Back in the seventies (when sound systems were somewhat less refined and attitudes to health and safety a touch more vague), the sign of a good show was that the band sent the crowd home with a ringing in their ears. Montreal these past couple nights has kinda turned those tables a little. Canadian crowds are always good and noisy, but these folks are genuinely something else.
They’re Mexican-waving up a storm before the show even starts. Once the house lights go down, they sound like a jet engine taking off. It reaches a point where it’s actually uncomfortably loud at points – but the emotional impact is astonishing. Hurts Like Heaven, indeed…
Nights like these pop up in a tour and catch you unawares. This kind of audience reaction sends the band into another level performance-wise and the crackle back and forth between band and crowd becomes its own electrical storm.
Usually, the thing that crosses everyone’s minds during shows such as this is, “Christ, how come this isn’t the show they’ve booked a dozen cameras for?”
Funnily enough, though, nobody’s thinking this in Montreal. And for very good reason.
Reason being, of course, that in Montreal there are a dozen cameras present, capturing the whole thing as it unfolds.
Given that I’ve seen them do this show coming on for a hundred times now, the idea that I’m actually entertaining the idea of spending time watching a film of it is pretty remarkable. The fact that I genuinely can’t wait to see it is definitely saying something.