Totorro Agora des Arts, Rouyn-Noranda QC, September 3

Totorro Agora des Arts, Rouyn-Noranda QC, September 3
Photo: Kevin Jones
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Under most circumstances, a post-rock opener might be too heady a lead, but at Agora des Arts, France's Totorro left FME with starry eyes and thirsty ears. Bouncing around the stage in the converted church space, swinging duelling guitars and kicking at the air throughout a set culled almost entirely from their 2014 full-length Home Alone, their demeanour bore closer resemblance to a pop-punk-modified Explosions in the Sky making the rounds on Warped tour than the floor-glancing likes of Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
 
While the seated crowd denied their bassist's gesture to rise to its feet (in the crowd's defence, it wasn't much of an effort), many were more than happy to cheer and applaud the particularly mighty sections of their sweeping instrumental rock, and their set was met with a standing ovation. Totorro's was a jubilant display that set the tone for a city-activating festival geared toward artist discovery.