Have you ever wanted to shout for an encore after an opener? And wanted to do it two more times?

Birds of Prrrey, Laura Krieg, Mary Jane Dunphe, 9Million at Cabaret Fouf, April 19

When the Torontonian shoe-gazy emo-y post-punk band 9Million announced their Live Across America tour on Instagram, they had no Montreal dates. Understandable, as Montreal is indeed, not in America, but instead they had a mid-May date in my hometown of 21,000 people. In my late-night scrolling haze I commented “Playing my dear hometown but no Montreal dates </3”, they quickly responded, “we’re playing mtl on the 19th!” WOW. That was embarrassing. If I had scrolled only a fraction of a screen down their Insta, I would’ve seen a beautifully ethereal poster for a show on April 19th at Les Foufounes Électriques. I put my head in my hands, cringed, and emailed CJLO’s magazine editor. 

Explosively opening the show was Montreal’s Birds of Prrrey, an energetic and friendly riot-grrrl-esque three-piece that encouraged the audience to move closer to their shredding guitar and seriously sick drumming; the audience obeyed immediately and provided a good amount of actual dancing. This was the first time I had heard of Birds of Prrrey; now I am a die-hard fan, complete with a one-of-a-kind screen-printed thrifted shirt, and the workings for a CJLO live session with the band. Before searching the crowd for their dad, Grace, bassist and vocals, told me Birds of Prrrey have an EP coming in June, and I am very excited.

The second opener made the New Order playing between sets make a lot more sense on a largely punkier ticket: clad in black sequin booty shorts and a 1980s evil chef uniform, Laura Krieg’s darker energy and captivating vocals brought us into a brutalist but gothic vibe in the intimate red lighting. If you want to feel serenaded in a masochistic way, Krieg will be playing a show in Soni Per II Popolo in late June. Laura Krieg’s album will be released this fall, just in time for the Boy Harsher and Siouxsie and the Banshees playlists that excel in October. 

Mary Jane Dunphe slammed us with a high-energy performance. Based in New York and originally hailing from the Olympia area, which is why she’s so cool, MJ is dual headlining two shows with 9Million. Mary Jane’s performance was captivating, switching from rough low screams of lyrics and stomping on the stage to twirling around and singing whimsically. I’m sure the question “Is she wearing knee pads?” rumbled through the audience's mind, followed up with “Why is she wearing knee pads?” then “Oh! That's why she’s wearing knee pads” when she would inevitably fling herself onto the floor of the stage. What seems to be her signature move, and works very well to keep the audience’s already rapt attention, is Mary Jane bounding across the stage, literally cartwheeling, and loudly thumping the mic on the floor. One jump caught two guitars in the crosshairs and sent them flying across the stage. Stay tuned for undisclosed excitement, presumably following her newest singles “Seasons” and “Fix Me” on SubPop Records. 

The final band of the night filled the small stage with a staggering six members and arrays of pedals, contrasting the solo artists whose energies filled the space with artistry and performance, 9Million were here to play their music and hang out. Still, their show was good, providing an ample wall of sound that had me reaching for my earplugs. I have found that 9Million’s technique with playing live is stretching out and blending songs, making it hard to know when songs end or begin, and vocals sounding even more ethereal than My Bloody Valentine. The band was presumably tired from their tour van’s flat tire, and annoyed with issues in their headsets, but they were gracious enough to play us an encore song. I am so glad they responded to my stupid Instagram comment, and that I was lucky enough to tell the drummer the best place to get biscuits in my hometown, I hope they get to enjoy the Cheerwine donuts too.

Jasper aka dj jazzy maize hosts The Castle, Fridays 1PM - 2PM on CJLO