Wasn’t that fun, kids? Though the Festival d’Ete de Quebec’s first week is now a not-so-distant memory, thoughts now turn to the fest’s second iteration — the one that will close out the 50th anniversary of this wonderful summertime fete upon the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City (hence, the name). Now, we’re not sayin’ that the second weekend will be bigger than the first weekend or better than the first weekend. We’re just sayin’.
While the Backstreet Boys, Nick Jonas, Kendrick Lamar, and Pink are tough acts to follow, we feel this weekend’s decidedly British troupe is equal to the task.
Thursday kicks off with The Who headlining the main stage, as Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey prove that age ain’t nuthin’ but, well… there’s no way around it — they’re old. But they can sing and play guitar just like ringing a bell. And were they to play the entirety of The Who’s catalogue, the setlist would necessitate a two-week fest of its own. Here’s a recent rendition of a fun one…
Meanwhile, on the Loto-Quebec Stage..
And then a little…
So if you can’t be bothered revisiting the ’60s and ’70s, visit the ’80s with Quebec’s own Men Without Hats. Or visit the ’90s with pop punks MxPx, who will be playing the Imperial Bell stage Thursday evening. Sadly the chances of a George Wendt cameo are slim.
Back on the Plains of Abraham are rock/metal legends Metallica, who will be headlining the festival Friday night. This is actually the second time the band have played FEQ, having passed through back in 2011. They are here again to rekindle their love affair with the city. Given the hot reviews their latest disc, Hardwired… To Self-Destruct, is earning, this should be a strong set from the California group. Also, you know this is going to be a raucous affair because the site states no strollers are allowed at the show.
Remember those Brits we managed all the way back at the top of the story? Well, they invade the capital over the weekend. Gorillaz, on the road to promote their Humanz album, take over the Bell Stage at 9:30 p.m. Why are we mentioning the specific hour? Because once their set ends, you have just enough time to catch Kid Koala close out the year’s late-night sets at the Imperial Bell Stage. It’s a nice one-two punch that will have you dancing into the wee hours of the morning.
Then rest up and prep yourself for the face-melting set of Muse (Who’s kidding who? You can’t prep for face melting. Just ask those guys in “Raiders Of The Lost Ark”). The best you can do is find a comfy spot on the Plains of Abraham Sunday night. You’ll want one with excellent sight lines, as the band from Devon, England, are renowned for their live shows.
As always will be the Family Place (brought to you by yummy, nutritious milk!) at the Parc de l’Esplanade, comprising games, shows, and picnic area. And while the floating puppets of the previous week are no longer around, there will be Transe Express, a dynamic performance by acrobats, dancers, singers, and musicians, all while hanging suspended from giant mobiles. If you’re lost, it will look something like this:
Nuts, right?? The music for such an audacious performance will be a compilation of some of the sonic standouts from 49 years of the festival, so if the sight of performers dangling from giant mobiles doesn’t move you, perhaps the retrospective soundtrack will. Making a return is Pop-Up FEQ, a mystery musical guest who is slowly revealed to you through a series of clues on social media.
And that, folks, are just a few things taking place over the next few days as the 50th edition of the Festival d’Ete de Quebec comes to a close. Be assured there are many other bands and events to check out that we have not mentioned here. So, to get the most out of your time in QC, do your homework. Check out the official site and plan accordingly.