One of the many perks of attending FME is that they are one of the only festivals that I’ve personally seen to offer 4 days of festivities, rather than 3.
Right as that post-weekend sadness is starting to creep in, have no fear! There is still one more day of music left… Which I personally thought was awesome.
As exhaustion was slowly beginning to creep up on me by my fourth day, I got up bright and early anyways. I wanted to see as many artists as I possibly could.
First on my list was the talented Mitch Davis, who has been an artist I’ve followed since high school.
Upon arriving to small venue “L’Abstracto” I was almost overwhelmed with how many people could fit into such a small space. People were almost standing in the washroom; there was hardly a place to sit down.
My keen eyes, of course, saw all the available space on the floor. So, I picked the spot closest to the stage, and sat myself down. The atmosphere was captivating already.
Known for his “Chillwave Indie” sound, we were given something a bit different today, giving us the best of Funk, Soul, with a Millennium like twist only Mitch Davis could put together.
I personally have never heard him rap before, which was a shocker as he used to make more Hip/Hop music, under a different name when he lived in Edmonton years prior.
I was getting particular Thundercat, Tyler the Creator, and Mac Demarco sounds from this performance. I couldn’t look away for a second. I felt as if he was speaking to my soul from beginning to end, and I felt myself get a bit sad when he announced his last song of the night.
Before stepping out, I made sure to give him a consensual hug and thank him for coming. Make sure to catch his next show in Montreal on October 1st as part of POP Montreal. You surely don’t want to miss out. For only $10 a ticket I might add…
Moving on to my next show of the night, I was heading across town to see OMBIIGIZI. As I had finally arrived, it dawned on me that the venue was empty. It started 20 minutes ago… Surely there had been a last-minute change of some sort. I quickly figured out the location of the new venue, and I then got there just in time for the last few songs.
I wasn’t too familiar with OMBIIGIZI myself, however I have some friends who are, and they have nothing but good things to say. Going into a show blind is one of my favourite ways to discover new artists. I was definitely surprised at how much I enjoyed this set in particular.
Lead singer Adam Sturgeon certainly knows how to speak to a crowd without speaking directly to them. The way his voice has a certain serenity to it, with metal tones peeking through just as vibrantly.
I’ve never seen chill Indie music become so metal from just a guy playing his guitar, accompanied by the sound of his own voice. It was quite inspirational to see such different genres of music come together and sound like they were made for each other.
Next on my list was Rich Aucoin.
I was sprinting back over to the main stage yet again. I arrived just in time to get the perfect barricade spot, and it looked as if the show was just getting started. I believe this was probably the only set today where I was able to stick around from start to finish, without running to another stage. Thank goodness, my legs were ready for bed.
Little did I know, sleep was far away from me at that point…
From the moment Rich Aucoin quite literally jumped on stage, he had thousands of people in the palm of his hand.
He began orchestrating their cries of enthusiasm from the moment the intro first started to play. Leading up to the first song, he actually had a little slide show of kind-hearted jokes towards the other performers of the night.
It was nice to see him giving nods to the other artists he was sharing the stage with. I knew right then, that this performance was going to be one of the most memorable ones of this weekend.
I was already feeling pretty hyped up for the show, just watching him interact with his fans. Everything changed once he stepped off stage and submerged himself into the crowd and started dancing with us.
Not only that, he threw a giant parachute, like the ones from elementary school gym class into the crowd. He had everyone dance underneath it, and yes, I was the first to jump into the middle. I had a cute little dance session holding hands with him, in front of everyone.
Rich Aucoin truly knows how to unify people who have never met before.
By the end of the show, everyone was now your new best friend, whether you liked it or not.
My favourite part of the set was when he had everyone bounce together in unison, which I was lucky enough to capture a video of. Thank you Rich Aucoin!
At last, the big headliner for me was coming up next… It was Metal Night at FME.
The organizers knew I was coming!! I had my hair teased out at least 4 inches, with platforms trailing in height. I have never been more ready.
Upon arriving, I was absolutely floored when I saw the amount of people just waiting to be let in. It looked as if all of Rouyn-Noranda came to one place tonight. Well… Dying Fetus was up next. What more can I say?
After I was finally able to get a stamp, after begging the bouncer outside, I was graciously let in. Phew.
From the moment I stepped in, it was a warzone, in the best way possible.
Everyone was either a part of the mosh pit, or clinging on to the sides of the walls hanging on for dear life. It was awesome.
If you ever find yourself at a Dying Fetus show, there is simply no safe zone. You are either there to thrash or get absolutely squished…or both…most definitely both. Rock on!!
Finally, I made my way to the barricade. It was at that moment I noticed there was a kid who looked almost 14, thrashing just as hard as me and everyone else.
That must have been quite the story for his parents…However I found myself looking at a younger version of myself at the time. I guess Dying Fetus could also be a family affair!
As the ligaments in my neck finally started to give out on me, I was also thinking about how I was having the time of my life.
I have never had this much fun at a “Death-Metal” concert before, let alone one with children thrashing alongside me.
I have never been to a Metal show where throwing each other in a circle felt so much like family-bonding. Who knew there was so much love in Metal.
As the last song of the night came to an end, there were 3 set lists that I noticed. I was absolutely getting one. Somebody else had already jumped on stage and grabbed one before me, shockingly. I was able to get the other from the center stage, as well as the guitar pick used from that night. Turns out screaming at people does get what you want sometimes!!
Overall, my time at FME was a musical roller coaster.
I discovered countless new artists, some of which I’m proud to say are my favorites now. I highly recommend everyone experience this magical festival at least once in their lifetimes.
Being able to learn so many different and emerging artists, as well as experience new sounds every day, it was a magical experience that I will never forget.
FME has taught me to expand my musical horizons, even if there’s some hesitation or fear of “What if I don’t like this?”.
You never truly know how you feel about something unless you try it first. Thank you so much FME for a great weekend of music.
Until next year!
Writer: Rachel Billings is a passionate live music lover and barrier warrior, who is always front & centre of the action. Follow her on Instagram.Share this :