Still Woozy At Le Ministére, Jan 20 2019


Still Woozy fans braved the biggest snow storm of the year to see their show at le Ministère, and they got their money’s worth. Despite the one-hour delay, the young energetic crowd really enjoyed both Victor! and Still Woozy’s  performances.

It has been a surprisingly dynamic and engaging first tour for Still Woozy. Sven Gamsky, the man behind the act, is a 25-year-old musician from Oakland, California. As of the end of last year, he had only released about ten songs, and has only been doing shows for two years. This was his first tour in Canada, and he delivered. I now understand why it sold out so quickly. He is definitely one of the best discoveries of 2018. Even though Gamsky makes all of his music out of his garage, he manages to create his dreamy universe with very sophisticated guitar, bass and synthesizer. 

When the show began, the crowd was instantly hooked. He aligned three very catchy songs and danced his way around the public. When he started signing “Goodie Bag”, his biggest hit, which became a Spotify sensation last summer, people screamed the lyrics. He played it once more at the very end, with Victor! and some of his musicians dancing along. Needless to say, the show was funky, festive and energetic.

I was pleasantly surprised at Le Ministère that night. I was expecting a somewhat mediocre lo-fi band, but I rediscovered an artist whom I didn’t know much about (especially since he had only released a few songs), in the best way possible. In his 2019 tour, he played new music, presented good lyrics, and a powerful voice. His live performance of “Habits” and “Vacation” were especially compelling.

I also appreciated his rendition of “Still Beating” by Mac DeMarco; I recognized the singer’s influence on Woozy’s music throughout the night. He reminded me of Homeshake and Steve Lacy

Hearing his new songs, all I could think was that I’d like to hear a full album from him. Hopefully we’ll hear more Still Woozy in 2019.

Victor!, whose full name is Victor Cervantes, was very excited to open for Still Woozy, as this was his first touring experience. The 18-year-old singer from Chicago was accompanied by his best friend, who was DJing for him. 

You would think that 18 years old is young to participate in such a show (le Ministère only allowing an 18+ crowd), but the entire audience was around his age. It  seemed like there were only Concordia students that night. So when Victor! finished his show with a song about online dating, called “Tinder Song”, as he swiped through the app and improvised live on stage, people got excited. That was originality got the audience talking, some of them opening their Tinder trying to find him or to have their account appear on stage. His song “Virgo”, a funny revenge story against an ex-girlfriend of the same astrological sign, was particularly entertaining, involving the audience.

Although his first songs had questionable lyrics and had similar sounds, all supported by a slow-paced R&B beat, he became more comfortable towards the second half of his show and made the audience dance and sing along. The last songs had much more complex rhythms and sounds. They made me realize why an artist like Still Woozy would want him on his show. He clearly has a promising career ahead of him. 

All things considered, it was worth walking in minus 30 weather and waiting: the public left very satisfied. Next time we see Still Woozy it will surely be at a larger venue.