It was a fresh Sunday evening in Montreal. The perfect time to witness a rock show. Afterall, not every band on the circuit has the luxury of performing for Montreal’s enigmatic audience on a Friday or Saturday night.
In the house was Halifax native, Matt Mays and his brotherly band of four, El Torpedo. First thing that must be said is that this band is chill. Their rolling sound, reminiscent of a train going from stop to stop, is becoming their trademark as it perfectly augments their collective look, Mays’ vocal and individual personalities. The group chats between songs setting the standard for the relaxed atmosphere of the night. A look around the room is a testimony to the band’s commanding presence on stage too. Needless of stage antics, elaborate light show or the like, Mays directs the band with ease and confidance but never dictates. Instead, he emphasizes what is already happening and steers the torpedo on it’s course and he keeps his head and eyes on the group as much as he can to maintain a solid connection. His Lee hat yanked over his head of hair with an inviting smile to match, Mays loves to play. It shows.
The sound of this band is classic. Nothing more than a simple story, with a memorable melody and a familiar range of feels. Isn’t that what we all want sometimes? Drawing comparisons to Neil Young (who they sometimes cover), Blue Rodeo (who they will play four Ontario dates with in the coming week) and good ol’ Southern Rock, Mays manages to find his own frank and friendly voice on stage and on his debut self-titled album.
Some beacons in the set were “City of Lakes”, “Your Heart”, “Downtown” and “Where am I Going?”. The band likes to touch on all levels of sound and emotion, bashing on some, balladeering on others.
A combination of a premier venue, marquis sound and musical talent made this show feel like an easy ride through the hills and made you feel happy to be there…
Catch the band at Lee’s Palace where they will be performing during the North By North East Music and Film Festival in Toronto this June.11. Mays was last year’s Galaxie Rising Star recipient and should return this year with a hell of an aura.
Matt Mays and El Torpedo :
Matt Mays-Vocals, Guitar
Andy Patil-Bass, Vocals
Brad Conrad-Organ, Piano, Guitar
Jarrett Murphy-Guitar, Vocals
Set List :
Back Home Weather
City of Lakes
Where Am I Going?
Full July Moon