Now in its second year, the ‘77 Montreal festival took place on Friday, July 27, 2018, at Parc Jean Drapeau in Montreal. Renovations on the Parc Jean Drapeau islands had the festival located in another portion of the site this year, adjacent to the Grand Prix racetrack.
Rise Against, Suicidal Tendencies, L7, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Sick of It All, Jeff Rosenstock, D.O.A., Iron Chic, The Interrupters, The Rezillos and Satanic Surfers were amongst the day’s terrific line-up, spread out over the afternoon and evening across three stages. More than 8,500 festival-goers attended the single day event that went from 1:00pm through to about 10:30pm.
We came, we saw, we photographed and, if you’re wondering how it was or maybe already pre-planning for 2019, here are eight things to know.
01. Old School Punk still rules.
– One of the coolest things at ‘77 Montreal was getting to see D.O.A. and The Rezillos – two bands that were active in the 1970’s and can now boast 40-year longevity in their respective scenes. Both groups performed on the Scène Du Jardin stage and managed to deliver two of the most energetic sets of the day.
02. Ben Weinman and Suicidal Tendencies fit together beautifully.
– Suicidal have been a seminal band in the hardcore scene for over thirty years now, and their inclusion in the ‘77 Montreal proceedings was a logical one. Weinman (Dillinger Escape Plan) has quietly joined the band as their guitarist for this current summer run of dates as a fill-in for Jeff Pogan. Add in the unstoppable Dave Lombardo on the drum kit, and you’ve got a match made in mosh-pit heaven alongside Mike Muir, Dean Pleasants, and Ra Díaz. An incredible live set of music.
Check out this ‘77 MONTRÉAL recap video from 2017.
03. Punk rock = kid-friendly!
– The ‘77 Montreal festival is a family-friendly event – admission was free for children under 10. What’s more (courtesy of Connect&GO) each child under 10 received a free RFID bracelet at the festival entrance that allowed parents to register their child and add relevant information in case of emergency so any necessary actions incurred during the day could be taken as quickly as possible.
04. Anti-Flag does it right.
– One of the finest performances of the festival was Anti-Flag on the Scène Ouest stage at 4:30 in the afternoon. Justin Sane, Chris No. 2, Chris Head and Pat Thetic exuded so much hardcore energy on stage that an indoor venue might not have contained it. Chris No. 2 leaped off of speaker stacks and Pat Thetic’s drum kit numerous times during their performance. Lead singer Justin Sane preached a great many things as the band performed, touching on their country’s failed leadership, practising gender and race equality, as well as generally trying to get along as human beings. Anti-Flag will release their new album American Reckoning this coming September, and the album promises to be a banger.
Check out Mike Bax’s full photo gallery from the ‘77 Montreal festival.
05. Sick Of It All? Hardly.
– I couldn’t get enough of Lou Koller, Pete Koller, Craig Setari and Armand Majidi as they stirred up the Scène Est stage right after Anti-Flag finished up. Another band with 30 years of Punk longevity and showing no signs whatsoever of letting up. Pete Koller is a machine on the guitar – bouncing about on stage like a man half his age. I hadn’t seen this band in decades, and watching them perform their tight set of classic material left me craving more. An electrifying live performance.
06. Seeing something new is a good thing!
– I hadn’t heard a word about The Interrupters before seeing them at ‘77 Montreal. Not a single song. Aimee Interrupter, along with brothers Kevin Bivona, Justin Bivona and Jesse Bivona performed an energetic and upbeat ska-punk set that won over the crowd in minutes. Currently touring on their recently released album Fight the Good Fight, The Interrupters drew material from their three commercially released albums and left everything they had on the stage before their performance ending.
07. Covers are cool!
– Me First and the Gimme Gimmes were terrific, surprising the crowd with their unique punk covers of commercial pop songs. The ukulele intro to R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” blew me away. Paul Simon’s “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” and Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” were among a few of the uniquely uptempo songs the band performed at ‘77 Montreal. This was easily the performance where I saw the most smiles in the crowd.
08. It’s more than just a music festival.
– In addition to the diverse line-up of musicians offered at ‘77 Montreal, fans could also partake in the YUL EAT Gardens: four iconic Montreal restaurants (Kampai Garden, Lavanderia, Foodchain and Grumman ‘78) each adorned with their own décor and a large terrace, offering their most popular dishes from their regular menu. This second edition of ‘77 Montreal also brought back the Marché aux Punx with its cool selection of punk rock records, merch items, and memorabilia. Last but not least, the Cinema ’77 screened films about this fascinating musical movement.
A festival that is just gaining momentum, ‘77 Montreal is a damn good time. Put it on your calendar for 2019!