A Tuesday night concert in Montreal? Not surprising. In fact, Badbadnotgood embraces the workweek, school-night and makes their performance even cooler. Walking towards the venue it is easy to note that there will be some kind of alternative hipster show at MTelus that evening. Among the people approaching the doors, it’s easy to find florescent pants, platform shoes and everything else you would use to describe a ‘hip’ crowd.
Before I dive into the show review; the best way to describe Badbadnotgood is their chameleon ability to fit into a multitude of musical genres. Their contemporary and edgy instrumentals have adapted into the world of Hip-hop, working with ‘Tyler, the Creator’ and Montreal’s Kaytranda, but still stay true to their jazzy undertones.
With that being said, BBNG has found a comfortable pocket in which they improvise between of jazz, soul, hip-hop and just plain old good music. Their newest album, IV even incorporates electronic vibes, in which they demonstrated tonight.
Before the show starts, I take the bird’s eye view on the balcony to observe the scene. People are already vibing- drinking king cans, mingleing and bobbing their heads around.
Then, a keyboard player (Matthew Tavares), Bass guitar (Chester Hansen), Drummer (Alexander Sowinsk) and saxophone/flutist (Leland Whitty) step on stage and instantly start feeling out the energy from the room and warming up to it. Once set, they carry us through an elongated crescendo until eventually, the band members begin taking turns tuning into the crowd. They then play into each other and offer introductory spotlights.
The Torontonians shout out to Kaytranda early in the show and play ‘Lavender’, an obvious crowd favourite. Good opening move. They then flow into a more rhythmic pace, swaying between saxophone hooks and elongated notes on the keyboard.
I started to take note, at this point, that the saxophonist is transitioning from the Tenor to Alto, and then to flute throughout the songs- which is very impressive. The drums, too, nailed every hit and showed incredible talent.
Did I forget to mention that each section, where the band members are stationed, has a thread of smoke coming from it? Discretely smoking on stage- I thought that was pretty bad-ass.
In the end, for a group of college-aged boys, they put on quite an elevated show. They demonstrated incredible musicality and BBNG not only engages the crowd, but continues to surprise you with improvisation and absolute talent.
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