Festival d’été de Québec has once-again taken over the streets of Quebec City and we at Sidewalk Hustle had to come back and check out the 2018 edition of the massive summer festival – especially after our experience last year!
We touched down for the first three days of FEQ 2018 and managed to catch a wide variety of artists ranging from contemporary rap acts like Lil Yachty and Future to superstars like The Weeknd and Neil Young. We also witnessed stellar performances from rising Canadian acts like Toronto’s own Killy and Langston Francis and Québécois rapper Loud.
Check out our recap below.
Our first day at FEQ 2018 began with a super high-energy set from Montreal electro-funk act Chromeo who received a massive greeting from the roaring crowd. The duo, composed of Dave 1 and P-Thugg, performed a number of selections from their recently released Head Over Heels album and treated the Québécois crowd to a bunch of old favourites including hits like “Jealous,” “Come Back to You” and “Hard to Say No.” Armed with a slew of drums, synths and various other equipment and modifiers, Chromeo bounced and grooved with the massive crowd for an hour before thanking their home province for the ongoing support throughout their career.
The evening was closed by none other than Toronto R&B superstar The Weeknd who attracted upwards of approximately 80,000 fans (although the crowd at the Plains of Abraham appeared to exceed 100,000). After a short set change the space was cleared of Chromeo’s equipment and a wide-open stage was left for Abel to take over. Emerging from the shadows of the stage to his massive hit “Starboy,” The Weeknd entranced the crowd from start to finish with medleys of his mainstream hits like “Party Monster” and “Might Not” as well as select performances of Trilogy-era deeper cuts like “High for This” and his iconic Drake collab, “Crew Love.” Before leaving the stage the singer made sure to thank his dedicated fans and closed the show with pyrotechnic-assisted performances of “Call Out My Name” and “The Hills.”
The second day of FEQ 2018 began with performances from two rising Canadian acts on the Lotto Quebec Stage – Langston Francis from Toronto and Geoffroy from Montreal. The rising Toronto star greeted an early crowd and won over a front-row of fans with his recently released singles “FCKD IT UP,” “Fall From Grace” and “These Nights” as well as sneak peeks at tracks like “Circles.” After encouraging fans to get home safe and enjoy the evening, Francis was followed by Geoffroy who attracted a sizeable crowd in his home province of Quebec. The Montreal native, accompanied by a full band and numerous percussion instruments, performed several cuts from his recent Coastline album including tracks like “Raised by Wolves” and “Sleeping On My Own.”
The evening concluded with an almost two-hour performance from legendary Canadian singer/songwriter Neil Young. Accompanied by frequent collaborators Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Young lead the charge through a lengthy set of old favourites like “Down By the River,” “Heart of Gold” and “Rockin’ In the Free World” as well as more timely, political records like “Inca,” “I Am A Child” (dedicated to families separated under Trump’s immigration policies) and “Cortez the Killer.” Young’s early proclamation of “Fuck Trump!” was met with roaring cheers across the massive crowd and set the stage for a long night of old favourites and new sounds from Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real. By the time 11:30 pm rolled around, Young had pulled out his harmonica for an iconic closing performance of “Harvest Moon.”
Our third and final day at FEQ 2018 featured several bass-heavy rap acts – a strong contrast against the pop and alternative/rock performances from the past two days. The gigantic Plains of Abraham began to fill-up early in the day thanks to an opening performance from Toronto rap star Killy. Fresh off of a lengthy European tour, the young Toronto artist struggled to keep control of his fatigued voice but still treated his fans to a high-energy set of hits like “No Sad, No Bad,” “Distance,” “Killamanjaro” and his Carnage-assisted banger, “Headlock.”
Québécois rapper Loud followed and delivered a powerful set of house and trap-inspired rap (all in French) to a crowd of fans who seemingly appeared to know all the words to Killy’s songs in English and Loud’s songs in French. The Ahuntsic rapper, formerly a member of Quebec rap group Loud Larry Ajust, lead an energetic performance of various singles from the past few months as well as tracks from his breakout New Phone EP that gained traction across French media last year.
Atlanta was definitely in the building for the final portion of our trip to FEQ 2018 as Lil Yachty and Future closed out the last two performances of the night. While Lil Yachty’s set was jam-packed with youthful bangers, mosh pits and an enormous water bottle fight dubbed “The Boat Test,” Future treated the Plains of Abraham to an hour-long set spanning his entire career. Emerging through a tunnel on stage to his massive 2012 hit “Same Damn Time,” Future led fans through performances of hits like “Shit,” the A$AP Ferg-assisted “New Level” and “Bugatti” before bringing out a crew of backup dancers to assist through impressive productions of tracks like “Mask Off,” “Stick Talk” and “Used to This.”
Festival d’été de Québec continues through July 15, 2018 and features additional performances from Tory Lanez, Lorde, Beck, Cyndi Lauper, Dave Matthews Band and Avenged Sevenfold. Visit the official website for tickets and more information.