JPEGMAFIA + Backxwash @ Club Soda

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jpegmafia montreal

Backxwash 

Now, I’m an honest guy, so I’ll be straight and come clean right off the bat. I went to this show 100% just so I can finally see Backxwash. Believe me, I do love JPEGMAFIA, and I was very excited to see him live as well, but damn was I looking forward to seeing Backxwash. And I had such a fantastic time. 

Firstly, as soon as I saw her on stage, I was struck with admiration. Backxwash had slithered onto the stage wearing a long black dress, her face completely covered in white and black face paint, a thick upside-down crucifix painted on her forehead. 

Backxwash at Club Soda in Montreal

She instantly had the crowd in her clutches, her voice enchanted everyone in attendance as she rapped into her microphone. Her lyrics are intense and extramundane, telling unholy stories of being betrayed by God, the suffering behind addiction, and screaming queer pride. 

The crowd didn’t hesitate for a second. Everyone was jumping up and down, moving together in one massive cluster. Mosh pits broke out, spreading out wide during the build-ups, then crashing together once the beat had dropped. Backxwash was the queen and we were the assemblage of bees, she spat her words into the mic and we moved in unison, feeding off of her enticing energy.

JPEGMAFIA 

After a craaaaazy opening show, people were feeling ready for JPEGMAFIA, also affectionately known as Peggy, to make his way on stage and begin his set. As soon as the lights went down, cheering and screaming filled the gaps in the air, and greeted Peggy as he walked onto stage. 

With the entire venue left in pitch black, “Jesus Forgive Me, I Am a Thot” began blasting through the speakers, and JPEGMAFIA’S silhouette was illuminated by the bright flashing lights behind him. 

The crowd got right into it, hundreds becoming one on the floor of Club Soda, jumping and dancing together to the sounds of JPEGMAFIA. Everywhere I looked, people were smiling, singing along, and absolutely bumping to each beloved song. Everyone was clearly in a good mood, taking care of each other in the pit as well. If someone fell, they’d get plucked off the floor. If someone lost their shoe, all eyes went to the floor with their phones’ flashlights out to efficiently find the item. That sense of community is so important for any show. It creates less worry and allows room to be able to just enjoy yourself. 

“I noticed something while lookin’ at all of you in the crowd.” Peggy started as the house lights illuminated the crowd. “I noticed everyone here has such nice hair!” Everyone cheered for his compliment, but the friend I was with rubbed her hand on my head that I had shaved a few hours before the concert, and call me bitter, but I did not cheer along. “BUT I WANNA KNOW WHERE MY BALD BITCHES AT!!” He fully screamed that sentence into his mic, cutting off the cheers to his previous compliment, and I honestly lost my mind when “BALD!” continued the set. 

JPEGMAFIA played a good array of his tracks, such as “1953 N. Calvert”, “Puff Daddy”, “TRUST!” and “Thug Tears”. Every single one of which was excellently performed. He has such a beautiful energy up on stage, dancing along to his own tracks, and effortlessly rapping with such a sweet flow. I was truly amazed, for my first time seeing him live I have not a single complaint. 

Towards the end of his set, Peggy played a few tracks off his 2018 released record “Veteran”, which include “Baby I’m Bleeding”, “I Cannot Fucking Wait Til Morrissey Dies”, “Rainbow Six”, and “Curb Stomp”. All of which are clearly heavily loved by his fans, because everyone in the venue was moshing and singing along to each lyric. His set ended with “Free The Frail”, and suddenly the show was over. 

That concert had gone by so fast, but I cherish every moment of it. Nothing was able to stump my excellent mood after such an incredible show. I left covered in sweat, energized, and was rejuvenated by the rushing rain that plummeted from the sky outside. Please, if you get the chance to see either Backxwash or JPEGMAFIA live, take it!! It’ll be an experimental rap show that you do not want to miss.

Backxwash

Review – Jamie Siddall
Photos – Ryley Remedios

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