Downtown Montreal was buzzing on this Saturday night – Canadian legend Avril Lavigne at Place Bell, Australian favourites Gang of Youths at Le Studio TD, and British alt rockers Palace right around the corner at Club Soda.
18 degrees on St. Catherine with not a cloud in the sky, fans discussed their favourite Palace songs while waiting in line for the doors to open. Club Soda got very busy very quickly with everyone arriving right on time to welcome the support act, fanclubwallet.
Hailing from Ottawa – specifically Nepean, behind the IKEA (their words) – fanclubwallet teased songs from their upcoming album, You Have Got To Be Kidding Me out later this month. Their slow, yet sweet sound warmed up the crowd with quirky banter that loosened everyone up a little for a fun night ahead. No more than 6 tracks later, the young band stuffed their wires into duffel bags and made friends with the front row during the changeover.
After Bon Iver played over the house speakers, the 4-piece London band instantly set the mood with dark lighting and hallowing hums, opening up with the title track of their most recent album, Shoals.
Montreal is Palace’s 11th stop on their North American tour and it has been off to a rocky start. Due to UK visa issues, drummer, Matt missed the first 6 shows and bassist, Harry is still stuck back home in London, England. They have had friends sub-in because, “There was no way we were going to cancel the shows. We love Montreal so much” frontman, Leo Wyndham admitted.
The last time they played in Montreal was a sold-out Bar Le Ritz in February of 2020 before coming back here over 2 years later to sell out Club Soda last night. Kicking off with new and old songs like, “Lover (Don’t Let Me Down) and “So Long Forever,” Wyndham donned his guitar and a smile that did not leave his face the entire night.
Not much was to be said in between songs except for the occasional, “Cheers” as a thank-you. It is easy to get lost in the music at a Palace show. The crowd was loud and excited – singing along to every song with barely a phone in sight.
Most songs were tweaked and lengthened by guitar solos and echoing vocals as Wyndham moved effortlessly around his microphone – not to mention playing on his tip-toes for majority of the set. In fact, one of their stage crew members measured out Leo’s mic height by placing it on top of his head while setting up for the show.
The room erupted when Palace started playing their highest streaming song, “Live Well,” as they let the audience sing the entire first verse before jumping into the bumpy chorus.
Slowing it down with a single spotlight for “Face In The Crowd,” Wyndham’s voice cracked in and out which was a relief to know he was truly singing. His vocals were so clear and strong as if it was straight off the record. “Bitter” was another crowd-pleasing bop before moving into, “Veins,” the first song they ever wrote and rehearsed together as a band that had everyone in a trance, swaying back and forth in unison.
Club Soda pulled a classic Montreal move and chanted Ole Ole Ole to bring the band back on stage for the encore. Closing out their 90 minute set with 2015’s “Head Above The Water,” Palace are true professionals, despite the road bumps they have faced this tour. They know exactly what they are doing.
- Shame On You
- Lover (Don’t Let Me Down)
- So Long Forever
- It’s Over
- Live Well
- Face In The Crowd
- Someday, Somewhere
- Where Sky Becomes Sea
- Settle Down
- Give Me The Rain
- Heaven Up There
- Head Above The Water
Review & photos – Ryley RemediosShare this :