With the exception of Saturday night’s Sonik Records 5th Anniversary bash at Barfly, It was a relatively quiet weekend for a change. Stayed in and watched a double dose of Law and Order on Friday night and then dozed while watching “Being John Malkovich’, a film I’ve seen at least twice and have enjoyed each time. I just couldn’t keep my eyes open. Just as well. I knew Saturday night was going to be a big night, a punk rock extravaganza with the Confusers, Aversions, Jerk Appeal, and Born Dead Icons.
The thing is, I could have attended two other shows that evening. Just a few blocks up the street at Sala Rosa I could have seen Cursed, Bionic, and Brutal Knights. If I was in a mellower mood, I could have walked a block north from Barfly to Le Divan Orange and seen Luther Wright, Carolyn Mark, and Jenny Whiteley on their “Hootenany Tour”. Rather than see pieces of all these shows, I decided to settle in to some punk rock at the Barfly. BTW, this is not the Montreal scene I knew way back when. Well before the hype concerning the Montreal scene, I’d been saying that anyone who complains about the music scene in this city is just the type to complain about anything. It’s never been better. We don’t even need to compare it to other scenes – one only has to look at what it was like here 15-20 years ago. Compared to then, today’s Montreal scene might as well be the L.A. scene circa 1980. There’s never been more bands, more fans, or more venues. It’s also a diverse scene, something for everyone.
But what a night it turned out to be! While and I had different opinions on Jerk Appeal and the Aversions, he has a pretty good review of the evening. With the exception of the Aversions, I loved every band. When The Confusers opened the night, it might as well have been 1981. Great punk rock that put a smile on my face more than once. Like the Stooges? Ramones? SLF? DOA? This Confusers will be right up your alley. Certainly they were right up mine…..The Aversions didn’t do it for me, though. They were alright, just didn’t enjoy them the way I did the other bands. Jerk Appeal came on with a slightly different lineup than usual. Luc from Chino on drums filled in until they can find a permanent replacement for their previous drummer, and Nick from Chino replaced Curt on rhythm guitar while Curt tours with the U.S. Bombs. They ripped into their set, Ted singing with his usual gusto. The last three songs in their set were something special for any Nils fans in the crowd. Making up for their non-appearance at Alex’s Memorial, they finished with “Daylight”, “Fountains”, and “Scratches and Needles”, sung and played with passion and fury. The rest is well convered by xquerenciax, so I won’t bother. I can’t remember the last time I’d seen that many punk bands and enjoyed it. I guess the Exploited were right. At least on this night.
By the end of the night, friends who had been at the evening’s other shows were starting to file in. Allan, who had been to the Cursed/Bionic/Brutal Knights show up the street got a chance to see Brutal Knights play some more – they were the evening’s “bonus” band, before heading up to the Mountain with myself and others to check out the purple cross. Here’s a picture taken by xquerenciax at dusk on Saturday night. Beautiful, no?