BESNARD LAKES, TROUBADOR 13 MAY 2010
So for some reason, I had never, in all my time on this coast, darkened the doorstep of Doug Weston's inimitable Troubador, in West Hollywood. First time for everything, and parking shenanigans aside, it was certainly memorable.
The occasion was the west coast swing of Montreal's own The Besnard Lakes, touring their latest record 'The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night', a followup as aptly named as the previous 'The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse'. They certainly were, and the difference between the two is palpable.
While '...Dark Horse' made a fine case for the Lakes as The overlooked Canadian band of the moment, 'Roaring Night' at once deepens the craft of the songs with delicately interlocked suites of songs, but strips and tightens the individual arrangements to great effect. Throw in the prevailing espionage concept lyrically, and it's already on my year end short list of records.
As good as the record is, I was unprepared for the absolute lift off of the songs live, with the ultimate end being somewhere between Sigur Ros and My Bloody Valentine. They feared not the noise, channeling it as surely as any other instrument. They were loose and fun onstage, holding together 'And You Lied To Me' through unsoliticed crowd participation, and dusting away the dour image one might take away from their records by inserting a touch of hair metal legends 'Honeymoon Suite' into the top of their encore.
('Chicago Train' above...fog machine: check!)
The most memorable shows, i've noticed over the years, have a downright religious patina...After the show, even with my day pushing the 24 hour mark, i was still totally wired. No greater praise can i give.
(incandescent version of 'Glass Printer' below)