By Trevor Kiernander - Ones and Zeroes - 05/19/05

I would like to take this opportunity to formally send my deepest gratitude to Thievery Corporation for renewing my faith in the live music experience in Montreal. Perhaps I had been attending the wrong shows up until this point, but after seeing too many bands perform for what I would consider an embarrassment of an audience, I had pretty much written off attending any band playing in a bar or club. Or maybe I just don’t understand the fascination with standing completely still while the band of the moment is up there giving their 110% and filling a dead room full of energy. Seriously people, do you really think you can learn to play the guitar from 400 feet back? Move! Get into the music! As a performer, I would think twice about playing in Montreal, but as an audience member, if you want lessons in letting loose at a show, spend your hard earned cash on a Thievery Corporation show. Playing to a sold-out crowd at the Spectrum on May 19th, the Thievery boys kicked my ass and then some with much of their new album The Cosmic Game and other past favourites. It was rather obvious that they were beating the rest of the audience too, as even off to the side, I could see how much the audience were into it.

For those who aren’t familiar with Thievery Corporation, they incorporate a sound that seems to span the globe of dance-Latin-jazz-world fused beats, that even at its most toned-down moments, they can keep you bobbing your head. Their live performance was a full-on assault of live percussion, bass, guitar/sitar, sax and vocals, with the dynamic duo Rob Garza and Eric Hilton on the decks and all things digital (drum machines, synths, etc). Playing tracks that spanned their discography, four vocalists helped to keep the audience on their toes for the lengthy performance. The definite highlight of the night was when the gorgeous Brazilian took to the stage. You could feel the room being completely hypnotized by her beauty, charm and of course, that voice. Another crowd favourite was the dancehall ball of energy who stirred up the crowd with at least half a dozen hits including "Assault on Babylon", one of their big tracks from 1997’s Sounds from the Thievery Hi-Fi. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, they ended off the evening and their encore with the massive "Coming From the Top".

I would definitely have to say that the Thievery Corporation, with their multi-musician entourage in tow, put on one of the best shows I have seen in a long while, and most importantly in Montreal. I enjoy shows where the band's energy is projected and absorbed into the audience, whereas in turn, they either dance their asses off, or move accordingly. If viewers need a lesson in this etiquette, check out the Thievery Corporation. You’ll learn a lot. Unless of course, standing absolutely motionless is what gets you moving.

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