The temperature may be dropping in Montreal, but Angus & Julia Stone have a way of warming you up. With lyrics that allow you to reminisce on finding that special someone- and spending all your time with them- the Australian siblings sing about a kind of love that makes memories. A kind of love that can be found in friends, romances and yes, even crowd members.
The opener, Luke Sintal-Singh, starts by stealing your heart with wholesome melodies. While he stands alone in the middle of the stage, he looks out upon a sold out Mtelus theatre (almost 2,000 people) with confidence and charm. Well done. The crowd is captivated and applauds him generously.
Angus & Julia Stone then move onto stage and begin their performance with slow pace instrumentals from the song, Baudelaire, off their new album “Snow”. The percussion and trumpet fade in with the lights just as Julia and Angus’ voices harmonize and send chills straight through your body. Okay, I realize this goes against my opening statement, but these chills are the good kind.
As things pick up, the lighting moves from blue hues to reds. By the time the duo moves on to Heart Beats Slow, from their self-titled 2012 album, the crowd is already swaying and feeling the beat. Similarly, Chateau builds some heat by egging on a slow clap.
Julia: This is a song about being with the person you love, and wanting to be with them wherever you are.
Just like that, Wherever You Are brings out the harmonica. Bloodhound gets some arms up with its percussion vibes. And, from their introductory album “A book Like This”, Private Lawns welcomes the banjo.
To no surprise, Angus & Julia Stone use their instrumental capabilities to flow melodically between songs and show off their talents. The musical range between the band is absolutely incredible. Finally, a huge shout out to Julia Stone who now attempts to recite a French poem to a Quebec audience. To say the least, we appreciate the effort.
This slows things down, and eventually, Big Jet Plane strums in- slightly downtempo. The crowd is prompted to take their phones out (to light up the venue) and to sing along. Julia also takes the time to share a few stories about love and heartbreak with the audience, in which we feel instantly connected because, well, we’ve all been there.
Angus: We’re here in your house [now]. When we sing this song, we will make all the bad stuff in the world melt away. It’s sort of universal.
Julia: [Your house, My house] is about belonging here, together, tonight.
The last song on the setlist is the upbeat and playful hit Snow. Before saying a final goodbye, however, Julia and Angus step back out for an encore (of course). Despite admitting they had a planned list, they improvise at the request of a few audience members. Julia fumbles around on the keyboard, struggling to remember the notes/words to the old song Chocolate & Cigarettes, but recovers with Angus’ support on the chorus.
The show ends with a series of other encores, and without any truly moving moments. To conclude, Angus & Julia Stone capture you in a ‘less is more’ kind of way. The show was enlightening yet slightly uneventful.
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*Photos by April Yablonovitch