Last night Montrealers took to their balconies, or to the streets at a safe distance, to come together in this time of social distancing and share the gift of music with each other. After a similar balcony concert on Friday, March 20, Martha Wainwright organized a Leonard Cohen-themed singalong on Sunday night from her café and event space, Ursa Montreal. From the balcony, she sang So Long, Marianne by Leonard Cohen, followed by Le cœur est un oiseau by Richard Desjardins, with a small and spread out crowd listening from the ground below.
Elsewhere in Montreal, others also took to their balconies to sing So Long, Marianne or other Cohen songs to the empty streets below.
Perhaps it's time to adopt a hashtag to unite all of these little events in once space online and I think that #balconyconcertMTL would be a lovely way to keep this practice up.
It looks like we're going to have to be happy with balcony concerts for the foreseeable future, with new rules coming from the federal and provincial government in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Elsewhere in Montreal, others could also be seen and heard on their balconies singing "so long," to Marianne.
Near the Cohen mural, a couple souls could be heard singing into the night, though it certainly wasn't the booming concert we hoped to see... or deserve!
Which is fine. We're still getting used to this whole balcony concert thing.
Montrealers are far more adept at playing impromptu concerts in the park, so we're going to need a little practice.
But considering we're likely got another month or so of this distanced life ahead, I think we're going to see a lot more balcony parties as the weather gets warmer.
Which means you've got lots of time to practice your singing and find your perfect tune.
To be honest, Cohen is tricky to sing ever for a seasoned vocalist... so don't be afraid to just go ahead with your go-to karaoke track next time.
Or do like the Montrealer above and bring some back up to sing along with you.
This isn't about perfection, it's about continuing to be Montreal even when it looks and feels like a very different place.
But in a city full of so many artists (and so many balconies) I'm looking forward to whatever balcony concert we get next.
If you do decide to throw a little balcony concert, use the hashtag #balconyconcertMTL on Twitter or Instagram or wherever you share your video, tag us @mtlblog, and maybe we'll feature it in our next compilation.
Until then, keeping singing Montreal.