Saxsyndrum, Balattou, December 7th

When entering the Balattou, one encounters a perplexing scene. Strangely angled mirrors outline the back of the stage, distracting one’s eyes towards a reflective fractal of musicians playing and a crowd seated in wonderfully curved little booths. The stage is framed by monolithic speakers, far exceeding the necessary decibel level for the room. Above remain mountings for what I’m fairly positive used to be erotic dance poles. The young crowd does not fit the place, drinking pina coladas and Molson Ex, layered in wool and leather, and topping toques. Perfect setting to be mesmerized by the magnificent droning pop trio, Saxsyndrum.

    Nick Schofield, on drums and synthesizer(s?), and Dave Switchenko, on saxophone and scary looking blinking machines, build a wall of samples, synth pads, and feedback loops, to act as the backdrop on which which the trio can wail. A.P. Bergeron comes to life in beautiful falsetto, seated and barefoot as to more easily manipulate his reverb pedal knobs, bellowing airily like Eddie Vedder at his best (say what you will about Pearl Jam, but the man can sing). In moments of intensity, he leaps into action, bopping to the striking dance rhythms. Switchenko’s sax howls in swaying delay as he squats and bounces emphatically, only pausing between songs to pull his red mane of hair into an uncooperative pony tail. Bergeron, after moments of giving the performance everything he’s got, collapses back in his chair in apparent exhaustion, only to once again holler in ecstatic mania. He and Switchenko get in each others faces and harmonize in perfect connection. Their set finishes, and after a quiet moment of thanks, I bolt to catch the last metro home with their tasty new 7” single, Up to You.