John Talabot Metropolis, Montreal QC, June 1

John Talabot Metropolis, Montreal QC, June 1
Photo: Vincent Pollard
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John Talabot appeared onstage as a duo with singer and album collaborator Pional in front of drum pads, hardware and acoustic percussion, including cymbals. The duo came across more like a Visionquest act, or the dance-music-for-indie-kids of Beacon and countless others, given the strange translation of Talabot's album material. It was altogether less house-oriented and more band-centric than you would expect, having seen them play live before. While this doubtless left many fans of last year's ƒIN floundering somewhere between surprise and dismay, the set worked very well, and the translation of the songs went smoothly, having honed their game touring with the xx; at one point, they announced they were playing a new song and apologized that they hadn't had much time to practice it, but it went off without a hitch. Overall, they created a positive vibe that made the cavernous Metropolis feel much smaller and more intimate, and those bass lines were hard to stay still to. Towards the end, they played "Destiny" — an obvious highlight, and the song everyone had been waiting for and arguably one of the best tracks of 2012 — then changed gear completely, playing a full-on gospel house track to close with some intense drumming.