Emma Wall/Shooting Rubys

Ahhhh, summer in the city – street festivals are as ubiquitous as stellar live music in these here parts and last night the two met full throttle ast Le Swimming o­n St-Laurent. While a throng of revellers shopped and milled about at the street fest outside, a smaller but no less enthusiastic crowd was graced with the diverse musical stylings of two sublime groups. First up was Aussie Emma Wall and friends. To get your musical bearings, think of a more irreverant version of Ani DiFranco, shift things into high gear, and there you have Emma Wall. The trio's blend of infectious power poppy folk, combined with Emma's searingly powerful vocals and playful stage demeanour, had the crowd grooving in unsion through their short but impressive set. Still can't quite get songs like "Dance", "Cheesecake", and the very touching "This Way Up" out of my head – not that I'm complaining. Next up were Montreal's own Shooting Rubys and, in stark contrast to the quaint laidback folksiness of their opening band, the Rubys stormed the stage, raised the volume a few notches, and proceeded to blow the roof off of the place. Showcasing several new tunes, including the rollicking opener, "Wish You Well",as well as perennial faves like "Even If" and "Dream Like You", the band played with a sense of urgency, not o­nly winning over the crowd, but also drawing people from the o­ngoing street fest below – no small feat o­n a beautiful summer's night. Kudos to both bands!!!


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