M for Montreal Day 2

A report on the first full-on day of the M for Montreal music fest, with a photo gallery by Cindy Lopez.

Honheehonhee, photos by Cindy Lopez

Yesterday was the first full-on day of the M for Montreal music festival, and, with panels and free afternoon shows, the darkness of Café/Petit Campus tempted delegates, journalists and music lovers of all stripes to get their drink on early. Many did, and many did not make it out to today’s daytime shows, which is where I’m reporting from – a red-lit corner of Campus, a coffee in hand and a beer on its way.

Here’s what I remember from yesterday, followed by a photo gallery by Cindy Lopez.

It was my second time seeing the Balconies at Petit Campus. Their sound was much meatier this time, and their look way more rawk (ie. black leather, big hair and red lipstick). But the banshee cry on “Kill Count” still doesn’t sound right.

Ain’t No Love was a bit of a hard sell so early in the day, but all the elements were in place and the set was tight. And who knew Robert Pattinson moonlighted as their laptop dude?

Honheehonhee are so Montreal, on the goofier end of the local indie pop spectrum. I couldn’t help thinking of Parlovr, Goose Hut and Régine Chassagne during their set, which climaxed with each band member donning papier maché animal heads. Their sound is pretty reliant on synths, but they’re peppy pop-rockers with a touch of outpatient energy. (Maybe it’s just the singer’s crazy beard and wild eyes.)

No Joy is three girls on guitars and a dude drummer, like one of my favourite 90s bands, Elastica. But they’re a different kind of 90s band, one that bridges shoegaze and grunge-adjacent alt-rock, like Sonic Youth. I’m pretty sure that the mostly-foreign audience didn’t get the Degrassi footage playing in the background, but I dig.

Young Galaxy’s shirt
Young Galaxy‘s new songs sound great next to the terrific material off their last record, Shapeshifting, (especially “Cover Your Tracks,” which is ma toune). And their new merch is hilarious. Singer Stephen Ramsay invites any and all lawsuits. Peter Hook, get on that!

Speaking of ma toune, PS I Love You played “First Contact,” my fave from their sophomore record, Death Dreams. Thanks you guys.

Mac Demarco wound up being the headliner as PS I Love You’s Paul Saulnier had to leave early to DJ at Salon Officiel’s On the Rocks night. That worked for me. After eight hours of shows, I wasn’t feeling his shambolic, half-baked indie rock steez. I followed half of Arcade Fire out the door. As you do.
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