With threats from the mayor of Montreal postponing Halloween November 1st, it was business as usual for Half Moon Run at MTelus for their album launch costume party. A Blemish In The Great Light is the band’s third full-length release and the crowd seemed much more stoked about the launch than the costume party aspect of the show. I’d say about a third of the crowd was in costume and I’m being generous, maybe the threats of heavy rain and high winds scared some people off? Either way, the crowd was clearly revved up to see Half Moon Run.
I feel like I sort of zoned out for the opening act Vince James (Montreal, QC) and I don’t necessarily mean that as a slight to the music or performance. It truly feels like that is the intention of the songs as they sort of flow at you in a quasi jazz indie vibe. Frontman Vince James was visibly stoked to be opening up the show for Half Moon Run and you could pick up on the vibe that this was a big show for the band; it was a sold-out MTelus. If you listen to their album Cherry Blue you’ll get a perfect sense of what I’m getting at, it is very much headphone music. Exquisitely produced, downtempo music doesn’t always translate the best to a live setting, but Vince James did a commendable job of presenting the music as it was intended, not overstating anything and if the crowd, like myself were slightly mellow, I think it’s just a product of the energy the band was putting out there; mellow doesn’t always mean boring, or bad crowd it was, in fact, a nice warm-up for Half Moon Run.
I’ve seen Half Moon Run (Montreal, QC) around five or six times now and every time it blows my mind how they manage to sound so pristine live. Whether its outdoors at a festival, a small club or a larger one like MTelus, the sound quality and technicality of their performance is always fucking killer. Lead at the stage front by multi-instrumentalists, Devon Portielje and Conner Molander, the band introduced us to the new material gradually, mixing in new an old “21 Gun Salute,” “I Can’t Figure Out What’s Going On,” and, then lead track off their latest release, “Then Again.” The seamless transitions reaffirmed to me that Half Moon Run have managed some exciting and fresh new material while remaining true to their sound. The lead single “Favourite Boy” off the new album got a huge rise out of the crowd as well as this writers fav track “Turn Your Love.” Aside from mentioning how happy they were to be back in Montreal and launching their new album Half Moon Run didn’t engage in much stage banter, which I’m totally ok with when the band is lighting the stage on fire with their performance itself. All four members huddled together around one mic for their intimate rendition of “Sun Leads Me On,” very Lumineersesque and a very chill change of pace at exactly the right time.
Ending on their ace in the hole “Full Circle” and the lesser-known “Give Up,” which gives me all the Radiohead feels the band was legit in top form all night, beaming with confidence and a seemingly inevitable drive to take this project on to bigger stages and greater accolades.
Written by Lee Ferguson
Photography by Michael Kovacs
*edited by Danielle Kenedy