The end of February in Montreal is always a magical time. Just as we get a handle on the holidaze hangover and cabin fever takes hold, more shows come to town and more Montreal concerts sell out. People are generally more social and more cordial with each other, given the realization that we’re all going through this together: the mercury has plummeted, there won’t be a livable temp for months, our snow removal services still suck and Netflix has become tiring.
So instead of resigning ourselves to total boredom, we seem to be spending our savings on concert tickets. There are plenty of sold out shows this week, but also some killer events you can still squeeze into the city’s smaller rooms to see.
The top 9 Montreal concerts
Friday: Casa is the place to be if you want to get yer ooze on with stoner sludge band Birmani playing with psych act Electrique Junk, art rockers Rorqual and heavy improv bros Garbage Town. 4873 St-Laurent, 8:30 p.m., $10/PWYC
Elephant Stone are back from a European/U.K. tour that had more than a couple of sold out dates, but you can still get into tonight’s gig at their favourite room, l’Escogriffe. The local sitar-driven psych band are launching their new jammer Hollow, with support from Meggie Lennon. 4461 St-Denis, 9:30 p.m., $17.50/$22.50
Saturday: Those kooky funsters the Hypnophonics release their new jammer Citizen of Oblivion. Their pals Boids are opening, and they’re also launching a new rekkid, Quel Drag. Opening things up are those high-kickin’ rockers the Lookout. This all goes down at Turbo Haüs, natch. 2040 St-Denis, 8 p.m., $10/$13
Musically, White Cowbell Oklahoma’s mix of Southern boogie with a smidge of punk attitude won’t exactly wake the neighbours. The real reason I’m chomping at the bit to hip you L7s to this show is that I witnessed one of rock ’n’ roll’s most majestic moments — and possibly the greatest stunt in the history of Montreal concerts — at a White Cowbell Oklahoma show. During a particularly (ahem) limp version of Skynyrd’s “Freebird,” the guitarist from WCO put a slide on his dick and played the solo note-perfect. Take that you sweater-wearing indie rock bands. Want to see if these Toronto yokels can raise the bar from that amazing stunt? Check them out at l’Esco with Floating Widget, featuring the nicest person in rock, Vince Peake. Hopefully l’Esco will be well stocked with whiskey on Saturday night. 4461 St-Denis, 9 p.m., price not listed
In my favourite place in the whole wide world, New Orleans, Mardi Gras celebrations are beginning. If you can’t afford overpriced Air BnBs in the Big Easy, head to God’s favourite venue, the Wheel Club in NDG. They’re hosting a Celebration of Dr. John and the Music of New Orleans with the swingin’ Rocket 88’s and the Fat Tuesday Horns. (Speaking of Dr. John, have you checked out the good doctor’s NOLA psych masterpiece Gris Gris? If not, open up a tab and dig in right now.) 3373 Cavendish, 9 p.m., $20
Bring the noise
Looking for a noisey night? Get taken over by a wash of lo-fi soundscapes at la Sotterenea. Lowell, MASS’s Pain Chain play with neighbours from Taunton, MASS’s Chuck Steak Toronto’s Goth Girl, Harshfiend and Armand and Naegleria. 4873 St-Laurent, 9 p.m., $10/PWYC
Remember in the early oughts when you used to take any opportunity to jump into the pit? These days, do you bristle whenever anybody even grazes your shoulder? Well you will definitely be at the Silverstein show with Four Year Strong and I the Mighty at le National. Here’s the rub though: if this Silverstein announcement is news to you, it’s way sold out. Also, Maximum Rock and Roll is no longer published and Fugazi broke up. Also, you’re old.
Killer gigs next week
Monday: Okay, you missed out on Silverstein but at least you can get your old-ass hc head-bob on at Refused. Bonus: a killer band called Youth Code is also on the bill, along with Racetraitor. Just kidding kiddo, this is sold out as well.
A cool punk show that is not sold out is happening at Turbo Haüs. Dig the hardcore/crust of Modern Eyes, who’ll drop the breakdowns with St. Catherine’s Sinner, Kingston metalcore act Trauma Model and Turbo “haus” band Gutser. Maybe the worst night of the week isn’t so bad after all. 2040 St-Denis, 8 p.m., $10/$12
Current Obsession: The Figgs, Shady Grove
Check out previous editions of Hammer of the Mods here.
For more Montreal concerts, consult our listings.
See more concert recommendations in our To-Do List.
Read the latest issue of Cult MTL here.