Montreal concerts

Former Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock

These bands aren’t afraid of Coronavirus

The best gigs that are still happening in Montreal this week.

Since the Coronavirus was first reported, it has certainly gotten legs. Most bands that were planning on touring abroad and vice versa were forced to cancel their tours; a whole swathe of bands that would play to big rooms are now postponing tours. The result is a lot of people who earn their keep playing or working Montreal concerts — or in the music industry in general — are going to end up looking for new jobs. Behemoth fests like SXSW and Coachella have already cancelled and postponed, respectively. Although nothing has been announced, the betting man in me would wager that Montreal’s summer music fests might hold off as well.

The lack of bigger tours coming through town will also directly hinder smaller clubs like Casa, Sala and Turbo Haüs. We can expect a huge surge of local shows to fill in the empty dates in the next couple of months, until this pandemonium subsides. If you truly love live music and living in a city as culturally rich as Montreal, please support these venues and the local bands playing them as much as you can. (For more about supporting musicians here and elsewhere, click here.)

Here are some Montreal concerts to start you off right.

Thursday: One of the best fests in the city, Distorsion, will launch its fifth edition by announcing their programming tonight at Ausgang Plaza.

As a bonus there will be live sets by Berlin’s Underground Youth, Mexico’s Lorelle Meets the Obsolete and locals Yoo Doo Right and Besnard Laker Sheenah Ko. 6524 St-Hubert, 8 p.m., $13

Turbo Haüs knows you’re hurting in the pocket so they’ve cooked up a free show tonight with the brutal beat-down of Cinci’s Ball of Light. One band playing for 30 minutes — boom! 2040 St-Denis, 11 p.m., free

If you were hoping to see Anti-Flag with Grade 2 and Doll Skin at l’Astral, you’ll be at the mercy of scalpers as it’s sold out. Take that, Coronavirus!

Friday: Any band that can musically quote Cheap Trick and Thin Lizzy will always have my heart. If you’re the same way, don’t miss a chance to catch Montreal’s most handsome men at Montreal’s scuzziest bar. Sick Things play at Barfly with King Bull and a new band that’s gaining ground quickly, Street Panther. 4062A St-Laurent, after the hockey game natch, $10 PWYC

Just down the street from the Barfly, dream-team DJs Punk Police will be putting their needle in the groove all night at pinball hotspot North Star. 3908 St-Laurent, 10 p.m., free

Uubbuurruu may have been playing possum over the last coupla years but they’re busting out of the gate with a new psych-rock jammer pressed on wax, and a promise to play as many gigs as possible. Their new reign on the city begins at l’Esco with Magic Dawn and the nicest DJ in town, Jean-Phillippe Bourgeois. 4461 St-Denis, 8 p.m., $10/$12

Turbo Haüs barflies Guster will celebrate six years of always being an opening band by headlining their own gig. This time their buds Dizastra and aaaaaaaa will open. 2040 St-Denis, 8 p.m., $10

For a night of solo performances with a whole heap of droney bleeps and blobs, get to Sala to check out Austrian one-noter Fennesz. New York’s Britton Powell and local Korn fan Eliza Kavtion opens. 4848 St-Laurent, 8 p.m., $18/$22 [PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS SHOW HAS SINCE BEEN CANCELLED/POSTPONED]

Saturday: Turbo Haüs is once again cooking up a night that will cost you absolutely nothing, so head down St-Denis way and catch the grindcore of Holy Cost and Crosstitution. It’s also Angie’s birthday, so buy her a shot and give her a well-deserved toast. 2040 St-Denis, 7 p.m., free

The second edition of Velouria Fest hits its fourth day with a killer bill. Local super duper group Young Blades, featuring members of Mickey Dagger and more, will headline. Opening are post-punk band Boar God and dark synth pros Deception. This action all goes down beneath the stairs at la Sotterenea. 4848 St-Laurent, 8 p.m., $5 PWYC

Sunday: Does anybody remember New York Doll Sylvain Sylvain and former Sex Pistol Glen Matlock packing in the punters at l’Esco’s in 2014?

If you missed it or if you want to relive that magical moment, Matlock’s coming back! He’ll be playing the cozy confines of Turbo Haüs with opener Chris Snelgrove. This should be one for the record books. 2040 St-Denis, 8 p.m., $24

Tuesday: Matlock’s gig should be a knees-up affair but my Hammer bump of the week is going to the transcendental jams of Nigerian musician Mdou Moctar. He’ll single-handedly make the guitar solo fuggin’ rad again with local Randy Holden/Blue Cheer fans Population II. If you’re into searing repetitive rhythms with killer fretwork, you can’t miss this. (Also don’t miss the recent reissue of stoner rock masterpiece Population II by Randy Holden.) You can thank me for all of this on any given Tuesday at the Barfly btw. 4848 St-Laurent, 8 p.m., $15/$18 [PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS SHOW HAS SINCE BEEN CANCELLED/POSTPONED]

Current Obsession: Powder, Biff! Bang!

See previous edition of Hammer of the Mods here.

For more recommended Montreal concerts and other events, see our daily To-Do List.

For even more Montreal concerts, consult our Listings.

To vote for your favourite Montreal people and things in the 2020 Best of MTL readers poll, click here.