FEQ – It’s official one of the best and biggest music festivals in Canada started it’s impressive 11 day line-up in gorgeous weather last Thursday. Presenting an unbelievable amount of 2500 shows across 10 venues for only a 100$. The First few days of the FEQ is already confirming that This is Music Festival at his Finest !
The Quebec City Summer festival, or Festival d’été de Quebec, more commonly known as the FEQ, is among Quebecs most exciting and well set-up music festivals. Not only is the festival located downtown along some of the most scenic streets of the region, but the main events take place on the cities historic Plains of Abraham. A Massive field that can host a ridiculous amount of people, allowing the biggest self-supporting stage in Canada.
The city celebrated the 50th edition of the festival last year in quite spectacular fashion with headliners like ; The Who, Muse, Gorillaz, Kendrick Lamar and even The Backstreet boy. [see FEQ previous line up] but the festival definitely did not back down on their 51st edition, presenting one of their best line ups in years !
Line Up 2018
DAY 1 – THE WEEKND, JETHRO TULL, CHROMEO
The festival debuted with a long and much awaited opening performance from one of the most streamed artist of the moment. The Weeknd was was actually performing in the city for the first time as his show last year at the Videotron Center was cancelled over resale ticket abuse. He delivered a brilliant performance that brought all the still-hurt fans into a dancing Frenzy, forgetting the incident within the first moments !
The massive crowd welcomed the star with endless cheers and excitement around 9:45, for an hour and a half set, that included the superstars most recent singles and biggest hits. Both tracks ; ‘Call Out My Name‘ and ‘I Can’t Feel My Face When I’m With You’‘, created the most energetic waves of singing and dancing of the night.
The Toronto born Star did not disappoint playing a solid set without any slow time. Singing song after song, still keeping everyone engaged with his energy and presence on stage, despite the singers minimal interaction with the crowd.
The festival goers also had multiple options to enjoy all genres of music throughout the entire first day. Even though the heat wave was pretty much cooking all over Quebec ! The FEQ offers multiple other stages all over the city, indoor and outdoor until 11:30… Jethro Tull (picture bellow) the classic British band, famously known for the rock’s flute, also performed that day, attracting a much older crowd. Unlike the duo Chromeo (pictured Bellow) who first did their regular set, and then closed the festival after party with a special Dj set !
For those who haven’t noticed on the line up, the diversity of music genres presented at the FEQ is incredibly unique and wildly eclectic. Every style of music is being offered and each stage provides a different experience. Both families and the intense party animals each have their zones accordingly, allowing everybody to find a comfortable dynamic !
Here are the other stages and zones scattered across the city !
It’s worth noting that the city has done an outstanding job managing the crowd movement and general access to services, like toilets and drinks ! Obviously, it’s a music festival ! The Entrance gate, the alcohol stands and the toilets will have their crazy peak moments. The front rows will be crushed toward the fences, and you are most likely going to lose your friend for at least 30 mins. But the Festival does not feel that hard to move around as it isn’t really limited on space and the movement in-and out are spectacularly smooth. Especially considering that the general capacity of the plains is around 80 000 people each day. A number well over what any Montreal festival can host.
FEQ DAY 2 – NEIL YOUNG, BONOBO and PASSENGER
The Second day of the festival was set to be an even bigger show. Which is a bit of a understatement, since he’s literally a legend ! But Canadian Icon, Neil Young rocked the entire Friday night festivities. He was joined by Promise of the Real. The band formed by Willie Nelson’s singer-songwriter son, Lukas Nelson; who on Friday was joined by an another son, Micah Nelson.
The exceptional composer and his crew gave a stunning 2 hr performance filled with as many guitar changes as songs. Indeed the 72 year old showed his impressive guitar skill, extending all of his songs with sick solos. The Band jammed long instrumental sessions of guitar licks and riffs throughout the performance.
“It’s my first time here. I can’t believe it,” he said, quickly adding a self-deprecating disclaimer. “Either that, or I can’t remember (because) I’m too old.” But, Neil,was right. In all the 51 years that Festival d’été de Québec has taken over the provincial capital, Young has never graced its stages.
While some fans might have been disappointed with him failing to provide some of his most memorable classic, like ‘Heart of Gold‘ and ‘Old Man’ … Well to be honest … it’s actually more fair to say that all fans were pretty disappointed with him not playing his greatest hits ( It’s certainly the most common comment you will hear about the show !) But Young however did a memorable performance that still included ‘Rocking in the Free world’ and ‘Harvest moon’ . [Full Set list]
Switching to acoustic guitar, Young made his most obvious political statement of the night with the sweet melodic I Am A Child, dedicated to the families separated under Trump’s immigration policy. “Here’s a song for all the children,” Young said, “all the children in cages everywhere.”
FEQ DAY 3 – FUTURE , LIL YATHCY, LOUD and KILLY
You were better not to underestimate the number of fans for the Hip Hop Night of the festival. The plains were filled all the way to the back to see Future. The very popular American rapper gave an extremely visual show presenting a solid set to a delirious crowd. He is after all the fifth-longest charting streak ever on the Billboard Hot 100, after 166 consecutive weeks. The third day of the festival was a completely different adventure. As you can imagine the crowd and scenery was quite different than the one from the night before.
But Future wasn’t the only one who brought a massive crowd Saturday ! Many came to celebrate one of Quebecs Artists of the Moment, Loud ( see pictures bellow) Yes, Our own montreal-born, was the second headliner of the night. Giving a chilling performance that only confirms his incredible talent and title as one of the best french Hip Hop artist in the province right now. Loud also received a commemoration plate underlining his first position at the top 100 BDS ! A first for a hip-hop track on the radio said his partner Ajust who was sharing the stage with him!
However, It’s Lil Yatchy that won ‘best entertainer of the night’ ! The red dreadlocks rapper gave a very unusual set engaging his fans in the most unique and creative way. The 20 year-old rapper began with a mission to make the ground shake, asking all his fan to jump and stomp on the floor quickly. Of course, he got off the stage to check if the land was trembling enough.
He than required mosh-pit all over the place and finished with one last eccentricity, A massive water fight. Yes, you read right ! His team proceeded to a massive distribution of water bottles, specifying that they were not to drink. He than asked the fans to throw them up in the air at the same timeto get as many people wet as possible.
FEQ DAY 4 – SHAWN MENDES, CAMILA CABELLO, JAIN
The night started with an unbelievably fresh and fun latin vibe around 8:00, when Camila Cabello jumped on stage. The 21-year old, who was a previous contestant of the American edition of The X Factor in 2012, only became an international superstar this year with the release of her debut solo album ! The Cuban-American singer was almost angelic singing and seduced everyone with her smash hit song ‘Havana’, which everybody recognized within the first note !
But Camila Cabello wasn’t the main reason why the FEQ was invaded with the ‘generation Z’ that night. It was primarily to see one of their favourite Idols, Shawn Mendes ! In fact, the Canadian sweetheart literally exploded the decibel meter on his first step on the scene – maybe because of his half open shirt and care-free tousled hair – But honestly, the 19 year old reminded everybody within the first words he sang, that he his undeniably talented !
His clear crisp voice live is almost as perfect as his recording and his crazy charisma even managed to make older generations mesmerize through his performance. After all, the young singer already has 3 CD released before his 20’s and his first single ‘Stiches’ has over a billion views on Youtube.
The fans, mostly feminine, would scream with all their lung at every interaction from the star between the songs. Shawn even gave his fans more reason to scream when he walked down off the stage to sing near them, causing an explosion of teenage howling.
Like Camila Cabello just before, Shawn Mendes took a short detour on the piano, performing the hit ‘Thinking About You’. He then moved on to his acoustic guitar performing a brilliant performance of Youth.
” I see so many young faces in the crowd tonight… you Have The power To Change the World!
Shawn Mendes also repeated multiples times ”Quebec, I love you !” especially when the entire festival turned on their phone Flashlights and waved them in the air !
by Xavier Hebert – firstname.lastname@example.org