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Jazzhands & We Are Jazz-Wolves @ Jazz-Tropolis

Posted by Goran / July 1, 2008

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Nothing says world-renowned jazz like Woodhands and We Are Wolves. Thus, it is only natural that these two acts would appear at the Metropolis as part of the Montreal International Jazz Festival. I don’t even know why I’m plugging the Jazz Fest given how little love they’ve shown to Montreal’s (and possibly the world’s) top bloggers. Since I’m not too big on all that jazz anyway, I figured that this electro bill could provide for an interesting evening.

After a little snag at the door, I made it in on time to catch the last few tracks of the Woodhands set. These guys always put on a fun show. Peut-etre it’s because they’re always enjoying themselves so much on stage. The duo laid down some pretty sweet tracks. Drummer/singer Paul excused himself with a “Don’t worry. We Are Wolves will be much more professional than this,” as he spat out an improvised version of 2Pac’s ‘California Love’ re-dubbing the festival ‘the Montreal International Hip Hop Fest’. They ended their set with a jammed-out extended mix of their delightfully enjoyable hit track ‘Dancer’ of which I happen to be a big fan.

I caught up with the dudes at their merch stand after the show. Apart from being extremely friendly and super approachable, they were the stokedest about performing at the Jazz Fest. “When I used to live on Clark, my part of the street would get closed down for the Jazz Fest, so the show tonight has been like a dream come true,” remarked a grateful Dan (vocals/synth/drum machine).

Both of the Woodhands also admitted to having a blast at De La Soul’s Jazz Fest performance the night before. These Torontonians are huge Montreal fans. They’ll surely be coming back our way. So if you haven’t had a chance to catch them yet, fear not. Their jams are ideal for smaller and more intimate venues, such as their last MTL gig at Club Lambi. What a great show that was.

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The headlining We Are Wolves were a stark departure from the two aforementioned gentlemen. They’re definitely not un-pompous and un-self-indulgent rock stars, without really being rock stars. A part of their glam rock performance included about three outfit changes. One of these get-ups was an iconic tribute to their recent album ‘Total Magique’. Long sticks tied to their waists were sticking directly into the air and boasting four-foot tall black ‘Magique’ skull-shaped things. It didn’t look very comfortable.

The show provided for many trippy visuals. Plenty of smoke, strobe, and laser offered solid potential for epileptic seizure induction. Their inaudible incorporation of theremin and saxophone into a couple tracks was weak and disappointing for a theremin and sax enthusiasts like myself. Another let down was the sonic domination of pre-recorded sounds and samples. At times, it was next to impossible recognizing the band's input over the driving drum-machine beats and crunchy distorted synth effects.

Despite these critical comments, I must admit that it was a thoroughly entertaining show. We Are Wolves definitely know how to Post-Punk-Rock. But the night was not over. Outside, at the rainy Jazz Fest, Jamaica to Toronto was putting on a sick reggae/ska show. Meanwhile, at the Savoy du Metropolis, Jedi Electro kept festival goers dancing ‘til the wee early morning hours. The collective that included the famous Montreal vocalist Arianne Moffatt provided further proof of the awesomeness of both our Ville and it's International Jazz Fest.

Photos from Woodhands and We Are Wolves

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