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Bowerbirds, Megafaun, and Vicious/Delicious @ Sala Rossa - July 13th

Posted by Sarah / July 14, 2009

Bowerbirds1.jpgLast night I went to see Bowerbirds, down at Sala Rossa. I discovered this band through a friend of mine over the Christmas holidays. There's a lot of nice perks to having friends with similar musical tastes, but discovering new bands, I feel is one of those privileged moments that just keeps on giving. This gets even better when I finally get to see those new discoveries play their music live. I don't know if you realize how incredibly lucky we are here in Montreal to have a ridiculous amount of fabulous bands rolling in every week to share their music with us. I can honestly say that I can count on one hand the amount of bands I love that I have yet to see.

I also love it when at a show, I'm caught off guard and end up loving other acts of the evening, and last night I was pleasantly surprised by the two other bands that took the stage before Bowerbirds. This, to me, testifies to good show planning; another reason why we should be thankful to have such great production companies in this city (i.e. BSTB). Not only do they bring in the bands we all know and love, but they manage to swing musical discoveries for us audience members while they're at it. I think that's great... really. Keep reading for less ranting about how great I think Montreal production companies are, and more about the actual show.

Vicious DeliciousThe show started off with Vicious/Delicious, a local band that plays a kind of spacey retro-rock that strongly reminds me of Velvet Underground. To be honest, I wasn't expecting to be hit with such a big sound at a show that promised to be essentially folk, but I must admit that it was a nice surprise. They sounded pretty great. The only thing that puzzled me is that I still can't figure out why they had three guitars players up there, because most of the time, at least two of them were playing sensibly the same riffs. Nevertheless, this is a band that I would recommend seeing live. They've got their act together and I think they're really quite promising.

MegafaunNext up was Megafaun. All the way from Durham, North Carolina, these three bearded gentlemen loosened up the slightly cynical audience with some of the best stage banter I've heard in a while. Between their songs they told us funny stories about crossing the border earlier that day. During their performance, I got to thinking about what truly makes a band great and started checking off a list of essential skills that this band displayed. To make a long list short, the trio had a great stage presence, displayed well-above-average musical talent, and had interesting and creative musical arrangements. Bref, all the required musts of musical entertainment in my book.

Speaking of talent, Bowerbirds! This was my second time seeing them. They are currently touring their new record, Upper Air. I haven't had the pleasure of hearing the actual record yet, which is a shame since what I've heard live so far is pretty great. Whereas their previous record, Dark Horse, was mainly lead by Phil Moore's exquisite classical guitar, the new songs venture into the steadier rhythms of the acoustic guitar. Whereas the previous record had some gypsy undertones, their new songs appear to be geared into a folkier style, with a fuller sound. Moore appeared to have a bit of a hard time keeping the fussy acoustic guitar in tune, but this wasn't a major issue. Their lyrics are great, and pair up with beautiful melodies in intricate and well-thought-out rhythmic measures. Add that to exceptional vocal and musical arrangements, and you've totally got me. Bowerbirds is a truly excellent band and their live show lives up to every expectation I had. Simply beautiful!

By-the-way... anyone else having a hard time figuring out the actual starting times of the Blue Skies Turn Black shows? Or is it just me? They don't list it on their show listing page... Is there a trick I'm not aware of? If so, PLEASE feel free to share.

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