The lowdown on shows at POP Montreal
By Ana Lucia Londono Flores, Contributor
Have you ever heard of Goodbye Honolulu?
It’s the boyband that will make your head nod all night long. That’s right, nothing better than
listening to rock music on a school night. The Toronto-based group composed of Fox Martindale, Jacob Switzer, Emmett Webb and Max Bornstein played at the back of Barfly, a small bar on St-Laurent Blvd. This was their first performance at POP Montreal. In the bar, the lights were low, creating a calm and chill ambiance. The people were ready to hear them, and so was I. As the band arrived on stage, I felt like they owned the place. Goodbye Honolulu made sure everybody was feeling the music. Frequent eye contact was their way of connecting with the crowd at Barfly. While the music was playing, I felt like the audience was attracted to the melodies. Even the smallest sound problems added to the band’s charm. In between songs, they conversed with the audience and made fun of each other. They were very comfortable and very friendly. Just the type of band you would want to see on a school night.
By Olivier Du Ruisseau, Contributor
The 25-year-old Montreal singer pulled off a remarkable performance and mise en scène at the notorious Cinéma L’Amour last Wednesday.
Toward the end of the night, when her sadistic-themed show had turned the movie theatre into a dance floor, Képinski said: “This is the kind of concert all your friends will be jealous they didn’t go to.” And she was right; it was quite an experience.
The venue itself was a big part of what made this opening show of POP Montreal so special. As the audience entered the theatre, a drunk clown was waiting to greet them with directions to the bar. Just before Képinski’s arrival, a medieval pornographic film was projected on the movie screen behind the stage. The screen was used throughout the concert, playing some of the singer’s creative video clips, custom-made for the show. She also added two musicians to her band, which allowed for a more rock experience and refined some of her songs.
Despite the one-hour delay, the mediocre sound quality and the singer’s voice cracking from time to time, Képinski still accomplished her most grandiose and extravagant performance yet, enjoyed by a mixed crowd of anglophones and francophones, proving that good music transcends language barriers.
By Simon New, Music Editor
JPEGMAFIA, who affectionately refers to himself as Peggy, came out on stage at the Belmont like a lightning bolt striking an angry internet comment section, manifested in a man with top-notch rap skills. During the opening of his set on Thursday, Barrington DeVaughn Hendricks started a chant of “Fuck you Peggy,” which the crowd ravenously carried.
Having released his indie hit album, Veteran, about a year ago, it was easy to see the effect it had on the crowd. The album is a mix of the Baltimore street culture where Hendricks was born, and the internet culture in which he was raised. “This album is for the internet,” he said on Twitter prior to the release.
He holds nothing back in his lyrical tirades against everything from Morrissey to alt-right Twitter trolls, with bars as hilariously caustic as “AR built like Lena Dunham / When I shoot I don’t miss.” Fans at the Belmont yelled the lyrics like they were screaming about JPEGMAFIA for the first time outside of the comments, and it was glorious.
Hendricks fed on the crowd’s voltaic energy, throwing himself off the stage and rapping through the crowd, all without missing a line. The Belmont was buzzing that night, and the crowd caught a glimpse of the lightning rod that is JPEGMAFIA.
Main photo by Simon New