Last week, a good friend of mine Julie proposed an idea. She asked me to review her best friend Rob Malo aka Robbie Fierce and claimed he was a really good musician. I agreed,and later on in the week Rob and I introduced ourselves via Facebook.
I listened to his stuff online and agreed with Julie as I enjoyed his fun upbeat voice and beautiful lyrics. I soon found out that our good friend Joey Langlois was also a fan of Rob’s on Facebook, the two musicians being part of the Montreal indie pop scene.
After I indulged in some guilty pleasure and scarfed down a Five Guys burger, I met up with photographer/videographer Eric and we began our journey to Piranha Bar for this relaxing indie night of music. It was a beautiful fall night as we walked over – October has been really amazing so far for Montreal.
We walked upstairs, findingthe first act already up on stage. A muscular, tattooed preppy guy with this incredibly powerful voice was playing on his acoustic guitar and apologized for the profanity in his songs. Family and good friends of the musicians seemed to have taken up the crowd. I was curious to know who this person was, and later found out his name is Joseph Stella aka The Oxford Curse.
The next few acts consisted of a one-piece band called The Storyline; a shy, awkward guy with a lip piercing, wearing a red T-shirt. His songs were catchy and cute. There was a two-piece band that followed called Tests & Trials. I have yet to find their stuff online but I definitely dug the acoustic duo and the David Usher vs. Edward Kowalczyk sounding voice.
As the night went on and we discovered more awesome talent, I was anxious to see Robbie Fierce get up on stage. Rob so gracefully came up to us and introduced himself in person with the uttermost humility and appreciation for our presence.
Right before he was about to hit the stage, Rob’s fans immediately grabbed chairs and placed them right up against the stage. Eric was a little nervous at this point about angles for filming but he did a great job nonetheless. As opposed to the other sets that were acoustic, Robbie Fierce played an electric set; a three-piece band that consisted of Rob on acoustic guitar and vocals, Mike Bonnenfant on bass and Devan Buchel on drums. Because this is a solo act, Rob has different bass players and drummers from time to time.
“Mrs. Blue Eyes” was the first song played, and the ladies up front sang to all the words. It was a joyful, fun experience as Rob’s face lit up with a huge smile. The song had some lively acoustic riffs but right off the bat, I was thrown off by the overly loud and the slightly off-beat drums. I was hoping for some improvement on that throughout the performance.
I caught myself singing along to the words “Whooooaaaa, just let me beeeee” as the folk inspiredcountry tune “Let Me Be” flowed into the set. Eric and I were literally dancing and nodding our heads to this. The drums improved during the track – along with the bass – and the song had some Bob Dylan elements to it. As he brought in Andy Grammar’s “Gotta keep your Head Up”, he admitted to forgetting the words, using a lot of “nanananas” to replace those he missed; I thought it was adorable and the music was sounding better and better.
What really impressed me was Rob’s kick ass cover of Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t you Worry Child.” I loved how he pulled this off with his quirky voice and acoustic guitar riffs. The band overall did a great job with this one, causing the whole venue to sing along. I am not even a big fan of the songmyself, but I caught myself singing along. I actually prefer Rob’s version to the original.
“Next to me” wasa folk-y love song dedicated to his best friend Julie, which ended the set. “So let the rain kiss your cheek; while the fog builds up…around our feet”; a very pretty melody clearly expressing his thanks to his best friend for being so awesome. As Julie sat in the front watching her homie sing the song, she happily sang along to the lyrics with him. The song has some cheerful vocals, with simple drum taps as the beat changes throughout the song. It puts a smile on your face.
Robbie Fierce was formed in June of this year. I was amazed hearing this considering how far Rob Malo has come. Being in bands since the age of 16, he decided to form Robbie Fierce and follow his New Year’s resolution by learning how to sing and write songs. He is fairly new to this, but considering how far he has come – I think there is a lot prepared for him. Rob currently plays bass in a pop punk band called Emborne Drive.