This year’s Montebello Rockfest lineup is considerably what dreams are made of, especially for those with their little emo and punk hearts. Included in this article are ten of the best bands and musicians that are playing the number one weekend of the year in Montebello, Quebec. So, let’s get started!
This year seems to be the year for tribute sets, always a staple in the Rockfest lineup, these seem to be more plentiful this year. We’ve got a nice hodge lodge variety of tribute sets this year, ranging from sets dedicated to record labels to various different seminal punk and hardcore bands. Bands and band members will come together to play covers as tribute to such iconic record labels as Fat Wreck Cords, Hellcat Records, Sub Pop Records and the all mighty Epitaph Records. Goldfinger is doing an entire tribute set dedicated to the music of The Ramones and you’ll also have sets dedicated to the unforgettable Sex Pistols and Twisted Sister. Meanwhile, Ian McKaye gets a double dose of tribute sets as bands come together to play their tributes to both Minor Threat and Fugazi.
If you were looking to get your sad on while also knocking back some whiskey and cheap beers, Lucero is your soundtrack. Personally, one of the best out there playing folk music in my opinion. And this isn’t your smooth, radio, type of folk music; this is your raspy, drank too much whiskey and smoked too many cigarettes type of folk music. This is what you’re listening to when you feel like everything is falling part and you just want to be even sadder. Their album, Tennessee, is by far one of my favorite folk albums by far. Lucero is definitely one of the bands that when I saw they were a part of this year’s lineup, my level of excitement went through the roof.
At The Drive In
Originally slated to play last year’s Rockfest but having to drop, At The Drive In are planning on making their triumphant return to Rockfest this summer. They’re another seminal band responsible for inspiring countless bands after them, this quintet reunited last this year after having disbanded sixteen years previous in 2001. With the bands Sparta and The Mara Volta spawning from the band’s demise, members of the band haven’t been strangers to the music scene since ATDI left us brokenhearted. But, now, they’re back together and it’s like the early 2000’s all over again.
Up first on this article to please everyone’s little emo fantasies is the all mighty Thursday. Recently reunited, these post hardcore emo darlings have come back to fill that void in our heart. The past few years have seen the best emo and post hardcore bands of our youth reuniting to reignite all those feels inside our little black hearts. It’s been roughly a year since Thursday re-emerged from the shadows and ignited a Full Collapse in the scene as they continued on as nothing had never happened. Since then, they’ve been playing shows and continuing on full steam like they had never broken up.
As much as Thursday are the emo favorites that reunited, AFI is the dark pop and punk heroes that have been carrying the torch for essentially our entire lives. Flawlessly pulling off songs in the more ‘Halloween punk’ genre as well as your darker rock and pop genres, it seems that they can do no wrong. If bands were wines, AFI would be one that ages extremely well, going down smooth with a little bit of dark fruity taste. And in tradition with their most recent self-titled release, it would obviously be a red wine. The aforementioned release brings together the best of the most recent AFI releases since Sing the Sorrow and Decemberunderground, the dark feelings and emotions with the smooth electro pop feel of Crash Love and Burials. Not to mention, festival goers will be treated to the extraordinary live show that Davey Havok and company treat show goers to each time.
One of the OG’s of the street punk scene from the 90’s and early 2000’s, The Unseen is hands down one of my favorite punk bands ever. When I saw they were part of the lineup, the part of me that is eternally wearing a studded and patched jacket was ecstatic. The Unseen were a band that I never thought I’d actually get to see live and yet here they are as part of the lineup. As political as they come, second probably to Anti Flag, albums like State of Discontent and Lower Class Crucifixion were a good introduction to many fledgling punk kids like myself.
Topping off what could be one of the best throwback emo and similar ilk lineup portions of a festival, one of the best and original of the early 2000’s bands, Good Charlotte has come to play. Even today, ‘The Anthem’ still lives lives on as one of, well, the best anthems for us grown up emo kids. After announcing their return from hiatus in 2015, they performed as support before finally releasing their new full length, Youth Authority, featuring guest appearances from Kellin Quinn and Simon Neil from Biffy Clyro.
Death Before Dishonor
Just as The Unseen were one of the OG’s from street punk at the turn of the millennium, Death Before Dishonor is one of those bands for the New England hardcore scene. Formed in Boston back in 2000, they call classic hardcore bands like Blood for Blood, Madball and Agnostic Front influences. Rockfest always has a quality and broad hardcore section of their lineup and DBD comes in as one of the bands that exists to inspire a good chunk of heavier bands playing.
It’s essentially impossible to not put the words ‘Anti Flag’ and ‘political’ in the same sentence. Having been around even longer than The Unseen, Anti Flag is known extensively for their anti-war, anti-imperialism, class struggle and human rights involvement and lyrical subject matter. Most recently, they’ve released their full length, American Spring, via Spinefarm Records back in 2015 as well as a compilation album entitled, Cease Fires, with two unreleased songs. Anti Flag is known for their high energy shows (because what punk show isn’t high energy) with enough jumps, leaps, bends and who knows what else for you to shake a protest banner or anarchist flag at.
If you’re looking for one of the most intense and high energy sets of the entire festival, you’ll have to look no further than the band Converge. Vocalist Jake Bannon is, by far, one of the best vocalists in the genre when it comes to intensity and passion emanating from stage. But then again, is it even possible to classify Converge by genre? I think it’s just safe to classify them as “Intensely passionate”. Watching them live, you’ll have trouble figuring out where to watch between the guitar and drum work that is so intricate or Bannon contorting and writhing across the stage, almost allowing the music to speak through him. In order to prepare yourself for this experience, I suggest grabbing their most recent release, Jane Live, which is a live album of their most well known album amongst fans, Jane Doe.