This Saturday, I had the pleasure of seeing Groenland and St. Vincent take over Metropolis as a part of this year’s Jazz Festival. The concert was amazing, and well worth every penny. Beginning with the opener, Groenland, a spunky six-piece band of very talented people was a nice start to the evening.
With strings, drums, and multi-instrument-playing band members this group was a powerful surprise. Expecting softness throughout the set, I was blown away by the talent in this band. With many danceable songs, they were a perfect way to get in the Jazz-fest mood. One of my favourite parts of their performance was their incessant dancing, grooving and fun-having attitude on stage. After seeing them perform, I will definitely be picking up Groenland’s album and urge others to do the same.
From the moment St. Vincent walked on stage, the crowd was erupting in cheers and the band was in character. Playing the parts of intriguing musicians, they nailed every note and dance move. In the current music scene, it is rare to find a band with a sound unto itself – something unheard or not over done – and St. Vincent definitely has one. Seeing Annie Clark and her band perform live was not only fun and entertaining, but felt like enrichment for the soul. St. Vincent tends to have worshipers, not regular fans, and their performance at Jazz Fest was ample explanation as to why. Possibly the best thing to ever come from Oklahoma, Annie Clark is not simply a vocalist/guitarist but an entertainer and possibly a rock goddess.
Clark’s vocals were immaculate; her vocal range is one to be envied. Every song has so much power behind it, and without her they would be empty. Clark also played a bit of a comedian, as her banter included a list of things she “has in common” with her Montreal fans. This elicited laughter throughout the crowd, which is unusual for such an eclectic band.
Clark is also a fantastic guitarist; she played very technical sounds with such ease I could hardly believe she was actually playing the instrument. And she has a very unique way of storing her hands when not playing – usually on her head or making some kind of gesture that I suppose is a form of dancing. There was even choreography with the keyboardists which added another level of fantastic to the evening.
The highlight of the night for me is when Clark did about a short bout of crowd surfing, right above me. This left me feeling very cool and very happy. All in all, the night was indescribably amazing. Yet another pair of bands that I’ll add to my “must see whenever possible” list.
Groenland and St. Vincent played on July 5 at the Montreal Jazz Fest.