The Planet Smashers + Belvedere + Walt Hamburger in Montebello

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Driving up through hills on the coast of the Ottawa River, I was super stoked to finally arrive at Montebello’s Mountain Bike Festival outdoor stage. Following a year of hermitting, I was very grateful to attend a show in person with others who echoed the same sentiment.

Walt Hamburger

Don’t be mistaken, mountain biking is cool, but I don’t have a sporty bone in my body so I headed straight for the outdoor stage where I was greeted by Wisconsin’s Walt Hamburger and his Kool-Aid blue hair and acoustic guitar. He serenaded us with several original songs about heartbreak and feeling sad and a few covers, like Bear’s Den’s Agape.

Afterwards, Calgary’s own, Belvedere came on. Their high energy was no match for the flimsy stage. They persisted through their set despite many technical difficulties, gracing us with many majestic jumps and their heavy Bad Religion reminiscent sound. They closed off their set with an excellent Bad Religion cover (which I cannot remember for the life of me because I may have taken too much advantage of the beer tent on-site).

 By the time the sun disappeared, a couple of comedians came to grace us with their bits (could not find any mention of who they were on the pages of the festival afterwards) about parents boning to the beat of drumming and anglos not being able to understand any French.

The Planet Smashers

Finally, The Planet Smashers piled onto the comically small stage. By this time a pretty big crowd gathered. To the side of a stage, kids with glow sticks were having a rave. They played through many of their classic hits like J’Aime ta Femme (I Like Your Girl), Pee in the Elevator, Super Orgy Porno Party, Life of the Party, and songs from their latest records like Too Much Information and Going out Solo. I did not hold back and joined the crowd in skanking and singing along, making this concert a surreal experience after a year and a half of being deprived of shows and large gatherings.

The Planet Smashers were one of the last bands I got to see live pre-covid. I am so grateful to have been brought back to simpler times even though it was just for a couple of hours, and makes the idea of venues operating normally seem like it’s in a not-so-distant future.

Review & Photos – Mell Martella

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