Heat Divan Orange, Montreal QC, September 20

Heat Divan Orange, Montreal QC, September 20
Photo: Steve Louie
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Taking to the modest stage at Divan Orange Sunday evening (September 20), it became clear that Heat are a rock band in the purest sense. Paying homage to the proto-punk of '70s New York City and '90s UK shoegaze, the Montreal-based outfit managed to revive a familiar sound while dodging the revivalist label, putting their own, multi-layered take on hazy rock nostalgia.
 
Performing songs off their latest EP, Rooms, released earlier this year, Heat played a well-paced set that got the small and relatively quiet audience head-bobbing and foot-tapping throughout. Oozing a calculated sense of cool nonchalance, Heat made their complex songs sound effortless and smooth (which is a feat in itself), while their performance as a whole served almost as an understated exercise in classic rock showmanship.
 
Led by lead singer/guitarist Susil Sharma, the band's set proved that a pared-down performance can be as compelling as anything laden in theatrics.