As Malajube singer Julien Mineau would sing in French later that night during their hit Montréal -40C, “I ran against the clock, I ran, but I moved back” (“J’cours contre la montre, j’cours, mais j’recule”) and only caught the last songs of the mighty Besnard Lakes, who were opening for the francophone quartet after weeks at the top of the bill on their joint tour.
Buried in their natural habitat – smoke, lights and a psych rockin’ wall of sound – Jace Lasek and co. entranced the crowd standing in the first rows with virtuosity. As one would expect, head bobbing ensued. Even if I do not share the view of some music lovers who complained on Twitter during the concert that The Besnard Lakes’ set was “endless,” I must concede that the performance was a bit too hermetic, even for the band behind Are The Roaring Night.
Then Malajube took center stage as a golden glitter hoodie-wearing Julien Mineau tip-toed to his microphone. While last week’s interview – where he stated once again how he hates long tours – left me fearing the worst, the singer seemed surprisingly upbeat during his banter between songs, even going as far as shaking hands with the adoring teens glued to the front of the stage.
Backed by a light show that would have made epileptics cower in fear and Pink Floyd cover bands jealous (that would explain the presence of many ponytailed fortysomethings who stood out in a crowd of younger fans and UDA members who tweeted their joie de vivre like there was no tomorrow… or no concert at all for that
matter), Malajube seemed in great shape. After a few La Caverne songs were delivered in a polite, but expeditious manner, the floor finally started to vibrate under the fans’ feet as they jumped through Synesthésie, which was quickly followed by a slew of older hits.
The foursome concocted an interesting set list last night, making their performance seamlessly go back and forth between songs from La Caverne and older gems like Le Robot sexy (their first hit) and Contrôle (which was used previously for a Myst-like “point and click” NFB interactive video in 2010).
Finally, never did a song addressing a somber news item captivate so many music lovers as when Malajube ended their concert, and their year, with La Valérie.