TR/ST + L.A. Foster @ Corona Theatre – 27th April 2019

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TR/ST at Corona Theatre

When I first heard TR/ST, I wondered why there weren’t on my radar when I was a DJ in the late 90s, early 00s…till I found out…they started a decade later in 2010.

Alice in Chains + Dallas Green were playing the MTelus.  Hard choice, but I saw Alice in Chains back in 1992 with Layne Staley at La Brique and I didn’t want to spoil that memory.  It ended up being an easy choice…TR/ST was something I wanted to experience…and what an experience it was!

When I recently picked up the vinyl copy of TRST (2012), the debut album of TR/ST, I almost got cheers from those behind the cash at Cheap Thrills.  Tonight, I picked up The Destroyer -1 from the merch booth.  My first listen on iTunes wasn’t spectacular.  At first, I didn’t know how to process the differences…but there is 7 years between the two releases.  My second listen was different, and I spoke about this with someone after the show, who also had the same experience.  I was starting to get it.  I think my third listen will let me appreciate the new sound, now that I’ve experienced the live version.

L.A. Foster at Corona Theatre

L.A. Foster

A replacement for Lydia Ainsworth, L.A. Foster took the stage to a very sparse Corona. There are a few things I first want to point out.  Going on stage alone, with a keyboard and some samplers has to be quite a feat of courage.  The lack of a proper audience didn’t seem to phase L.A. Foster, and at least the theatre slowly filled during her set.  

She dropped some pretty intense beats.  I’m so used to seeing this situation where the artist will stand behind their techno gear, but she had no issues leaving the safety of her setup to use the stage to sing and dance.

L.A. Foster onstage at Montreal's Corona Theatre

Because of the TR/ST vibe I was looking forward to, my brain didn’t really understand the deep beats, which were very 90s/00s, matched with her vocals that were more modern…almost hip-hop at some points.  It did get the crowd to dance and sway, but it took me a good 4 songs before I just decided to leave my preconceptions behind and just enjoy the performance.  

Then it made more sense.  It was a juxtaposition of those old beats, but with a voice that was more modern, less morose.

The half hour set ended, and L.A. Foster did a great job of warming up the crowd, even if it took me a few songs to figure this whole thing out in my brain.

TR/ST onstage at Montreal's Corona Theatre


You just know they will start with a track from the new album, which was “Bicep.”  Yes, the party started and didn’t let up till the finale.

Robert Alfons couldn’t stand still the whole performance.  Think Iggy Pop if he spent more time with The Banshees than with The Stooges.  It was an insane amount of energy that was transferred to those in the crowd.  

Speaking of the crowd, it was fun to see a few get into the spirit of the music and used the opportunity to dress up for the occasion. Maybe dress up is the wrong word…dress sideways? Anyways…it was different and avant-garde meets Goth.

“Shoom” was the first of the older tracks to bring a rush of nostalgia to my brain. Robert’s voice simply defies logic…it just seems surreal coming out of him, but it fits so well with the synths performed by Esther Munits.  

By the time we got to “Grouch” off the new album, it was clear that the drumming from Anne Gauthier was simply off the hook.  The drums could have been replaced by some box with buttons…but it was mesmerizing.

When “Dressed 4 Space” came on, the whole Corona became an electrifying dance party. Unable to stand still…we all danced. I can only speak for myself, but I felt like I was 18 again, at the Thunderdome dancing to the sounds and bands that started my exploration into new music.

Upbeat numbers like “Peer Pressure” off Joyland would keep the party going.

“Sulk” ended the set, leaving the crowd hungry for more.

The 3-song encore ended with “Gone”, a prelude to the feeling we would soon get once the music stops.  “Gone. It’s gone, it’s gone.”

I remember the days of listening to CHOM’s Claude Rajotte lead us down the rabbit hole of new music.  TR/ST would have fit into the playlist back then in the 90s and 00s.

I left the Corona Theatre happy in my choice.  This evening, I tapped into some deep memories of my youth, I danced, and I saw intense energy from three amazing performers.  

I TR/ST my instincts…and it paid off.  

TR/ST at the Corona Theatre in Montreal

Review: Randal Wark is a Professional Speaker and MasterMind Facilitator with a passion for live music.  You can follow him on InstagramTwitter and YouTube.

Photos – Ramy Elhoufy

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