POP Montreal is both the literal and symbolic end of summer in the city. With this comes the conclusion of another exciting festival season, with POP offering one last hurrah before the party is truly over. Equipped with concerts, films, talks, fashion, and even sports, POP Montreal is a known gem amongst true North American festival-heads.
With so many events in such a short amount of time, it could be difficult for one to determine exactly who they should see at POP 2016. If this is the case for you, fear not — we’ve got you covered! Here are 5 Must-See Shows at POP Montreal 2016:
5. The Kills
POP Montreal has been a known home for notable band reunion since its launch in 2002; Butthole Surfers in 2009, local legends The Unicorns in 2014, and of course, last year’s return of the mighty underground force that is Cannibal Ox.
This year, the festival notable reuniting band is indie duo The Kills. Although it has only been 5 years since their last release, a lot has happened in that gap period. While member Alison Mosshart recently suffered of pneumonia, Jamie Hince also went through a number of personal tragedies, having lost a finger in a car-door accident, and divorcing supermodel Kate Moss (which is worse?).
While overcoming these personal obstacles is sure to have changed elements of the duo’s recent music and live performances (namely Jamie’s lack of a finger), The Kills are the same band that the world grew to love in the early 2000s. — Wednesday, September 21st @ Metropolis
4. Diet Cig
In what will mark their debut Canadian performance, Diet Cig, the band with perhaps the most indie name of all time, are destined to be a highlight of this year’s festival. Conceived in 2014, the New York based duo started to make waves when their single, “Harvard”, gained prominence on both Alternative radio stations and various music blogs.
Will their irresistibly honest lyrics and summertime sound, something reminiscent of an early Best Coast, translate to a stellar performance? Only one way to find out! — Saturday, September 24th @ Bar Le Ritz PDB
3. Allah-Las + TOPS
Are you tired of constantly living through your parents’ early musical taste and concert memories? Do you wish you were alive to have experienced Woodstock or the earliest days of Festival d’été de Québec? Then Allah-Las are the band for you! The band’s sound is unapologetically throwback — it would be easy to mistake them as a group from the 60’s if their music was heard out of context.
Luckily for those interested in attending, Allah-Las’ live shows generally follow these same parallels. While perhaps their energy doesn’t quite fair to the early days of The Sonics or Montreal’s own The Haunted, they more than make up for it in preserving their distinct and lovable sound during concerts. Bonus points for having hometown favourites TOPS in the opening slot. — Wednesday, Sepember 21st @ La Tulipe
2. 69 Boyz + UNiiQU3 + DRAM
Having had an massive summer following the success of his hit, Lil Yatchy-featured single, “Broccoli“, it is almost offensive that DRAM is not headlining this show, let alone being placed as the main opener. Nonetheless, this Saturday night show is an excellent opportunity to see the prosperous young rapper in an intimate setting before he turns into the star he is destined to become.
On the other hand, 69 Boyz are legends in their own right, pioneers of the Miami Bass genre. With hits such as “Tootsie Roll” and “Woof Woof”, along with a special guest appearance by Quad City DJ’s Lana, this is sure to be an evening of booty-shakin’ fun. — Saturday, September 24th @ Piccolo Little Burgundy
1. John Cale
Montreal has always had a special place in our hearts for Velvet Underground, so it only seems right for founding member John Cale to be headlining this year’s POP festival. Aside from his involvement in Velvet’s first two LPs (which are considered to be their best by many), Cale has also gained a relative following through solo career, a whopping 16 albums throughout a 36 year period.
At 76, John Cale still has yet to miss a beat. Don’t miss your chance to see this iconic rocker at one of Montreal’s most beautifully designed (and devastatingly underrated) concert venues. — Thursday, September 22nd @ Rialto Theatre
Tickets for these concerts and other 2016 POP Montreal shows are available for purchase here.