Published May 15, 2009The first band on stage was one of the more recently talked about Montreal bands, the Sunday Sinners. I've grown accustomed to seeing the Sinners open ridiculously sold-out hyped shows like Black Lips or King Khan, so being first of three on a quieter bill such as this one was a bit different.
The difference in energy in this crowd clearly didn't motivate the Sinners, who almost seemed like they phoned in the performance at Il Motore. The crowd stood far back and only got mildly involved, which is a shame since the Sunday Sinners are still one of the city's best bands. Vocalist Jenna Roker has an unbeatable voice and their garage rock guitar tones are perfect.
Following them was Kevin Kane, formally of the Grapes of Wrath. Kane played most of his set backed by several members of Elephant Stone, but it was his final number performed solo that had the most impact. It didn't appear that anyone in the audience really knew his new material from his older Grapes work, although I much appreciated hearing "Do You Want to Tell Me" for the first time in years.
Elephant Stone were the masters of ceremony of the event, celebrating the release of their first album The Seven Seas. The psychedelic jangle pop is a little safe, never crossing over into anything too aggressive or bizarre. That being said, Elephant Stone's Beatles (mostly George Harrison influenced) sound is solid and the songs are great. Former High Dials member and band leader Rishi Dhir has assembled a tight six-piece band that matches shoegaze guitar with pop hooks.