Faith Healer POP Montreal, Montreal QC, September 15

Faith Healer POP Montreal, Montreal QC, September 15
Photo: Steve Louie
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After an ambling, shambolic set from Renny Wilson and his band, the group switched gears to deliver an earnest set as Faith Healer — formerly the nom-de-plume of Edmonton-based singer-songwriter Jessica Jalbert. Having recently expanded into a full band upon the release of new album Try ;-), Jalbert, Wilson and company performed the new record in its entirety, deftly recreating its '70s pop throwback sound.
 
While there was little difference from the album version, it was a treat to hear Jalbert's voice in person. There's a power in her rich alto, possessing a character both sturdy and ethereal. On yacht rock number "Sterling Silver," Jalbert even performed to a backing track, giving the solo pop performance her retro pop tunes ache for. (Not to be left out, bandmates hilariously mimed the solos, with Wilson even picking up a beer bottle to mimic some slide guitar.)
 
But the band's latent troublemaker tendencies still managed to get the better of them for the set's final number: while Jalbert again performed to a backing track for "Best Saved 4 Last," the band began putting away their gear, the sonic equivalent of the credits rolling during the last scene of a TV show. It was an awkward, unfocused end to an otherwise captivating set.