Letter From Montreal: The Battle of the Bands
"How was I that time I saw Arcade Fire at the Battle of the Bands? How far have I traveled?"
Illustration by Pascal Girard.
I’ve never forgotten and I can’t remember that Battle of the Bands in 2001. It was a freezing winter evening, one of those April nights when Montreal disregards the spring and fills the sky with snow. I remember this. I remember the wind. I remember ducking into the Cabaret Juste Pour Rire, at Sherbrooke and St. Laurent, and seeing a bunch of nobodies make a racket.
We all have our mile-markers—moments we look back on to measure how far we’ve come, how different the light. First kisses, parting looks, the last time the whole gang got together. For me, there’s always been this stupid Battle of the Bands. I do not remember the name of the group that won. Nobody seems to remember the name of the group that won. It didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered, in the ...