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The Slip - 03-02-2006 Main Hall, Montreal

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The Slip - 03-02-2006 - Main Hall, Montreal, QC

Live Music Review

By Sharon Williamson

Photos: Mike Bouchard

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The Slip 03-02-2006 bouche's The Slip 03-02-2006 photoset

The Slip

Main Hall sounds like it might be a majestic venue, but when I stepped inside this Montreal music spot, it's lackluster interior, small capacity and communal washrooms had me wondering if the Slip were actually playing here. Did I have the wrong place? Was I really going to see my three favorite musicians in such an intimate setting? Yes. Was this going to be a quiet, intimate, jazzy show? Not a chance.

The set started off with “Even Rats”, a song that had been stuck in our heads for days. As they went into “I Hate Love”, the invisible crowd barrier semi-circle that was present for the first two bands, melted and the audience was instantly hanging on every note.

Now I know that Brad's vocals, although passionate and heartfelt, are often inconsistent. I find that “Children of December” is the yardstick by which we can measure a particular show's vocals. Montreal 's “Children” was in the higher range, the version I have always preferred, and was sung with strength and guts. Yes, Brad was smokin' in his new home town. Where there's smoke there's Marc and Andrew on fire right beside him. We weren't treated to an Andrew Barr Jedi solo but he kept a furious rhythm all night. He sported pilot goggles and if you stared at him long enough you'd swear he was about to take off.

Slip shows can often be very spiritual experiences as the trio balance highly emotional songs, with jazzy numbers and boogy tunes. This Montreal show was uncharacteristically loud and raging from beginning to end. Even “Paper Birds” and “If One of Us Should Fall” encouraged fist pumping and foot stomping. Perhaps it was the condensed evening, only one set with an encore, that kept the party going.

Brad Barr spoke of Nathan Moore's lyrical abilities before going into “Sleepy Head”, which appears on the newly released sampler from Surprise Me Mr. Davis. The “Soft Machine” encore brought a guest guitarist to the stage who is said to be Brad's neighbor in Montreal , that has always wanted to play with the Slip. He and Brad looked to be having a great time crushing their guitars together and eating up the intensity that the song had become.

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The night ended with a “Poor Boy” that left us wondering why the heck we placed anything in the way of going to Burlington , VT for their show the following night. There's no other place I'd rather have been. All in all there was a fantastic Skank turn-out with many people driving many hours for a relatively short but incredibly sweet set of Slippery good music.

DOWNLOAD the show FROM eTree

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