It feels like years since the last time I got to review a concert, and oh man was the anticipation high for this show. The moment that venues opened back up in Montreal, I jumped to the first opportunity I could grab, and I’m so glad that I got to see Jeff Rosenstock for my first review since concerts were put on pause due to covid.
The anticipation for this show was running very high. A couple of my friends had been waiting for months, counting down the days since they had bought their tickets in the summer. The energy was high, lots of excitement, the vibes were just overall in a good place. I took one look at the flag that was hung on the stage background, a gay pride version of the American flag, the number 666 surrounded by a ring of weed leaves, and my excitement for the show to come grew tenfold.
The first opener for the night, Oceanator, was more than capable of keeping the vibes up.
Starting off their set with a catchy despondent track titled “Goodbye, Goodnight”, Elise Okusami (aka Oceanator) and her band, blew life into the crowd that was beginning to gather towards the stage. With a quick greeting, they continued their set with songs such as “Hide Away” and “Heartbeat”, keeping the night’s energy high with their fun stage presence. Okusami and her bassist danced around together as they played, accompanied by flashing coloured lights. It was easy to tell that they were having fun as they performed.
Finishing up on a gut-wrenching note with “Inhuman”, Okusami sure left the crowd impressed as she sang her lyrics with passion. They left the stage with cheering being thrown their way, a warm goodbye well deserved for such a good opening act.
SLAUGHTER BEACH, DOG
To carry on with the night, Slaughter Beach, Dog made their way on stage, waving greetings to the cheers they received. Jake Ewald took centre stage with his acoustic guitar as support, he and his bandmates charmed the crowd with their first track of their performance “Do You Understand (What Has Happened to You).
The ever-growing crowd in Corona theatre swayed along to the band’s performance and cheered pretty heavily when Ewald put on a harmonica holder. He spoke on behalf of the band, thanking the audience for coming to see their set, and thanking Jeff Rosenstock for bringing them on tour. They played a wide array of their songs, from newer material such as “Black Oak” and “Are You There”, to tracks “Your Cat” and “104 Degrees”, from their Ep “Motorcylce.jpg”. All of which are beautiful tracks, excellently executed in live performance. Oceanator was even invited up to shake a tambourine for one of their last few songs.
The crowd rewarded Slaughter Beach, Dog with loud cheering as they ended their set with “A Modern Lay”, a perfect song to leave the crowd with a positive vibe.
Finally, it was time for the reason why everyone had gathered at Corona theatre. As the stage was being prepared by Jeff Rosenstock himself and his crew, “Rock ‘n’ Roll McDonald’s” played through the speakers, getting the crowd prepared to sing along and dance along to the nearing headline show.
The venue filled with loud excitement as the lights dimmed, the crowd’s volume growing as the pokemon theme song gloriously invited Jeff Rosenstock and his band to their positions on stage. The pit started to go absolutely wild for the set opener “Ohio Tpke”, a mosh breaking out pretty instantaneously. You could honestly feel the relief oozing through the mosh, it had been so long since most of the crowd had been in a concert, let alone a mosh pit. With the show continuing on with songs like “NO TIME TO SKANK” and “Scram!”, the chaos in the pit was not about to let down anytime soon.
Jeff had asked his audience if this was their first concert since lockdown, and to no one’s surprise, the majority of attendees raised their arms in the air and cheered to let him know their answer. He thanked everyone for coming, and briefly explained that they had upgraded from L’Astral to Corona so that more tickets could be available to his quickly growing listeners in Montreal.
This was frankly one of the most fun shows I’ve been to in a good while. It felt refreshing to be screaming and dancing with my friends in attendance, to let the mosh overtake me and rough me up a bit. If Jeff Rosenstock was your first concert back, I’m sure you’d agree with me when I express as bluntly as I can, that Jeff is the perfect artist to fill that role. His energy on stage was full of life and genuine passion, screaming his lyrics into the microphone while the crowd thrashed around to his music.
His set jumped from record to record, both new and old such as “Hey Allison!”, “DEPT OF FINANCE” and “Festival Song”. Each song drawing every possible emotion out of his audience. Of course, the crowd positively lost it when “HELLLLHOOOLE” was performed, which was sweetly followed with the rest of his record “WORRY.” He ended his set with “You, in Weird Cities”, stepping off stage with his band to the sound of booming demands for an encore.
Of course, it did not take very long for their return, performing “CARING”, “USA”, “We Begged 2 Explode”, and “NO TIME” for the finale.
Jeff jumped to the crowd to share his microphone, causing the entire pit to swarm towards him. There’s always gonna be something special about watching your friend scream into the performer’s microphone at a concert.
The show went by so quickly, every single moment of it was just spectacular. Not only because it had been too long since I had gone to a concert, but it was also spectacular because Jeff Rosenstock is an excellent performer.
Jamie SiddallShare this :