’77 Montreal Festival – The second edition of the ’77 Montreal festival took place Friday past at Parc Jean Drapeau, bringing together fans of the punk rock genre for a day out in the sun. Early crowds where sparse, presumably due to an early start time on what is a work day for many, but by the time punch cards where stamped quite a number had turned out. For many, ’77 serves as an introduction to Heavy Montreal that follows on the two preceding days, especially for the out of towners that had made the trek to Montreal for the event – but ’77 draws its own people too. In the blazing heat, they danced and drank into the sunset and into the mosh pits that broke out in rowdy fashion in front of every band that played.
The festival is named after the year, 1977, which many believe is the start of the Punk genre, and much like last year, did a solid job of pulling artists from each era of Punk existence. Early in the day, two such names took to the stage. California’s L7, who were at the forefront of the Grunge movement in the early 90’s, alongside bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Screaming Trees and the likes, belted out their classics for the first on Montreal soil for the first time in nineteen years. The other being Steve Ignorant & Paranoid Visions. Ignorant was the frontman of the legendary anarchist punk band, Crass, and much of their set revolved around the former group. Other greats from years long gone included Suicidal Tendencies and Canadian’s D.O.A – and both bands gave great performances, closing their respective stages for the night. Rise Against rocked the final set of the main stage in front of a fine collection of people, capping off what was a great day of live music.
As loud and as frantic as the event had been, it was always evident that the key to the whole thing was fun – and family. Many of the older attendees where about the grounds with their offspring, ranging from weeks old to pre-teens. Others rekindled their youth, silver-haired and all. Seeing people from all walks of life and all ages coming together with a common interest is a fantastic thing. Music knows no boundaries nor does it abide to the concept of time.