On the punk side of things, a bunch of bands tore it up on the Loto Quebec stage and the SiriusXM stage. The stages sit side-by-side in a space with a combined audience so that music can ring out almost non-stop since there's no waiting for either stage to be cleared of gear; that's done while a performance is happening on the adjacent stage. The venue was filled to capacity and when the OBGMs played (It stands for "Ooh Baby Gimme More") a small mosh circle formed. The Canadian band played a set of fast and punchy songs, many of which were anthemic in nature. The guys also led a chant that revved up the crowd for Sum 41, the night's yet to come headline band for these stages.
Before Sum 41 came on two long-running punk bands would play sets. Maybe best described as a pop/punk band, Sweden's Millencolin thrilled the large crowd with more than a dozen melodic rockers including "Bullion," "Kemp," "Fox," "No Cigar" and the amusingly-titled "Penguins & Polarbears." The guys occasionally veered away from their melodic sound as they did on the thrash number "SOS."
After Millencolin it was time for Hermosa Beach, California's skate punk kings Pennywise. Their set was filled with favorites like "Fight Till You Die," "Same Old Story," "Broken," "Society," "Watch Me as I Fall" and of course signature tune "Pennywise."
Likewise when Sum 41 hit the stage they did so with a vengeance as they ripped through faves like "The Hell Song," "Out for Blood," "Underclass Hero," "We're All to Blame," "In Too Deep" and even a taste of the massive Queen hit "We Will Rock You." By the time all these bands finished fans streamed out of the venue with grins on their faces and their energy levels through the roof.
The two big pop acts of the evening were Garbage and Alanis Morissette. Both stars performed at FEQ's biggest venue, the Bell Stage on the giant greenbelt known as The Plains of Abraham. Singer Shirley Manson led Garbage through a set of about a dozen songs beginning with "Vow" and the synthy "No Gods No Masters." After playing their hit "Stupid Girl" early in the set, Manson admirably did her best to address the crowd in French, the primary language spoken in Quebec. The crowd probably got the gist of what she was saying; they certainly understood the music which included the sublime pop of "Special," the pulsating "Godhead" and "Queer," which Manson preceded with stage patter in English about how "It's not a very female-friendly world right now, neither is it for LGBT." The band saved their big hit "Only Happy When it Rains" for late in the set.
Morissette is in the midst of her Jagged Little Pill tour that commemorates the smash hit album of the same name. She played the entire album, although not in order and not all at one time. The early part of the show included Jagged Little Pill cuts "All I Really Want," "Hand in My Pocket" and "You Learn" along with three others. Biggies "Ironic" came late in the set and "You Oughta Know" was saved for the pre-encore finale. All the rest of the Jagged Little Pill cuts were scattered throughout the set along with others like "I Remain" and "Reasons I Drink." Morissette is not from Quebec but she is a Canadian and her set was received with warmth and enthusiasm.
The next Festival d'ete de Quebec will take place July 6-16, 2023. Details will be announced here.
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