Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Sean's top ten venues

COOK'S TOP TEN  |  2013


My arrival to the island city of Montreal in January 2013 was one that was blanketed in the same kind of snow and ice into which we are currently enveloped, as the lady, myself and our cats arrived after a particularly heinous snowstorm. We made our way to our downtown apartment from the airport, got our van stuck in the snow a few times, and got settled into our new life in Quebec. Not long after that, I met up with the fine folks at Hot Soupe and got into doing some concert reviewing. What proceeded was one of the best years in my life as a fan of live music. I saw so many great bands at a lot of awesome venues, and it is my pleasure to give my personal top ten favourite venues in the city. They are as follows:

#10 Corona Theatre & #9 La Tulipe

La Tulipe and Corona Theater won me over because they have better sound than most of the other higher capacity venues such as Metropolis or CEPSUM, who usually make bands sound as if they’re playing underwater. That might just be a limitation of venues with more space, though.

The rest of the venues rank high with me because they’re all rustic, intimate venues that 
cater to smaller bands of either indie or heavy persuasions.


#8 Café Chaos & #7 Piranha Bar

Café Chaos is perhaps the perfect little metal bar: It is scuzzy as hell, has tons of awesome smaller metal bands playing there all the time, and has Boreal on tap. Piranha Bar also has metal bands, though they have more variety with the acts. I've seen tons of small bands here. It also has the distinction of being a nice distance away from my apartment, which I like.
6: Casa Del Popolo is fun because it's an older building with not one, but several spaces within the venue to party. They have a dj booth in one room, bands in the other, and a nice terrace that allows you bring your beer. The band space is a nice, intimate area.

#5 Foufounes Electriques & #4 Katacombes

5 and 4: Foufounes Electriques is probably the only venue in Montreal that people outside of Quebec (or at least those out in western Canada) have heard of, save for maybe Bell Centre. I remember people hyping that place up when I still lived in Edmonton, and while it is not the greatest place in the city, it is still a fun place to go. I like their drink specials, and the overall vibe is cool. Katacombes is a another fun metal bar, and they have a fine selection of beers. I like the venue's upper balcony, as I like to watch bands from up high from time to time.
Il Motore has a great atmosphere for punk shows, and I love punk rock. I’ve seen tons of shows there this past year, and it’s always been a great time. The same goes for Divan Orange, which is the place that I have seen many up-and-coming bands like Elephant Stone and Diamond Bones. 
La Salsa Rossa makes it to the top of the list because it always has a great vibe whenever I’m there: the place is always packed full of rock (and sometimes electronic) fans, the bands that play there are usually of the utmost quality, and they have a good selection of beer. I saw Wavves, perhaps one of my top shows for 2013, at this place, and so it will always have a special place in my heart. 

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