Pouzza Fest [Day 2] - Live in montreal (Cover Artwork)

Pouzza Fest [Day 2]

Live in montreal (2023)

live show

Waking up in a new city always feels strange so I was fully prepared for weirdness on the morning of May 20. Imagine my surprise when I woke up and felt right at home! The game plan was to check out all of the venues so I knew where they were before hitting up the merch mall that would be going on at Foufounes Électriques. I dressed my blisters, grabbed my phone and schedule, and set out into the city.

After walking around for a while, I realized that all of the venues were incredibly close by and that I had either not walked far enough or had passed some on my walk the first night. I made my way to the Foufs and wandered through the merch mall. I had the pleasure of meeting some amazing people and I also replenished my band shirt supply.

Time passes by extremely quickly when you’re at a music festival and before I knew it, it was time to grab food and head out to shows. I decimated a burger from A&W and booked it to Cafe Big Trouble to catch Matty Grace’s solo set. Cafe Big Trouble is very close to Turbo Haüs and has a cozy, intimate feel to it. It also serves food, including homemade pop tarts that look divine. When I got there, Matty had just taken to the stage so I squeezed into the crowd and staked out my place to watch. This set marked the first time in four years that she had played live with an acoustic guitar and she absolutely fucking ripped. The acoustic guitar really brought out the emotion of the lyrics and in her voice. The songs took on new life as she played “Dysphoria City Limits”, “i (Blocked)”, “Napathy and Exhaustion”, “YOW - YHZ - YOW”, “Connaught / Chebucto”, and more from her excellent solo repertoire. Matty also played “Don’t Hold Your Breath” by her Halifax-based band Cluttered and “Exist” by her Ottawa-based band Crisis Party. It was a set full of feelings, heart, sweat, and a memorable baby joke. Needless to say, Matty Grace’s solo set was one of my top shows of the weekend. Catch her solo or with one of her many, many awesome bands whenever you can.

Then I went over to Turbo Haüs to catch North Carolina-based Teens In Trouble. When I got there the place was absolutely packed and I was lucky to find a place to stand. It was also extremely hot, maybe because the band was on fire?? They sounded amazing as they played songs from their excellent self-titled debut EP and a couple of new ones. I can’t wait to hear more from Teens In Trouble.

Following a bit of a breather, I went back into Cafe Big Trouble and saw Pennsylvania singer/songwriter Sweet Anne Marie play a few songs. She was singing and playing acoustic guitar with Tyler Troutman of Condition Oakland playing electric guitar. They had a folk meets alternative rock meets a hint of punk vibe to them and Anne Marie’s voice sounded clear, resonant, and great.

After catching one song by Dannyboy of The Corps, I headed over to the Foufs to catch some more killer shows. The Foufs are divided into two sides - Foufounes Électriques and Cabaret Fouf. Foufounes Electriques has plenty of floor space as well as a balcony area where you can hang out and get great views of bands. It is spacious, comfortable, and well-ventilated. To reach the Cabaret Fouf side of things, all you need to do is walk through a good-sized bar area. Cabaret Fouf is a slightly smaller room with a more intimate feel and is standing room only. Both sides are great and the Foufs might just be my favourite venue set-up of all time. When I got there, I heard something interesting from the Cabaret side of things and went in to watch a few minutes of Florida-based Camp Trash’s set. They blended emo, indie, pop, and alternative rock together to create some very cool music. I want to check out more from them.

After the fans of No Trigger cleared out of the Électriques side of things, I zipped over to find a good place on the floor to see one of my favourite bands, London, Ontario’s Single Mothers. I first saw them open for the Dirty Nil in 2019 and every time I see them they get better. They came on stage (with Ross Miller back as their bassist) and launched into “Enough For You”. The crowd exploded and never looked back. There were people moshing, dancing, and doing that fucking kick thing all over the place. Drew Thomson was like a conductor of chaos as he bounced around the stage and poured every ounce of energy into the songs. At one point he mimed throwing a baseball and hitting it into the crowd, at another point he sunk the game-winning three-point shot, and at yet another point he was down on the ground for a count of three before popping back up with more energy than before. They played songs from all over their catalogue including “Undercover”, “Baby Bird”, “Dog Parks”, and “Christian Girls”. Their energy was through the roof and it felt like their set lasted mere minutes. If you haven’t seen Single Mothers live, do yourself a favour and go get in the pit at one of their shows but remember to protect your shins when you do.

Screaming Females were up next and it was time to head up to the balcony to ensure a good view. The band came on, set up in no time at all, and proceeded to show us why they’re one of the best live bands out there. Marissa Paternoster is an absolute virtuoso on guitar and her voice is out of this world. I was entranced by the first note and watched transfixed throughout their whole set. The songs flowed seamlessly into one another and the pacing was excellent. By the time they finished off with “Mourning Dove,” I was shocked that they were done. Screaming Females fucking rock and any time I have the chance to see them live, I will take it.

Due to several injuries accrued over the course of the day, I was forced to call it an early night. I once again fell into bed with the next day at the top of my mind.