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Festival d'ete de Quebec: Opening night flies high with A Flock of Seagulls


by Kevin Wierzbicki

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The Festival d'été de Québec (FEQ), taking place this year from July 4 through July 14 on multiple stages in the historic old town portion of Québec City, got off to a flying start as '80s New Wave darlings A Flock of Seagulls played a hit-filled set on the Bell Stage, the festival's largest venue. The group currently consists of original lead singer and keyboards player Mike Score, guitarist Gordon Deppe, bass man Pando and drummer Kevin Rankin. Fans that first took notice of the band back in the early days of MTV will remember Score, with his wild hairstyle, as being one of the most eye-catching musicians of the era. Alas, time takes its toll on all things, and today Score rocks a shaved head. Time, however, has been kind to the music of A Flock of Seagulls, and the band's 9-song, 45-minute set proved to be the perfect sound to kick off one of Canada's largest and most-beloved festivals.

Festival d'ete de Quebec 2019
A Flock of Seagulls (Photo courtesy of Longsho Photographie/Festival d'ete de Quebec)

A Flock of Seagulls opened their set with one of their heavier songs, "Modern Love is Automatic," a cut from their 1982 self-titled debut album. That was followed by the 1995 cut "Hearts on Fire," the only song in the set not drawn from the band's first two albums. "Nightmares" sounded appropriately eerie and Score switched back and forth from playing keyboard and guitar during "The More You Live, the More You Love," a song that Score explained is "the story of a young heart." First album favorite "Telecommunication" played out to a frenetic end, and from there the band racked up their three biggest hits to end the show: "Space Age Love Song," "Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)" and "I Ran." The guys were a lively bunch throughout the show, especially drummer Rankin, who had an ear-to-ear grin going all night as he pounded away.

Festival d'ete de Quebec 2019
A Flock of Seagulls (Photo courtesy of Longsho Photographie/Festival d'ete de Quebec)

A Flock of Seagulls were the first of three retro acts to play the big Bell Stage on opening night; their set was followed by a performance from Level 42 and then a show by homegrown Canadian artist Corey Hart, known for his smash hit "Sunglasses at Night." The honor of being the actual first act to perform during FEQ 2019 went to Teme Tan, a pop artist from Congo who now lives in Belgium. Tan plays guitar and sings in French, accompanied by programmed loops and beats. Performing an early set on the small Fibe stage, Tan's smooth and soulful vocals wowed a crowd that was hearing his music for free as the Fibe stage is one of FEQ's venues that is open to all comers with no ticket required.

Festival d'ete de Quebec 2019
A Flock of Seagulls (Photo courtesy of Longsho Photographie/Festival d'ete de Quebec)

Some of the other acts that performed at FEQ on opening night were Canadian hard rock band April Wine, Mexico City duo Rodrigo y Gabriela, Nick Murphy (aka Chet Faker), Lucky Peterson, Woodwolf and Elvis Radio. FEQ has an incredible cavalcade of talent lined up for the remainder of the festival; find all the details here.

Festival d'ete de Quebec 2019
April Wine (Photo courtesy of Longsho Photographie/Festival d'ete de Quebec)

Festival d'ete de Quebec 2019
Corey Hart (Photo courtesy of Longsho Photographie/Festival d'ete de Quebec)

Festival d'ete de Quebec 2019
Level 42 (Photo courtesy of Longsho Photographie/Festival d'ete de Quebec)

Festival d'ete de Quebec 2019
Teme Tan (Photo courtesy of Sebastien Dion/Festival d'ete de Quebec)

Photographs kindly provided by Festival d'ete de Quebec.

Festival d'ete de Quebec: Opening night flies high with A Flock of Seagulls

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