By: Maya Malkin
The Montreal music scene has always been a little full of itself. Every band should want to be in the newspaper, in a magazine, or interviewed as much as possible to make a name for themselves. They should want coverage, and let the person doing the covering into shows for free. Well apparently, not everyone agrees. I came to this conclusion because of a show I went to cover last week. The door lady/promoter seemed to care less about whether the bands performing had a review in The Plant or not.
The night started off with me trying to haggle my way in to this show by assuring them I was a reporter for The Plant.
“Look, if you’re here to promote the bands then you can get in for free,” the girl working the door told me. I was ready to say that that’s what I would do, but instead what came out of my mouth was, “well I’m here to review the show.” She did not let me in for free. I guess they don’t abide by the saying “any publicity is good publicity.”
I felt like saying, listen lady this isn’t some big event. Three mediocre Montreal bands are playing a small venue on St. Laurent. Anyone canbook here. You guys aren’t special.
As far as I could see there were no other reporters covering this show. I’m putting you in a newspaper read by a good number of Dawson students, a lot of whom are interested in music, and you won’t let me in for free because I might write something bad? If you’re worried about a bad review, you’re obviously not very confident about the bands playing.
I’m not saying that the bands that played were no good, they were. But this is Montreal lady; there are a lot of good bands out there. You’re not doing a very good job promoting the bands if the only reporter who shows up to the gig has to pay for entry, or worse, be bribed by a promoter to write a good review. I would have left if my friend hadn’t offered to pay. Then no one would have covered the show. If that doesn’t bother you, then okay, fine. It doesn’t change much in my life. It’s the bands that lose potential fans.
People who read this might say, “get over yourself. You work for The Plant, not The Gazette.” And sure, maybe it is “just the Dawson newspaper,” but it’s publicity nonetheless. Students will see the article, and read about the bands, and maybe even look them up.
Maybe I’m just too nice and give off a push over vibe, because I did still stay and review the show. I felt like they didn’t deserve coverage at all, but then I realized that it isn’t necessarily the band’s fault, but the woman who decided who was worth free entrance or not.
I understand that the bands do deserve support from as many people as possible. They aren’t big shot musicians, they need to make a living, and for that, I stayed. But it’s not like the place was empty, there were a lot of people there. They probably made a fairly good amount of money that night, and if someone is there to put their names in a newspaper read by Montreal students, at least let that person in for free.
I’m a student myself you know, I don’t have money to throw around either, and if I’m doing you a favor then we need to compensate somewhere. Maybe what I have to say doesn’t matter to them but it’s being read by a whole lot of Dawson students, so it should. Anyways, I gave the bands a good review. You’re welcome.