CAAMP + Savannah Conley @ Fairmount Theatre – 5 December 2019

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The band CAAMP on stage at Fairmount Theatre in Montreal, Canada

If you are going to be a Country singer from Nashville, you had better be a good one if you want to get noticed!  Thankfully, it’s evident after a few songs that tonight’s opener Savannah Conley is.  So good, in fact, that CAAMP decided to bring her along to open a few shows on their colossal North American tour.  Bearing an uncanny resemblance to Laura Marling, she seems genuinely humbled by the experience; as the blissful 30-minute set concludes, she declares “I’ll see you by the merch after, selling shirts with my face on…what the f***?!” 

Savannah Conley on stage at Fairmount Theatre in Montreal, Canada

CAAMP frontman Taylor Meier makes a cameo appearance on one song too, much to the delight of the sold-out crowd.  It’s a great set, though the fragile acoustic sound is susceptible to the incessant chatter of the morons around the room who are oblivious to what’s happening on stage.  The lot of the opener, I suppose.

Savannah Conley on stage at Fairmount Theatre in Montreal, Canada
The band CAAMP on stage at Fairmount Theatre in Montreal, Canada

What you don’t expect is that these same people would continue chatting during CAAMP‘s set as well.  By the middle of their set, Taylor goes solo for a couple of songs, and finally addresses the elephant in the room prior to Strawberries: “if you could, take it down and let this one sink on.”  With that, most of the room joins in bellowing an almighty “SHHHH!” to the offenders, and it seems to work, at long last.  From that point on, the crowd is empowered to shush the culprits when they start impeding the delicate moments of the show.  Hurrah!

The band CAAMP on stage at Fairmount Theatre in Montreal, Canada

Thankfully for them, CAAMPs sound is not all acoustic.  The Columbus 3-piece inhabit the same folk-bluegrass niche as The Lumineers, and so the sound moves back and forth across the Country spectrum throughout the set.  Songs like Just Wonderin and I Keep Going feel like veritable hoe-downs, and on Vagabond, things go even further when the crowd starts stomping in time to the beat!  Yee Haw!  Indeed, a few even start pogo-ing as if it was a punk show, and the band responds in kind; the touring bassist head-bangs so hard on new song Officer Of Love that his beanie falls off!

The band CAAMP on stage at Fairmount Theatre in Montreal, Canada

Still, as great as the rocky moments are, it’s the mellow acoustic ones that really steal the show.  Autumn Leaves starts with a soft strum that is almost overpowered by the roaring singalong that accompanies it, demonstrating just how beloved this band is already.  Moonsmoke adds a stunning violin into the mix, which, coupled with the bright blue light that radiates from the stage, gives the impression of bathing Theatre Fairmount in crisp moonlight.  Penny, Heads Up adds more mellow Southern vibes and 3-way harmonies from around the stage, which sound magical too.

The band CAAMP on stage at Fairmount Theatre in Montreal, Canada

You almost forget that this show is actually their first ever visit to Montreal, such is the fervour with which every song is received.  As the band return to the stage for the encore with a delicate Feels Like Home and a raucous, floor-shaking All The Debts I Owe, Evan sums it up perfectly: “this night has been exquisite.”  I couldn’t put it any better myself!

The band CAAMP on stage at Fairmount Theatre in Montreal, Canada

Setlist

  • 1.       No Sleep
  • 2.       Just Wonderin
  • 3.       Autumn Leaves
  • 4.       Moonsmoke
  • 5.       Vagabond
  • 6.       Books
  • 7.       Penny, Heads Up
  • 8.       I Keep Going
  • 9.       (Untitled new song)
  • 10.    Strawberries
  • 11.    Garden Song
  • 12.    See the World
  • 13.    Keep the Blues Away
  • 14.    By and By
  • 15.    Peach Fuzz
  • 16.    Officer of Love
  • 17.    Going to the Country

Encore

  • 18.    Feels Like Home
  • 19.    All the Debts I Owe
The band CAAMP on stage at Fairmount Theatre in Montreal, Canada
The band CAAMP on stage at Fairmount Theatre in Montreal, Canada
The band CAAMP on stage at Fairmount Theatre in Montreal, Canada
The band CAAMP on stage at Fairmount Theatre in Montreal, Canada
Savannah Conley on stage at fairmount Theatre in Montreal, Canada
Savannah Conley on stage at Fairmount Theatre in Montreal, Canada

Review – Simon Williams
Photos – Steve Gerrard

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