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M for Montreal 09 - Metropolis Showcase

Posted by Valerie / November 23, 2009

Because I couldn't devote as much time to M for Montreal compared to last year, I settled for the main showcase that was going on at Metropolis on Saturday. Two and a half days, three other showcases and twenty-two bands later, this was the last event of the M series. The bands selected were all from very different genres and although it created certain weird transitions (like Fucked Up playing after DJ Champion?!), I hope each and every delegate present heard something they found interesting.

The beauty of M for Montreal is that all the shows start exactly on time but because I had forgotten that little detail, I missed the hottest french punk-rocker in town, Xavier Cafeine. I got in during Mistress Barbara's live set with Girls on a Ducati, and I can't say I was really pleased. What I was hearing sounded like dinner table music and watching her on stage made me yawn - basically the thing that Mistress Barbara needs the most is a good dose of charisma. Only at the end of her set, people stopped chatting and started to dance around. Unfortunately for them it was soon time for Melissa Auf Der Mar to rock the stage.

Being a Hole and Smashing Pumpkins fan, I've always been proud or her Montreal roots. Then I heard her solo material and got slightly disappointed, but still couldn't deny the respect I had for her. After all this time, I finally got to see Melissa Auf Der Mar live and I can admit I am still very proud. Although I'm not always receptive to progressive / grunge / alternative, I still enjoyed the half-hour I spent. If you're into that kind of music, watch out for her new album coming out early next year.

I am unable to say anything bad about Malajube, they have been one of my favorite bands from this city since their first album in 2004. Needless to say this was the only performance of the night I was guaranteed to appreciate. Their set consisted of 3 songs from "Labyrinthes", 3 songs from "Trompe L'Oeil" and only one from "Le Compte Complet".

After Malajube it was Champion & Ses G-Strings aka THE band that everyone came out to see. As soon as they stepped on stage, the crowd went nuts and it didn't take long for some good ol' crowd surfing to happen. 30 minutes later, M for Montreal founder Sebastien and programmer Mikey came on stage to do their thank-yous and desperately tried to calm down the crowd who was booing at them and shouting for more Champion live tracks.

These people left right when Fucked Up came on stage to play the final act. Like the majority, I was a bit surprised the Toronto hardcore band ended up winning this year's Polaris prize and so I stayed to watch them out of curiosity. To my surprise I automatically got hypnotised by the band - and by the singer who took off his shirt after one song. I hadn't gone to a punk or hardcore show in years and this Fucked Up experience was enough to get me back into my punkroutine.

One of the major improvements I noticed this year was the short videos played in between bands. I enjoyed all the music videos, interviews, and mini-documentaries of local artists like SoCalled, Land of Talk, Jon Lajoie and Ghislain Poirier. It seems to me M for Montreal is getting better each year and finds clever ways of giving exposure to all our local bands with international potential. DJ Champion is a good example of acts who didn't really get to tour internationally but went from playing Green Room at the first M for Montreal event in 2006 to making fans go insane at Metropolis today.

Even if at times - especially during Mistress Barbara's set - I felt like getting a drink, I never got to try the new Molson beer, "M", launched for the occasion. If it tastes like all other Molson products, then I don't think I missed out on anything.

Live photo of Fucked Up from Simon Fernandez Photography

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