The End of The Ocean + Tides of Man + Møsi @ Casa Del Popolo – 23rd January 2019

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It never ceases to amaze me how hardy Montrealers can be.  After a week of some of the worst weather in a long time, including technically the worst storm since 1920 (CTV’s words, not mine), and just today, a TON of freezing rain, you might expect that everyone would elect to batten down the hatches and stay home until the Spring.  Not the case; on this miserable Wednesday night, Casa Del Popolo is packed by the time I arrive.

Granted, that’s partly down to the fact that local opener MØSI has elected to perform his set on the floor of the venue, and not on the stage.  It makes this intimate venue even more so, as the Rennes native and his drummer float spooky vibes around the room.  I’m kind of bummed to have not arrived earlier to catch the whole set, but that driveway at my house isn’t gonna shovel itself to let me out tonight.  Next time…

It seems like Tampa’s Tides Of Man had just as horrible a day of travelling as the rest of us, apparently arriving at the venue “like half an hour ago” according to guitarist Daniel Miller.  However, after opening the set with the same two songs that open their stellar recent ‘Everything Nothing’ record (namely, Static Hymn and Mercury Fields), Daniel still seems super-excited to be here, and proclaims that this is their first time ever in Montreal!  The band have been together over 10 years, and evidently, some have been waiting a LONG time indeed for this moment, as indicated by the cheers that greet the opening bars of Mountain House from their 2014 ‘Young And Courageous’ record.  The songs throughout the set are relatively short compared to other post-rock bands like Explosions In The Sky or This Will Destroy You, probably around 4 or 5 minutes, but each time they seem to say so much.  There’s a purity to the guitars too, compared to other post-rock bands I have seen.  You can really hear the guitar strums in amongst the crashing drums; the band are not reliant on copious amounts of distortion to create their sonorous cacophony.  The 45-minute set closes spectacularly with Young And Courageous, as an exquisite bass line wanders over a simple drum beat for a while before exploding into life for a climactic finale.  The bar is set good and high for tonight’s headliners!

Tides Of Man Set List

  1. Static Hymn
  2. Mercury Fields
  3. Mountain House
  4. New Futures
  5. Old 88
  6. We Were Only Dreaming
  7. Death Is No Dread Enemy
  8. Young and Courageous

It’s the first time in Montreal for Columbus’ The End Of The Ocean too, after being together almost as long as Tides Of Man.  However, their history is much more turbulent.  New album ‘-aire,’ which came out just last Friday (and from which tonight’s set draws heavily), is their first new music since 2012’s ‘In Excelsis’ EP, due to a combination of “mental illness, the sickness of close family members and inner turmoil within the band,” to quote from the bands Bio on their official website.  The soft keyboard intro of Endure soon ignites into blazing military-style drums to kick off the set emphatically, before morphing seamlessly into the furious Bravado.  The drums that dominate on Jubilant sound like machine guns, such is their ferocity and speed, and they reverberate around the walls of the tiny Casa Del Popolo.  Frontwoman and keyboardist Tara Mayer then addresses the crowd: “welcome my little Canadian ice cubes, we are The End Of The Ocean from Columbus Ohio!”  The roar that reciprocates that welcome shows that Montreal has been waiting a while for this debut visit, too.  The epic On Floating from the ‘In Excelsis’ EP features some spell-binding bass slides courtesy of Jason Han, before the twinkly intro of Homesick explodes into life so thunderously that you almost jump out of your skin.  The epic Desire transforms in a similar way, culminating in the whole band head-banging in perfect sync across the stage, before the apocalyptic Distance closes out the phenomenal 50-minute set, and a phenomenal show overall.  It was certainly tough for all of us to get here tonight, bands and crowd alike, but as we head back out into the freezing rain, there’s no question in anyone’s mind that it was absolutely worth it!

The End Of The Ocean Set List

  1. Endure
  2. Bravado
  3. Jubilant
  4. Redemption
  5. Spotify
  6. Forsaken
  7. On Floating
  8. Homesick
  9. Desire
  10. Distance
end of the ocean in Montreal

Review & photos – Simon Williams

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