Pop Montreal Day 4 – Dominique Young Unique, Galaxie, Andrew WK and more
– by Ashley Tanasiychuk
As the last hours of sun fell on this late September (but still hot & muggy) day, the place to be was a rooftop party at Ubisoft (a gaming company) headquarters. Yep, more awesomeness in this incredible city. When I arrived, they were already at full capacity, but I was kindly allowed to shoot local group, Peter Peter. Folk music by very charming boys. C’est bon.
Then I made a last minute decision to take the Metro all the way to it’s very last stop: Montmorency in Laval. Yes, for anyone who knows Montreal, you’ll know that Laval is a whole separate city, much like Burnaby to Vancouver. But I couldn’t turn down the lineup: Beverlay, Dominique Young Unique, Alaclair Ensemble, Galaxie, and Andrew WK!
So I bailed on my original plan to continue to hit the venues along and near St Laurent, chained my bicycle up at Mont Royal station, and after a quick manger of poutine, in 20ish minutes, I was in ultra-French territory.
At the venue, Le Maison des Arts, the event was promoted by Scene 1425 and beer was free. Yes, let me repeat that: beer was free. That’s how they do it here in (greater) Montreal.
Holy shit am I glad I made the journey. Not only were all the acts amazing or at least very good, the stage was big and well lit, and the crowd was engaged, young, and drunk, which makes for an ideal audience, no?
1st up: Beverlay, a boy band with an estrogen name. Their matching white suits were clever, and they are all very attractive, but from their sound, I’d say they want to be the French Killers, so I didn’t fall in love. Although I liked the Patrick Carney (Black Keys) thing that the drummer had going on: thick rimmed glasses, expressive predatory facial expressions.
Next up: Dominique Young Unique. Uh, I feel like just thinking about this stunningly sexy woman drains my brain of blood. Check the pictures out yourself. Surprisingly, while she could make a career simply out of her good looks and fit body, she actually has buckets of talent, both with lyricism and vocal ability. Serious slammin’ urban party tunes with attitude.
Then the madcap Quebecois (and apparently anti-Canadian, according to their lyrics) rap group, Alaclair Ensemble. Spewing non-stop rap, jumping up & down, tackling one another, pulling funny faces, these guys are amazing to watch.
Then Polaris Prize nominees Galaxie. The band was alright, though inconsistent. Some songs came together with explosive power, others seemed forced and fell flat.
Finally, party rocker Andrew W.K. I’ve heard about this guy’s live performance for years, so I was excited to see him. He definitely has a lot of energy, but his songs are fairly repetitive, so I was happy to shoot a few songs, then beat the crowd to the Metro.
Upon my return to Montreal, I made it to Casa del Popolo, a venue that came highly recommended by a many people.
I caught the last couple songs of Trust, a three-piece moody pop punk electro band that made me think of Joy Division, but with a dancier energy. Would definitely check this group out again.
And my last show of the night was a keeper: indie rockers The Darcys. I don’t understand the band’s name. It makes me think they should have a country&western tinged sound like Lindi Ortega, or be folky like Evening Hymns. But instead, they are four men who are solid on their instruments, and create full sounds, with the assistance of their sick pile of pedals. A fantastic way to end Day 4 of POP Montreal 2011.
One more day to go! And I don’t want it to ever end…
More Pop Montreal Day 4 photos: