Last night in Montreal, Wintersleep and fellow Halifax-band Walrus warmed up Bar Le Ritz on an extremely cold evening. On a day where meteorologists had predicted the blizzard of the year, I was curious to see how many people would turn out. Whether it was because the city only ended up getting a trace of snow, or because fans would never miss an opportunity to see this fantastic band live, the small bar on Jean-Talon ended up completely packed.
After a great 35-minute set by Walrus, the boys of Wintersleep got on stage and started things off right with “Santa Fe”, one of the few tracks already released from their brand new album. What followed was a mix of old and new, some familiar to the fans and some not so much, considering they were two days early and not yet able to get their hands on a copy of The Great Detachment.
Related: Wintersleep at The Drake Underground
To nobody’s surprise, the excitement in the room was most clearly felt during “Weighty Ghost” off of their third album Welcome to The Night Sky; undoubtedly the most popular track from the band’s entire discography to date. “Amerika” was a close second as concert-goers immediately recognized the catchy and captivating lead single off the new record, grooving to the beat and singing along to the chorus.
Although it might have been because of my position side-stage, the sound of the bass unfortunately seemed to drown out Paul’s voice at times. With that being said, the moments where the frontman’s vocals were accentuated were some of my personal favourite. Whether harmonizing with other members of the band or singing by himself, Paul has a very distinct voice; possibly one of the best in the business. It isn’t everyday that you watch a band live and notice how the vocals sound as good, if not better, than on the album.
The entire evening, from the choice of venue to the simple lighting set up, felt like a casual gathering of twenty-somethings in a bar. And that’s exactly what it was. There were no fancy special effects and the stage was low enough to seemingly break the usual barrier between the band and the attendees. This simplicity was welcomed by everyone and it ended up (to nobody’s surprise) being a great night filled with talented and passionate musicians.
The Great Detachment will hit the shelves tomorrow March 4th! Make sure to grab your copy on iTunes!
Listen to “Amerika” below and stay tuned for our interview with guitarist Tim D’Eon!