111303 moe./nero, Montreal, QC

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On November 13th, 2003 nero opened the final show of moe.’s short Canadian run at Montreal’s Cabaret du Plateau.  After back-to-back full-to-bursting sellouts in Toronto and Ottawa with lineups out the door and screamingly great music inside I think moe.’s manager had to admit that I was right.  I had insisted to him that nero was the only band he should consider to open this run, as the band would be a significant asset in helping to sell out any and all shows in Ontario.  Unfortunately Montreal would also prove me right.

Y’see, as a man of truth in salesmanship I had warned Topper that Montreal was a rock and roll anomaly.  “A huge, hip, music-loving metropolis,” I said, “Geographically positioned to grab almost every act major or minor that bothers to come to Canada at all.

“But for some reason Montreal is a hard room to sell,” I tells the guy. 

I’ve seen Stevie Wonder play to a half-sold room in Montreal, for crying out loud, but I didn’t tell him that.  Couldn’t tell him that.  

“Sure, Bruce Springsteen, Rush, or Celine Dion would be a tough ticket,” I sez to the guy, “But the city is so rife with great musical choices from touring acts and their own over-achieving local musicians that rooms go notoriously undersold in Montreal regardless of how well they do in other Canadian markets.”

I assured him that having nero on the bill would help pull out all the possible pull-outables but not to expect a sellout, and I was right.

It was a nice room though, if a little tattered.  A proper theatre setup, I think there was even a balcony up there, though it wouldn’t have been needed.  The floor was filled in fairly nicely with people ready to get down while tapers aimed their microphones at a stage that blared raging music all night courtesy of two bands that were bent on playing like the place was packed.  

Jay even sat in with moe. for a tune.  How cool is that?

I’m pretty sure I left the band to travel without me after the show as I headed back to Ottawa to take care of some business or another.  I may be mistaken about that, but I do know that I went back to Ottawa at some point before showing up late for the next night’s bustout show in Vermont.  

In fact, it’s possible that I didn’t even attend this show in Montreal, and while that would cast suspicion on the overall validity of these ticket stories it would at least show that I have a very active imagination.  

One way or the other, I know the Cabaret du Plateau show didn’t sell out.  Montreal shows never sell out.

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