This past Friday, March 9th, photographer Michael Kovacs and I had the pleasure of checking out two really talented artists, Milck and Amy Shark at Cabaret Lion d’Or. This venue is modest in size, but really has a lot of character and is an intimate setting. It’s been around for over eighty years and has a classic cabaret theater layout with a balcony off to one side. For this event there were tables and chairs on the floor which were fully occupied by the time the show started just a few minutes past 8 o’clock.
Opening the evening was Milck. Her stage name is actually a play on her given name, Connie Kimberly Lim. She’s a native of Los Angeles and just this year released her debut EP, This is Not The End. Her music can be described as pop soul, and in her own words, “There are seven songs on the EP, and each one is a special part of me that I’ve spent much time excavating. This EP is me turning my pain into power and believing that with full hearts we achieve our dreams.” When watching her perform there’s no doubt how deeply passionate she feels about her work. There was nothing complicated about the stage set-up, just her at center stage with a couple of keyboards, a computer, and her radiant voice. She played “Black Sheep” which she introduced with an anecdote about being the daughter of Chinese immigrants and a first-generation American, and how it can be difficult to find where you fit. She also performed a wonderful cover of “O-o-h child” by Five Stairsteps, which she dedicated to the students in Parkland, Florida who are fighting for a safer, brighter future.
To end her set she played“This is Not the End,” the title track from the EP, followed by the track “Quiet” which catapulted her into the spotlight after she performed it live with a twenty-five member choir at the Woman’s March on Washington in early 2017. Within just a couple of days, the recorded performance had over 14 million views and it basically became the anthem for women’s marches all over the world. The audience seemed to really enjoy her set; many people were singing along with her, and when she was done she received a standing ovation. It was her first time playing in Montreal and we certainly hope to see her return. In between sets I had the pleasure of meeting her. She was really nice and even signed a copy of the EP for me.
After about a twenty-minute interlude, the evening’s headliner Amy Shark graced the stage with two back-up musicians in tow, one gentleman on the drums and another playing keyboards and bass while she herself played electric and acoustic guitar. She is from Queensland, Australia, and it was her first time headlining in Montreal. She expressed how happy she was to be touring Canada and that in her home country, when an artist is popular in Canada, it means they’ve made it. Her music is indie pop and many of her tracks are about relationships and the struggles that come with them… I’m dubbing her the Australian Alanis Morissette. She’s currently touring and promoting her first EP Night Thinker. She opened with the first track on the EP, “Drive You Mad,” followed by the track “Home.” She was fairly interactive with the audience, telling us stories about how some tracks came about and confessing that she sometimes has a gutter mouth. The track “Middle of the Night” is a good example; she explained she had written it while in a bad spot, and warned the audience it was a depressing story. It sure made an awesome track, though.
She played thirteen tracks which included all six from the EP, a new track called “Leave Us Alone,” and even a cover by one of her favourite artists, Eminem. The track was “Superman,” and she did a marvelous version. She ended her set with two of her most popular songs, “Weekends” and “Adore,” which has been at the top of pop charts in Australia and North America. The audience members were really engaged throughout her set and were dancing in their seats. There was no encore, but she did make herself available by the merch table to sign stuff and take photos with fans.
Mike and I agreed it was a really great show. Each of these artists now has at least two more fans.
Written by Joey Beaudin
Photography by Michael Kovacs
*edited by Kate Erickson