Pop Montreal starts tonight and as usual FTB has asked me to do the impossible and pick my choices for the best shows to go and see. If you take a peek at the schedule you’ll see that’s clearly impossible with so many bands playing in such a short period of time.
Here’s a few options that most caught my eye but even as I write this I’m seeing many more choices that I might like. I tried not to stick to one genre or type of show but I did stick to music only.
I will just briefly mention that there’s way more to Pop than just music, my other favourite part of the fest is Film Pop which has some really interesting movie screenings this weekend.
Ok, on to the music!
Blinker the Star
Not every band you see at Pop has to be fresh off their debut album. Veterans of the Indie rock scene Blinker the Star have been around since the 90s, which for some of you might feel like ancient times, but believe it or not they actually had good music way back then.
This isn’t however a pick for nostalgia’s sake, they have a new album out and it’s quite good. I’m interested to see how it will be performed live when they play at Petit Campus on September 26th.
I’ll admit my interest was initially peaked by the clever name reference but when I looked into it I didn’t find a fictional Austrian action star whose bit part has been an endearing part of a long running cartoon comedy series. Instead I found a young rapper, singer, producer who hails from Pabineau First Nation in New Brunswick.
I checked out his bandcamp and immediately got sucked in. Maybe you will too. If you do, he’s playing at La Sotterenea on the 26th.
First of all, free show! Also worth noting: it’s at 4pm on Saturday (28th) and it’s outdoors at Skatepark du Mile-End. Those factors combined makes this one of my “family friendly” suggestions. It would also be a good choice as the opener for anyone who is planning to make it out on Saturday night.
I’ll let the music speak for itself but I will just add that I had a chance to catch the end of Les Louange’s set at Osheaga this year and I was very impressed. I’ll be sure to catch the whole thing this Saturday.
If you’re out on Wednesday night this is the show to end the evening with. Starting at 11pm at the Piccolo Rialto (with openers Mabika-Ki & Le Moovmnt Populaire Bantu and DOOMSQUAD) KOKOKO! will be bringing their mix of modern electronic music and lo-fi instruments to what is certain to be the best dance party of the night.
Proving that music can be made by just about anyone and with just about anything, this collective is known for making instruments out of items that you wouldn’t normally expect. Check out this live clip to see what I mean.
Blue Grass BBQ
The title is pretty self-explanatory. On Sunday afternoon from Noon till around 7 there will be a free (to get in) BBQ at Skatepark du Mile End. This is another great choice for those of you with kids or on a budget.
It features various bluegrass artists throughout the day. You can check out the Pop Website for specific band listings but it’s safe to say that at whatever point you show up you’ll be getting hear to free bluegrass music and relax outside. Not a bad combination!
POP Montreal 2019 runs until September 29th. For complete schedule and ticket info, check out popmontreal.com