Review: A-Trak Returns to Montreal in Full Form for Fool's Gold Homecoming
I arrive inside the busy St-Laurent parking lot around 6:45, just in time to see Stwo take the stage. However, as much as I enjoy the French producer, he is not the reason I am here on this particular evening. Late last month, Fool's Gold Records announced a homecoming show, which would serve as Montreal's own A-Trak's return to his hometown, playing his first proper show here since a 2012 appearance at New City Gas (however, he did play a private show hosted by Noisey and Molson alongside his brother Dave 1's Chromeo duo last September, the same show in which we sat down with Chromeo for an exclusive interview)
Having arrived late to the private Noisey show and only getting to experience 20 or so minutes or A-Trak's performance, this would be the first proper show in which I would have the pleasure of seeing the Fool's Gold founder live and direct.
Fast forward to about 9:15. "White Iverson" rapper Post Malone has just left the stage after a lethargic, karaoke-style 15-minute performance of some of his catalogue's most significant tunes. Host/headliner A-Trak returns to stage, equipment set and ready to roll. "Do I even need to give myself an introduction?", Trizzy asks the crowd before kicking off an exhilarating set.
A-Trak's performance included an eclectic mix of everything from his own hits ("Out The Speakers"), along with remixed versions of them ("Heads Will Roll", "Piss Test"), old school classics ("Let Me Clear My Throat"), Atlanta trap crooners (multiple ILOVEMAKONNEN tracks along with RL Grime and Salva's remix of Travis $cott and Young Thug's "Skyfall") and much more. But perhaps the highlight of this extremely well rounded set was A-Trak's signature scratch routines, wowing the crowd with renditions of throwback favourites such as Three 6 Mafia's "Stay High" and Daft Punk's "Robot Rock" among others.
Before leaving the crowd to "Swerve" on home with yet another ILOVEMAKONNEN track, A-Trak stopped the music to give a powerful speech about unity and togetherness. "I've been wanting to come back home and do a proper show like this for so long" Trak declares as he explains how special this show is for him. The Fool's Gold co-founder goes on to explain how everything from having his Montreal-based artists (like Shash'U and High Klassified) having spun earlier that day, to organizing the show in conjunction with his cousin Zack Macklovitch's Saintwoods team to even having his parents and grandfather in the crowd supporting him all made for a gathering that was truly close to his heart.
"Fool's Gold has always been about family", he proclaims; a statement that seems more true now than ever as he closes out one of the best sets the city has seen this year.
Header image via Saintwoods' Instagram.