Taverne Tour 2024 Day 3: Synth Pop, Shoegaze, and Snacks Across Plateau Mont-Royal

Taverne Tour 2024 came to a close Saturday, February 10th, marking the end of the weekend’s festival which stretched all over the Plateau Mont-Royal neighbourhood. There were plenty of bands to see over the three-day event, and CJLO was able to see a number of the featured acts, including: Marontate, Yves Jarvis, HAWA B, R. Flex, Glowing Orb, Jetsam, and more. 

However, with many shows selling out, barring any access to press, we were forced to alter plans and decide which shows to attend last-minute. Without offering day or weekend passes, this is definitely not a festival you can decide to attend at the last minute, as most of the out-of-town acts, and even many shows consisting of all local bands who play often in Montreal, were hitting venue capacity.

Despite that, due to Taverne Tour’s extensive lineup, there were always multiple concerts to choose from at any given time, and CJLO was out on Boulevard Saint Laurent on Saturday to end the festival. 

It was an exciting night for Montreal synth pop vampires Night Lunch as they headlined their own show at La Sotterranea. With their dark, gothic stage presence in this underground club, one couldn't help but compare the scene to Bauhaus' iconic intro of the film The Hunger or Nick Cave’s brooding and lonely song at the heart of Wings of Desire. As they struck their first notes, the band had already set the tone for the evening to play their more upbeat and danceable tracks. This was welcomed by the bobbing crowd who seemed to yearn for something with excitement. With just bass, drums and synths, there was a spotlight on Lukie Lovechild’s vocals. But the music truly became full fleshed when the singer picked up the guitar and drove the songs home with a puzzle piece fit solo. Similar to New Order or other bands of that era that made use of minimal equipment and production, Night Lunch’s strength comes through with their off center perspectives and quirks. They ended the set with their version of a stadium anthem “God Bless The One I Love” who’s hook I’m sure was hummed by many concert goers on their commute home.   

- Lisa: Music Director and host of The Last Stop


Bummed that my not-so-swanky press wristband couldn’t get me into the recently sold-out Ducks Ltd. album release show, I decided instead to start the night at a packed Casa del

Popolo, where I caught Ontario-based band Your Grandad. The three-piece act, donning sunglasses inside the venue, played a short set of jangly, discordant punk tunes, reminiscent of Parquet Courts and more upbeat Black Country, New Road tunes. The band started with their track titled “Your Grandad” which set their show on a funny, almost meme-ing tone that carried throughout. Next up on the bill was Empty Nesters, the shoegaze-influenced act of Montreal musician, Eric Liao. It seemed much of the crowd was there to see this band, as there was a major push to the front as their set began. The band got off to a rocky start with sound difficulties on the second guitar, but once those were quickly remedied, the band played a solid set of droney indie tunes which the Casa crowd nodded and swayed along to.

Hopping over to La Sotterranea, the day’s theme of sunglasses indoors continued as local band Night Lunch took the stage at 11:00PM, playing a set with Booster Fawn, as Daniel Romano’s Outfit had to pull out at the last minute. Night Lunch put on a clean and swanky show, featuring synth-heavy tracks that had the audience dancing and even singing along (there seemed to be several Night Lunch superfans up front).

After Night Lunch, I trekked south to Le Ministere for the promise of free pizza and New York post-punk at Taverne Tour’s midnight closing party. After a mandatory coat check, which confused and angered many attendees, Le Ministere filled up with concert-goers and many musicians who had performed earlier that night. The crowd waited in anticipation of the food, but seemed unsure of how exactly this event would run. Are we eating in the pit? But, shortly after all six members of TVOD (Television Overdose) took stage, the energy was back up as the band jumped straight into their brash, sweaty set. Just in time, Taverne Tour employees started walking through the crowd with open Pizza Pizza boxes; this punk show had cater waiters. As the show went on, TVOD vocalist Tyler Wright’s stamina never waned, as he writhed across the stage, swigging from his glass of red wine, and pouring water on himself. TVOD’s music is catchy and anthemic, and this party was the perfect way to end off the weekend’s festivities. 

- Aviva: Magazine Editor and host of The Alley