Bloodshot Bill Montreal free shows

Bloodshot Bill

Montreal cheapskates want to know where the free shows are at

Johnson’s weekly concert roundup features ticketed and free gigs, the latter including one that will rule the Plateau on Saturday night.

It goes without saying that we all are thanking Dog that we can go to shows again after that flu thing that was going around. Obviously I’m preaching to the choir here as you wouldn’t really be clicking on this column if you thought differently. While most of us applaud the earlier start at shows around town since the live music break — which is especially great for people like me, whose day job turns them into a husk after 5 p.m., yippity doo! — but there is still a bit of whining (albeit kind of valid I guess) coming from the moaners regarding the increase in ticket costs. Don’t get it twisted — I am not one of the complainers here as the archaic expectation that local shows should only cost $5 has been finally punched in the dick.  Decades and decades of people whining about paying $5 for three bands? Good riddance. But the argument is somewhat valid when ticket prices run beyond many of our budgets for bands we would really like to see and support. 

Having said all that, I’ve been stumbling across more and more free shows lately, which is also a super positive move. In fact, there is a killer Plateau house day show happening over the weekend but I can’t spill the beans as the regular readers of this column are straight-up street urchins and will probably pee in the person’s closet. Not to worry, though, as there are a couple of completely free shows that will fuggin’ rool, along with my big pick for the show of the week, which is, uh, completely sold out. Paaaaarrrrrrdddddyyyyy haaaaarrrrrrddddd!!!!!!!!!

Friday: In true Montreal tradition, Friday is the king of the gigs, so I might as well start off with what is easily the big pick of the week: Legendary Swedish death metal dudes At the Gates will destroy Théâtre Corona with stage-diving funsters Municipal Waste and Enforced. Sounds amazing, right?! Well it will be if you have tickets, as this has been long sold out. For my money, At the Gates is one of metal’s most important bands, so if you don’t have a ticket, you really shat the bed on this one.

On the flippity-flop, if you like your dark wave and gothy electronica, as well as a smidge of motorik krautrock, you will want to point your yellow crocs in the direction of Sala to catch An_nA and Elle Saw with King Death in the sweat slot. No one understands you, and it’s rad! 4848 St-Laurent, 9 p.m., $12

Just like Joey once asked, do you remember rock ‘n’ roll? Well, do you? If you answered yaaaaassssss, then you really need to make it down to the always lovely l’Esco to catch the man who puts “punk” in punktual, Dion Lunadon. If you dig the raw and vicious power of the late and fucking great Jay Reatard, you should dig Mr. Lunadon. If that wasn’t awesome enough, opening is Montreal stalwart Chris Burns, who promised to not check the door with his Going Concerns. If you want to get lubed for this one, punch in Lunadon’s hit “Com/Broke” into Google and bask in the rock ‘n’ roll righteousness. 4461 St-Denis, 8 p.m., $18.95

If you want to squeeze into the cozy confines of “Da Turb,” you will definitely want to show up as early as possible as the TV Erased show is sure to sell out. If their noisey propulsion and hints of skronk weren’t enough, openers We Are Wolves promise to fill up the guest list spots with distant cousins just to piss off Haüs head honcho Sergio. Good peeps, those We Are Wolves fellas. This will get messy. 2040 St-Denis, 8 p.m., $20

Saturday: “Hey, you said there would be free shows and so far you just hipped us to a show we don’t have tickets for, and the other shows were over $5.” I hear ya, Poindexter, but ol’ Johnson’s got your hairy back. Performing for absolutely FREE is one of Montreal’s greatest howling, greased up jewels, Bloodshot Bill, with the Hack-Em-Ups and DJ Bliss keeping the whole thing spinning. This is all happening at Stromboli Square. This is easily the most fun night you’ll have all week. If you haven’t witnessed the possessed state of Bloodshot Bill, you really need to get down to this. 121 Duluth E., 7:30 p.m., dreams are free, motherfucker

All you street punkers and Oi boys and chelsea-headed ladies will want to make it up the stairs of Foufs to catch Fuerza Bruta, Durs Coeurs, Ultra Razzia and the bedazzled Street Panther helping you swing pints and do that working class U.K. strut that we all saw in ’70s punk documentaries. 87 Ste-Catherine E., 8 p.m., $15

Okay, if a band has a name like No Waves, you would think they’d have just a wee bit of Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, DNA etc in their sound, but no siree, not these loveable lunks. It’s kind of like calling your band Heavy Metal and sounding like Taylor Swift. A truly ballsy marketing move, but No Waves really lets the feedback and reverb fly high and pen lo fi tunes that are catchy AF (and would just downright stymy the late, great Glenn Branca). Helping them kill it at l’Esco is Blesse and Ti Boeuf. 4461 St-Denis, 9 p.m., $12/$15

Sunday: Okay, if At the Gates was the no-brainer gig of the week, the easy “Oates” to At the Gates’ “Hall” would be the rAdolescents, who just announced their show at Foufs. Without a doubt, the rAdolescents’ “blue album” is one of the greatest to come out of Orange County — hell, just give Amoeba a spin and tell me different. But there is a bit of a rub: this is not even close to an original lineup (which would be made impossible with the passing of sweetheart Steve Soto), yet this is probably the closest you’re going to get to seeing the real thing while doing the Huntington Beach shuffle. Members of TSOL and Social Distortion will round things out, and opening are the Hajj, Destructive and Down Memory Lane. Expect to see the same people you saw at Circle Jerks a couple of months back. 87 Ste-Catherine E., 7 p.m., $25/$30

Wednesday: As promised, another free show to end up the column this week for the cheaskates. You will want to crush yer PBR cans in the back alley of l’Esco as the health nuts at FME, Analogue Addiction and Distorsion are hosting France’s Mnnqns with extra free help from Toronto’s Gloin and la Securité. And wouldn’t you know it, right before rent day. Fuck yeah! Behind 4461 St-Denis, 8 p.m., free hugs

For more Montreal music coverage, please visit the Music section.