Festival season is well underway, so I wanted to flashback to a favorite of mine, Festival D’Ete de Quebec. This week plus long festival is like a musical buffet; no matter what you’re craving, it’ll be there waiting for you. With this year’s festival just a few weeks away, we thought we’d flashback to FEQ 2017, and the acts that we’ll never forget.
Since Kendrick Lamar is coming to Toronto next week, I thought I’d start our trip down memory lane to his performance in Quebec City last year. Opening for the king were QC’s own Dead Obies, a favorite of mine that I discovered at FME, another Quebecois festival, the prior year. Their Frenglish rap styling is so quintessentially Canadian, in the coolest way. Dead Obies not only held their own while opening for two huge acts, but they did it in their own raw,real and unapologietic style. Blunts blazing, rhymes ripping, f-bombs dropping; the Dead Obies killed their time on stage, the crowd seemingly just as huge as it was for the headliner of the night. They made Quebec, and Canada proud that night, and warmed us up for the main attraction.
I’d showed up to this FEQ night dying to see Kendrick, but in the end it was this next act who stole my heart. Anderson Paak made love en mass to a crowd of thousands while the Free Nationals played him on. This cat oozes sensuality, with a charm and swagger that’s irresistible. His music is pretty good too 😉 But seriously though, not since N.E.R.D has there been a rock and roll infused hip-hop act that I could truly get behind. Anderson and co. combine the best of these beloved genres to create music transcends taste and inspires love. It’s music you can dance and thrash to, and that’s exactly what the crowd did. Malibu has been on repeat on my Spotify ever since. If you haven’t embraced Anderson Paak yet…well, what are you waiting for?
And last but certainly not least, Kendrick Lamar. Taking the stage, he was a lone figure enveloped alternately in light and darkness, a low rumble of power reverberated into the sea of faces before him. He toed the line between brooding artist and egotistical megastar with panache and style, schooling us on socioeconomic issues as easily as spinning tales from his childhood. Kendrick Lamar is the ultimate poet, and I’m thrilled to be part of a generation that gets to embrace the words he bestows upon us.
Check out this year’s line up for Festival D’ete de Quebec on their website and keep up with them on social media below.