You know you’re in Montreal when it’s a Tuesday night in this winter wasteland and you’re still running down St. Laurent Boulevard, desperate to pack it all in.
I’ll start with the Casa Del Popolo show, which began with The Nursery, followed by Harvest Soon and climaxed with Milo McMahon. Sadly, I was running on musician time and delayed by them winter blues, so I missed The Nursery and only caught the end of Harvest Soon, though the crowd was raving, “Did you see Nursery?!” Apparently, I missed a good thing.
Harvest Soon ended their set with some Beatles-esque sing-along. I remember they had a lot of auxiliary percussion and lyrics about love. After, their fans kept doing this cutesy zombie grab at them as they walked off stage.
Milo got onstage to a crowd that was already hugely enthusiastic thanks to the previous sets, though a chunk of the crowd disappeared with Harvest Soon. I’m just gonna say this once: that is fucking rude.
McMahon, despite being an impressively talented guitar player and songwriter, is also hilarious. With an announcement from his manager Frankie about some good hash, he also mentioned that his accountant thought he was an idiot for offering albums and T-shirts together for twenty bucks. “But I said, ‘Sorry mom, you’re not the boss of me anymore!’”
It almost didn’t even feel like St. Patrick’s day, until Milo started speaking Gaelic from the stage (he was raised in Ireland); that guy is full of hijinks.
Though McMahon was performing as just a two-piece (his drummer Mike and himself), McMahon is a skilled enough player that you didn’t notice a hole where the bass should have been. Just the contrary. Sounds were rich, dance-y and upbeat.
The quality of the set was backed up by Milo’s crazy stage presence. Though writers often quip the cliché “natural born performer,” it doesn’t always apply to just any charismatic performer. However, McMahon has something special, if only for his genuine approach to music, and life.
The place was thick with herds of freaks: it was amazing. I didn’t know Montreal could still pull crowds like that. Everyone is too cool to be eccentric these days.
Count Ferrera is the test tube baby of Syd Barrett and Imaad Wasif. He looks like Beetle Juice and Captain Beefheart and sings like a British rocker.
I expected a flock of bats to erupt from his amp at any moment. With long, groovy instrumental jam outs and a crowd screaming for encores, Count Ferrera is rich with textures and style.
So that was my Tuesday night. Follow the local music, people. You never know what you will come across!