Sunday, 27 September 2015

MRCY Fest under the warm September sun

Show: MRCY Fest – Alabama Shakes · Local Natives · July Talk · Safia Nolin
Venue: Espace Montmorency, Laval
Date: Saturday, September 26th, 2015

Will just share my favorite moments of the day. Will not mention that Misterwives were extremely overexcited of playing around noon. That Claude Bégin looked bored on stage playing with his buds from Alaclair Ensemble, that guy is weird. That I felt bad for DJ Lary Kidd filling in for Angel Haze. That there weren't enough food trucks at the event. Won't be mean.

First up. Safia Nolin. Absolutely love her. She's the opposite of over the top. Even with the melodies. Am I wrong when I say I hear half notes? Beautiful voice, beautiful lyrics, beautiful everything in its minimalism. I love that part in "Valse à l'envers"when she sings "ne me touches pas"*, the notes used fit perfectly the lyrics. You understand what she's saying, what's the meaning behind them.

I've met her a few times, she's humble. I believe her songs are a reflection of who she is. Joseph Marchand, her musical partner, accompanied her perfectly on stage. Some extra high notes added on his guitar to the sometimes low ones of Safia Nolin.

Safia Nolin & Joseph Marchand

The set ended with the crowd singing him happy birthday (the day before). Also ended with a girl among us on the floor imitating her in a mocking tone. It's all good if you don't like Safia Nolin's music. But if you are to make fun of her songs or simply her, you better be smarter than that.

Next. July Talk. I've heard them before on the radio and didn't think much of it to tell you the truth. But holly molly is it a whole other thing live. This band from Toronto uses perfectly well the duality between the two voices. One is hoarse (Peter Dreimanis) and the other one is sweet (Leah Fay). Recorded, I couldn't feel that duality. I feel it live though. They are great performers.

July Talk

A few songs were played from their upcoming album. Peter Dreimanis asked us crowd to be sincere and let them know if we didn't approve of them. Well, not being completely knowledgable of their music, relying only on this afternoon set, I much prefer the old songs. The new ones have more rock in them, less sweetness. Not that I don't like rock&roll. But in this case, I like opposing forces.

Leah Fay moved around alot.
She also spat (or drooled) on a speaker, walked away for a second then back to wipe it with her dress.
Stole hats from the crowd. Crawled on the stage. Whatnot.

There have been periods in my life when I have ceased listening to music. For reason's I will not explain here, the last years of the 2000's were non-musical years. This is why I knew only Local Natives by name. Don't even recognize the cover art of their first album (which was apparently a hit) released in 2009, Gorilla Manor. I hear them for the first time this Saturday. It's quite enjoyable to tell you the truth. They are good musicians. I kinda had an eye for the drummer Matt Frazier simply because he was drumming without really drumming. In other words, didn't look like an effort to him, he could've been cooking eggs. Also, love it that there's no lead singer. Keyboardist Kelcey Ayer has a singular voice even if pitchy at times.

Local Natives
Local Natives' Taylor Rice

They mentioned this concert being special. Playing in Montreal where they have recorded before and considering this set as being the last one before recording the next album.

I loved it. Own Gorilla Manor now.

Alabama Shakes. Last but definitely not least. Here's another band where songs are good recorded but great live. You just feel the music when Brittany Howard sings in front of you.

Brittany Howard from Alabama Shakes

The night before was at a monthly bar event called Mess Around. The best place to go dancing in Montreal (Divan Orange) in my not so humble (at times) opinion. Mess Around is Nick Osicka and Ben Shulman playing 45rpm's of early Soul/R&B. Don't know most of the songs they play but you guess where the songs lead. You can anticipate your next dance move solely around the beat. If someone asks what type of music is Alabama Shakes, you'll say some Soul some R&B right? But there's a difference. The beat changes. Am almost never aware when a song begins or ends. You have to be alert if you want to dance well.

They played "Heartbreaker", my favorite song of theirs. Thought I knew from beginning to end. Turns out I don't. Check it out.

I'd just like to add I have complete and utterly respect for the Alabama Shakes.

That was that for MRCY. Thank you for the candy in VIP lounge.
xoxo China

* don't touch me

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