Wild Child + The Wild Reeds @ Fairmount Theatre – 4th April 2018

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wild child montreal review

Entering Theatre Fairmount from what seems like Montreal’s fourth return of winter this year brought with it the warmth and buzz of excitement that is only found in concert venues. The lineup for the night’s “Getting To Know You” Tour held promises of a WILD Wednesday night, with Los Angeles-based The Wild Reeds to open the show and Wild Child as the main act.

The Wild Reeds is fronted by three immensely talented women guitarists and vocalists, Kinsey Lee, Mackenzie Howe, and Sharon Silva. They played a diverse set, including songs off of their first and second records. The sound ranged from rock on “Fruition” to a more classic folk sound on “Where I’m Going.” They closed on my favorite song of the night “Only Songs.” It caused me to completely forget about the miserable weather outside and think only of driving down a mountain highway at sunset with the windows down and a smile on my face.

The setup for Wild Child included not only the standard preparation of the instruments and sound check, but they also brought out crystal shaped lights, which changed the ambience a surprising amount for how small the lights were. The band, based in Austin, filled the stage with their seven members. The band is led by singers Kelsey Wilson and Alexander Beggins, who also play the violin and baritone ukulele, respectively.

I knew it was going to be a different kind of set when Kelsey stepped on stage with bare feet. They began the night with a “Fools,” and upon hearing the first notes of Wilson’s voice, I knew I was in for a treat. It falls somewhere between Norah Jones and Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes.

wild child fairmount

Wilson has the biggest smile on her face as she’s singing. Her enjoyment is infectious, but it was clear that most of her fans had been infected long ago, singing along to every song that they performed, a mix from all four of their LPs. She’s entertaining between songs as well, teasing Beggins throughout the show about his impending birthday and counting down the hours until he turned 30.

They changed pace with “Silly Things,” a beautiful duet about two people struggling to understand how their relationship has changed as their circumstances have changed. The chorus of ballad “Eggshells” further highlighted Wilson’s beautiful voice, bringing out more of the soulful qualities in the long powerful notes. “Break You Down” featured the female cellist on backup vocals, rather than Beggins, harmonizing above the melody, rather than below. The poppy, upbeat “Bullets,” and was one of my favorites of the night. I’m a sucker for a great trumpet part.

Wilson and Beggins played a couple of songs just the two of them. “The One,” a delightful song on the record, was made even more so by their hilarious jabs at each other. They also played “Break Bones” with Beggins accompanying on the piano, which reminded me of an early Gavin Degraw.

During “Pillow Talk,” Wilson entered into the crowd, quite a risk being barefoot. She held the microphone to admiring fans, who sang along, and took a few selfies with them. “Think It Over,” with its pop-y melody and driving bass was my favorite song of the night.

Hearing a large band of talented musicians play a small venue is one of the most fun ways to enjoy live music. While Wild Child would be a pretty fun band without her, Kelsey Wilson pushes it much father to make Wild Child a must see, and I’m excited to see Wild Child whenever they’re next in town.

Review – Rhodes Ford

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