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If I was in Montreal #4 - Jucifer

Posted by Greg / July 27, 2009

20090727JuciferSpeakers.jpgMidnight Poutine writer and concert addict Greg Bouchard will be living on the East Coast for the remainder of the summer, painfully far away from Montreal's music scene. In this series, he will pick one show per week that he would attend if he was in town, and then invite readers to comment with their own reviews. Let him live vicariously through you.

Some concerts should come with a warning label. Where underground legends Jucifer are concerned, the picture above is intended to serve that purpose. What you see is a wall of speakers and amplifiers that dwarfs any guitar rig I have ever seen outside of an arena. It is probably capable of creating the loudest sound you will ever hear in your life. Seeing this monstrosity in action should be enough to warrant going to the concert; but as it happens, Jucifer are gonna play some pretty ridiculously good tunes through it too.

The husband and wife duo of Amber Valentine (guitar) and Edgar Livengood (drums) have been doing this since 1995, when "indie" was still indie and before the White Stripes introduced their concept to the masses. Their band's name is a reference to the O.J. Simpson trial - an event that, increasingly, their fans are too young to remember. At this point they deserve a medal for hanging on to their artistic relevance (and their hearing) across a period of such vast musical change. The 90s seemed fine at the time but think about how few bands, mainstream or indie, actually survived into the late-2000s and you'll see what I mean. (In fact, I have an entire blog devoted to this topic.)

Jucifer's critical and popular success has only grown over the years, their last two albums, If Thine Enemy Hunger (2006) and L'Autrichienne (2008), receiving rave reviews and their concerts gaining increasingly mythic status. The release of a concert DVD this year showed just how much they thrive in the live setting.
Plenty of good bands pass through Montreal, but few offer a concert experience that pushes the boundaries of rock (and loudness) like Jucifer. So Check it out. I wish I could.

Jucifer play Wednesday, July 29, at Les Katacombes
1222 St. Laurent
Bring earplugs

Photo via the band's MySpace page


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