Pop Montreal: Deuxieme Nuit
Night Two of Pop Montreal did not start off like Night One. The ball had been rolling for quite some time and people had been walking about, going to shows, listening & speaking on panels, and taking in the city. It's one day closer to the weekend and much of Montreal and its visitors were out to check out what the city's current music festival had to offer.
On a somewhat narrow street known as Mont-Royal, a few things were going on of interest. The most important was the Sonic Unyon Showcase at O Patro Vys where The Ghost Is Dancing started off the night. This was the 2nd time for me seeing them - their first not being so clear (sound-wise). Playing on a stage that almost had the band overflowing out into the audience area, TGID began their set with an immediate kick of energy, immediately catching everyone's attention. As the set went on, it had really dawned on me that TGID were actually a great band. Having heard their earlier stuff and, speaking the truth, not being so impressed with it, it was refreshing to see that this ensemble of university students had managed to really throw something solid together. Their composition sounded better than I had once thought. Their songs have stories and they tell themselves when you allow yourself to go along with what they're saying. I found myself interested and wanting to hear more. That's says "I like this band, and I was wrong about them before."
Doris Day hit the Casa del Polpo stage just after 10pm. When I walked into the small, but extremely cozy and chill space, the sound was blasting into my ears over a normal decibel limit. I'm surprised some people didn't lose it because of the loud output. Although it was tough to hear what Doris Day was singing, the band was, more or less, fairly tight. Doris Day sings with a backing band and loves to own the stage. At times, she would cup her hands to firmly direct her singing into the mic. Doris Day was rather enjoyable, although as previously mentioned, the loud output was too much. However, this won't deter me from probably seeing them again as I found their tunes somewhat catchy and enjoyable. Having heard a huge amount of mix criticisms regarding Doris Day, I'm going to say that they're worth checking out. So, do that.
Kill The Lights took the stage right after Doris Day and, once again, had loud output. More people had filed in to check out the local five-piece rock the Casa extremely hard. Catchy tunes are definitely in their files. The recent Maple Music signing played serious dancing songs jam-packed with a radio-friendly vibe, which clearly gives them the opportunity to go somewhere positive with their music. Vox are switched in-between Alex Hacket (guitar and vox) and Steph Hanna (keys and vox). Unfortunately, it was difficult to hear Steph but from what I've heard and seen from them before, their teamwork on the mics was excellent. Kill The Lights were a band that I didn't give much of a chance to before, but now that I've paid more attention and loosened up, the band actually have something sweet to deliver.
Basia Bulat was the act I was looking forward to seeing all night long. Every time I see her perform, she gets better and better. Oh, and surprise surprise! Basia Bulat is one of the newest signings to Rough Trade (UK). Bringing 2/3rds of her "orchestra" into the small confines of L'Escogriffe, Basia Bulat finally got started nearly half an hour after her 12.00am posted start time. With her nerves shaking and being all anxious to get going, she rushed into the first song and immediately calmed down. Going into the second song, she began to relax and have fun. Seeing a smile on her face while playing was one of the best things to see as she was surrounded by friends, old listeners and some new ones (definitely satisfied ones). Her pop-ish sound is wonderful to hear, but Bulat takes a regular style of pop tunes and changes them up significantly. She would take a calm song, add some crazy hand-clapping to it, and speed up the tempo with strings and fantastic drumming. To top it off, Basia Bulat has a unique voice that must be heard. If you haven't heard her sing, you're missing out on something great. You are advised to check her out before she starts playing bigger 'n better stages.
Night Three looks like it will involve Castlemusic, Torngat & Herni Faberge and the Adorables (or Cadence Weapon if I feel like ditching the Adorables. HA.).
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