Perhaps life is all about contrasts and music. Perhaps not but for the sake of this entry humor me and imagine it is. From the quiet Utah wilderness it was off to cosmopolitan Montreal, Quebec upon wing and rail for four days of noise. Not just any four days of noise but the 5th annual Kinetik Festival – the largest presentation of Hardcore Electro Industrial Noise in the world outside of Europe. With several of my favorite bands headlining in one of my favorite cities, missing this festival was not an option.
Having booked over a week at the HMC, one of the best hostels I’ve encountered, I set about making Montreal my home. These several days proved to be the calm before the musical storm about to begin. So friends Rob, Torey, and Ben from the hostel and I took to the streets, well, subways that is.
A time lapse video of Montreal’s awesome metro system, taken during my first visit there in 2010.
First stop was the Biosphere Environment Museum, a structure designed for the 1967 Expo by Buckminster Fuller. It now houses a museum and showcases some of Fuller’s incredible inventions.
The entrance to the Montreal Biosphere. – HDR Composite
Lunar colony? Actually that’s what Fuller had in mind.
A real-life cross section of a car.
Looking up when inside the sphere was a little dizzying.
Piloting space ship earth, on the dymaxion map projection, an idea of Fuller’s which unfortunately never took on.
Montreal in the summer is like an explosion of artistic expression. Music, audio-visual exhibitions, construction site graffiti, and architectural oddities abound.
Painted brick on the side of an apartment building.
Montreal’s Palais des Congrès.
Seems some streets must be missing their light posts. – HDR Composite
A very scary side of a building.
Sightseeing continued as did exploratory runs through the city and on the great network of trails to the summit of Mount Royal in the center of town.
Silo #5, a waterfront landmark and invitation to trespass that was difficult to turn down.
As close as I got. After last year’s run-in with Montreal cops I thought better of hopping the fence. Next time……
The platypus-like tower of the Montreal Olympic Stadium, built for the 1976 Summer Olympics, is to this day the largest inclined-tower in the world at 574ft (175m).
Almost unused today, the arena rests in a massive, eerie silence.
There are few angles from which this structure does not feel imposingly ominous.
One of the satellite buildings in Darth Vader mode.
Did I mention ominous?
Inside the arena is the still used (though strangely empty) swimming pool.
Ant’s eye view of the St. Patrick’s Basilica, recommended by my friend Bailey.
Did somebody mention coming to Montreal for a music festival?
Yes, the time had come. Four nights of music from over 30 artists, starting each night at 7PM and going until past 3AM. A nocturnal schedule of noise and odd mid-day (mid-night?) roommate encounters at the hostel would soon displace the pleasantries of sightseeing.
An empty stage ready for Ad-ver-sary to kick things off with an amazing set.
Combichrist keeps things crazy as the first night comes to a close.
End.User during a performance that made Skrillex sound like Kenny G before his morning coffee.
End.User and quite a satisfied audience.
Grendel with some entertaining special effects.
C-Lekktor, quite the performer.
One of the many enthusiastic DJs who spun in between bands.
FGFC820 performing a great set despite looking confused.
Russian friends Ioann and Natasha rock out to Ioann’s favorite band, FGFC820.
Hocico starts their stunning set.
Seems this guy has something to say.
Meanwhile the coolest keyboardist I’ve ever seen not-so-silently keeps things going in the background.
Yes, this guy definitely has something to say.
Sill going in the shadows.
Hocico’s performance was mind-blowing, and after much polite-request from the audience they played the first encore allowed by the festival’s tight schedule. This, my friends, is what a two-song Hocico encore looks like.
Miss Construction and one of my favorite photos from the festival.
Miss Construction. Awesome performance but this guy is seriously off his rocker!
Like I said…..
The stage ready for SITD, one of my favorite artists, to begin.
Unassuming, unpretentious, and an absolutely stunning set.
Connecting with the crowd.
Saddly the end is near.
Blutengel begins their set as part of their first North American tour.
Blutengel in the spotlight.
What would a concert be with out bloody teddy bears?
One of the many Blutengel fans with substantially more hair than I.
Blutengel says “Goodnight!” to the crowd.
I leave you with a parting shot of a crowd in humble awe, as I was, to be experiencing the music they love in full force. That this crowd, these artists, and these moments will return to Montreal next year with Kinetik 6.0 is a comforting thought. In the meantime in keeping with the idea of life as contrasts and music, I board a midnight flight from Montreal to St. Martin for some time on the ocean. But rest assured the music will be there as it was on the sunny trails of the Utah wilderness, the foggy coastal highways of Lake Superior, and the rain-soaked Inca road of the Andes. Music, the constant throughout the contrasts.
The most perfect silence.