Cräckers & Jam, The Look Back Now, and Martin Parisien at Crobar, Montreal

This music filled Saturday night was a mix of Montreal and Toronto at Crowbar, with three bands rocking the small downtown bar. The evening offered the diverse acts of Martin Parisien, The Look Back Now, and Cräckers & Jam. 

The night started off with Martin Parisien, the French rock and roll band, composed of a simple duo of singer/guitarist and drummer. The singer-songwriter brought some hard rock vibes to the night leading us into the rest of the evening.

Up next is the The Look Back Now, a self described “power-pop quartet” from Toronto, Ontario. Throughout their set the band played songs from their new EP, “DWEEB”, as the lead singer Elliott Gallagher-Doucette rallied the crowd to dance and jump up and down to their energetic songs. The band members made comical remarks to the crowd as they promoted their EP, stating “Please buy our CD! We really need money to get home tonight”, eliciting laughter from the crowd. One of the funner moments of their set included their cover of “Psycho Killer”, the Talking Heads rockin’ hit song from the 70s. Overall the band reminds me of the type of music I listened to in the early 2000s, the simpler and equally great times of the pop-punk-rock era.

The last band of the evening was Montreal’s own Cräckers & Jam. The “slacker lounge and yacht rockers extraordinaire” played their set last night fully clad in vampire outfits, dressed in long black cloaks and pointed teeth. The comically named band  describe their genre as yacht-rock reminiscent of the 70s and 80s, but their act is more diverse than that with a blend of rock, funk, blues, and folk.

The Montreal band is composed of 5 multi-instrumentalist guys boasting a list of unique attributes including a myriad of instruments ranging from the violin to the mandolin, as well as their constant change in vocal leads, giving their tracks unique personality traits.

After some back on forth soundcheck drama, Cräckers & Jam started off their set with a mix of old and new, including popular crowd favorites like “Buchanan Brown”, from their 2015 EP, “King of the Normies” and the feel good track “There’s a Good Couch Here” from their 2016 EP “Benson”. The musicians are continually changing things around throughout their set, as they take turns playing different instruments and singing. Definitely keeps it interesting if at times disorienting, but it’s part of their exciting and dynamic nature.

Throughout the night the band introduced us to a set of tracks from their upcoming LP, “El Casino”. The quintet treated us to fun songs like “Basic” as Julian Rice (violin, mandolin, vocals) got the crowd to sing along in response to their hilarious lyrics. The band also covered jacksoul‘s  “Still Believe in Love”, with Adrian Vaktor’s vocals, bringing in some jazzy soul to their performance. Overall their combination of unique sounds, from Julien Arsenault’s talented guitar playing to Joseph Blais’ funky, energetic keyboards accompanied with fun vampire-esque commentary, brought us an eclectic evening worth dancing to.



Learn More:

Cräckers & Jam 




The Look Back Now






Martin Parisien



Tess B. Paiewonsky

Tess is a music loving and concert dwelling Dominican/self-proclaimed Montrealer. A lover of travel, she’s lived in the cities of Santo Domingo, Copenhagen, and the love of her life: Montreal. Tess enjoys writing concert reviews, singing loudly to her neighbors, and finding the best taco spot in town. You can find Tess checking out new bands around the city and playing her ukulele at a nearby park.

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