Friday night was day 2 of Indie Montreal’s Fringe showcase at Divan Orange. The theme of the night musically seemed to be summer, though Rosie June’s sound seemed more fitting for rainy summer days, whereas Highs invoked mental images of the beach, and Hey Ocean would suit any summer activity from bicycling to backyard dance parties.
Rosie June, backed by the guys from Hey Ocean, started off the night by diving into her first three songs without any introduction, and I have to admit, as a way to grab people’s attention, it was pretty affective. The room quieted down and moved towards the stage to take in the angelic, airy (in a good way) vocal stylings of a woman whose singing voice commands while being very soft and light. Rosie June seemed to be shy, but darling, letting her music do the talking. The result: the audience was clearly charmed. (Note: Exclaim! Is streaming her newly released album here)
Next up, were Toronto band Highs, who visually give off a beach and surf vibe (what with a few of the members rockin’ the long locks), but do so musically as well. Their songs were bright and upbeat, as was their more chatty demeanor with the people in attendance. The vocals during the songs were great and the music had the audience dancing quite enthusiastically. Some of the crowd’s favourite songs were “Still & Still” and a song called “Mango.” Should you have the chance to see Highs live, take it! Also, it should be noted, that they gave tonight’s The Zolas a ringing endorsement.
Finally, the last band of the night was Hey Ocean! Due to such great lead in bands, the crowd was warmed up and pumped. During the first song my friend turned around to grabbed my head, looked me dead in the eyes and shouted, “This is really good! This is a really good band! You should write that as your first line.” So there you have it. Well that, and the fact that the audience was singing and head bobbing and dancing along throughout. Even with one of the members unable to sing, Hey Ocean were consummate professionals. I loved the Prince and Arcade Fire covers, as did the fans, but originals “Alleyways”, “Big Blue Wave”, and “Make A New Dance Up” were clear winners with the audience as well. Especially with the live version of “Make A New Dance Up” getting infused with a bit of “Dancing Queen” and “Everybody Dance Now.”
All three bands were an excellent fit for the Divan Orange intimate setting, from the quieter tunes, to the party jams. Can’t wait to see what The Zolas, Passwords, and Chose Sauvages have in store for us tonight!
Tickets $10. Doors at 8:30 PM, show starts at 9:30 PM. Hopefully I’ll see you there!
Don’t forget to #fringebuzz #mobit !!