Venue: La Sala Rossa
It was my first time at the Sala Rossa and I was surprised. First, it's located on the second floor of a "spanish community center". Second, it's a lot spacier and beautiful than what I expected. The sound was also really good. It's definitely one of Montreal's best venues. I can't wait to see Nasum play there!
I got there a bit late, since no one I knew went to this concert and I didn't want to spent too much time waiting for the first band to start. When I entered the room, Sainthood Reps had already started playing. They played some kind of Brand New influenced indie rock, with some heavier post-rock parts. They gave a good show and they had a pretty warm crowd reaction. The only thing I didn't like that much about them were the lead vocals. When the frontman sang alone, it felt like it was missing something, but when the second guitarist did back-vocals, it worked well.
The other thing that surprised me that night was the quality of the three opening bands. I had listened to one of All Get Out's songs once and I hated it. However, in a live context, it was fun. The four last longs they played were especially good. They played a mix of soft indie and pop punk, with some heavier passages. For those parts, there were some pits going. Also, their lead singer was very charismatic and funny when he talked to the crowd. A highlight of the set was the epic "Let Me Go". For the soft parts in that song, he made everyone stop talking or making noise, which they did. Hipster crowds are so much more civilized that metal crowds!
When they finished the song, they got a thunder of applaud and screams. They seemed to enjoy the reaction we gave them.
The last opening band was Balance & Composure. They played a mix of grunge (with obvious Nirvana influences), indie and post-rock. They also had some folk-influenced parts, and some really heavy ones. Like for the previous band, I wasn't expecting much from them and I was proven wrong. Even though he was sick (as he said himself), the singer had a very emotional, powerful voice. They had a lot of energy, and they're probably the band I enjoyed the most in the three openers. Once again, the crowd reacted very positively; there were a lot of pits, hand clapping and yelling.
Finally, the band I had came to see went on stage. La Dispute were absolutely exquisite. Their songs were as emotionally moving as they are on CD and Jordan Dreyer's voice was impeccable. He also had a good stage presence: he moved a lot during the songs and he interacted well with the audience. He made some jokes (like "we apologize that we have a french name and nobody in the band speaks french") and he really seemed to be affected by the enthusiastic gathering of hipsters and hardcore kids (+ 1 metalhead
) that moshed and screamed for him and his bandmates. He kept thanking us for "caring about the people around us and about the bands that play for us". I was shocked by the number of people that knew every single lyric to their songs. I mean, there are tons of words in there... Often, the crowd was at least as loud as the vocals in the microphone, and when he put that same microphone over the crowd, everyone shouted the words in it, giving an incredible empowering feeling to the songs. The band sure earned this kind of reaction: the songs were perfectly played. My personal highlights were "Why It Scares Me", "Harder Harmonies", "Said the King to the River", and obviously the grandiose finale of "King Park" with the singer from Balance & Composure on percussion. I had a great time and it felt good to attend a non-metal show for once.
All Get Out
Subject to Change
Let Me Go
Balance & Composure
Show Your Face
Defeat the Low
The Most Beautiful Bitter Fruit
Why It Scares Me
New Storms for Old Lovers
Said the King to the River
Safer in the Forest/Love Song for Poor Michigan
I See Everything
All Our Bruised Bodies and the Whole Heart Shrinks
You and I in Unison