Saturday night served as Festival d’été de Québec’s biggest night. With the Red Hot Chili Peppers slated to play the main stage, the entire city seemed to revolve around the event. Cafes downtown near the Imperial and District indoor venues blasted “The Zephyr Song” off 2002’s By The Way; it seemed like every third person—guy, girl, young, or old—walking through the streets of Old Québec was wearing a shirt with the Chili’s eight-sided asterisk logo. (Just check out the fest’s video here for proof.)
But before gearing up for the set of nostalgic hits like “Under the Bridge,” “Otherside,” and “Dani California” (and even songs like Californication ‘s appropriate opener “Around The World”), we made an effort to check out other international artists at venues around town. French electro-pop duo Mansfield. TYA delivered an impressive performance to a few lucky listeners at The District in the early evening. Carla Pallone and Julia Lanoë play violins, violas, guitars, synths, and a Rhodes to create a sinister sonic combo of electric, acoustic, and manipulated music. Additionally, Canadian chart-topping rock band July Talk shimmied on the main stage with flirty interplay and heavy power chords. Dual vocalists Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay teased each other and the audience—especially the American ones who will catch on quickly to this Toronto act when their sophomore album Touch is released Stateside this summer.