- I like museums and cafes. M for Montreal’s venue selection gets a virtual HIGH FIVE. In the coming months, Cabaret Juste pour rire (CJR) and Muse Juste pour rire (MJR) will be closing (that’s another story altogether, let’s keep our focus here kids). So, it only, truly seemed appropriate that they chose that venue as one of the main stops for their showcase. The sound in CJR and MJR is always ear pleasing. The stages are a decent size for small, medium and large artists and the top balconies that look onto the crowd are the best hiding spots (as well as band watching and boy scoping spots) in town. Café Campus, petit and grand, was also well equipped for the amount of people that went for the first night. The Petit Campus’s stage is almost at ground level, making you feel like the band is in your living room and the sound bounces off the walls like you’re playing an awesome ping-pong game that your eyes can barely focus on (it’s so smooth). Grand Campus’s stage is a little higher, yet allows the audience to see the entire musical talents of the artist(s) performing from a variety of places via chairs or standing (choice makes everyone a little happier).
- iTunes playlist worthy bands. At first I was a little weary about the artist selection and then I went to the shows. M for Montreal’s mixture of artists was sure to please an assortment of people. They ranged from the much talked about (and much worth it) PS I Love You to the we-wont-let-you-stop-dancing Retro Stefson to noise makers AIDS Wolf and then to French adored Pascale Picard Band. In between the small mentions above, M for Montreal brought in some of the city’s old favourites (Black Feelings and The Dears), while giving stage time to some of the new favourites (Braids and Random Recipe). What I’ve written above is only a small portion of the bands that played, for the complete line-up, click here.
- Band fans, where art thou? I told you I would address this later, well later is now. Like said, I noticed a sea of black M for Montreal badges swimming around the venues. Amongst this sea, I rarely saw plain t-shirted and sneakerified show-goers. Here’s the logical as to why I think next year M for Montreal should recruit more fans for the bands. Artists make music for their potential fans. Fans bring a level of excitement to a show that media can’t – no one may be able to report like a journalist, but no one can get down and truly, openly show their enthusiasm and love for a band like a fan. Sure, having reassurance from the media that your band is great is good, but (let’s think about this), the media (the majority of the time) provides this confidence boost by observing and hearing about the large volume of people who attend, buy and talk about a certain bands music. So, wouldn’t it just make sense to have more fans at the performances to show the delegates and etc how popular certain bands are, and wouldn’t this increase their chances of being booked, signed and exposed? I’ll let you decide that answer.
*side note: okay, I might be being dramatic, the first night at Café Campus there were tonssssssssssss of fans, from there on out, I really only saw badges and lifeless people standing around (minus those two whacked out guys at the AIDS Wolf show, who I use to see at Sliverdoor all the time shaken’ it down).
- I love our Country and the world, but wasn’t this for Montreal? I did praise their selection of artists and how that selection appealed to a large body of people; I feel that it may have been cooler if they introduced more new and up-and-coming Montreal bands. Old Montreal favourites are great, but searching out bands that are about to break through and are from Montreal may have opened the delegates and co’s eyes wider, to prove we really are the arts and culture hub of Canada. We have a lot of amazing music in this city, why not expose it.