Published Sep 26, 2011Who is Phi Slamma Jamma? A quick Google search only turned up results of a Houston, TX basketball team from the early 1980s, while rumours of Arcade Fire minus Win Butler performing a set of covers at the closing party for Pop Montreal circulated Sunday by word of mouth and word of Twitter. The savvy concertgoers who arrived early enough (and by early, we mean around 1 a.m.) were not let down, as the self-described "rock'n'roll fraternity" did in fact turn out to be four of Arcade Fire's core members.
Will Butler, Richard Reed Parry, Jeremy Gara and Tim Kingsbury played a set of somewhat obscure '50s and '60s covers, ranging from punk to country to Beatles songs, with Butler and Parry handling the lead vocals for most of the set, and Kingsbury leading for two or so songs. "We play the Beatles better than the Beatles," Will joked with the crowd, to which Richard replied, "We never said we were better than the Beatles, just bigger!"
Everybody seemed to be having tons of fun -- being part of one of the biggest bands in the world, how often do they get to play small venues, let alone perform songs outside of the Arcade Fire catalogue?
To add to the laundry list of Grammy Award-winning Montrealers there to wrap up the festival, producer and engineer Mark Lawson, responsible for engineering some of Arcade Fire's records, as well as this year's acclaimed Timber Timbre album Creep On Creepin' On, was live-mixing sound for the evening. What better way to close one of the most important annual Montreal festivals than with a definitive who's-who of the city's most talented indie rock friends and colleagues?