Concert Reviews

Smino Brings his Hoopti Tour to L’Astral

On May 14, 2019 Smino brought his Hoopti tour to Montreal, performing to a full house a L’Astral. This was one of the last stops of the 30-date trek, but you couldn’t tell from the amount of energy Smino and his band brought with them.


Blaze Bayley at Piranha Bar, May 12 2019

 

From the 94-99 era of Iron Maiden

Blaze Bayley was truly an interesting headliner, hailing from the United Kingdom, Blaze brought some flare to Montreal as he stepped on to the stage. 

Showcasing the Infinite Entanglement Series, along with a few classics from his back catalogue, Blaze sure knows how to please a crowd and get them energetic and moving. Singing along to shreddy guitar melodies and solos, it was almost, but not quite, an Iron Maiden concert in a small bar. I will always remember the fact that Blaze Bayley almost spat on me as he gave a aggressive stare, shouting aggressively i'm Blaze f*king Bayley! 


Tokyo Police Club at Petit Campus, April 19 2019

Alternative indie band Tokyo Police Club consists of vocalist and bassist David Monks, keyboardist Graham Wright, guitarist Josh Hook, and drummer Greg Alsop. Since they formed back 2005, the indie band from Newmarket, Ontario, has released four studio albums, six if you count the EP compilations like the band do. This current tour is in support of their newest album TPC, aptly named as after chasing a more radio friendly indie pop sound on their 2014 album Forcefield, it is return to their roots. Rob Schnapf, who worked on Champ (2010) returned to produce the album. On the band’s website they simply describe that “TPC is a rock record with tons of guitars” and that couldn't be more true.

 


Tennyson at Petit Campus, April 13 2019

Tennyson – the brother-sister duo of Tess and Luke Tennyson took on Petit Campus touring with their newly released EP Different Water – with a tight and well executed show.


BROODS at Theatre Fairmount, April 13, 2019

Ever since the success of their single “Bridges”, from their debut album Evergreen, released in 2014, New Zealand music duo BROODS has held a special place in the indie and electropop scenes. Their music has seen itself evolve from having an airy, tranquil, and soothing ambiance, to a confident and powerful rebirth in their album Conscious, to a flip to colorful and vibrant 80s sounds in their latest album Don’t Feed the Pop Monster, which came out in February 2019. Despite the variety of sounds they have experimented with over the years, everything they have released is guaranteed to start a dance party.


Gauche at Bar Le Ritz, April 2 2019

‘Faut qu’on commence? On commence maintenant?’; after a few sound tests the first act, Helene Barbier, skips the introductions and small talk and starts off the set with “Not so Impressed”. Her set combined a mixture of songs from her first album ​Something​ and newer songs like “Tidal Bore”. Her debut album ​Have you met Elliott?  is set to be released later this year under Higher Records. Barbier still has somewhat the same mellow garage rock vibe than her main band Phern, but without the upbeat or pop components. Even though she carried a rather shy stage presence, her use of repetitive yet catchy choruses and chords kept the audience engaged.


Beirut at MTELUS, Feb 15 2019

Beirut is an American band that mixes multiple styles such as indie rock, pop and American folk. Whatever this band experiments with musically, the highlight is always the multi-instrumentalist talents of frontman Zach Condon and the abundant horns in their records. The band was touring in support of their fifth album Gallipoli, named after the town in Italy where they spent some time recording. The twelve songs in this album are smooth, instrumentally rich and take you back to warm summer days.


Arkells at MTELUS, Feb 21 2019

Since their single “Knocking At The Door” blew up in 2017, the Arkells have been making waves in Canada and abroad. The track and video had them nominated for best single and best video of the year at the 2018 Juno Awards and Nielsen Music announced Arkells were the second most popular Canadian rock band on Canadian radio that year, behind the Tragically Hip, of course.


Buffy Saint-Marie @ Corona Theatre, Feb 16 2019

It’s very seldom that you see a performer arrive to more admiration and praise than 77 year-old singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie received last week at Corona Theatre. While the show was not quite sold out, the energy in the room could have filled a football field. This concert showed that even though Buffy has been touring for half a century, she can still be trusted to put on a great show. 


Haley Hates the Cold, Andy’s Favourite Colour is Red

Photo: Arielle de Pagter

On February 7, Andy Shauf brought his month long North American tour to Montreal’s Rialto Theatre. That Thursday night saw a brief respite from the bitter winter, with temperatures creeping above zero for what felt like the first time in ages.


Mick Jenkins at L'Astral, Jan 28 2019

Mick Jenkins stopped in Montreal to promote his newest album, Pieces of a Man. The album is a homage to legendary poet and artist, Gil Scott-Heron, borrowing the title of Scot-Heron's debut album.


Dan Mangan at Fairmount Theatre, Jan 28 2019

Outside the venue, a large tour bus with a trailer is parked on the street. It’s unusual to see one outside of Fairmount Theatre. Dan Mangan doesn’t strike one as a tour bus artist. The indie rock outfit doesn’t seem like it would need much. I guess after a decade and a half in the business, one might splurge for extra comforts.


Torquil Campbell's True Crime Fascination

It has been said that the best lies contain an element of truth to them.


Kacey Musgraves at MTELUS, Jan 12, 2019

Photo: Kelly Christin Sutton

“You guys are ready to fucking yee-haw!”

It wasn’t a lie when Kacey Musgraves made that exclamation near the beginning of her show at MTELUS over the weekend.  Despite bitter-cold temperatures (a situation Musgraves also colourfully expressed concern and sympathy over), it couldn’t keep down the palpable excitement of an audience hungry to hear their country queen.


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.


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