LIVE REVIEW: M FOR MONTREAL 2017



M For Montreal is an annual music festival - now in its twelfth year, showcasing 100+ artists and bands. The 2017 festival took over multiple venues around the city from November 15th to November 18th, giving local and international acts a platform to share their craft.

While many artists made the trip to Montreal from all corners of the world, seven of the eight headlining acts are Canadian. The 2017 headliners - Seattle-based ODESZA, Toronto's indie outfit Alvvays and Montreal locals Geoffroy, Jean-Michel Blais, John Jacob Magisteryy, Korias, Peter Peter and Rymz, delivered a variety of unique sounds to satisfy music fans of all genres.

Wednesday 

Cadence Weapon capped the early show on opening night at Casa del Popolo in his hometown. Festival headliner Geoffroy played a sold out show just down the road with Aliocha and Men I Trust the same night. M for Midnight and The Brooks made the cold Wednesday evening feel like a Saturday night, closing out night one of M for Montreal °12 with some old school funk. 

Thursday

Clairmont The Second performed back to back sets at this year's festival - Thursday night at Cafe Cléopatre and Friday at Cabaret du Casino. At a mere 20 years old, the Toronto rapper is already making a mark in the hip hop scene both nationally and internationally and certainly showed Montreal what he is made of.

Friday

On Friday night, Music BC and Music PEI presented showcases featuring a variety of performers from each province. Zoology opened up the night a the Music BC concert. Lead singer Emily Krueger took the stage at the dimly-lit Katacombes alongside Beau Diakowicz on guitar and a MacBook delivering loops and backtracks. Emily laughed about the irony of the atmosphere - "I love this venue, it's totally gothic and really fits our music." Zoology's sound fuses indie pop with a tropical vibe. Up next on the BC showcase's bill was Dralms - a Vancouver-based musical project by minimalist musician Christopher Smith. Unlike Zoology, the dim lighting and smokey atmosphere was perfectly matched with the mix of darker electronic sounds and Christopher's soft vocals.

In another area of town, at Petit Campus, Manitoba's Boniface opened for DARCYS. Boniface's music could be best described as cinematic electro-rock. Each member took over the stage with energy and passion that could be felt throughout the venue. Amidst neon lights, palm trees and an inflatable tube man, DARCYS delivered an infectiously entertaining set to a packed room. The headlining act - Ralph, joined the guys on stage for their recently released collaboration "Screenplay." Wes joked that when the duo was previously in Montreal, Jason insisted on speaking French but promised to hold off this time around. French-speaking or not, the crowd sang and danced along to Darcys' songs including "Arizona Hwy", "Studio City" and "Centerfold." 

Saturday

The fourth and final day of M for Montreal °12 kicked off in the early afternoon and ran past last call on Saturday night. Highly-anticipated shows were held across the city throughout the day, including Rymz, Peter Peter and ODESZA. Bad Nylon, a Montreal-based female hip hop collective, drew a large crowd to L'Escogriffe to cap off the afternoon showcase. In similar fashion to lyrics from the anthemic track "Girl Gang", there's no question that Bad Nylon stole the show. Each of the four members brought an individual vibe to the group - from the beats to the violin to varying vocal range and styles, which combine to create a talented, powerful and energetic collective.

Cadence Weapon made his third appearance with a DJ set at La Vitrola in between sets at the Anemone show.

Over at O Patro Vys, Ascot Royals greeted the crowd with a bonjour and got right into it with some danceable rock tracks like "Burning Me Out" and "Tectonic" - just to name a few. Next on the bill was Roe - an 18-year-old multi-instrumentalist, who flew all the way from Ireland to share her songs ahead of Quebec locals LOS and Mort Rose. Smiling between every song, Roe seemed grateful and excited for the opportunity to perform so far from home. Her songs flowed like stories and each told of different personal experiences in her life from the tribute to her grandfather "Repeat The Question" to "Hey Thomas", her self-proclaimed "fuck you to boys."

M For Montreal brought fans and artists of all genres, from all over the world together for four days and nights of outstanding concerts. Keep your eyes and ears open for next year's festival announcements - it is an amazing experience not to be missed.











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