METZ, ABAKOS, Pandaléon @ FME 9/3/2016

Most of my day time on Saturday was spent hanging out with animals at Refuge Pageau, a trip courtesy of Abitibi-Témiscamingue Tourism.

When we arrived back in Rouyn, I made my way to Scène Évolu-Son for Pandaléon. Their ambient, post-rock tunes was a magical dive into another world. The music was full of long periods of angst, that wouldn’t be resolved until grandiose endings. Their most recent album Atone has a magnificent story of being recorded in their old classroom for both the inspiration and acoustics. Somehow the loneliness of this now-closed school was captured in their music, both on record and at Évolu-Son. This was one band I was glad to have seen at FME.

Afterward, I ran over to the press mansion thing for a fancy dinner and cocktail hour for professionals. Les Soeurs Boulay was finishing up as I got in. Before dinner began we were also treated to the experimental electronic sounds of Ponteix.

I spent a decent amount of time at that party socializing and when I finally made my way out again METZ was playing across the street at Petit théâtre du vieux Noranda. I know it’s kind of silly to see a Toronto band in Quebec but I couldn’t resist their pummelling punk rock. Plus, I wanted to know what it would be like to see one of my favourite bands in Quebec. The answer: a pit started right away and people deeply rocked out as the band performed their distorted tunes.

At some point, I ended up at a packed Scene Paramount for a few songs of Koriass, an artist who began his career years ago in rap battles.

Afterward I finished up my night at Evolu-Son where ABAKOS (Pierre Kwenders and Ngabonziza Kiroko) were taking the stage wearing black and gold face masks. Danceable tracks like “Money to Burn” and “New Constellation” were made original by their unique future soul flare with moments of reggae influence.

The most enchanting thing about this festival is that people get super into music when they like it. There’s no crossed-handed people listening to buzz bands. In fact, I don’t really think the festival even relies on buzzy bands in general. They just book genuinely good music and no matter where you head are guaranteed a sonic adventure. Also it didn’t matter what time it was 5pm or 2am, there were always people at shows. Nobody played to nobody.