Posts Tagged ‘Metropolis’

Thursday, October 6th. I was really excited I was about to see them as it’s been a long time since this instrumental post-rock band from Texas came to Montreal. Last time I saw them was in March 2007, at Le National. A great show. They came back a little bit later the same year during the Osheaga festival, but I missed them. I was unlucky enough that their set was sceduled at the exact same time as the Smashing Pumpkin’s. I was not going to miss them this time around.

Opening for them this time was Wye Oak. This indie rock duo from Baltimore offer a mix of rock, pop and folk, with a bit of noise rock to spice things up a bit. Quite an interesting mix don’t you think? At first, singer Jenn Wasner seemed to be a bit uncomfortable. She did not interact a lot with the crowd. However, by the end of their set, she seemed much more comfortable. I was really impressed by drummer Andy Stack’s performance. He would play drums, while playing bass lines on a synth with his left hand. They gave a very good performance which leave me wanting to discover more about them. Watch the perform two songs off their latest album: The Alter and Holy Holy.

A litlle bit after 9 o’clock, Explosions finally took the stage. With them, there was an additionnal musician, in the back, playing bass and some percussions. That leaves Michael James, who use to split his time between bass and guitar, playing mostly guitars. Now picture this: 3 guitars playing complementary parts, a bass guitar to add somme low-end kick and a drum to top all that. There you have all the ingredient for an awesome, melodic, heart-felt instrumental rock.

Right at the beginning of the show, guitarist Munaf Rayani addressed the crowd…in french. And his french was not bad at all. It was not only the usual “merci”, but rather a few sentences. It was the only time in the show they would talk to the crowd as after that, they started their musical journey that would transport us for the next hour and a half. They played the show as a whole big song, with no interuption between songs. They would instead glue all the songs together in an almost seamless way. It was a concept, and they did not even do an encore. The crowd stayed there, clapping and yelling, even if the lights were turned on. Munaf actually had to come back to the stage to tell us that they planned it as a one big trip, thanking us all for coming. I think the crowd was a bit disapointed. I would definitly have taken more, even though it was nice that they were doing it differenly than what we usually see.

They started the show with the excellent Yasmin The Light, and then songs like Greet Death and The Birth And Death Of The Day (just to name a few) followed one after the other. My favorite moment of the evening is without a doubt The Only Moment We Were Alone…what a terrific performance. See for yourself.

It was the second time we saw those guys live and I can tell you that I am already hoping for the next time. They wrap you in their guitar melodies and you get flooded in the waves of sound. A very mesmerizing experience.

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One of the most exciting news I had this spring was that The Tea Party were back together for a summer tour, 6 years after they broke up. To me, the Tea Party is amongst the most interesting Canadian bands. This tour was to stop in Montreal on July 7th 2011.

So, last thursday, we went to the Metropolis in Montreal, to see that show that we were really looking forward to. The opening act was a Canadian band called The Reason. Even though I didn’t know them, they’ve been around since 2003. For me, it was a really nice discovery. They delivered around 40 minutes of finely crafted rock songs with catchy melodies. Moreover, at the end of their set, they played a cover of one another Canadian band that I love a lot: Sloan. That was enough, they got me in their pocket. You can watch a video of this here.

Then came what we were all waiting for: The Tea Party. After just a few minutes, it was clear that their 6 years break wasn’t enough for them to lose anything. For those who have never seen them live, it’s amazing how a trio can sound so full and thick. And that is still true today.

There was something in the air that night. Some kind of excitement. You could feel that the crowd have been waiting for this moment for a long time. They opened the show with Writing’s on the wall, followed by The Bazaar. After this song, Jeff Martin said to us something like:
“Writing’s on the wall that The Tea Party is back, and it’s not going away anytime soon”. That was it. The audience was set on fire.

They delivered over 16 of their greatest songs, with all the energy that you could expect from them. You could actually see and feel that they were as excited to be back together as we were to see them back. And as usual, Jeff Martin had us sing on some songs, as Save Me, Release or Heaven Coming Down. The crowd was pleased. I was too.

For those interested in that kind of details, the setlist was ( maybe I forgot a song or two, but it should be pretty accurate):
– Writing’s On The Wall
– The Bazaar
– Lullaby
– Psychopomp
– The Messenger
– Fire In The Head
– Correspondance
– Heaven Coming Down
– Sun Going Down
– Halcyon Days
– Save Me
– Release
– Temptation
Encore break 1
– The River
Encore break 2
– The Badger
– Sister Awake / Paint It Black

To see some videos of the performance, you can go here.

Now that they shown us hey can still rock, they left me wanting for more. I am so looking forward to hearing new material. Please, give us a new record soon.

Depuis plus de 15 ans, j’ai conserve les billets de tous les spectacles auxquels j’ai assisté. Je sais, ça peut paraître un peu bizarre (et peut-être que je le suis), mais je n’arrivais jamais à me convaincre de les jeter. Après tout, c’est tout ce qui me restait (physiquement parlant) d’un bon moment que je venais de vivre. Je me suis toujours dis qu’un jour je les mettrais dans un livre, avec mes commentaires sur le spectacle. Après 15 ans, je dois bien me rendre à l’évidence que si je ne l’ai jamais fais, je ne le ferai probablement jamais.

Hier soir, nous étions assis au Metropolis mon épouse et moi, attendant avec impatience le début du spectacle et nous discutions. C’est là que l’idée m’est venue. Et si au lieu de confiner ça dans un livre je faisais mon propre blog? Ça y est. L’idée est lancée. Maintenant je dois le faire. Alors, le voilà, mon tout premier blog. J’espère que vous allez l’apprécier.

Nous sommes dimanche, le 2 mai, et il est environs 20h00 lorsque les lumières s’éteignent. Je ne connaissais absolument rien de ce groupe appelé Death Vessel qui faisait la première partie. En fait, je devrais plutôt dire de ce gars connu sous le nom de Death Vessel. Un homme grand et mince, à la longue chevelure foncée marche sur la scène. Il est seul. Il saisi sa guitare acoustique et commence à chanter. Si javais eu les yeux fermés à ce moment-là, j’aurais été persuadé qu’il s’agissait d’une femme. Quelle fût donc ma surprise lorsque, après la première pièce, il s’adressa à la foule avec une voix tout de même assez grave. Ce n’est pas seulement qu’il chantait d’une voix aigue, mais le ton de sa voix avec un petit quelque chose de très féminin. Il a joué pendant environ 30 minutes et a quitté la scène. Je ne suis pas trop certain de ce que j’ai pensé de sa performance. Peut-être l’effet de surprise. Peut-être que je ne m’attendais pas du tout à ça. Tout ce que je sais c’est que ce n’était pas mauvais. Ce n’est pas un genre de musique qui m’accroche particulièrement, mais je n’ai pas détesté. Il faudrait bien que j’en réécoute pour me faire une meilleure idée. Mais la foule semble l’avoir apprécié car elle lui a réservé des applaudissements chaleureux à la fin de sa performance.

Pendant les 30 minutes suivantes, on pouvait sentir la fébrilité dans la salle. Tout le monde était impatient de voir Jonsi finalement apparaitre sur scène. Vers 21h00, mon épouse s’avance vers moi et me dit : «dans 5 secondes ça va commencer». J’ai à peine eu le temps de lui demander comment elle faisait pour deviner ça que les lumières s’éteignent. La foule s’excite. La scène était très belle. On y retrouvait de grandes boîtes avec les parois en verre. C’était par contre très encombré, étant donné tous les instruments présents : la batterie, deux orgues et un gros xylophone, pour ne nommer que ceux-là. Personnellement, je ne savais pas trop à quoi m’attendre. Je n’ai jamais vu Sigur Ros en concert, et encore moins Jonsi. La quatrième chanson, Kolnidur, a litterallement donné le ton à cette soirée. C’était tellement beau que les mots me manquent pour le décrire. La musique était à une intensité indescriptible, pendant que les projections nous en mettaient plein la vue.

Jusqu’à la fin du spectacle, avec la pièce Grow Till Tall, l’intensité et l’émerveillement étaient au rendez-vous. Autant je peux apprécier l’album de Jonsi, autant je peux maintenant affirmer qu’il ne rend pas justice à Jonsi et à son art. Sur l’album, les pièces plus rythmées comme Boy Lilikoi, Go Do ou Animal Arithmetic sont  celles que je préfère. Par contre, en spectacle, ce sont les pièces plus douces qui m’ont réellement transporté. À mon humble avis, les moments forts du spectacle ont été Kolnidur et Grow Till Tall, la finale, avec son orage et son mur de son plus grand que nature. J’en redemandais. Je n’aurais vraiment pas pu demander mieux.

Jonsi a également su s’entourer. 4 musiciens partageaient la scène avec lui. Bien qu’ils étaient tous excellent, le drummer m’a particulièrement impressionné. En fait, je dis drummer mais il était bien plus que ça. On l’a entre autre vu jouer de l’orgue et du xylophone. J’apprécie toujours voir dans un concert rock des instruments de musique non-traditionnels ou encore des instruments qui sont joués de façcon non-traditionnelle. Alors, nul besoin de vous dire que j’ai adoré voir du xylophone joué avec des archets. Wow!

En terminant, je dirais que Jonsi est un de ceux qui ne se contente pas de seulement nous donner un bon spectacle. Il nous transporte littéralement dans son univers. Je n’étais plus assis au Métropolis. Pour une heure et demie, j’ai visité le monde de Jonsi. Et j’ai adoré. Merci Jonsi.

For the last 15 years (and maybe more), I have kept my tickets to every single show I went to. I know it sounds a little weird, and maybe I am, but for some reason it was hard for me to throw them away. After all, it was all that remained (physically) of that great time I had. I always thought that I would one day put them in a book, and write my own review of the show. Well, fifteen years later, I still haven’t done that and chances are I never will.

Yesterday night, I was sitting at the Metropolis, chatting with my wife, waiting for the show to start. Then I had this idea : “Instead of collecting all that, why don’t I just start my own blog, where I could share my thoughts about this show I just saw”. That was it. I had to do it. So here I am today, writing my first blog ever. Hope you’ll enjoy it.

So it was 8 PM on Sunday, May 2nd when the lights went out. I knew nothing about the opening act, except that they were called Death Vessel. Or maybe I should have said HE was called Death Vessel. A tall skinny man with long dark hair enter the stage. Alone. He grabbed his acoustic guitar and started singing. If I had close my eyes, I would have been sure it was a female singing. The funniest thing is when he spoke between the songs, he actually had a low voice. It was not only that he was singing high, the tone was also really female-ish. He played for 30 minutes before he left the stage. I am not sure what I think now about it. It was definitely not bad, but not the kind of music I am really into. I would have to listen to him again sometime. The crowd seemed to like him as he was nicely applauded when he left the stage.

During the next 30 minutes, you could definitely feel the excitement growing. Everybody was eager to see Jonsi take the stage. Around 9 PM, my wife told me: “they’re going to start in 5 seconds. I just had the time to answer: “how’d you know?” and the lights faded. The stage was nice, with some kind of glass boxes. It was quite crowded  with all the instruments laying around: the drumset, 2 organs, a big xylophone, just to name a few. I didn’t know what to expect as I never seen Sigur Ros live. It was with Kolnidur, the second song, that the show really kicked off. It was awesome. I just can find the words to describe it. The music what so intense, and the projections were amazing. It was so beautiful.

From that moment, until the end of Grow Till Tall at the end of the encore, the show never lost of it’s intensity and of it’s beauty. I would say that as much as I like the album, it doesn’t make justice to Jonsi and is art. On the album, my favourite songs are the ones that are more fast-tempo, like Boy Lilikoi, Go Do or Animal Arithmetic. But live, it is the softest songs that really sent shivers down my spine. To me, the strongest moment of the show were without a doubt Kolnidur and Grow Till Tall. That last song ended in a bigger-than-life wall of sound that left us all begging for more. I couldn’t have expected a bigger finale.

Jonsi was surrounded by 4 excellent musicians. I was particularly impressed by the drummer. In fact, it might be a little reductive to call him the drummer because he actually played more that drums. We saw him on the xylophone and on the organ as well. I always appreciate seeing non-traditional instruments in a rock show, or to see traditional instruments played in a non-traditional manner. So I have to say that I found it really interesting to see the drummer play on the xylophone with bows. Beautiful.

All I can say is that Jonsi is one of those artists that, apart from giving a great musical performance, really transported me in is own universe. Like living a dream, but wide awake. I was not sitting in the Metropolis anymore. For an hour an a half, I visited Jonsi’s world. Thank you very much Jonsi.