Day 2 started with hope- Sun in the morning. It would not last and it would be overcast for the rest of the day.
I’m so happy I caught The Anti-Queens. Wow…just…wow.
Fast…ferocious…and fun…with a sprinkle of attitude.
They kept it real with the song “Help Me I’m Poor” by suggesting they needed help by us buying merch.
They just signed with Stomp Records and will be playing Montebello Rock and ‘77. Make sure you catch their set.
I have a feeling their Festival font will grow bigger shortly.
There is so much going on that’s it’s hard to decide. Like a buffet, you can binge at one stage or sample many different types of sets.
I opted for something completely different: Comedy.
A series of comics with custom intro music by The Complainers.
It was Ben Roy that got the most reaction of the few comics I saw. Mix a little Henri Rollins and Triumph the Insult Dog and you have Ben.
He warned of the greatest infection taking root in Montreal: Beards and Black Rimmed glasses. A few in the audience succumbed to this affliction.
Since all but one guest were sitting in the second row…he would upgrade guests by ripping out the chair in front of them and saying: “You just got upgraded to front-row!”
By the end of the set…everyone practically was in the front row and a tower of strewn chairs sat precociously on stage.
The one guy in the front got his beard scratched and played along the whole time, as the butt of many jokes.’ A brave soul.
Punk BBQ & Music
Caught some 50 Shades of Punk Rock at Katacombes deck along with pints, hot dogs (vegan and mystery meat) and a unicorn. Was it a dream? He had to wait in the queue for beer like everyone else. No Unicorn VIP status here.
50 Shades of Punk Rock is Émilie Plamondon and Simon Rondeau-Cantin who perform punk classics in an acoustic style. The result is a patio where everyone sang along to old classics such as Rancid and NOFX.
Back to the main stage for Ogikubo Station (Stomp Records). When Mike Park isn’t managing his label Asian Man Records, he will take the stage with Maura Weaver (Mixtapes) and play some Indie Punk.
Took a jaunt to Theatre St-Catherine again for Walt Hamburger who performed with his acoustic guitar. He’s won many WAMI awards including Best Stage Presence and Best Hair!
All that Hamburger talk was making me hungry.
The Radio Buzzkills
Off to Foufs for The Radio Buzzkills. Wearing matching cardigans and cheered on by The Anti-Queens, I finally caught a Foufs Garage show. I picked a winner.
The Radio Buzzkills hail from St.Louis and play some catchy 90s style Punk. Their sound just worked. It was Blink 183…one louder.
Today is turning out amazing.
The Anti-Queens taught singer Zac Buzzkill how to say “I love you!” in French to win over the crowd. “Je pete fromage!”
They were won over, regardless of the translation.
I’m at 7,000 steps so I think I earned my Poutine.
Wear comfortable shoes if you want to sample many venues. My Blundstones saving me again.
As usual, they were intense and delivered a solid set. I spent a good part of the set in the queue for the Pot-a-Potty which were lacking in numbers.
The rise of Strung Out was not like the rocket of fame some of their contemporaries experience. It was slow and steady, and it just never stops.
Strung Out showed that the level of musicianship in Punk could be raised.
The demonstrated that again tonight, playing 16 songs, including a brief cover of “Bark at the Moon” by Ozzy. They ended with “Matchbook” from Twisted by Design from 1998. Talk about longevity!
The Planet Smashers
The Planet Smashers have the home field advantage. I don’t think I’ve seen this much dancing at Pouzza, although it is my first time attending.
“Life of the Party” was exceptional, but of course the classic “Surfing in Tofino” had the long held tradition of everyone sitting down…till the countdown from 10 to 1 where everyone stood back up and just went mental.
They played a lot of classics, but also included songs from their latest release Too Much Information with songs about eating ice cream too quickly, “Brain Freeze” and over-sharing with “Too Much Information”.
They should make a mash-up of Too Much Attitude and Too Much Information!
The Planet Smashers were the dance band of Pouzza.
It reminded me of how much I enjoy Ska. Although there was a SKAdrought in the late 90s and early 2000s, it’s back in full swing.
Bands Bands Bands
Caught two more bands at Foufs.
Deanna Belon (Chicago) delighted the Emo fans with her band Sincere Engineer. Like most Emo acts, the crowd sang along to all the songs.
She does really fit the Sincere quality. You just get the vibe that she is enjoying every minute of being on stage, apart from when you have to change strings on your guitar mid-set.
SAMIAM was next. If there was a park teeter-totter and you had Emo on one side and Punk on the other…it would lean more towards the Punk.
Again, fans sang along to this Berkeley, California band.
The venue was getting packed…probably for the Iron Reagan’s at 1:00 AM.
Before heading home, I decided to check out Turbo Haus which hosted The Corps. I would vote this band: Most Punk band at Pouzza.
They had hard core fans singing along and moshing.
What a fantastic high intensity set.
We were spared the rain today, but I don’t think tomorrow will spare us. Ah well…the show must go on.
Review – Randal Wark
Photos – Kieron Yates