It was kind of a slow night at La Vitrola on Thursday May 21st, however that should by no means be a reflection on the acts that played. My first and reoccurring thought was, “This deserves more of a crowd!” but alas, they can’t all be zingers.
Opening the evening was Arthur Comeau. His unique style of Quebec hip-hop has a multitude of other musical genres infused. The former beat maker of Radio Radio released his own album called 3/4 just last year on the P572 label.
There was not much of a crowd, but there were fans of his who went up to the stage when he stated his set. Joining him on stage for the entire set was a guitarist, and about halfway a drummer joined to make a trio. I found that he had a good voice that carried well and indeed suites his lyrically technique. He gives a lively performance that is easy to get on board with. “Es-tu paré ?” and “Meteghan” are good examples, and you can listen to them on his Bandcamp page.
Next up was the five piece pop-electro-funk band from Montreal called Lazy Lee. The members came together as a group in 2010 from a diverse number of genres, which currently contributes to their brand. Their first album, Electromagnetic Circus, was independently released in 2013. This group was funky from the start, and had the modest crowd dancing and singing along. Lead vocalist Kay kind of sounds like Sass Jordan to me, but more funky as opposed to straight-up rock. They had a good stage presence, were well coordinated as a group, and looked like they were having a fun time playing. They performed mostly their own tracks who’s names I didn’t catch, but there were a few that I can imagine getting airplay on popular radio stations. They performed a cover of “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson, and even put their own more funky spin on it.
Completing the evening was the sextet from Montreal Key OG. They formed in 2012 and, according to their Facebook page, are “R&B music with killer grooves, a dash of Hip-hop and an Electronica flavor. Even jazz cats will love it !” From what I saw, this is 100% true. I found they had a jazzy, funky sound not unlike Weather Report. They’re headed by musician Etienne Miousse, and after seeing him play the guitar, Rhodes, trombone, and sing – all within a very short time- I understand why he is referred to as a “multi-instrumentalist”. He is also the lyric writer along with Do mi, who is the lead vocalist. I found hers to be a powerful voice that calls attention to anyone within ear shot. As a group they were on point, professional, sharp, and engaging. Again I thought they deserved more of an audience, but I have no doubt that they’ll be playing in front of bigger crowds soon. In the mean time you can check out their thirteen-track album called The Choice, which was released from the label L’Industri.
Written by Joey Beaudin