It is truly the mantra of the touring band to travel far and wide. Few sounds barely make it out of their garage, which is quite obviously not the case Sydney, Australia’s progressive up-and-comers Northlane. Two years have passed since their last visit to Montreal, so let’s see how it all went down at La Tulipe last Thursday!
Opening out the night in a true Montreal metalcore fashion was local act Kreise, who are seemingly becoming more and more the go to cats for any touring progressive oriented gig. For first time listeners, think Monuments or even The Contortionist with the ever most subtle Latin twist. This band put out some cool stuff but was a little mundane at times. All around each musician had their respective skills, but still, need a little finer tuning to be the kind of enthralling act they’re aiming to be. If Kreise worked some tones and evened out a few vocal melodies, this act would become one to truly watch.
Following up and first of the touring package is Invent Animate. Hailing from Port Neches, Texas, the metalcore four-piece tries to sit on the more progressive side of the spectrum, but sadly fall short in terms of their delivery. The very same can be said by the vocal range provided by frontman Ben English; it was impressive but fell short on delivery, most notably in the sense that it felt as if either his mic, or his lungs, were cutting out. The compositions had moments of flare, but ended up more “chuggy” than my personal taste. On a more positive note, I’m absolutely certain this is a band that kills more in a home town setting than they do on the road. Give them a listen and decide for yourselves.
Reading up until now, you likely have the impression that this show made me a grumpy gus for the whole night. Surprise bitch, you’re fucking wrong, because now I get to tell you about how Toronto-based, progressive, instrumental dance party, Intervals, fucking killed it. If you somehow survived this set without a little unnecessary lubrication in your genitals and a giant smile on your face, then you seriously need to seek some therapy. This set was easily one of the best that I’ve heard come out of the La Tulipe’s speakers (likely a giant prop required in the direction of Aaron Marshall’s on the road sound tech). The sound was beautifully coupled by banger after banger. The tunes spanned from the early days of the In Time EP to their most recent release, The Shape of Colour, and even a few tunes that supposedly Marshall’s mother hasn’t even heard yet. A new Intervals’ record is on the horizon and without any question, you need to keep your dancing shoes shined for when it drops.
Last and most definitely not least is this gorgeous little rumble from down under we know and love by the name of Northlane. This being my fourth Northlane show (out of the six they’ve now done in Canada), it’s with the lightest of hearts and largest of erections that I declare it their best yet. With the coming of their new album, Mesmer, we fans have been given the same classic Northlane sound with an entirely new vigour in their wigglers. It has been highly promoted by the band in various interviews that with this record, relatively still newish frontman, Marcus Bridge, has very much found his place and pride in the band. Without any shadow of a doubt, this fact can be found in watching them perform.
Bridge brings a whole new heat and heart to his performance without any falter in his voice or presence. Translation: Mother fucker looks happy and sounds like a fucking angel. Aesthetics and pretty voices aside, the band as a whole produced yet another nearly record breaking audio display in this venue, causing one hell of an awkward gym boner (good thing I wasn’t sporting my mosh shorts, eh, follow hardcore rapscallions). “Paragon” loomed into the room, leaving the place already electric, “Colourwave” had me singing like a choir girl, and fast forward down to “Quantum Flux” which left me remembering the day this act flew into my ears. Even the tunes played off of Node somehow sounded better than when they were initially written. Northlane is on the up and up, and if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon; look yourself in the mirror, tell yourself what kind of an absolute cunt you are, and go listen to Mesmer.
Written by Jason Greenberg
Photography by Danny Donovan
*edited by Danielle Kenedy