Jungle @ Corona Theatre – 29th November 2017

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What I witnessed last night was not what I was expecting from a mid-week show for a band that I just heard about a couple of months ago. The show, being already sold out a couple of weeks ago, was already an indication of how much Montreal missed dancing to Jungle, the 7-piece band from the UK, who last played in the city more than 3 years ago.

An impatient crowd waited eagerly for the band to start playing after having just heard the opening band Makeness, whom I did not get a chance to see but for which I heard good things. Almost everyone had a beer in their hand and a big smile, gathering on the floor and forming little pockets of friends.

Finally, the lights were dimmed, the intro started and the band entered the scene and the party was about to begin. From the darkness came a growing background light that announced the beginning of what turned out to be a great night. They opened with the song “House in L.A” shrouded in mystery but moved on to flashes and light with “Platoon”, people followed along and, most importantly, moved with music.

It has been often said that I see a great band on stage, playing music to be danced to, people standing on the ground floor and nobody moves except for their head as if they were bobbleheads. But this time the ambiance was contagious and the band and crowd formed a symbiotic relation, feeding off each other and enjoying the hell out of each other.

Song after song, the crowd grew more enthusiastic and cheered with each hit and listen attentively to the two new songs that were presented, “Give Over” and “Happy Man’. Hints of Michael Jackson, the Bee Gees, Chic were felt throughout the short but intense set that the band performed for the beautiful theatre in Little Burgundy.

The euphoria felt throughout the first 13 songs was nothing compared to “Busy Earnin’”, after just the first 3 chords, the crowd erupted in joy and sang along to the modern hymn for the overworked millennial. The songs ends, the band bids farewell but the public wanted more, clapping and cheering for more than 5 minutes straight, yelling “Ole, Ole, Ole” and finally bringing a surprised and very much touched band back to the stage for one final song, another gem, “Time”. But there was none left after that and the one hour show came to and end with the band taking a bow and being very pleased with how Montreal received them.

The band might have been 7 musicians but the number of instruments played on scene easily amounted to 15. Each member played extraordinarily well and showed that with one of them missing Jungle would not be the same. Starting from the backup singers, passing through the incredible percussionist (a human “beat machine”), the drummer, the bass player and ending with the duo that started it all, Josh Lloyd-Watson and Tom McFarland.

When they come again, don’t miss the chance to see them and make sure to bring friends.

Setlist

House in L.A.
Platoon
The Heat
Accelerate
Cherry
Beat 54
Crumbler
Lucky I Got What
Give Over
Julia
Happy Man
Lemonade Lake
Drops
Busy Earnin’

Encore:
Time

Review – Ricardo D. Flores

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