Published Oct 01, 2006With the exception of a couple suspect dorm rock duds in the line-up, the inaugural year of Montreals back to school fest succeeded partially because Parc Jean Drapeau, the original host of Expo 67, is perfectly set up to house four separate stages and all the other things big events need. While some Frisbee nerds showed up earlier on day one, the crowds started to gather for the Stills, whose set, like their recent album, grew on you but ultimately, was boring. Dinosaur Jr., whose gear was stolen just days before in NYC, dropped some damn hard guitar thrash while J. Mascis and Lou Barlow managed to not look at each other. Metric kicked off the evening with a set that sent the crowd into hysterics, K-os was clearly drunk and forgot his own lyrics while playing a hot new song and Amon Tobin, perched high above the two main stages, delivered a pounding, almost terrifying set of drum & bass (are we still calling it that?). Clap Your Hands Say Yeah took over next but who cares? The final show of the evening was a still got it Sonic Youth riding a wave of guitar distortion with a MILF who can still rock the fuck out. Day two was stacked but Islands ran over their time limit, which ended up forcing Wolf Parade to shorten their set for G. Love & Special Sauce, which purportedly culminated in some backstage fisticuffs. G. Love, he of the mid-90s bro-hop movement, was the fests most circumspect, college kid pandering choice, though Zellers reggae rockers Bedouin Soundclash (who were loved by the kids and ignored by the rest) sounded like the radio when compared to Damian Marley, who absolutely blew the crowd away, as did the always entertaining Flaming Lips, who took the stage with some lucky locals dressed up as Santas and space sluts. Back on the Pop Montreal stage, Patrick Watson and Holy Fuck delivered two entirely different sets that both somehow worked in the misty confines of the woods, and the little lady of attitude, Lady Sovereign, lit up the MEG space. As happens with events of this size, it was impossible to catch everything and it was easy to miss the more interesting, smaller shows while being sucked into the big stage bombast but all in all, it would be hard to conceive of a better kick-off to this new addition to the Montreal summer fest line-up.