Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi! Friday night was an all Australian affair at Metropolis (or MTelus- whatever they’re calling it now). The Pierce Brothers opened the show. The multi-instrumentalist twins began their careers busking in the streets of Melbourne. The headliner of the evening, Tash Sultana, also had humble beginnings as a busker from Melbourne, but now she’s selling out shows left and right across her North American tour. Both Pierce Brothers and Tash Sultana are amazing multi-instrumentalists in their own right, but their music couldn’t be more different. Pierce Brothers falls under the pop/folk style with Australian influences, while, emitting some serious Lumineers vibes with their fast paced strumming. Tash Sultana’s mix of synths, pedals, guitars and array of other instruments mixes up indie rock with electronic, creating a full immersion of sounds. It was the Aussies first performance in our fair city of Montreal, and they delivered enough enthusiasm to secure sold out shows upon their next visits.
The minute I walked in to the venue I felt like I was halfway through a crazy headlining set. The crowd was screaming and jumping to the Pierce Brothers chatty, upbeat and playful demeanor. They played songs like “Take a Shot”, “Keep in Mind”, and their title track, among others from their new EP, “The Records Were Ours”. They were just this ball of energy that quickly transferred throughout the entire audience. I had never seen an opening band garner so much enthusiasm from a crowd before a headliner. For the duration of the set I felt like I was at the Pierce Brothers concert and not the Tash Sultana concert. As the show went on, the brothers spoke French, Jack drummed all over the damn stage, including on his brother Patrick’s guitar as Patrick killed with his amazing guitar playing, and finally, Jack played the didgeridoo (if you don’t know what it is, google it, it’s Australian).
I must say I was worried. How do you follow such an enthusiastic act? First I will say one thing, the woman is a damn good musician. We have to take in consideration that she is playing every single instrument and making all the music (beats, guitar, trumpet, etc) live on the spot. The girl was literally playing musicians twister, as she used her hands and feet to get everything working at the same time. At the beginning of her set, Tash Sultana set some some house rules mentioning how dickheads, racists and homophobes could show themselves out. After this, Tash played her song Gemini, a song filled with beautifully harrowing vocals.
Throughout her set, however, a problem became evident: Tash Sultana has only released one EP, limiting the amount of songs people actually know. This made her set seem, at times, like an extended jam session, with several intermissions that seemed to go on without really arriving anywhere. At certain points she lost the crowds attention, but was able to get it back towards the end with her song “Notion”, where the crowd sang along and cheered. Her best songs of the night were “Gemini”, “Synergy”, “Notion”, and her most famous song, “Jungle”. There were many amazing and memorable moments throughout her set: Tash doing some masterful shredding on the guitar, her beatboxing, and her amazing rendition of the song “Synergy”, where she played the mandolin, and beatboxed while playing the flute. Who does that?! Finally, and by far the funniest moment of the show, Tash Sultana singled out a girl that was arguing with someone, and made her sit on stage and apologize for interrupting the show. All in good fun.
The evening was definitely full of surprises from the very beginning. It was a great show, but unfortunately it sometimes seemed like Tash Sultana bit off a little more than she could chew with her single EP. There are two things I want to end on, if you have a chance to see the Pierce Brothers live, do yourself a favor and GO, you’ll thank me later. Second thing is to watch out for Tash Sultana, that girl is going to be kicking butt when her new album comes out.