Montrealers are crazy…but in a good way. It’s -15 and the streets are packed with bundled up people assembled to experience Montreal en Lumière. On the edge of the festival stands L’Astral, a great venue to host the two bands tonight.
I entered the theatre to the sounds of K. Flay, who would make the venue tremble with intensity. If Lorde joined 21 Pilots, you get Kristine Meredith Flaherty, a.k.a. K. Flay. Her voice has a sultry smokiness to it that gives it a sound all its own.
This scholarly artist has diplomas from Stanford in psychology and sociology, the two sciences that fit hand in hand with being a musical artist. Her lyrics speak of the frustrations her and her friends have faced over the years, bringing a dark, but playful spirit to her music, even some humor.
Playing all songs from the Crush Me EP as well as some of her older material, she had the audience energized for the next act. To be honest, I could have left after her set, fully satisfied that I witnessed a great musical performance.
K. Flay Setlist
You Felt Right
Make Me Fade
Blood in the Cut
It was clear however that the crowd tonight was here for Mother Mother, from Vancounver B.C.. As the lights went low, the anticipation from the crowd intensified as atmospheric sounds crescendoed into “Free” the first song off the No Culture album, which is also the name of the tour. When the majority of the crowd is signing along, you know they are hooked. If Muse was influenced by pop music, they would become Mother Mother. It’s the big rock riffs from Ryan Guldemond, combined with his sister Molly Guldemond’s vocals balanced by the vocals of Jasmin Parkin, both on keyboards.
Their second song was Baby Boy which morphed into Ace of Spades. Throughout the night, they performed like true rock stars. Seamlessly going from one song to another, Ryan tuning his guitar while doing vocals at the beginning of a song, and a stage presence that draws you in, Mother Mother has become a great act to catch. I guess that would explain why someone from Providence Rode Island drove the 6 hours on an adventurous whim came to see both bands tonight. She was pulled in by K. Flay, but with the headliners being Mother Mother, whom she also was enchanted by, was enough to trigger this road trip.
At one point, the drummer Ali Siadat come to the front, the music & performance on pause saying how it might seem weird to have the drummer stand up in front of everyone. Turns out, he was the only one who spoke French, so he warmly greeted us in French, to an appreciative crowd. He mentioned that while many songs tonight came from the latest release, the last part of the show would reward fans with some of their older classics. We were also treated to a Led Zepplin cover of Dazed & Confused.
Although I’m not fully into Mother Mother’s music, it’s not about me, it is about the fans there tonight. They were entertained by performers who commanded the stage and crafted an excellent show that even got me moving! I also enjoyed it when Jasmin belted out a few songs when we stepped away from her keyboard.
It was a great night of power pop and like what our friend from Providence said, this match up of K. Flay and Mother Mother is epic in the sense that both write deep & personal lyrics matched with intense music.
The lights turned back on, the crowd was quickly ushered out, back into the cold Montreal night, only to continue their adventure with Montreal en Lumière and it’s many outdoor freezetivities.
Mother Mother Setlist
Baby Boy/Ace of Spades (Cover)
O My Heart
Let’s Fall in Love
Mouth of the Devil
Hayloft Part I
Dazed & Confused
Hayloft Part II
Bit by Bit
Get Out the Way
Review – Randal Wark
Photos – capturacamera.com