A Look at the FME

Spanning four days, Thursday through Sunday, the 15th edition of the Festival de musique émergente en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (FME) took place over the Labor Day weekend in Rouyn-Noranda.

The picturesque city was filled with bustle with many venues across the city sponsoring events, not to mention the many spontaneous concerts popping up around the festival area. Be it in alleyways or at a garage station parking lot, with the musicians lit by parked cars, surprises could be found around every corner. For those up late, The Wildtones, Deke Dickerson and Bloodshot Bill had you covered with their midnight rambles at Au Diable Rond. Pre-dawn parties were taken to the extreme, like the Saturday night electronica event at Petit Théåtre du Vieux Noranda with Montreal local DJ WYLN closing the hall just about when the sun rose Sunday morning, a bit after 5 a.m.

A Tribe Called Red headlined the first night of the festival with a tremendous outdoor concert at the Scène extérieure Desjardins. The trio of DJs were part of a strong aboriginal presence, highlighted by Makwa. Other highlights of the festival was Friday night with Montreal band Elephant Stone and New York’s A Place To Bury Strangers. Les Dales Hawerchuk felt the love Saturday night. Sunday night was death metal night, a great way to end any festival. Abitibi band Black Empire started the evening and, all the way from Sweden, Marduk finished the night.

Was the festival worth the seven hour drive and the really, really bad cold this reporter caught (which delayed this article immensely)? Oh ya!

1 (above). Late night rockabilly with Deke Dickerson (guitar) Nadeem Khan on bass and Bloodshot Bill on drums.

2. Thus Owls had musicians on stage and in the audience for their concert.

3. Pierre Kwenders gets the crowd involved at Scène extérieure Desjardins.

4. Cajun bluegrass band Canailles at Espace Lounge Hydro-Québec.

5. Zen Bamboo.

6. A car light illuminates the impromptu concert.

7. I Shot Samo at Scène Évolu-Son.

8. A crowded house for King Abid at Espace Lounge Hydro-Quebec.

9. Another guitar bites the dust during A Place To Bury Strangers.

10. Makwa participants pose for a group photograph.

11. Lots of atmosphere during Elephant Stone’s set.

12. Audeath (left in makeup) of Black Empire joins the audience awaiting Marduk’s set.

13. Crowd surfing during a Tribe Called Red.

14. Laurence Giroux-Do of Le Couleur at Scène Évolu-Son.

15. Can’t forget the drummers. Fredrik Widigs of Marduk.

16. Founded in Rennes, France in 2009. The Decline!

17. Philippe B performs at Agora des Arts.

18. Alexandre Picard of Lubik.

19. Guitar hero Hubert Jacob set up shop in an alley.

20. New York death metal band Incantation.

21. Mortuus lead singer of Marduk.

22. End of the show. Les Dales Hawerchuk.