It most certainly didn’t feel like the middle of a work week on Wednesday, September 16th. It felt more like a Friday night when Uncle Acid made a stop at the Virgin Mobile Corona Theatre as part of the Pop Montreal Festival during their tour in support of their latest record The Night Creeper. With Ecstatic Vision and Ruby the Hatchet as support for the tour, it was an evening of psychedelic melodies, heavy riffs, and an overall fun time.
Beginning the evening was Ecstatic Vision, from Philadelphia. These guys were pretty cool, but unfortunately, there isn’t much more to say about them. They’ve definitely got a bit of a Hawkwind vibe going on. Perhaps it might have been because I was not familiar with their music, but their set went by like a blur, and it sort of felt like they played one long song. That being said, the music was still fun and groovy, and I enjoyed their set thoroughly. I’ll be paying more attention to this band in the future.
Ruby the Hatchet were on next. Hailing from New Jersey, these guys (and gal) brought some of the evening’s heaviest sounding riffs. There’s certainly a bit of Black Sabbath worship going on here, but it’s not done in a way that imitates the band. Rather, Ruby the Hatchet takes these Sabbath-inspired riffs and crafts them into songs that are uniquely their own sound. It also helps that lead singer, Jillian Taylor, has a voice that resonates with extreme power and melody. The highlight of their set was ending with “Tomorrow Never Knows,” a track off their Valley of the Snake record. The crowd was definitely feeling the music, and I can safely say that this is a band I’ll see again when they (hopefully) return to Montreal.
Finally, the moment we’d all been waiting for had arrived. At 10pm, Uncle Acid came out and every single soul in the venue had their eyes glued to the stage.
What. A. Band!
As soon as they hit the stage, the guys ripped through several songs spanning their entire discography. From the moment they opened with “Waiting for Blood,” you just knew you were in for something fantastic. This band knows what they’re selling, and they sell it well. The musicianship alone is something to behold. They sound incredible live. I’d go as far as to say they sound better live than they do on recordings. The vocal harmonization by Kevin Starrs (lead singer/guitarist/songwriter) and Yotam Rubinger (guitars and backing vocals) are to Uncle Acid what Lennon and McCartney were to The Beatles. The biggest cheers from the crowd were received when the band played older tracks like “I’ll Cut You Down” and “Death’s Door”, but make no mistake; they had the crowd in the palms of their hands for the entire show. Some people in the crowd head banged in unison with the music, while others chose to dance away the evening. That’s the beauty of Uncle Acid’s music. Everyone in the venue enjoyed the music in a different way, and it was a beautiful thing to watch.
Written by Dominic Abate
Photography by Courtney O’Hearn
*edited by Kate Erickson