Billy Moon Barfly, Montreal QC, November 20

Billy Moon Barfly, Montreal QC, November 20
Photo: Luke Orlando
Billy Moon, a Mac DeMarco-esque figure who's apparently on the radar of a few Canadian labels, he's got a charming voice, and though it's characterized by a slacker's drawl, he sings the kinds of melodies that might have made Rivers Cuomo jealous in 1994.

With just an electric guitar and drums, it should have sounded sparser than it was, but Moon's wavering baritone warble quickly established itself as the star, weaving earworm melodies over power chords as he big-upped the Habs to the Montrealers present and assumed the role of the slacker yokel: "I'm too dumb to figure out a rental car."

It was a shtick that wore out quickly; after shouting out his drummer and hating on McMaster fraternities, he mocked a front row fan's sneering guffaw. His humongous t-shirt had gel paint on the back that spelled "Billy Moon."

His face, contorted with the effort of playing his catchy, well-written songs, belied the lackadaisical image he projects, but he plays it up with comically vague slacker clichés: "You hear about the party after the show?" he drawled at one point. "I'm so stoked."

It started likable, but as it went on, it felt more and more dated, more put on, his songs less like an update on a '90s sound than a dated party trick. At one point, he used a pitch-shifter to warp his voice as he bantered between songs, mostly to confused, scattered laughs.

Whether Moon can translate his goofy stage persona into something bigger — perhaps more natural and human — remains to be seen. For now, he's got the riffs and a knack for melody, but his antics all feel so forced that it's hard to really fall in love with Moon.