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Musique Magnifique! The Quebec City Summer Festival, Part 2


by Kevin Wierzbicki

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You can say it in French (musique magnifique) or in English (beautiful music) or in any language you wish but there's no disputing it; this year's Quebec City Summer Festival was overflowing with great music. The amazing 11-day festival presented an unbelievable 300 shows, showcasing everyone from the Rolling Stones to Run the Jewels, the Tragically Hip to Anti-Flag and Skrillex to Milky Chance.

Commonly referred to as FEQ, the abbreviation for the festival's name in French, this year's event was a hit with fans from beginning to end as music flowed every day on 10 stages adjacent to the historic part of the city known as Old Quebec. Some stages offered free concerts while others required purchase of a ticket to get in, and whichever option fans chose (most elected to visit a combination of each) there was quality entertainment to be found.


Tamikrest
Photo by Francis Gagnon

Some of the shows that took place on the free stages included a performance by Tamikrest, who came all the way from Mali to play a set of hypnotic psychedelic music, and a stirring set by Kiran Ahluwalia who occasionally picked up a megaphone to add extra vocal oomph to one of her world music grooves. Other bands playing free shows the same night included a bunch of Quebec-based bands: Jazz act Snowy Trio and 5, the exotic sounding Moroccan music specialists Ayrad and local favorites, rockers Simon Kearney.


Kiran Ahluwalia
Photo by Francis Gagnon

Legendary thrash band Megadeth played on the festival's biggest stage, stirring up the rowdy crowd with a set that included favorites like "Hangar 18," "Skin O' My Teeth," "Holy Wars" and "Peace Sells" while those seeking a more sublime sound flocked to the Zappa Plays Zappa show to hear guitarist Dweezil Zappa and friends run through a set of his dad's tunes including "Montana," "Inca Roads," "Baby Snakes," "Dancin' Fool," "Cozmik Debris" and the ever-popular "I'm the Slime."


Megadeth
Photo by Renaud Philippe

One of the really cool things about how the festival is spread out over many stages is that you can run into musicians as they motivate from place to place. Members of Montreal rock band Your Favorite Enemies were spotted watching a few shows, local jazz man Mick V was in the audience for the Zappa Plays Zappa show and Tamikrest singer Ousmane Ag Mossa was seen at the Hilton Hotel, on the prowl for a cigarette.


Zappa Plays Zappa
Photo by Francis Gagnon

Adding to the fun of all the concerts are all the other activities that take place during the festival, including shows by buskers and street artists, tons of family-friendly things to keep the kiddies happy, and lots of street food to keep your energy level up (hundreds of eateries near the stages are open during the festival too; make it a point to try a couple of these!) All of this takes place in one of the most scenic urban areas in the world, where there's a photo op around every corner, and for American visitors a stay in Quebec City is kind of like a visit to France but a lot closer. Simply magnifique!

Information on the 2016 Quebec City Summer Festival will be posted at www.infofestival.com

To plan a trip to Quebec City visit www.quebecregion.com/en

Musique Magnifique! The Quebec City Summer Festival, Part 2

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