Wednesday, Nov. 16
While M is not your average festival (every other person seems to be wearing a media or delegate badge), it's arguably the most convenient way to check out the cream of the crop of Montreal music. Mikey, the festival's host and mingler-extraordinare, herded the crowd up and down the stairs between Cafe Campus and Petit campus for the first official showcase, presented by M's new festival-partner in crime, France's own Les inrocks.
Concrete Knives obviously built up some restless energy during their flight across the Atlantic; the indie five-some burst onto the stage with an unstoppable, magnetic energy. The entire set was commanding of the crowd's attention, which was most often centered around lead singer Morgane Polase. This badass diva stomped all over the stage and into the audience in the most whimsical manner, all the while retaining a poised and calculated approach to her movements.
The only thing I was thinking during Montreal experimental trio Claass' set was that it's too bad more clubs don't play music like this. The electronic synth beats were totally catchy and the three-way vocals added the perfect amount of edge.
France's Anoraak was certainly the weakest performance of the night. The three-piece played four outdated indie-pop songs that sounded too similar to be memorable. While lacking in originality, this band was nonetheless tight with their instruments and solid as an act. Plus, the crowd seemed to dig it.
The vibe that was present at the beginning of the showcase was quickly yanked back when power-pop group Creature took the stage. Like Concrete Knives, Creature is fronted by a strong female vocalist with a personality to boot. While the crowd had dispersed slightly at this point (after all, it was after midnight on a Wednesday), Creature gave an outlandishly fun performance that made it impossible not to dance.
Photo by Alana La Rosa Dancoste. Check out her Flickr photostream daily for her most recent M for Montreal pictures.