Published Apr 01, 2004Leading this inter-provincial rock triad was L'Attack, whose front-man and bassist have put some meat on their bones since their days with the popular francophone band Les Marmottes Aplaties. Now singing (mostly) in English, with two guitars on board, their songs are stacked with thick riffs and gruff vocals, a familiar approach in these parts that's all too often ham-handed and leaden. Luckily, their live sound and stage presence were vibrant and animated enough to pull the hooks from the meat and offer a little something for the spectators. One thing the ladies like to see is guys in suits and the Smugglers delivered, along with one hell of a rock show. With "Boozecan," they paid tribute to "the state of the party in Montreal," then rolled out their "International Smugglers Dance Contest" (of which there were several alumni in the crowd), judged by one Lederhosen Lucil. Montreal's small mod army was out in force, but the quintet's tight, hearty, rollicking rock'n'roll was powerful enough to simultaneously stir, thrill and assault everyone in the room. Though those Smugglers may have stolen the show, living Can-rock legends the Evaporators brought the house down in two ways. Their rapid-fire hoser rock, combined with the goofball antics and spot-on showmanship of Nardwuar the Human Serviette, brought out wide smiles and rock'n'roll sweats. Nardwuar rode the crowd off the stage and back, and, at one point, played his keyboard on a bed of hands. Later, he got (nearly) the whole crowd to crouch as the band hushed, then to rise up in a big wave as the music swelled, getting (possibly) the most white hands in the air this side of New Kids on the Block (or a very gay rave).