It was an interesting Thursday night for the Run Snowball Run show at Piranha Bar in Montreal, considering both the technical difficulties and wide range of talent that appeared on stage.
The show kicked off an hour later than planned, with a pop-punk band called Beside Sweet Monsters from St- Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. In my opinion, it was the vocals that most made it sound like a pop punk band. When Alexis Bouchard sings, it sounds completely different than when he speaks; his accent completely vanishes, and you would never guess that he was francophone because it really doesn’t show during the songs. His voice was more high pitched, making him sound younger while he was singing, and it was definitely not the type of vocals I was expecting from him. However it suited the style of music so it worked out in the end. There was some screaming as well, which I didn’t like at first because it sounded like he was trying too hard, but as their set went on I found they started to get deeper and improve, so I was enjoying the screams more. The band had a lot of energy; I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone at Piranha Bar actually jumping as high as they were. The stage is small, so it was interesting to watch them make the most of what little space they had.
Next up, was Cast In Cadence, a pop rock band that traveled from Ottawa, Ontario to put on a killer set for us. The songs they played were upbeat and fun, Their music is the kind that instantly lifts your mood. Songs like “Slacker,” “Peace of Mind,” and “Sellout” make you want to dance and have fun. The band was really tight and had good chemistry together. For some reason, when they played “Peace of Mind” it reminded me of Green Day’s “Holiday,” probably because the drums sounded similar to me. They were really laid back dudes who seemed to enjoy playing for us, and I’m glad I got to see them because I ended up truly enjoying their set.
Toronto pop rock act Rosedale was third to take the stage. A one-man band performed by Mike Liorti, it was the most unique act of the night. While he was playing one particular instrument, he would have a backing track going of everything else. If he was playing guitar, as he was for most of the set, he would have music and a drum backing track going, and vice versa. He did a cover of “Take On Me” which I loved, and so did the rest of the crowd. It took me a little while to notice that the sound was kind of hollow or muffled when he was singing though; I’m not sure what caused it, but it lasted the whole set. He also somehow managed to blow a fuse towards the end, with only a couple of songs left to go. Someone shouted out “ACCOUSTIC!” so that’s what he did, and carried on his set acoustically with the audience clapping along while he played guitar and sang. The audience seemed to love it; they were having fun, despite the lack of lights in the venue and the quietnes of the music other than the strumming of his guitar.
Fourth to take the stage was local grunge and blues rock act Winterstone. During their first song, I kept thinking that they sounded a lot like Nirvana. Usually I’m completely wrong with these sorts of things but ironically enough, two songs later, they played “Rape Me” by Nirvana. I thought they did a pretty good job too! They have a powerful vocalist who knows how to project his voice properly but also has a raw, raspy vocal style. Some of their music I found to be slightly repetitive, but they were still entertaining to watch.
Run Snowball Run was last to play, and unfortunately I could not stick around for all of their set. The first song they played was a slow one with a melodic beginning that my colleague said sounded like “doom pop” music, which I found amusing. On their Facebook page the band describes themselves as alternative indie rock, which was an accurate description of their sound. The vocals were really good, but the drums could have been a bit louder. Things started to pick up after the first song in terms of both the crowd and the energy of the music, and its a shame I couldn’t stay for the whole set since I was starting to get into their music. Sorry guys! I enjoyed what I heard and will definitely try to see them play again.
Written by Shannon Fong
Photography by Angie Radczenko