Patrick Watson and his band opened for The Stills on this wet Montreal evening. This Montreal quartet played a blend of classical, pop, jazz and folk and even bordered on the avant-garde. Watson's strong vocal range and creative delivery is reminiscent of Sam Roberts and Hawksley Workman. The group was huddled in a small circle on stage, probably because The Stills' equipment was taking up most of the room, but this definitely made for a more intimate setting. The band was really feeding off one another's energy. By the end of their set, Patrick Watson seemed to have calmed the crowd down with their soothing sounds, rather than pump them up for The Stills. But once The Stills hit the stage all that changed….
As the house lights were turned down, a backdrop appeared with a photo of The Still's latest album cover, "Logic Will Break Your Heart". Suddenly, the image turned to an animated version: Feathers slowly fell on screen as the crowd were serenaded with Italian opera. Finally, The Stills appeared on stage, but only their silhouettes could be seen. They broke into "Lola Stars and Stripes" and the crowd went wild. The Stills put a lot of energy into their performance, varying each song just enough to add novelty but without changing what the fans love. The band's sound had so much warmth in a live setting. Tim Fletcher's (vocals/guitar) voice was as solid live as it is on the album, if not more so. Over the course of the evening, Fletcher spoke to the crowd in perfect French and English. He even announced plans to record a new album!
Throughout the entire show, the backdrop screen featured images from "Logic Will Break Your Heart". Child-like drawings of houses, hearts, skulls, boats and stars could easily be interpreted as cute, but these images were definitely a commentary on world events. Obscure phrases like "blood money" and "the daggers we wear are cut shines- to cut open the meat of the world" as images of daggers fell on the screen. The Stills definitely created a unique approach for their live show.
The encore began with an ambient bass and synthesizer duo, which was very cool. Then a whole bunch of words filled the screen, followed by the entire band reappearing for 3 more songs. The last song had the drummer grabbing the mic and singing his heart out.
The Stills really put on one hell of a show!
Lola Stars And Stripes
Changes Are No Good
Retour A Vegas
Love And Death
Ready For It
Animals And Insects
Still In Love
Yesterday Never Tomorrow