Posts Tagged ‘show’

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.

Remember a few weeks back when I wrote a review of the new Jeff Martin CD? I was telling that I couldn’t wait to see how it would sound live. Well, now I’ve seen it and let me tell you I was not deceived.
I was glad to see that the show was at Latulipe. It’s a small venue that I like a lot. However, I was quite surprised to see that the balcony was closed. It was a sign that it was going to be a small intimate show. Actually, I was shocked to see that it was probably the smallest crowd I seen at a Jeff Martin or The Tea Party show. But with the performance I saw that night, I am confident that next time’s going to be bigger. The nice thing about those kind of show is that the peoples that were there were real fans of Martin. Those who kept following him. And we were rewarded for that.
The show started at 8h00 sharp. A guy walked on stage, alone with his acoustic guitar. His name his Gabriel Lee. When he started playing and singing, I felt transported to the 70’s. His music had some kind of a classic rock feel. And what a voice. He has a strong voice, reminiscent of Robert Plant’s. That was a really pleasant opening act. I must admit though that after a few songs, we became a little bored with all the “baby”, “woman” and “love”. I think that those three words were the foundation of all his songs. That being said, it all came together as a pretty interesting whole. You can watch a (very) small part of the peformance here.
Unfortunately, we can’t say the same of the second band that took the stage. They’re called Flowerchild. They started the show with a pretty energetic rock song. However, from there, they seemed to be going in all directions. They had a country song and even a Brett-Michaels-kind of ballad. I have to say however that they were good musicians, especially the drummer. I concede that being an opening act is not easy. You’re performing in conditions that are not necessarely the best for you, in front of peoples that don’t know you and did not came to see you. But they difinitely didn’t impress me. Watch their first song here.
Around 9h45, Jeff Martin and the band entered the stage. They started with the album’s opening track, The Ground Cries Out. That was it, this evening was set to be a great one. I don’t recall seeing Jeff rock like that since he disbanded The Tea Party. His voice was, as always, deep and mesmerizing. And he treated us with tons of great guitar solos and improvisations. As an example, take a look at this video of Overload, which he started with a nice bluesy intro. He also offered us a nice solo during the song, into which he threw a few Hendrix riff, for the great pleasure of his guitarist fans.
Speaking of guitarist fan, I was please to see him play with a Fender Telecaster for The Messenger. I believe that was the first time I saw him play a Fender, which a like a lot.
Besides from playing the songs off their latest record, they also played a few of The Tea Party’s songs like Overload, Requiem, The Messenger, The Bazaar and Coming Home. They also played Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin, with the participation of Gabriel Lee. I have to say that as much as I like the new material, everytime they played a Tea Party song, it made me realized how great they were.
As if it wasn’t enough, we also had the pleasure to see Jeff playing his guitar with a bow, as he used to do in Save Me. Even though he did not invent this, and some others have done it brillantly, it’s always thrilling to see Jeff pull out his bow and play his magic. You can see it here, on The Cobra.
For me, this show had nothing really surprising. After all, it was the 6th or 7th time I saw Jeff live (either alone or with The Tea Party). But I can tell you without a doubt that it was one of those amazing memorable rock show. It had a lot of those little extras that make a show stand out.
Hats off to Jeff and the guys and please, come back soon to rock the hell out of that city.

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.