Published Jul 28, 2009Our Brother the Native opened up the show with an interesting mix of ambient, artsy pop. Driven by a worldbeat vibe on drums, their minimal tunes didn't quite capture the audiences full attention, but it was an honest and trying effort. Their Animal Collective-esque noisy folk style was pretty much sans hooks, which made it a little difficult to keep attentive. Despite being label mates with headliners Frightened Rabbit, there didn't seem to be too many crossover fans.
Up next were Brooklyn's the Antlers, who came with a more digestible indie rock sound. The reason it was digestible, though, was because it sounded like everything else and became a watered-down version of Arcade Fire meets Jeff Buckley. The Antlers were certainly skilled enough in the songwriting department to win over most of the audience, but their attempts at creating beautiful/gloomy tunes were a little redundant.
It was obvious that Frightened Rabbit have a very dedicated following in Montreal, with fans coming out in droves to see the Scottish outfit. The quartet, featuring three guitars and a drummer, was equipped with charismatic lead singer Scott Hutchison, who had a way of working the crowd that made them roar with laughter during the in-between song banter. His lower-octave drawl isn't far off from Robert Smith's, and the pretty, bell-like guitar riffs of his band mates were a nice accompaniment. However, the sound at Petit Campus was not working in the group's favour, and by the end of the set, they seemed exhausted from trying to battle it all night.