There was a hurricane that passed through Montreal on May 20th, 2017, but rest assured, there was no damage, apart from some eardrums. It was localized at Bar Le Ritz and the vortex was started by Christina Martinez as she took the stage with her husband Jon Spencer (yes, of Blues Explosion), Jen Jürgensen (ex Swans) on bass, Hollis Queens on drums and Mickey Finn on keyboards.
The evening began with Pale Lips from Montreal with some Ramones toe tapping fun. I arrived at around 8:05 PM and the band was already playing. Set ended maybe 10 minutes later…short and sweet.
Danny & The Darleans (Detroit, Michigan) took the stage next with some rocking good tunes. While Danny Kroha got our attention with his howl straight from old blues, the towering Richie Wohlfeil had my attention. Picture a tall man sitting at a small drum kit, arranged in a way that I’ve never seen before, but you can’t see his hands because they are constantly blurry from frenzied drumming.
The Boss Hogs roadie had a black belt in duct tape. His meticulous attention to detail was interesting to watch. Little did we know about the hurricane soon to hit us, it was smart to secure the stage before the gale force of Christina would sweep all our attention.
“Wichita Grey” started us off and Christina was taking control of the stage. Throughout the night, she would jump down into the crowd to sing among us. At one point in the show, she put her hand on my shoulder and sang to me, black hair covering her right eye, which that mischievous grin peeking through.
Next up was “Winn Coma”, one of those songs that I couldn’t get enough of back in 1995 off their self-titled album. Standing the test of time, this and other songs from that album are as relevant today as they were when OJ was found innocent and Quebec voted NO in the Referendum by a narrow margin.
Boss Hog recently released Brood X and features several songs off this long-awaited release, mixed in with songs off “Whiteout” and “Boss Hog”.
A second encore was un-planned and included 2 more songs, one of which was “17”.
The show was intense, fun and everyone was captivated by the performance we were witnessing. All the musicians were talented, but allowed Christina to pull us into her web and not let us go till the lights went back on. Definitely a band to see live, I’m sure every show is legendary.
When I spoke to Christina after the show and we spoke of the performance, she humbly said: “We tried our best.” I would instead refer to the last line of the song “17” which states: “I was swallowed by the noise.”
I Dig You
(missing one song)