The shy crowd moved in closer, slowly filling up l’Astral on a Saturday night as Shormey, the trio from Virginia opened up.
As more creative artists appear on the music scene, I find it harder to categorize music into distinct genres. These artists, like Shormey, combine so many different elements into their sound.
Although their psychedelic-dance-70’s groove had the crowd warming up and moving around, it was the songs off their EP “Boogie Tape Vol 1” that got the energy up.
The groovy bass, melodious synth and Shormey’s pleasant vocals were met with applause and a bit of a boogie from the happy crowd. It gave us a taste of what was to come.
For our second appetizer, Divino Niño, based in Chicago, entered the stage not long after Shormey had left, to continue to energize the audience.
Immediately, there was movement from the crowd as they played songs off their album “Foam.” Most of their songs felt like you’d escaped to a hot sunny beach to relax and be happy. A nice break from the ever-approaching winter.
The lead singers Javier Forero (bassist) and Camilo Medina (guitarist), originally from Bogotá Colombia, sang for us in both English and Spanish.
Inspired by The Beatles, their retro sound kept that 60’s & 70’s lineup for the night
After every song, they were met with equally energetic applause as was their performance. I could hear the whispered “Wow!” and “They are like…really good!” from the crowd around me.
Camilo entertained us with his dancing while playing guitar, and every band member looked so into what they were playing. Each fully immersed in their own expanding world of music yet playing closely to one another.
Just watching musicians do what they love is entertainment in itself and you could tell they were so happy to be there. They constantly thanked the crowd for coming out and ended their set with a room full of new fans.
The long-awaited Crumb entered the stage to excited applause.
Although most of the music tonight was chill and groovy in nature, there was still energy from the crowd. The band walked out on a stage with a single sheer white backdrop and two colour marbled balloons which matched their merch, attached to their equipment on either side of the stage. They entered the stage nonchalantly, waited for a moment, letting the anticipation rise, then began playing.
Described as Indie Rock (or my favourite description “Trip Hop”), the Boston quartet started the set with the opening track of their new album “Jinx”. Everyone softly grooved to the familiar song and the night kicked off to a great start.
Listening to Crumb feels like the perfect soundtrack to walk through a Salvador Dali painting. If you don’t understand, watch their music video for ”Locket” which had comments like “If you’ve never tried LSD before, this is a good place to start.” or another comment that said “Crumb’s music always makes me feel like I’m in a psychedelic fever dream, in the best way.”
They continued the night playing songs from their new album and mixed in songs from their “Locket” and Self-Titled EP.
In the middle of a song, lead singer and guitarist, Lila Ramani left the stage. A little confusion gripped the crowd and she returned with a helium panda balloon who she introduced as Josee. With no further explanation, she set up Josee next to one of the other balloons and continued playing.
A couple of songs were played one after the other, blending into each other seamlessly. When there were breaks between songs, they thanked us for coming out and thanked their opening bands.
Time seemed to slow and speed up at the same time as they continued.
They began to play the recognizable first notes of “Locket” and the crowd jammed to perhaps the first song they heard from the band…the one that made them fall in love with them and left them wanting more.
The white backdrop had patterns and colours moving on a loop that accentuated the trippiness.
I actually heard people singing along to this song.
After playing a new track, they left the stage. As avid concert goers know the drill, we cheered and chanted “one more song” until they came back out.
Their encore was a song entitled “So Tired” which was one of the very first songs she wrote. It’s about “the weight of the world crushing your vocal cords as it does sometimes.”
They thanked everyone once more, and with loud applause the crowd reciprocated the thanks.
For their first time in Montreal, they attracted quite the crowd at l’Astral. They played a few new songs, so we look forward to those getting released, and for their return.
As for Shormey and Divino Niño, I hope they both come back for their own shows because everyone that night would attend for the chance to groove with their music once again.
Overall, the psychedelic theme was ever-present that night, and each band had their own unique style, while still delivering that same feeling. The need to dance, losing track of space/time, and the g r o o v e.
Needless to say, after those great performances, we all left that night on a high.
Review – Breanna Wark
Photos – Ramy Elhoufy