Concert Reviews

Guerilla Toss at Bar Le "Ritz" PDB, September 15th 2019

Sitting in the back of the room in Montreal’s Bar Le Ritz PDB, I got the perfect picture: a crowd full of hipsters, multi-colour lights swirling, and five musicians performing in perfect tandem. Accompanying them was a projection which included collages containing images of, for one, their Samoyed altered by psychedelic visual effects. 

A Guerilla Toss show is more of a ritual than a performance. The band wants you to party and dance, but they make sure you listen to the broader message. Lead singer and violinist Kassie Carlson uses her love of poetry and literature to compose lyrics that tackle serious topics such as depression and mental health. 


Photo Gallery: A First-Person Look into Quebec’s Festival De Musique Émergente (FME)

Photo gallery can be found at the end of the article.

The city of Rouyn-Noranda in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region of Quebec hosted the 17th edition of Festival de Musique Émergente, otherwise known as FME. The festival hosts a wide array of artists from different genres, of both emerging and popular status. For reference, Rouyn-Noranda is seven hours North of N.D.G and has a population of just over 42,000 people - 400 of which volunteered to help with the four-day festival.


Neurosis at Théâtre Corona, August 14th 2019

“Neurosis” is an archaic psychological term used to describe a variety of mental ailments, forgone nowadays in favour of other terms. Depression, anxiety, chronic stress, obsessive-compulsive disorder, etc. are what “neurosis” is most often associated with. So fitting is that word as the band name for Neurosis, one of the world's quintessential avant-metal bands. Their music explores the deep crevices of the mind, scratching away at the walls of your darkest feelings… only to suddenly burst out with an explosion of primal rage leaving you in a dizzied haze of grief.


Pouzza Fest 2019

Above: HVAL at Theatre Sainte Catherine. Photo Credit: Chris the Frog


Florence + The Machine at Centre Bell, May 28th 2019

Florence + the Machine returned to Montreal once again and brought their unique sound and the incredible vocal stylings of lead singer Florence Welch. While the Bell Centre may not have been as full as the last time they came to town, the air was electric and the crowd was ready to give it their all; we all knew Welch was about to put on a fantastic show. 


The Peers : Montreal Improv

It has been a long time since I have laughed so hard. 

There are 2 major elements that I really enjoyed about The Peers: their very real depiction of theatrical catastrophe, and their ridiculous take on Shakespeare. The premise of this show is that a theatre company has severely overbooked themselves, and they now have to perform multiple Shakespeare plays in one evening. Against undeniably self-inflicted odds, they accomplish this admirably. 


Musical Musings: Gloom Influx & Perturbator, May 13, 2019

 

The day had barely ended, but the sky was as dark as pitch. Light rain fell over a city awash in gunmetal greys and damp taupes. I leaned against the wall, half-finished drink in hand, and waited for my friends. Garish neon lights of blue and green flashed out from the Société des arts technologiques and lit up the raindrops in freefall. Heady baselines thumped through the wall, and I took the repeated slaps on the back until I spotted my entourage. We traded in our tickets at the door, held out our wrists for branding, and set foot inside the S.A.T for a Monday night show.


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.


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