Posts Tagged ‘the besnard lakes’

Lusine, Local Natives, The Besnard Lakes

April 14, 2013

Hello all. I’ve seen some really great concerts lately, but unfortunately have been too busy to give them proper reviews, so here are some mini-reviews of the three best live shows I’ve seen in Montreal this spring …

LUSINE AT O PATROS VYS

lusine

22 march 2013

Jeff McIlwain aka Lusine has been producing his visceral, melodic strain of electronic music for over a decade now and I was lucky enough to catch him play a live set at O Patros Vys, in support of his excellent new album The Waiting Room. McIlwain is an underrated legend in the electronic music scene. Unlike some of his contemporaries, Lusine has never been in the forefront of the scene, has never played huge venues or been super hyped about on music blogs, yet he is revered by those in the know – and has been perfecting his bubbly analogue techno for years now. His live set was great and he kept the crowd dancing from beginning to end. He doesn’t tour very often so if he plays your town make sure you check him out. Love it.

LOCAL NATIVES AT LE NATIONAL

local natives

29 march 2013

L.A. scenesters Local Natives returned to Montreal in support of their sophomore album Hummingbird and played to a sold out crowd at Le National. I saw them the first time around in 2010 in Toronto and was very impressed and can only say their show has gotten even better. What impressed me most was their live vocal chops, as they effortlessly hit every note, whether in chorus or alone, reminding me at times of the powerful harmonies of Crosby, Stills and Nash — which is no small feat. The crowd sang and chanted along with the band (myself included), making it feel as if Local Natives have been around forever.

The songs from their debut album Gorilla Manor were absolutely amazing live – incredibly tight and soaring to new heights from the recorded material. The newer tracks, however, failed to reach the same heights live, as you could tell they were still working them out, still smoothing out the kinks a bit, but that didn’t mean they weren’t great too, they just paled a bit in sonic comparison. Overall, this show was powerful, emotional, and a tour de force from a young band still realizing their full potential. Great stuff!

THE BESNARD LAKES AT CABARET DU MILE END

blue light

13 april 2013

The mighty Besnards celebrated the release of their fourth record, Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO and rocked out to a capacity crowd at Cabaret du Mile End. As always, their show was fantastic – they always sound even better live than on record and something about Jace Lasek’s voice and giant presence (not to mention the smoke machine and flashing lights) make The Besnard Lakes seem larger than life. I’ve seen them five times now and every time I’m happily transported on their sonic journey with them.

The band blasted through every song on their new record and were so tight it already sounded like they’ve been playing them for years. Rich White’s guitar was loud, and Jace Lasek’s voice was immaculate, as was Olga Goreas’ driving bass. They had vibraphone accompaniment for four songs, plus some horns and back up singers, which all helped expand their sound. New tracks “The Specter” and “Colour Yr Lights In” were highlights, and their new album shows a further maturity to the band’s talent as songwriters. To sum, The Besnard Lakes are most definitely still the roaring night. Fantastic show.

The Besnard Lakes + Suuns at Lee’s Palace

February 9, 2011

It was a Montreal takeover at Lee’s on Saturday January 29th, as rockers The Besnard Lakes and emerging proggers Suuns played Toronto. It was a perfect storm of music and mayhem as several Aquarians (including myself) all convened at the show to conclude a week long celebration of birthdays. We missed opening act Valleys, but arrived just in time for Suuns, whose album Zeroes QC has been on heavy rotation on my stereo as of late. They played a tight set but I found the sound was a bit muddied, the bass too low in the mix, and the keyboards too loud, as if the sound guys had everything tweaked just right for the Besnards and didn’t want to touch the board for Suuns. Still, the young band were great and I look forward to seeing them again soon.

Sound problems were definitely not an issue for The Besnard Lakes, who played an amazing set, showcasing their 2010 release The Besnard Lakes are the Roaring Night. Halfway through their set, fuelled by Jameson and Redbull, I too began to think I was the roaring night and started to veer off into the world of savagery. Nevertheless, the show still absolutely rocked. Rich White’s guitar was tight and loud, and Jace Lasek’s voice was immaculate, as was Olga Goreas’ driving bass. The Besnard Lakes are one of the best live bands around, and overall you couldn’t ask for a better night of MTL rock and roll at Lee’s. Right, Stew?

*photos courtesy of Mateusz Garbulinski