M for Montreal 2023: the live report

Music news

The Quebec festival M for Montreal, created in 2006, has established itself as the unmissable event for indie music and labels.

The news broke on the first day of M pour Montréal, last November 15, when we learned of the disappearance of Karl Tremblay, singer of the cult Cowboys Fringuants, who also, in their time, had been one of the figures figurehead of Quebec indie music before becoming one of its biggest pillars. And if radio and television stations have disrupted their editions, the sad news has also served as a reminder of how central music is in Quebec, and particularly in Montreal, a city of festivals if ever there was one and even one of the capitals worldwide performances of all genres, from classical to country including pop, rock, punk, electro and rap.

All these people – delegated professionals working for labels as well as filmers, managers and press officers – therefore met in the economic capital of La Belle Province to debate and find solutions to the radical changes that today knows the world of music. A number of debates were thus organized exploring each of the strategic sectors which are now going through unprecedented upheavals. But all these pros were joined by the general public for the tour of the theaters. On this subject, a double program is organized, the official selection of the annual meeting of independent music in Montreal and the very aptly named “marathon”, presented by siriusXM in order to discover young talents from around the world. And we were served. In this event reminiscent of SXSW in Austin; the MaMA in Paris or the Reeperbahn in Hamburg, the main activity of the festival-goers was to tour the halls of Downtown Montreal, around the aptly named entertainment district which is full of halls of all sizes to participate in the showcases.

Although initially intended for professionals, the M pour Montréal showcases allow the discovery of young talents, which was not lacking: every evening, not a surprise, but surprises, exceptional talents, each one as different as possible. than the others, from the poignant Mattmac to the surprising Atsuko Shiba through the great revelation of this event, Population II, we were treated to everything: from virtuoso prog to disco metal, from electro funk to acoustic rock, obviously a lot of folk artists of all kinds revealing their songwriting talents. And of course, a number of rappers, electro, rockers and performers who are amazing to say the least. We cannot therefore speak of a lack of creativity, quite the contrary and M for Montreal, in four days of non-stop concerts, with a show every 20 minutes and more than 100 invited artists presented in around fifteen venues, has kept all its promises.

Find this live report in WECB l’Hebdo n°142, available via our online store.


Written by

Christopher Johnson

Christopher Johnson is a dedicated writer and key contributor to the WECB website, Emerson College's student-run radio station. Passionate about music, radio communication, and journalism, Christopher pursues his craft with a blend of meticulous research and creative flair. His writings on the site cover an array of subjects, from music reviews and artist interviews to event updates and industry news. As an active member of the Emerson College community, Christopher is not only a writer but also an advocate for student involvement, using his work to foster increased engagement and enthusiasm within the school's radio and broadcasting culture. Through his consistent and high-quality outputs, Christopher Johnson helps shape the voice and identity of WECB, truly embodying its motto of being an inclusive, diverse, and enthusiastic music community.