Day 1

Ultimate painting, from London (U.K.). Floor is empty as I enter La Sala Rossa, or almost. They are the first set to play of a three set concert. After a few songs though it gets relatively crowded. My second time attending a live act of theirs, enjoy their music but didn’t know what to make of it the first time around. Better this time. They kind of remind me of my grandfather. Very tall, very skinny, very polite. The music is great. I’d even say better live than recorded. The English accent fits perfectly well. Great guitar solos.

Midway through the performance though, someone screams weave. Weaves is the second band set to play that evening. James Hoare seems unaware of that fact: “is it a local thing to scream weave?” pause “Oh! You mean oui”. It’s somewhat funny the first time weave is screamed, the second time we just want the guy among the crowd to shut up. I hear songs from their latest album, Green Lanes. I know already I like it more than the first. I buy their vinyl.

Second set is from Toronto. Weaves as you are already aware. Will admit, don’t know them. Still enjoyable. Jasmyn Burke is generous on stage, eye contact with crowd, smiling. She’s having a good time and shares it with crowd. Don’t stay ‘til the end of set due to The Sonics at the Fairmount.

The Weaves

Weaves

The Sonics are awesome. Having a blast. These guys have lived a lot (I don’t want to say old) but still can bring a crowd to roar. Freddie Dennis’ voice is great. He reminds me of my other grandfather when mentioning a song being “an oldie but goldie”. Of course, friends and I start dancing. How can you not dance?

After The Sonics we hurry to Casa del Popolo for OBN IIIs. Attend under a friend’s recommendation who sent me this:

Unfortunately, there’s no “rocking it out” (I’m old too) on floor or on stage. Seems everybody is bored. Crowd is as much to blame as band. Don’t recall staying ‘til the end of the set.

Final set of the night is at l’Escogriffe. The Beverleys from Toronto. Am amazed by Susan Burke. She looks like an angel but screams. This very effective dichotomy makes it all more interesting. They’re releasing an album in November.


Day2

The second day is a miss, or almost. Am not in the bestest of shapes. Blame myself for not having the time of my life. First up is the hometown band Les Marinellis at the Fairmount. I would describe this set as sad. The place is barely crowded. 20 to 30 people maybe?

Les Marinellis

Les Marinellis

Don’t understand why. They are great live. Thinking maybe it’s due to simultaneous shows, The Barr Brothers at the Saint-Jean-Baptiste church and Ought at the Fédération Ukrainienne. Also they are the first set of four at the Fairmount that evening. It ends and I walk to La Vitrola for another of my friend’s recommendations. Freelove Fenner from Montreal. Listened to the music beforehand, enjoyed it. The live act quickly bores me though. I lose interest.

The next set is Chevalier Avant Garde. They also look bored on stage but the music is great. Will definitely check them out.

Around midnight I walk to Le Petit Campus for a Royal Canoe performance. Love that venue and heard many good things about this band’s live act. By the time they’re setting up gear am half asleep at the table. There’s no way I’m staying. Leave with at least the awesomest stamp on my arm.

Ghostbusters

Day 3

First concert of the evening. Will Butler at the Rialto. Drummer Miles Arntzen is present on stage. He is as intriguing and energetic as Will is. Love him.

WillButler WillButler2

Favorite song of the evening oddly enough doesn’t have any drums if I remember well. You’ll find Will Butler singing a ballad on acoustic guitar. Never heard the song before. Can’t find it online either.

Next. Rialto Hall. There’s no Montreal band more respected than The Besnard Lakes. I’ve seen them perform before but this time it’s different. A 17 piece band is set to play.

I almost didn’t get in. The quota for media had reached its maximum. Friend V, who reminds me of the Hulk on some occasions, made the ticket holders understand the absurdity of the whole situation. Nevertheless, she bought me a ticket. Thanks V!

The Rialto Hall. It sucks. The stage is maybe one to two feet high. If you weren’t standing up on one of the few available chairs in the venue you were unlucky.

BesnardLakes

The Besnard Lakes. I was lucky. Found a chair.

Other than that it was beautiful. It starts, the stage is empty but you hear the distant recorded chant “the fate of our planet is in our hands”. Slowly you see the 17 piece band descend the stairs to step on stage as if it were a ritual. The music is of course beautiful. “One day you won’t regret this special concert” Jace Lasek tells us. Indeed.

An after party at La Taverna for Rosie Valland’s album launch. Once at the bar, a golden age guy tells me I’m pretty. Thank you. Then mentions he has experience. No thank you. Good night.

Day4

Free afternoon concert at Le Divan Orange. Am there for Montreal band Soft Cone. As with their Passovah performance, the set is very short. 4 songs I believe. It’s a newly formed band. Still, they need to write more songs. Love their sound. Lead singer moans and is pitchy. But am not bothered because it fits perfectly to the odd guitar sounds.

SoftCone

Soft Cone

Heartless Bastards. Took a look at their set list from where I was standing. No “Only For You”, my favorite from album Arrow. Halfway through though they make a change and it’s playing. Am a happy camper. Of the new album Restless Ones, “Pocket Full of Thirst” is my favorite.

The evening reaches its end; lead singer Erika Wennerstroma asks us to double clap along to the beat of a song. Her voice, which is already an amaze ball, becomes even greater. I think she might be enjoying it.

Nancy Pants.

Last concert for me that evening. A band from Montreal. They start around half past midnight at the Divan Orange. Before set starts am at the bar. See a girl next to me with a fake hand attached to arm. Don’t dare look too closely in case it’s a real fake hand. Later, while waiting in line for the washrooms, the same girl appears but with two real hands. Ask her why a fake hand to hold a straw. She tells me it was a gift from ex who thought she had a great sense of humor. She reminded him of Kristen Wiig. Now it’s prop to meet new people.

Nancy Pants members are great performers. They have fun on stage and it shows. Good beat. No pitch problems. Some technical though. Broken string on guitar. Guitar is replaced. It momentarily puts a halt to the excitement. But other than that I love it.

 

NancyPants_VCote

Nancy Pants. Photo: Véronique Côté.

I think I’m having an overdose of music now. Thanks POP Montreal. Love ya.

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About The Author

China Marsot-Wood
Collaborator - RREVERB
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China used to avoid going to shows because she felt uncomfortable in crowds. Then in 2005 a friend convinced her to go to a White Stripes concert. That changed everything. In an ongoing attempt to recapture that magical moment, she has become an avid concert-goer and decided last fall to share those experiences in her personal blog. She is happy to join the RREVERB team to further share her love of the music scene.