Day 2 of Montreal’s newest festival reminded us of summer, just like day one, but for a different reason: rain. Such as been the fate of many of our outdoor festivals this year during our wet summer. Nonetheless, the show must go on. There is a certain camaraderie for concert goers in the rain. A bond of misery combined with utter joy for the music. This is where we separate the music lovers with fair weather fans.
In a stroke of genius, the food trucks today were lined just along the parallel shelter of the overpass thus allowing the lineups to keep the hungry dry. In retrospect, the placement of the lineups yesterday had lineups that interrupted the flow of people moving from one stage to another, so this was a much better setup.
Andy Shauf drew a considerable crowd considering the early hour and the rain. This singer songwriter was enjoyable to listen to. A perfect mood for a rainy day. Andy is a one-man band in studio, but this time, he was accompanied by his band.
Basia Bulat brought more country vibe to the Mile End Stage. After a song, she shed her cap and let loose. I wonder what she drove to the festival as her songs have been featured in both Volkswagen and Subaru car commercials.
Charlotte Cardin had quite the following of fans waiting in the rain for her. Charlotte and the band have been on fire lately, selling out Metropolis shows like they were going out of style. We don’t need to talk about her looks, we have evolved from that type of critique, we need to talk about her voice. It’s angelic, romantic and powerful. There is something about her that steals your attention while she performs. She played songs from her debut EP “Big Boy” as well as new songs for a new EP that will land in a few days. Some of the new songs include “Blackened Eyes” and “Paradise Motion”. She also played a cover of Post Malone’s “Go Flex.”
She is cute. Remember, I’m not talking about her looks, but rather her demeanor. She truly gets lots of love from the crowd and a genuine smile showing that she is soaking it all in, yet probably surprised by all this attention as of late. It’s the seedling of stardom and she isn’t taking it for granted, at least not yet. “C’est complètement debile que vous êtes ici!” she says, noting that they are under a covered stage and they are cold, so how much more those in the audience with no protection.
I had to tear myself away from Charlotte to see Dizzy on the smaller Van Horne Stage. Wow. I wasn’t expecting them to be this good! Probably the best discovery of the two days in terms of bands I hadn’t heard before. Definitely keep your eyes and ears out for them when they next visit our city. I know I will be there.
I was quite surprised that Patrick Watson was doing the smaller Mile End Scene as they publicized this event as City and Colour and Patrick Watson headlining. I wasn’t the only one who had the bright idea to get there early to make sure I got a good spot. Despite the rain, this scene was packed quickly. Out of all the shows this week-end, this one was the most elaborate. To start us off, a choir between two cement pillars on our left side started singing “The Sound of Music.” Patrick then took over with his band packed tight on the smaller stage. The show felt very intimate and special and maybe a bit surreal considering the location just under a bridge with lasers, a musical saw, a choir and smoke machines. Patrick delivered his signature sound to an appreciative crowd that was oblivious to the pouring rain. At least for the second half of his set, the rain abated and we all soaked in the sounds, instead of the rain.
The real headliners were Godspeed You! Black Emperor, or at least they held the headlining slot on the big stage tonight. A pulsating bass signaled the slowly assembled crowd that the show would soon start. This band has a cult following which craves its experimental musings as the band sits in a circular ring of guitars and electronics, surrounded by a ring of percussions, bass and violin. The stage is quite dark and can’t help but feel for the photographers who will have a hard time getting any good shots, except for possible outlines in front of the backdrop of looped videos.
Today’s tone fit the weather; it was a little gloomy, subdued and relaxed.
I enjoyed these two days and discovered some new bands to sink my teeth into. I literally sank my teeth into some great food truck fare and enjoyed the location of the festival. I do hope we have a second edition next year, possibly with some bigger named bands to draw in a crowd. Until then, we will enjoy the last few weeks of warmer weather before we all hibernate for yet another winter. Fear not, the outdoor festivals might be done, but live shows will continue to abound in our fair city and reward those that venture out to discover what this city has to offer musically.
Until next year Mile Ex End Festival, sleep tight and let us reunite again.
Photos – Kieron YatesShare this :