Home Music The M For Montreal festival concluded last week

The M For Montreal festival concluded last week

by The Concordian November 21, 2017 0 comment

A plethora of local and out-of-province Canadian acts played over the span of one weekend

Since 2006, M for Montreal has been held every November and highlights hundreds of local and international artists in 15 venues across the city. The festival concluded last week, and these are the best performances the festival had to offer.

Paul Jacobs

Written by Maggie Hope, Arts Editor

Almost exactly one year after releasing his latest album, Pictures, Movies & Apartments, Paul Jacobs took the stage at La Sala Rossa on Nov. 17. As one of the opening acts for Yonatan Gat, Jacobs kicked off his set with “All I Want / Need,” immediately sending the excited crowd into a frenzy. At what was later described by a few audience members as “their best show in a while,” Jacobs exhibited tight musical cohesion. Distorted, melodic guitar blared from the speakers as heavy percussion propelled the crowd into a lively moshpit. This January, the Montreal band will embark on a European tour, and is set to take their unique brand of psychedelic garage punk to a handful of major cities.

The Courtney’s confident and well-rehearsed set was a sight to behold. Photo by Mackenzie Lad.

The Courtneys

Written by Calvin Cashen, Music Editor

Nearly four years after the release of their self-titled, debut album, The Courtneys entered a triumphant 2017 with their anthemic sophomore album, The Courtneys II. At Quai Des Brumes, the Vancouver-imported band confidently blasted their way through a series of fuzz-laden beach tunes, all the while complementing their knack for catchy rock hooks and deft musicianship.

The swelling sounds of guitar chords and tight drumming amped the mix with sticky melodies. The band’s relatively straightforward sound allowed them to explore and even expand on the scope of songs like “Tour” and “Minnesota.” Often delving into long-winded outros, The Courtneys sailed smoothly over their 12-or-so song set, never growing the least bit tired.

The Courtneys’s songs are easy listening, often supplemented by emphatic group chants that add a bit of heft. The set was mostly comprised of tracks from this year’s II album, but nonetheless were big reminders of how far high-energy and gusto can take a performance.

Toronto band Alvvays wowed Club Soda’s audience as if it was second nature. Photo by Mackenzie Lad.

Alvvays

Written by Calvin Cashen, Music Editor

Alvvays played at Montreal’s Club Soda Friday night, their latest performance in the city since the release of their widely-acclaimed sophomore project, Antisocialites. Despite a striking change in sound and improved sonics, the band managed to channel the lo-fi leanings that made their initial outputs all the more appealing.

The fans let out bursts of receptive cheers to “Archie, Marry Me,” which saw guitarist Alec O’Hanley twiddling with pedals and guitar distortion to give the song an added flair. The crowd’s infectious energy gave way to an ambience that felt both intense but somehow familiar. Credit is due to the high-octane vitality of Alvvays’s music, which often led the crowd into boisterous chants whenever the band finished a song.

The tracks were sung in perfect pitch, but were firmly planted in the formidable melodies and sunshiny guitar licks that fans of Alvvays have grown to love. The band’s performance served as a glimpse into a potential future for Alvvays—a future where their music transcends the icy surroundings of their Canadian upbringing into something timeless and universal.

Feature photo by Erica Hart

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