Anyone who follows the summer festival circuit in the province knows that FME – Festival de musique émergente – pretty much marks the end of the season AND is often regarded as one of the best. People from all over gather in the province’s northern city to discover new, emerging bands. And though this year’s lineup might not be deemed as unknown as previous years, the music is stellar and the acts will surely lure in many fans from near and far (Mostly far.).
Yes, Montrealers, it takes a whole lotta time to get there. But suck it up, gather your friends, and start planning that labor day week-end road trip. There’s nothing like getting out of the city to experience a music festival in a smaller town. Guaranteed fun times ahead.
There are free shows, so that’s a huge plus. Otherwise, individual show tickets for the shows range from $9 to $28, and you always have the option of getting festival passes, which go from $110 to $150. The 15 stage event runs from Thursday, September 1st to Sunday, September 4th, and will present a wide range of music catering to absolutely everyone’s taste.
Thursday, September 1st
After what will seem like an eternity in travel time you’ll have a bit of R and R time before picking up that Red Bull, downing that bottle of wine, and heading out to get the party started. 8:00pm is your target time, at Agora des Arts, with Jason Bajada, followed by Charlotte Cardin and Groenland. Miss Cardin is newest artist of the lineup and she’s well on her way to making a name for herself, having graced a stage of this year’s Osheaga not once, but twice. Yeah Yeah, it was more about technicality, but honestly, do you really think the good folks of Evenko would put just anyone up there a second time?! Nah.
If you are opting to bust a move right at the beginning of the festival, then head to Scène extérieure Desjardins, for Galaxie, which will be playing roughly at the same time as Charlotte Cardin. You’ll want to check out one of two Mani Chan shows, which will be completely different from one to the other and just before calling it a night, go burn those beer calories at the We are Wolves show.
Water. Advil. Sleep. You are going to need you strength tomorrow.
Friday, September 2nd
The days start at 5:00pm, which is great for recuperating. And you’ve got a couple of options here. You can check out the always incredible Foreign Diplomats, at Scène Évolu-Son (eeeeh boboy!). Or check out the girl with the ever-so-catchy Odd to Montreal tune Laurence Nerbonne at Salle La Légion. But whatever you do, do check out Half Moon Run at Scène Desjardins that evening. I mean honestly, we’ve seen them how many times this year already? Yet we just can’t get enough. They are THAT good. After that, run to Scène Paramount and check out Brown, followed by Dead Obies. Midnight comes around, and though Les Deuxluxes will definitely be a great show, we may just opt to check out London’s punk rock band UK Subs, which will be followed by Brain Püker. Otherwise, check out psychedelic rockers UUBBUURRUU, who always end up bringing little theatrics to their music.
Saturday, September 3rd
Get some bacon. Down the Gatorade.
Things get started a little earlier today, with Mentana hitting the stage at 10:00 am. You may think: fuck that. BUT hear us out: their smooth folkness might be the perfect hangover cure. And since you’ll already be up, you might as well make your way to Scène Extérieur Desjardins to check out African-electro-pop sensation Samito.
Then go take a nap.
It all starts again at 5:00pm, and you definitely have a few choices here. You can check out Montreal’s Paupière, a band who’s sound will transport you to France, somewhere in the mid-80s. If you are looking for something a bit more straightforward POP, then head to Café-bar l’Abstracto to check out GaBlé. Or if you are feeling sexy and looking for a little afternoon delight, check out
Gainsbourg Bernardino Femminielli.
Petit Theatre du Vieux Noranda will be jam packed with shows all night long, so if you are looking for a one stop shop this is the place to be: loads of bands will be playing early evening, and later on. Closing off the first portion is post-hardcore, shoegazing rockers Metz, starting their set at 9h45pm. After sweating your little hearts out, run to what is unofficially known as this nights Hip-Hop stage – Scène Paramount- to check out Koriass, which starts perfectly at 11:00pm. Pierre Kwenders‘ band Abakos will grace the Scène Évolu-Son at midnight, playing at the same time as Quebecers Les Goules, who just released their latest album, Coma, earlier this year. Finally, if you missed UUBBURRUU, you can check ’em out again tonight (1:30 AM at Petit Théatre du Vieux Noranda – Sous-Sol) then head upstairs for Claude AKA Fulgeance, Flow and Baadman.
Sunday, September 4th
Hang in there, it’s the last day! Starting things off at 2:00pm, Dan San, a band from liege that’ll definitely remind you of Phoenix and Air. Head out to Scène Paramount afterwards to check out 2 GPU: lead by UQAT professor David Paquin, this hypnotic project is meant to showcase a unique reading of Dear Criminals‘ music, adding a spec of creative visual art to captivating sounds. We have high hopes for this!
There are a couple of shows at 5:00pm, some on which you would have seen the previous day. We suggest heading out to check out The Vast , an indie-Rock band hailing from Montreal blending keyboards, percussions, trumpets and Nicolas Carette’s vocals. Then, the Agora des Arts stage will feature Tire le Coyote, Laura Sauvage and The Barr Brothers. Then, head to Cabaret de la Dernière Chance to finish off your FME in style, with Plants and Animals.**
** Or you can be wild, head to Scène Paramount, and find out what Moonshine is…..
About Caroline Royer
NUMTL Founder and Editor-in-chief, Caroline is an Ottawa-born Montrealer who has spent the better part of her life playing and listening to music. Otherwise, she is a diehard Sens fan, freakishly into architecture and industrial design and terrible at staying put for more than 5 minutes.