Hailing from County Down in Northern Ireland, indie rockers Two Door Cinema Club have not passed through Montreal since 2013 and absence has definitely made this city’s heart fonder. The response they got through their entire 90-odd minute set was full throated and highly appreciative. Between them and the excellent opening band, New Zealand’s Broods, it was a wonderful night of music that made you forget the awful weather outside.
Fresh off an opening slot on the Ellie Goulding Australian/New Zealand portion of her world tour, Broods intrigued me. Not really known at all in this part of the world I wondered how this indie electropop band would fit in on a Two Door Cinema Club bill. Fit in they did. And even more. The duo, siblings Georgia Nott (vocals) and Caleb Nott (keyboards, bass), are a great live band having honed their skills on stage opening for Goulding, Haim and Sam Smith. Big synths and thumping bass lines cushion the impressive voice of Georgia. Georgia’s voice is haunting but strong. She spent the entire time bouncing and pacing across the stage. Always in motion keeping your eyes glued to her. Nothing pretentious or forced about their onstage presence. Electropop is a trend du jour, but the version that the Broods brought to us was morose while still being enchanting. Their 45 minute set consisted of a nice mixture of their debut and sophomore albums. Highlights included the songs “Free” and “Bridges”. Definitely a young band to keep your eyes and ears out for.
As mentioned, it has been quite a few years since Two Door Cinema Club has been here and so I was really looking forward to hearing their new stuff live. The material off the Gameshow album, released just last month, is certainly different from that off their first two albums. Lots of it has a more overtly dancey 80s sound to it. A good comparison would be to Scissor Sisters. For instance, the title track is really heavy on the reverb and even a little bit of psychedelic. Though the more recent music is quite different from the earlier material it all fit together quite well.
From the moment they took the stage the energy was high. Taking the stage to “Zombie Nation” they hit the ground running. Starting off with an oldie, but goodie, “Cigarettes in the Theatre”, they set the bar high and the crowd was right there with them. At several points in the high energy set the floor literally shook. The band does nothing really special on stage, though they all are entertaining to watch especially lead singer Alex Trimble, who is rather theatrical in his movements, but somehow they really got everyone in attendance amped up. At certain times, especially early in the set, Trimble’s voice was a little lost amidst all the loudness of the drums and guitars. That was rectified in time to really revel in his control. The guy has great control of his upper register. And by upper register I mean of the Bee Gees variety. This was shown off in the new track “Bad Decisions”, one of the singles off of Gameshow.
What do warrant special mention were the band’s extraordinary lights. Instead of going for the typical big screen they had about eight LED panels behind them with lights behind them that really created amazing visuals. Whether it was just the dancing lights or the narrow images on the screen they really added plenty. Their excellence was especially noticeable during the one or two songs they were not used. You definitely felt something was missing. Best lights I have seen in a long, long time.
To say that the band has gone through stuff over the last couple of years is underselling it. I am sure some fans were convinced they would never come back. Constant touring had made the three members hate the sight of one another and they decided on a hiatus. That lasted two years. When they took the stage at Metropolis it was apparent they were renewed and refreshed. All looked very happy to be playing live for us and enjoying themselves immensely. Their playing was a combo of intensity and enjoyment.
Nothing more needs to be said about the band’s songs other than they are memorable, filled with great lyrics and toe-tapping. Crowd-pleasers!
Two Door Cinema Club Setlist:
Cigarettes in the Theatre
Do You Want It All?
This Is the Life
Changing of the Seasons
Something Good Can Work
Are We Ready? (Wreck)
I Can Talk
Eat That Up, It’s Good for You
What You Know
Hold the Line
Never Gonna Change
Are You Home?
Full Blown Love