Concert Reviews

Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears @ La Sala Rossa – February 27th, 2017

This Monday, two CJLO contributors, Genaro Peña Cruz and Paul Brown, had the chance to see Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears as they performed at La Sala Rossa, as part of the Montréal en Lumière festival going on until March 11. Here’s the story of one single show, told by two different music lovers.

 

Genaro Peña Cruz’s story


Run The Jewels @ Métropolis - February 21st, 2017

The increasingly upward trajectory of the duo known as Run The Jewels has been an absolute joy to watch through the last few short years. Bad timing and bad luck in the past had robbed me of the chance to see them live—including one rescheduled Montreal show due to a truck fire that destroyed some of their gear and merchandise—but finally, I found myself with a ticket to the hottest show in town.


T.I. @ L'Olympia - January 29th, 2017

I'm not one to normally go to concerts, but this time, I decided to make the move—especially seeing that it was T.I., and and it would've been his first time coming to Montreal! Needless to say, I had some high expectations for the concert.

Excited and enthusiastic, I got to L'Olympia early to get a good spot to see the big man himself. 

However, the crowd didn't seem too enthusiastic in the beginning. The first set of artists who came out really didn't get the crowd hyped enough for the main show. Some went so far as to attempt crowd surfing, which didn't go well and ultimately didn't work. I think everyone was just waiting for the main event.


YUSRA Benefit Concert - February 10, 2017

Image credit: CBC

Last weekend saw a benefit concert at the Rialto Theatre for the families of the victims of the Quebec City mosque shooting, where a group of Canadian DJs, singers, and rappers came together in support of a very good cause. The audience raised nearly $5,000 through tickets, donations, and merchandise according to Dan Seligman, the creator-director of Pop Montreal.   


Black Marble @ Le Ritz - February 10th, 2017

I have been looking forward to seeing Black Marble, the dreamy coldwave synth pop duo from Brooklyn, for quite some time. I knew I needed to see them, in part because their music has been occupying my brain since their latest album It’s Immaterial was released, but also because I was curious what the physical manifestation of their music could possibly be like. There is something about their music that carries with it an air of mystery.


Neal Morse @ Club Soda, January 31st 2017

January 31st, 2017 was already going to be an eventful day before it was announced that, prior to the Neal Morse show that night, Mike Portnoy would be doing a meet and greet at Steve's Music Store on St. Antoine. I have been following Dream Theater since I discovered the Six Degrees of Inner Turbulene album and got hooked by the song “The Glass Prison”, which blew my mind completely. I finally got the meet Mike Portney, the man behind the giant kit.


High Five @ Vice & Versa, January 22nd 2017

I’m loving these Sunday evening 5 à 7 performances at Vice & Versa, a cute brick and wood-trim resto-brewery in Little Italy serving innumerable craft beers on keg and gourmet burgers, slaw, and the like. I enjoyed a wonderful pulled-pork poutine and a few exquisite white beers, surrounded by familiar smiling faces and good tunes.


Tall Shadows & Monogamy, Le Cactus, January 18th 2017

As I understand, last night’s performance was meant to be held at l’Escogriffe, but since it is currently under renovation, the event was moved to Le Cactus, a small showroom next door . Great little spot. Supposedly doubling as a dance studio, the venue’s side wall is lined entirely with full-sized mirrors, perfectly suitable for the disco ball and lasers bouncing all over the room. Unfortunately, not nearly enough people made it to last night’s performance, but this does not at all take from the music. The bands were great.


Cindy Lee & Deerhunter, Le National, January 15th 2017

Photo: Allison O'Reilly 

I was ecstatic to hear that Cindy Lee and Deerhunter, two of my favourite recording artists, would be playing at Le National on a cold Sunday night. The beautiful old theater slowly filled with people eager to bliss out to droning treble.


Asap Ferg, Metropolis, November 30th

Photo Credit: Jason Bergman 

If there is one word to describe the Asap Ferg Turnt & Burnt experience, it would have to be: energetic. 

On Wednesday November 30th, American rapper Asap Ferg heated up the city by bringing the Turnt & Burnt tour to Metropolis, with Young Mob associates, Playboi Carti and Rob $tone in attendance as well. 


Saxsyndrum, Balattou, December 7th

When entering the Balattou, one encounters a perplexing scene. Strangely angled mirrors outline the back of the stage, distracting one’s eyes towards a reflective fractal of musicians playing and a crowd seated in wonderfully curved little booths. The stage is framed by monolithic speakers, far exceeding the necessary decibel level for the room. Above remain mountings for what I’m fairly positive used to be erotic dance poles. The young crowd does not fit the place, drinking pina coladas and Molson Ex, layered in wool and leather, and topping toques.


Chairs, Vices & Versa, November 28

Vice & Versa was the perfect setting for last night’s 5 à 7 performance. One can chat, sip any of their 32 beers on draft, and munch on deliciously pretty burgers or appetizers with friends. But this is not a review of Vice & Versa, but rather the band who played the quaint venue, Chairs.


Tegan & Sara Trade in Their Guitars for Synthesizers

I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I was waiting in line for the Tegan and Sara show at Metropolis. I was familiar with their album Sainthood and actually saw them open for Paramore on their Honda Civic Tour in 2009. Since then, their sound and style have done a complete 180. When I saw that they were coming to Montreal, I bought a ticket without even thinking. I haven’t listened to any of their new stuff besides their hit song “Closer” from their last album Heartthrob. Now, touring and playing material from their eighth record Love You To Death I knew nothing and no one going.


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