The Barr Brothers, Laura Sauvage, Plants & Animals, Paupière, Dear Criminals @ FME 9/4/2016

I started my last day at Rouyn-Noranda by exploring and taking some photos of the city. Musically, my day began at Scène Paramount for a stunning performance by Dear Criminals. For this special performance (and there were many of these unique experiences at FME), they partnered with a group called 2GPU from a media group at UQAT to create 3D visuals. We were literally handed 3D glasses as soon as we walked in. The band’s music is dreamy and takes it’s sweet time but it sounded like pure bliss in the theatre and I felt like my mind was being blown by the visuals. Photos don’t do it justice. You would have had to be in the room to truly experience it.

Next I saw Paupière at Bar le Groove. The electropop group is made up of drummer Pierre-Luc Bégin  of We Are Wolves, Julia Daigle and Éliane Préfontaine. In this project Bégin came out from behind a kit and instead used a drum pad while prancing around the bar and encouraging patrons to dance. Their dance tracks had 80s and eurobeat influences and hooks that would totally get stuck in my head.

FME had one of the best festival cellphone apps I have ever seen. It would effectively keep you updated on any popup shows that happened last minute. One of these was a Plants & Animals pop-up by Osisko lake. The band performed their post-rock tunes on a makeshift stage as the audience sat on a hill and enjoyed the sunny weather.

After dinner, I headed to a packed Agora des arts for one last time. Laura Sauvage was on the stage with a full backing band. The Les Hay Babies member possibly released one of the most underrated albums of 2016. She’s like Courtney Barnett got stuck in Rogersville and wrote some psych-jams about the town. She serenaded us with hilarious jams like “White Trash Theatre School” and my favourite “Nothing to Something and Vice-Versa”.

I ended my FME with The Barr Brothers but before that happened they played a recap video of the night which I’ve already watched a bajillion times to experience the nostalgia of being back. Also I am in it.

The pleasant tunes of The Barr Brothers brought me to the end of the festival with refined blues riffs and Canadiana tunes that rocked my heart all the way until the end.

FME was a wonderful festival with rare experiences, music I hadn’t discovered that blew my mind and a warming culture that allowed me to make new friends and get reacquainted with others. There’s something about this unique combination that no Ontario festival comes close to creating the same magic.