibition; the tunes were rarely the main focus, pushed aside for Aucoin's captivatingly flamboyant stage presence and the trippy visuals that accompanied every moment of the set. However, this choice didn't matter in the end, as Aucoin took what could have easily been a regular performance and turned it into a bona fide party, complete with a giant parachute tossed over the crowd. This unique performance was the perfect way to end a long, music-filled day at Osheaga, and Aucoin is living proof that, when done right, unbridled enthusiasm, creativity, and artistry can lead to something truly spectacular.