I have been living in Montreal for almost six years now and catch dozens of shows a year, but it was my first time attending a live show at the famed Ritz PDB in the Mile End district of the city. The venue is a hotbed for indie/alternative rock which made it no surprise to find it packed for last Saturday’s show featuring LA pop/punk trio Bleached.
The opening bands on the bill were Montreal twin sister duo (a theme for the night it seemed) The Muscadettes who blend their 90s grunge influences with 60s surf rock. Joining the line up was LA punk rockers No Parents, who have been supporting the headliners since the tour opened. I cannot speak on their bands’ respective performances as I was only able to arrive in time for the main act.
The Calvin sisters and co. were in good spirits when they took the stage at around half past ten. With flowers draped across most of the stage as well as on the drum kit, the mood was set as Bleached delivered their bouncy pop flavoured punk rock at near ear-splitting volumes. I was actually so shocked at the pure sensory destroying volume at which the bar deemed appropriate. I had to retreat to the very back of the room just to be able to distinguish guitars from vocals or anything else for that matter. The band served out beachy LA lifestyle inspired tracks from their latest album Welcome the Worms. Tracks like “Keep On Keeping On,” “Trying To Lose Myself Again,” and “Sour Candy” were highlights and there wasn’t much else on the menu besides the music as Jennifer Calvin kept the in between sections short and to the point. She did, however, tell a funny story about how one of the crew members did not make it across the border from their latest stop in Boston the previous night and that got a good reaction from the crowd.
Just as their music is low-fi, short, and simple, so is their stage presence. I can’t say it was much of an experience to see Bleached live as they didn’t do anything special or make this night memorable in any way really. I’m sure the fans in attendance who were already familiar with them expected as much, but for the uninitiated, it left me a little indifferent after all was said and done.
Written by Ben Massicotte
Photography by Stacy Basque
*edited by Danielle Kenedy