Pop Montreal 2007:Quatrieme Nuit
Saturday night was the end of the road for me at Pop Montreal. What was weak about the Saturday is that it wasn't like the rest of the week. It was freezing, raining, and very, very blah. With the exception of beautiful fall leaves on the ground on L'Esplanade near Parc Jeanne-Mance, and good friends to walk with, the finale of the festival brought out good times.
The evening began with me walking down Saint-Laurent and trying to find a bar with the Habs-Leafs game on the TV. Then, I hurried out to La Sala Rossa to see what would be the first of two Think About Lifee sets. An eager crowd had gathered around the band's off-stage setup. The set had got on a little late due to certain late arrivals, but things kicked off nicely when they did. As much of a party as Think About Life is supposed to be, you can't always get everyone to dance. About three or four songs in, the crowd wasn't showing much love for the high-powered act. However, I had forgotten that Fred Wesley, the trombone guru, was the act everyone had wanted to see, and I don't blame them one bit. The guy is phenomenal. However, I couldn't stay for his set. Why? Because Sunset Rubdown had their set time moved up from midnight to 11pm. So, I had to move.
As I signaled for a cab on Saint-Laurent, I eagerly waited to jump in and get to Le National in time for Sunset Rubdown. What was weird about my desperation was that all I could speak was French to the driver, even if it was broken French. Regardless, the cabbie split through side streets to get to the venue and I had made it in for the first couple of songs. I couldn't find a spot near the front since it was so packed. Instead, I ran backstage to see what photos I could get. Since THAT was even more of a trick because of the WWE-esque lighting, I did what I could and enjoyed the show. Sunset Rubdown are brilliant beyond words. Spencer Krug is one of the best songwriters I have ever met. However, he has assembled an incredible band to help him bring his music to life. What's funny is that I practically have all of 'Random Spirit Lover' memorized, so the performance didn't sound too different from the record. The crowd, however, ate it up. Loved it. Wanted MORE. However, since the show was being broadcast across Canada on CBC Radio3, they had to move along for the next band. Sunset Rubdown will be touring the U.S. with Magic Weapon.
Also, Radio3 will most likely be posting Sunset Rubdown's set sometime this week. Go to R3.ca and keep a lookout for it.
What happens now? I jump in a cab with a friend and go ALL THE WAY to Mile-End to a venue called Zoobizzare. I had concluded my festival venturing in a similar way last year when seeing Akron/Family at Le National and then The Adam Brown at Zoobizzare. Anyways, I walked in when Tyvek were playing their high-dense punk-rock style music. Not band, but not great, either. After a while, Cause Co-Motion played a quick-moving style of punk with something that reminded me of the 80's. Of course, people danced. There were fans of the band showing love and respect for the big beat. Finally, the second of as many sets for Think About Life was about to take place.
For those of you who don't know about Zoobizzare, it's a tiny 2nd-floor venue above a restaurant/cafĂŠ with an alcove for a roof made of old-age brick. The place is small. Seeing Think About Life in Zoobizzare could equate to something painful, physically. So, what happened? The place shook, the people danced, and anyone caught in the middle (uh, me) were strewn around, pummeled, beaten, jawed, elbowed, grabbed, pushed, pulled, piled on, and so forth. If you could raise your hand to clap or jump to the songs, then you were stronger than most. As for the band, they played for the fist time (disregarding the La Sala Rossa show from a few hours before) since playing Japan about five months back. They had some new songs to show off and some old ones to blast out. After the show was over, someone who had taken a massive beating from the show was sitting on the stage. He looked at me and shook his head saying, "unbelievable." Think About Life isn't for everyone, but it's a blast for anyone who's willing to let go...just for a short while.
Well, that's that. The best festival in Canada and it's over. I'm sad to be home. I know that sounds sort of wrong, but I miss Montreal, already. Late-night poutine and stumbles across the war zone that is Saint-Laurent are only unique to Montreal. That, and so many other things and people. A great time and a great city. I'll miss you...until next time.
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