Home Entertainment Punk in the rearview, mega show starts today

Punk in the rearview, mega show starts today

On a hot day at a punk show, nothing is more delightful than a sprinkler spraying down the circle of skankers or moshers. Bring on the water this weekend at Osheaga. (Daniel J. Rowe, The Eastern Door)

Somewhere between the time I ruined a white Five Iron Frenzy band tee sweating out pink bingo dabber “hair dye” onto said white shirt in 1997 and last Friday, a lot of punks had kids.

The 77 Montreal punk festival kicked off a weekend of loud and angry music Friday, with Heavy MTL following on Saturday and Sunday, and there were a lot more children at the punk shows than I’ve seen.

Rather than being left with questions of bands’ technical proficiencies or angst or leather jacket stud work or skank styles in the circle pit, or whose rude boy riff is best between the Planet Smashers and the Interrupters; the question I had after a Friday full of punk and ska was, ‘dang, where did all these kids come from?’

The answer, I guess, is: punk couples.

The sight of so many Mohawk-styling tots, babies and young ones taking in their first shows at the festival made it just so dang adorable, I had little time to sulk about being old. If I’m old, so are the rest of the parents here. Let’s punk on.

Punk spawn of punk parents makes punk shows just as punk, but also adorable. You know, punk adorable. (Daniel J. Rowe, The Eastern Door)

Eight-year-old Rotehrhata:se Lahache took in both 77 and Heavy MTL with his mom Kahente Leborgne, sporting a blue Mohawk, and was seen skanking along to the Planet Smashers with the best of them.

“He loved it,” said Leborgne. “He’s already a fan of the music, but that was his first time going to an outdoor concert.”

77 Montreal is in its second year and is a solid addition to the summer festival circuit that seems to just keep growing and growing.

Friday’s set of bands had the usual collection of scream first, drum-hard-punk-rock those of us over 30 have lived with and loved with a snarl for 40 years, but also a couple ska bands (see above), and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, featuring legend C.J. Ramone (the Ramones, duh!) on bass.

Something about a punk cover of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” is just so right for a sunny day.

Speaking of festivals: Osheaga starts today, in case you haven’t been paying attention to your Facebook or Instagram feed, where the stream of bragging posts continue to inform you that your friends paid the steep price for the pass, and are currently in a sea of sweating bodies on Ile Jean Drapeau listening to the likes of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arctic Monkeys, Florence + The Machine and Post Malone.

So many bands, so little time.

Two gigs not to miss among the stacked lineup: Blondie and The National.

The former you better know and check out, and the latter you should definitely check out if you haven’t already.

Osheaga-goer tip of the day: check out as many acts as you can that you haven’t heard of. No one ever found a diamond without digging in a pile of dirt.

That and stay hydrated, be respectful of others – particularly in the mosh pits (I’m looking at you boys), and try ever so hard to watch a show without filming it on your phone.

It’s live music after all and not a single person ever asked anyone, ‘hey, can you send me that video of the show you shot for Instagram with horrible sound 100 metres from the stage?”

Rock on.



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Daniel J. Rowe is an award-winning reporter and photographer originally from BC. In addition to journalism, he produces and edits a Shakespeare-inspired blog and podcast called the Bard Brawl. His writing has also appeared in the Montreal Gazette, Canadian Press, U.S. Lacrosse magazine and elsewhere. His facial hair rotates with the season, and he’s recently discovered the genius of wearing a cowboy hat. He wrote for The Eastern Door from 2011 to 2019.