Concert Reviews

Dermot Kennedy Gives Montreal His All

Photo Credit: Hot Press

On Monday Mar. 2, fans eager to see Dermot Kennedy lined the hall of Place des Arts, buzzing with excitement to be attending the sold-out show. Dermot Kennedy, an artist on the rise with increasing headline appearances, took the stage at La Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, which held hundreds of more people than his previous Montreal venue back in October. The Irish singer-songwriter has been touring since the fall of 2019, promoting his debut album Without Fear. 


Heilung brings “amplified history” to life at L’Olympia - January 26, 2020

Even a glance at the lineup snaking around the block outside L’Olympia on a Sunday evening was enough to signal that something out of the ordinary was happening. Attendees waiting in anticipation of experimental folk band, Heilung. Fans arrived to the venue in full Norse-influenced historical attire – standing in the queue. I watched a parade of pelts, face paint, and bones march around me. A pair of show-goers close to me carried a massive pair of moose antlers. Clearly, this was not going to be just a concert, but an event.


The Doors Live at the Club Soda: How to do a Tribute Show

Quebec’s very own Doors cover band Feast of Friends played a free show last Saturday night at the Club Soda on Saint-Laurent. The four cosplayers, dressed in leather pants and floral shirts, managed to amass a full house - with Jim-Jean-Francois-Morrison’s haunting voice drawing in all the boozers and smoochers from nearby streets.


World-Renowned DJs Nina Kraviz and Jeremy Olander Dominate at Igloofest

Montreal’s popular winterbound techno festival, appropriately titled Igloofest, occurred this past week on January 25th. Contributing writer Clara Gepner tells us a first-hand account of what events transpired and how the performers stacked up against their competition...

From the moment you walked up the stairs from the Champ-de-Mars metro station to Vieux-Montreal, you could feel the energy pulsing from the attending crowd.


The Sand Enigma: A Look into the Creative Energy of Montreal/Cairo’s Jazz Group Land of Kush

On November 11th, 2019, I was sneaking my way into a sold out Sala Rossa to catch the launch of Sam Shalabi’s Montreal-based big band Land of Kush and their newest work entitled Sand Enigma. I was led to the very back of the room, weaving and cautiously stepping between the mush of people. In through the green room, and on to what is usually the stage, there are chairs set up for an additional audience perched above and behind the massive setup of instruments and chairs on the ground. Taking my seat in the dark, I look out into the room. People sitting, standing shoulder to shoulder, all anticipating what is to come.


Gringe Brings the Heat To L’Astral

On November 29th, France-based rapper Gringe, otherwise known as Guillaume Tranchant, played an energetic show at L’Astral in the downtown core. The second Gringe took the small stage, he was able to effortlessly command the room's unsurmountable energy. Rapping with eloquence, maturity and ease, the France-native delivered a solid performance and proved himself to be an effective storyteller.


Daniel Caesar at Place Bell, November 12th, 2019

On November 12th, thousands of young Canadians trekked through the cold and filled Laval’s Place Bell to see Daniel Caesar
 
Unfortunately, the opening act did not perform, so the audience anxiously waited for Daniel Caesar - and it was definitely worth the wait. The roaring audience was thrilled to see Daniel. The stage set, complete with the silhouette of the band displayed upon a huge canvas while Daniel stood centre stage with four divine back-up vocalists accompanying him, made for an incredible show. 


Toro Y Moi Live in Montreal

 Chaz Bear aka Toro Y Moi packed the Corona Theatre alongside his band and Channel Tres

 


King Princess @ Mtelus - October 29, 2019

The stage at MTELUS had been transformed into a queer rockstar fairytale. Various instruments lay scattered around, framed by a giant golden picture frame held aloft by four bleeding hands with 'Cheap Queen' monogrammed behind on an enchanted forest painting. Literally a dream.


Jónsi and Alex Present Riceboy Sleeps at Theatre Maisonneuve

Jónsi and Alex perform their ambient album Riceboy Sleeps in its entirety featuring a 40 person orchestra!


An Event Showcase of Grrls Groove, an All-Female Artist Music Night in Support of the Chez Doris Women's Shelter (Photo Gallery)

An all-star lineup of Montreal female music artists gathered together to raise money for Chez Doris, a women’s shelter here in Montreal, at Casa Del Popolo on October 10th. Flying under the banner of Grrls Groove, the evening was hosted by famed CBC broadcaster Emily Brass and CJLO’s own Krystal St. John. Also in the house providing some great beats were CJLO DJs SugarFace Nene and Lady Oracle.


Mashrou' Leila at Club Soda, October 9, 2019

Club Soda hosted the band Mashrou’ Leila last Wednesday for a night of performances, music, dance and video projection. The group did not disappoint using years of experience to entertain their fans, who tightly filled the small venue. 


Oh Sees bring massive tour to Le National, squeaky toys and all

What better way to stave off the increasingly colder weather for a night than with not one, but two fiery experimental rock sets? Le National was treated to an evening of heat on Oct. 15th, as long-running garage punk outfit Oh Sees (formerly Thee Oh Sees) brought their colossal 2019 tour to town. A crowd made up of both newcomers and die-hard Oh Sees followers transformed into a sea of moshers and crowdsurfers amid an explosion of synths and thunderous bass – enough to test the boundaries of your favourite concert earplugs.


From Local to Legend at POP Montreal with Masters of Soul: Mavis Staples, Clerel and Hanorah

Every now and again, a performer stops through Montreal bringing not just a prowess and artistry that impresses, but a living, embodied history. On Sunday, September 29th at the Rialto Theatre, POP Montreal offered one such show. Mavis Staples - a woman who worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King alongside her father and sisters as part of The Staples Singers, sang in President Obama’s White House and has collaborated with everyone from Bob Dylan to Hozier - graced the Montreal audience with the divine power of gospel, soul, and blues.


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