Music City

Montreal is well known for its music scene. Year round there are festivals going on in the city for many different occasions, but just about all contain large music shows and concerts or some other form of live entertainment. The warmer months are especially famous for holding music festivals almost constantly and hosting huge events that people from all over the world come to witness. I’ll be recounting some personal experiences from two live concerts that I attended while abroad. Both of which were nights to remember and are experiences that will be forever etched in my memory.

At the last minute on a Tuesday I was informed by a friend that our assistant director, Hannah, was giving away free concert tickets to about 6 students. First come, first served. I immediately asked for one because I love live music shows. I haven’t been to many, and I wanted to have the opportunity to see more. The tickets were to go see an artist by the stage name of Coeur de Pirate. [Real name: Béatrice Martin – Ed.] A wonderfully talented singer-songwriter, and though popular in Montreal, she is better known to many as the creator of the soundtrack to the game Child of Light. The very next night we met with friends at the Metropolis, collected our tickets, and entered the concert hall.

The Metropolis is a very pleasant venue and a well known hot spot. One thing I definitely noticed was though not giant, the Metropolis is a very popular accommodation for many music artists. After looking through some of the tours of my favorite artists from the US, I notice many come to Montreal, and the Metropolis is frequently mentioned. With an open bar, a second floor for a semi-circle of balcony seats, and a spacious open floor, the Metropolis is a fantastic place to be for an excitement filled night.

This being my first show in Montreal, I was eager to see what it would be like. And I was happily surprised. This show was both elegant and breathtaking. With a solid amount of piano, drums, and guitar to accompany Coeur de Pirate’s graceful voice, the show was free spirited in nature with a well behaved crowd. It was a lovely, charming experience for my first Canadian concert.

My second concert however, was nothing short of life changing.

On a whim, an friend in the Montreal program mentioned that she had gotten tickets to see Twenty One PIlots at the Metropolis. The same location I had already been to. This was completely unexpected for me. These two guys make up my second favorite band of all time and their tour was taking them right to Montreal in a month for two nights. I immediately got tickets myself, which were priced rather nicely as well for what we got. I’d easily spend $60 again to shuffle my way back up to nearly the barricade of the stage. I was more excited than I’d ever been since I was a child on Christmas Eve as we walked together and entered the Metropolis. I was back once again but for a show that completely overwhelmed me; one that I had dreamed of seeing for years.

NOTE: I apologize for the fact that no phone will ever be able to handle the sheer amount of sound that was being hurled toward some of my souvenir videos.

The Author (L) and Ariana Jennell (Eng. Lit, St. Michael's College '17) at the Twenty One Pilots show.
The Author (L) and Ariana Jennell (Eng. Lit, St. Michael’s College ’17) at the Twenty One Pilots show.

The show was so amazing, so powerful, and just such an incredibly moving experience, that I cried twice during it and comforted another random stranger next to me that collapsed in tears. To be at a show, hugging a stranger as you’re both in tears for the same reason, without saying anything to each other but knowing exactly how the other feels and why, was a moment I will never forget. Though I was in a different country, I’d never before felt such a sense of belonging. As I stood there, singing and screaming in sync with hundreds of other people that felt the exact same emotions on such a deep and individually personal level, yet did so with such a sense of togetherness, was a flash of public intimacy that my words couldn’t and still can’t do justice. The connection between artists and audience right until the very end was indescribable.

And to think, if I hadn’t come here, if I hadn’t come to Montreal, I wouldn’t have gotten to witness this moment of pure, life altering amazement. And this is part of the reason why I want future students to go abroad. Go to Montreal .Go to Ireland. Go somewhere. Leave your comfort zone so you can catch these glimpses of inspiring opportunities that would otherwise go unexperience. Allow a different place to win over a place in your heart. Because you won’t know unless you go.

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