Great night? Check. Good music? Check. Frenzied performance? Double check. Welcome to Mocky’s July 10th show at Resonance Café. Despite some technical difficulties (the sound was terrible at times and there were problems with the mic) and the incessant comings and goings of people to the bathroom – yes, the bathroom was behind the stage – it was a cool night of music. For about an hour, Mocky played songs from his most recent album: Key Change, an album I previously interviewed him about.
Thus, on July 10th, I arrive at 9 p.m. Naturally, the show starts 45 minutes late. “It’s a show! Shows never start on time,” points out my plus one of the night. Me with my religious punctuality. We patiently wait. Finally, a young lady sits at the piano. It is Kara-Lis Coverdale, the opening act. Unfortunately, most of the audience has not yet arrived, but she performs quite a nice set. The Montreal-based pianist’s music is contemporary, melancholic and dreamy. What a great discovery! Luckily, the night is just starting.
Fifteen minutes after the end of Coverdale’s set, seven guys wearing hats resembling sombreros take the stage. It is Mocky and his group of musicians from L.A. There are strings, percussions, a flute and a piano. The musicians do what they want on stage: they sing, laugh, whistle, clap, and snap their fingers. They let themselves go with the flow of the music. And as the evening progresses, Mocky continually looks for more noise: “I heard this is a jazz club. I want to hear the glass clinking, people laughing.” Later, he adds: “Come on Montreal! Make some noise! Don’t make me lie. I said this town was going to be hot”. I find it interesting to see Mocky’s quest for a noisy crowd, knowing that his focus on Key Change is to put humans at centre stage.
Talented multi-instrumentalist, Mocky ends up rapping, singing and playing a ton of instruments including the drums, the piano and the double bass. Speaking of singing, I get this strange feeling that singing is not that important for the Canadian artist. Sometimes, he sings so far from the microphone that we can barely hear the lyrics. Mocky seems more bewitched by the music itself. However, vocals get serious on Birds and Feathers. Fellow musicians Joey Dosik (piano, flute, percussions) and Moses Sumney (percussions, drums) sing beautifully to this song. I am blown away. Their voices are warm and rich. They do as good a job on vocals as (and almost even better than) Mocky.
The pace of the night remains great. The instrumentation is interesting. There is a nice blend between R&B and funk. The strings are beautiful on the song When Paulie Gets Mad – a song about Paulie Walnuts from the Sopranos. Mocky has this sense of humor that makes his songs even greater. Finally, Mocky plays one last song, the joyful Living in the Snow.
Should he come back to Montreal? Check. Do I still hum his refreshing songs? Double check. Final verdict? Thank you Mocky for an awesome set!