POP You Did Me Wrong
It was day two of POP Montreal, and after consuming my fill of veggie dogs & beer at the Quartiers POP barbecue and taking a quick cat nap, I made my way to Théâtre Fairmount and got there just in time to catch Les Marinellis opening for Mikal Cronin. It was quite disappointing to discover the band playing to a virtually empty room. That big open space in front of the stage was probably the worst thing about POP Montreal this year, and this particular performance by the band was lacklustre as a result.
Hey wait! Believe me, I'm not faulting Cedric, Alix, Jef, Ben, and Alexis! I know what they can do. Les Marinellis have lots of raw personality and spunk when there's an audience there to actually see and interact with them. The band truly shines when people are around to dance like maniacs to their brand of rock 'n' roll. I think tacking them on to the beginning of a Mikal Cronin show did the band a great disservice, especially since Les Marinellis were one of the few home-grown francophone acts (besides Les Breastfeeders, Félix Dyotte, and Cœur de pirate—were there more?) playing the festival.
Adding them to The Sonics show would have exposed the band to a wider audience that "gets" who they are and what they're doing, and I think the band would have been much more pumped to be there with their people. This was certainly a POP programming error that will take a little bit of time for this fan to forgive and forget. On the up side, Cedric Marinelli was dressed in tattoos and sequin hot pants, and I finally grabbed a copy of their latest record, Île de rêve (P.Trash), all beaten and chewed up by the band.