It’s not every day you get to see such a well-known artist in such an intimate setting. Last Thursday, Montreal’s own Coeur de Pirate, who is used to playing arenas, came home to give a private, secret concert for 100 or so of her local fans.

She was invited by Google who are launching their new Play music app (to compete with iTunes and other platforms) and plan to make a portion of this show available in the new year. When we walked into the Redroof Church (downtown in the Quartier de Spectacles), we were greeted by Google staff who let us sample Play.

After that, we took advantage of the open bar and sat around a 360 degree stage with the instruments set up, waiting for the show to start. Around 8:30, Coeur took to the stage.

Her set was bilingual. She played a mix of songs the crowd knew like Francis and her closer Comme des enfants, but also some new material, including a song called The Way Back Home. In probably the most emotional point of the evening, she dedicated that song to her daughter, explaining how hard it is to leave her two year old at home when she goes on tour.

She also covered the Wham. In particular the song Last Christmas, which got the crowd to sing along. One of the funnest parts of the evening.

Here are some pics of the show and the night (click on the first one to start slideshow):

Coeur de PirateCoeur de Pirate

For the first time in my fifteen-year journey through the education system, I love Mondays. This has nothing to do with any sort of newfound desire to be productive, and everything to do with the fact that, for the first time ever, I don’t have class on Monday. So when my roommate woke me up at noon last Monday and told me I needed to “start being a functioning human”, I put my pillow over my head and continued to not function. That is, until he followed with “There’s a secret Arcade Fire show tonight.”

The show was announced Monday morning. Posters around town, as well as online, stated that “The Reflektors” (the pseudonym the band used, also the first single from their upcoming album) would be playing at Salsathèque at 9 p.m. Everyone had to be either in costume or formal wear and only 100 people were getting in.

Word traveled fast, and by the time I finally scraped a costume together and got myself to the venue, there were already over fifty people waiting. The show wouldn’t start for another six hours, but there we all were, dressed up and ready to wait.

I’ll admit, four hours in, my spirits were pretty low. They had started picking people from the back of the line with the best costumes to go in and everyone around me was worried that our waiting time would be for naught. 9 p.m. passed and we were about five people away from entry.

They had started selling bracelets for Tuesday night, so I figured all hope was lost. But I was lucky. Like very-last-person-allowed-in lucky. The hour leading up to that moment was, I can honestly say, one of the most stressful things I’ve experienced in the three years that I’ve been in Montreal. When I finally got my wristband, I felt relieved, excited, and a little sad for the people behind me who waited just as long, only to be turned away.

Those sad feelings quickly passed when I got upstairs (sorry, guys!). I had missed the first two songs, but everyone was so excited and energetic that it was easy to just jump right in. The band played all new material, and it was all very upbeat and danceable.

This will be my third time seeing the band and they never fail to put on a superb live show. The set was short, but between waiting all day, and jumping around in a room bursting with costumed strangers, I was pretty exhausted by the end of it.

While I do still feel a little bad for those who didn’t get in, I can’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment that only comes from exclusivity. I’m one of the select people who got to experience the show, and all it cost me was $9 and my lazy Monday.