THE GIG: Melissa Auf der Maur with Final Flash opening
WHERE: Cabaret Juste Pour Rire, Montréal, QC
WHEN: November 6, 2010
IN ONE WORD: Charmed
Opening Saturday’s show at Cabaret Juste Pour Rire is Montréal’s Final Flash, a retro-rock outfit who give a nod to their hometown’s bilingual culture by singing in English and flirting with the crowd in French. Coming across like a heavier, rowdier Doors, sans crap poetry – sorry, I like the music, but it’s true – they bashfully took the stage and then knocked about with wildly upbeat abandon. A nod to pop-psychedelia without being derivative, it was an all-too-short introduction to a very promising local gem, but there’ll another chance for Montréalers to catch them when they play a solo show at Casa del Popolo on December 17. Go check ‘em out. Do it.
My first introduction to MAdM was a screening of her collaborative film Out Of Our Minds (directed by Tony Stone) at the Musée des Beaux Arts’ John William Waterhouse exhibit earlier this year. The film itself is an impressive fusion of sound and film, a vision driven by music into a collision full of blood and myths and diverging timelines. The imagery in OOOM is heavily inspired by many mythological themes similar to those found in Waterhouse’s work – replete with strong female protagonists, heros and the occult – hence it’s presence at the exhibit.
The otherworldly theme continues into the live show, from the chased-heartbeat opener “The Hunt” through to “Out of Our Minds” – all the while images from the film were projected onto a screen on the stage, eerie fireballs and forest witches lending their spectres to the night’s mood.
Whether flailing her auburn mane like a cat-o’-nine-tails, or letting out an hypnotic beansidhe wail in the lead-in to “Followed the Waves,” – a declaration of longing laid bare in its intentions and innuendo – Auf der Maur is a vibrant presence onstage, charming the crowd in both official languages between songs. In introducing “Father’s Grave,” she drops the psych of the night, teasing us with the spectre of a live duet with Glenn Danzig, prompting a collective gasp from the audience – those standing closer to me did, at least, and I know my ears pricked up – but the song was performed solo by her instead. While disappointed at what didn’t materialize, the song stands on its own. But. Still. Don’t do that. Seriously. Not fair.
MAdM closed the night with a cover of “When the Music’s Over” by – heh – The Doors, a song apparently not performed at any other Canadian dates – hear that, Toronto? She likes us best! – and judging by the reception from the packed crowd, the feeling was mutual. À la prochaine, MAdM.
© Liz Keith, Music Vice
Pictures of MAdM (Melissa Auf der Maur) and Final Flash: