Montreal Jazz Festival Recap
The one thing that I like about going to the Montreal Jazz festival is that it gives me a chance to check out as many shows in the same place at the same time. Never the same show twice. Sometimes I do get a familiar face but most of the time it's new sounds, new discoveries. Halfway into the festival and as another weekend awaits I recap what's been on my music palette.
I hit up on The Unsettlers at the Heineken Lounge to start things off, it's great that they're getting a greater fan base however I do miss the late night dance parties and the whiskey sounds from their indoor shows. It was a great turnout as the tent was filled to capacity and the crowd took up half the street.
Colin Stetson returned to Montreal for only a couple days and gave Montrealers a night with him over at the Gesu. Last year's Polaris finalist gave his audience a glimpse into new material, with tracks from his recent album New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges with tracks such as "The Righteous Wrath of an Honourable Man" and included a rare track he played for the encore. Stetson's technique on various saxophones he plays gave the audience the feeling he was with an ensemble (even though it was Stetson solo at his best). The audience were in an awe of silence throughout the set (with the occasional shout out in between songs).
The weekend was great for the outdoor stage as the weather was next to perfect. It was great for local acts Plaster and Boogat. Plaster's electro jazz set was reminding the crowd that they were back for good after a 5 year hiatus. Boogat had a great set of latin based rap/hip hop and got the crowd dancing the night away. There was even a couple salsa dancing on the side of the stage. Both sets were quite festive as it was the long weekend, Spain won the Euro soccer championships that day and fireworks were in the sky.
I went late into the Sunday night and caught Fishbone at the SAT. It was by recommendation as I went into it with few expectations . I ended up getting in the middle of a ska party, full on brass and funky beats. This legendary LA based ska/reggae band kept the SAT funky and rocking. The crowd got into a singalong to "Everyday Sunshine" where most of them, including lead singer Angelo Moore, got into some crowd surfing. A crazy late night for all.
The last couple of days have had me going from one stage to the next. From getting a high five during a New Orleans style Blues set of Mike Goudreau and the Boppin'Blues Band of to getting caught in GRUBB's street party after their show to doing a disco boogie at the Escort show on the big stage. The one thing I've been getting out of this is that everyone is having a great time. More shows to look forward to this weekend.
The Montreal Jazz festival continues until July 7th. Follow CL_opez on twitter for more live tweets. Colin Stetson and Fishbone photos courtesy of the Jazz festival.