The kids of the local Montreal music scene decided to put together a free event held at the lovely Turbohaus to celebrate Rob Balazic’s life – a man who created his Montreal bar, Crobar, so bands could play and promote their music.
Not having frequented Crobar much in the last five years, I did have a history with Rob back in 2007-2009 when I used to book DJ events at his bar. Some were successful, some not so much. Rob was always very easy to work with and super laid back with me, so when I heard the news of his passing, it was quite the shock, as well a reminder to take care of myself and not let this industry kill me.
Five incredibly talented and very diverse bands volunteered to play the tribute night. The first, Mike Desj who’s also a member of Folkbilly band The Heroin Hayride, blessed us with a small solo act bringing everyone to a dancing and foot-stomping spree. Next up was fun classic rock cover band The Bamboozliers, who got the crowd riled up, and had been known to play Crobar every St. Paddys Day. Before I knew it, the place was packed full of Crobar kids. A little louder set by thrash punk band Cuntagious MTL came on next; Bucketlist is a big fan of these guys, having reviewed them a few times in the past.
The Idoless performed as well; during a chat with them outside, they described themselves as grunge, thrash, punk, anything. A band that has a small history together and a great connection of friendship, they played a big role in the organization of this event tonight.
Venomenon closed the night, once again another Bucketlist fave. Having seen these guys countless times, I am not surprised the curly-haired rockers showed their support for Rob, as you basically see vocalist/guitarist Jordan Barillaro and his accomplice and drummer Petey Giampa at any event, passionately supporting their local scene.
Overall, it was really uplifting seeing this many people show up to an event to celebrate Rob’s life, and it showed how many were grateful for everything he has done for the scene. A bucket has been passed around for donations for a future festival being organized by the scene called “Rob Fest.” A large majority have contributed to this, and I hope it does become a success. Again, it’s been a while since I’ve worked with Rob, but I do remember the good times and the moments he used to tease me for my love for 80s movies and bad electronica music. He was a good person to me, and I do hope he is now resting peacefully. MAYBE he would have shed a tear for all that is being done for him right now.
Written by Liz Imperiale
Photography by Courtney O’Hearn
*edited by Kate Erickson