Duchess Says Petit Théâtre du Vieux Noranda, Rouyn-Noranda QC, September 4

Duchess Says Petit Théâtre du Vieux Noranda, Rouyn-Noranda QC, September 4
Photo: Kevin Jones
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Purveyors of screeching dance noise and extroverted goth rock, Montreal's Duchess Says are unequalled in their ability to activate an audience, and at the (not-so) Petit Théâtre du Vieux Noranda, they gave FME a performance that was wholly immersive and distinctively confrontational.
 
Without having released much in the way of new material since 2011's In a Fung DAY T!, the band's set was built predominantly on cuts from that release and their full-length debut, but they also used their hour to premiere some unreleased songs, opening with "Thirty Lashes" from their May-issued split with Le Prince Harry and including a punk-affected disco track called "I'm An Idea" in the encore before closing out with "CH.O.B."'s bombastic thrash and their anthemic "Black Flag."
 
Singer and keyboardist Annie-Claude Deschênes was a force of nature throughout. Prowling the stage, venturing into the audience on the limbs and shoulders of fans, rolling out a long flowing cloth for the crowd to hold aloft and finally inviting everyone to dance with the band onstage, she fed on all of the energy in the room and pointed it back like a tube amp dimed up for hot feedback. It all made for a festival set that will be hard to top, leaving ears ringing in the best kind of way.