The Callous Daoboys + Kennedy + Louvre @ Bar le Ritz

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Bar Le Ritz is celebrated for its cozy ambiance, making it an ideal venue for artists to forge a deep connection with their fans. The night The Callous Daoboys made their first-ever appearance in Montreal, the atmosphere was charged with excitement and anticipation. The intimate venue transformed into a bubbling cauldron of energy as the lights dimmed, setting the stage for a memorable musical escapade.

First up were two local bands in the form of Louvre and Kennedy. Louvre was a new name to me, but they instantly won over the crowd with a phenomenal performance, highlighted by the singer’s intense vocals. If you enjoy extreme hardcore music with tight musicianship and a ton of energy, you’ll want to catch these guys next time they play.

Kennedy have been winning over Montreal crowds for a long time now. In fact, this was their second Montreal show this week! Tonight is just as brilliant as we’ve come to expect from the local hardcore crew. Vocalist Matt Savage is a captivating presence, arriving onstage barefoot and intensely staring down the crowd before bursting into life as the band fires up behind him. Always superb and always fun to watch.

The Callous Daoboys stand out in the punk rock, hardcore, and noise rock genres with their explosive mix of aggressive guitar riffs, booming drums, and powerful vocals. Their uniqueness lies in their skillful blending of these elements, crafting a sound that is both cohesive and captivating. Their debut Montreal performance at Bar Le Ritz was a testament to this, as they delivered a raw, energetic showcase that resonated with everyone in the room.

The concert offered a dynamic blend of fresh and classic tracks. In “Title Track,” guitarists Daniel Hodsdon and Maddie Caffrey delivered an impressive array of riffs, while vocalist Carson Pace captivated the audience. Pace’s performance was notable not just for his powerful vocals but also for his playful banter with the crowd. Musically, one highlight was “Fake Dinosaur Bones,” showcasing Pace’s remarkable range, seamlessly transitioning between clean and harsh vocals, always with a knowing glint in his eye.

The evening ended with “Contrail Crucifix”, a track they claim to have never played at recent shows. Pace runs to the centre of the room as everyone surrounds him, singing along. It’s a triumphant end to a fabulous night of music. The Daoboys’ command of the stage and the audience from the outset and their unique sound and spirited performance made for one of my favourite shows of 2023. Bar Le Ritz’s vibrant setting only enhanced the experience, creating an ideal backdrop for this memorable event.

Review & photos – Steve Gerrard

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