Santa Teresa Day 2 | The Revenge of Mother Nature
As soon as I put my hand on my car door handle, drops began to fall from the sky. During the drive to Sainte Therèse, the rain only intensified.
We just survived a brutal winter, so rain should be a walk in the park. I packed the best buy of the year, a blue Columbia waterproof and breathable jacket. It does look like a tarp, the reason my daughter calls my alter-ego in this outfit: Tarp Man. My superpower: Repel water!
While Prince Harry & Meghan Markle walked the aisle, I was enjoying some comfort Poutine at Pomme Frite Burger Gourmet. The sound was off, but I was imagining them saying: “Mawiage” a-la Princess Bride.
I was hoping to catch Alice Glass, but the rain prevented a few shows. That was a “pane”. The main stage was also de-“Voidz” of Julian Casablancas and his band. Hey… when I am standing under a tent waiting for stuff… I create bad puns.
The Santa Teresa Festival App announced, finally, that main stage shows were cancelled until further notice. The next announcement was that Wolf Parade would perform at Le Montecristo, first come, first served. It was still an hour and forty-five minutes until the show, but I wisely got there early to be sheltered from the rain. Not long after I entered, access was denied and a very long lineup formed outside the venue.
About 5 minutes before the show was to start, the crowd was allowed access and Le Montecristo filled up quickly.
Those fortunate enough to experience Wolf Parade finally got the dose of live music we were all craving. Better yet, it was in an intimate venue without rain, although it did rain beer at one point, but more on that later.
They started us with the 2005 “You Are a Runner and I Am My Father’s Son” which was cryptically titled FS/NF on the setlist.
With a sound related to Arcade Fire, but distinct, Spencer Krug (keyboards/vocals), Dan Boeckner (guitar/vocals), Arlen Thompson (drums) and Dante DeCaro (Bass/Keyboards) delighted the crowd.
Interesting that the last time I caught Dan with his other band Operators, was across the street at le Cha Cha.
You can’t help but move when listening to Wolf Parade play live. Already by song two “You’re Dreaming”, I knew this would be an epic set. There was a smile on everyone’s faces as we collectively soaked in the warmth emanating from the stage.
Wolf Parade mostly played songs from the 2017 Cry Cry Cry and 2005 Apologies to the Queen Mary. With a twelve year gap, the music seemed as relevant today as it was over a decade ago.
At one point in the show, I felt cold liquid run down my leg, followed by the smell of beer. I’m glad it wasn’t warm liquid…which would be even more worrisome. A couple rowdy fans, arms locked in an awkward embrace meaning: “Chill out” seemed to be the source of the perfume I would carry for the rest of the night. Security escorted the gentlemen out, without incident, so we could give our attention back to the spectacle before us, not behind us.
Of course, “I’ll Believe in Anything” was the icing on the musical cake. Chanting “I need sunshine”, capturing our collective wish.
If you have never experienced July Talk live, do yourself a favour and see them. Their Bandcamp page says it better than I can: “Imagine Tom Waits and Amy Milan shouting whiskey-soaked lullabies while backed by Crazy Horse and you’d have a start.”
You will see playful jousting between Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay in a very high energy show. The pouring rain did not dampen their performance, in fact, I think it enhanced it.
Tarp-Man was properly sheltered during the rain-soaked playfulness of July Talk, as Leah pranced around the wet stage in her bare feet, splashing in the puddles like a delighted child.
Leah has been very vocal about making concerts a safe haven for women, and I applaud her for that. Featured recently in a Globe and Mail article that highlighted her viral video calling out a sexist heckler, much like what happened at the recent Kate Nash show.
As always, for at least one song during the show, Leah will go right into the crowd and sing directly with her fans. She did this for “Guns + Ammunitions” making sure the crowd got in on the: “Woo hoo hoo!”
Finishing it off with “Push + Pull”, July Talk proved that not only are they arguably one of the most entertaining Canadian bands, but true weather warriors who did not let a steady downpour stop them from delivering to the crowd tonight. There should be a medal for that.
One of my favorite Jazz musicians is Chet Baker, so when Chet Faker came on the scene, I was intrigued. Built On Glass has been downloaded on my iPhone since then.
After explaining what A.K.A meant in French to the group I found myself next to, the lights dimmed.
Nick Murphy, who changed his name back from Chet Faker while digging deep in introspection and deciding to go on a new journey, took the main stage. The rain having died down, Nick started off with a lively intro before getting the crowd singing along to “Gold”. From their response, you could tell that they were ready to dance and sway tonight.
He followed with “1998” where he switched from his keyboard to his guitar. In this more rocking version of the song, he ended with a punk rock move of throwing his guitar as the song reached its climax.
A more funky sound came with “The Trouble With Us” letting us forget about how wet we were. Of course, Tarp-Man was nice and dry…
It was packed to capacity but I managed to hear a few songs, such as “When the Sun is Good” and a Dido cover “Here with Me”. It was clear the crowd, mostly women, were enjoying the performance, even a few leaving after her set showing that they were not just here, early for Milk & Bone like I was.
Dido was a clear choice for a cover, highlighting her beautiful jazzy voice. She would fit well on a bill with Charlotte Cardin.
Milk & Bone
Laurence Lafond-Beaulne and Camille Poliquin, who form the electropop duo Milk & Bone, started their set to a venue was full to bursting…like the feeling you get after eating a large poutine and wishing you chose the small. I normally take notes about the songs being played, but I hardly had room to glance at my phone, let alone type. Miraculously, people did find a few millimeters to dance.
Milk & Bone normally sell out venues like the Corona Theatre, so seeing them at Le Cha Cha was special and a great way to finish off the night.
Today, I had the small poutine (or I would not have fit into le Cha Cha), waited under the tent for bands that didn’t perform, was rewarded with an intimate Wolf Parade energetic show, witnessed July Talk soldier on in the rain, finally saw Nick Murphy, discovered Sophia Bel and had some Milk & Bone before bed. Another great day that started out slow, but burst into life to end another great day. The jeans are in the dryer…I’m ready for tomorrow.
Review – Randal Wark
Photos – Arianne Bergeron