It’s been about two months since I was in Montreal for the three-day festival, and I still get a smile on my face thinking about what a wonderful time it was. For those who don’t know, Pouzza in a nutshell is a three-day concert in Montreal and features mostly punk, hardcore and indie bands. The 2013 edition of Pouzza is the third installment of this now-annual event.
We headed out on the seven-hour drive early Friday morning and arrived in Montreal around 6 p.m. Just enough time to unload our stuff at a friend’s house and go to the grocery store for frozen pizza and booze. Yes, you can get frozen pizza and booze in the grocery stores, together. It’s a little slice of heaven on earth. Friday night we headed out to see The Ataris and Mxpx. We got to Club Soda about three songs into the Ataris set. I’ve been listening to The Ataris since high school and this was the first time I got to see them play. They sounded great, but most of the set was from So Long, Astoria; I wish there were a few older songs thrown in the mix, but whatever – I was pounding back $4 tall cans of PBR and hanging out with friends and they played ‘Boys of Summer’. . . I was happy.
After that, Mxpx came out and rocked it. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them a few times before, and they always sound so tight when they perform live. Lots of old songs and a few newer ones thrown in the mix. It was a great start to our first night at Pouzza.
After spending most of Saturday eating everything in sight, we got ready and headed to Foufs to see The Almighty Good Riddance. They sounded great and the place was pretty packed. They don’t seem to have aged at all and the energy when they play is great. The friend that I went with wanted me to go to the front of the stage when they played, but my body can’t handle that anymore – I’m a delicate flower. I enjoyed from afar and loved every song. After that, we hustled down to see Banquets play. We missed the first few songs but they played about six more. They just released a new album in May, and I hadn’t had a chance to hear it yet, so I loved hearing some of the new songs live. It was a smaller venue and only about 50 people showed up, but it was great. We headed back down to Club Soda afterwards and saw the last few songs of Saves The Day. They closed with ‘At Your Funeral’, so the high school version of me was happy. We hit up a Karaoke bar afterwards and sang our hearts out until 3 a.m. That’s another great thing about Montreal: all the best food and bars open until 3 a.m. You can’t beat that, unless, of course, you don’t pace yourself and you’ll be barfing on the sidewalk by midnight.
Sunday was the big day. One of the bands I wanted to see the most was New Found Glory and they were original supposed to play at Metro, but it was moved to a much smaller venue at Foufs. The move to a smaller venue was great and meant no running around between bands, because everyone we wanted to see was all in the same place. We arrived early so we wouldn’t miss anything. And I mean early, around 5 p.m. We caught a few bands I wouldn’t have normally checked out. Laureate is a punk band from Montreal and sounded great. We also caught Transit, Lemuria, Crime in Stereo, and Dead To Me, all before New Found Glory took the stage.
New Found Glory were doing the second leg of their Sticks and Stones Tour. I’ve seen New Found Glory four times before, but this was hands down the smallest venue. Capacity is 300 people and it felt like even more people were crammed in there. As soon as they started playing ‘Understatement’, everyone went nuts. It felt like there were no security guards in sight, so everyone and their brother were on stage and stage diving. They played ‘Sticks and Stones’ and a few other songs, including their cover of ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’ before packing it in. We checked out a few songs by Grade, but couldn’t stand anymore and needed to sit after New Found Glory. We headed over to a secret show to see Dead To Me one last time before calling it a night around 3:30 a.m.
All in all, the Fest was great. So much food, PBR and, obviously, great music. All the venues were very close together, so don’t worry if you’re scared of walking to catch bands at different venues. I would highly recommend this to anyone, and from what I have seen, the Pouzza Fest keeps getting bigger every year.
For more information on Pouzza Fest, and the bands that played there, visit www.pouzzafest.com.