If anything, the small but enthusiastic crowd seemed to swell throughout the set, with backroom stragglers entranced by LeBlanc's spirited banjo and guitar work, as well as the group dynamic she's developed with drummer Maxime and guitarist JP. The trio kicked off their performance with a raucous delivery of new song "Gold Diggin' Hoedown," and would continue to inject their set with English songs off the excellent Highways, Heartaches and Time Well Wasted EP, including a fantastic cover of Karen Dalton's "Katie Cruel," throughout.
There was a lot of love between LeBlanc and the crowd, with the young musician repeatedly professing her love for Montreal and saying how happy she was to perform here before launching a new Canada-wide tour. She recalls her move to Montreal, moving out of a 51-person village and landing on the corner of Sainte-Catherine and Saint-Laurent, and thinking, "What the hell am I doing here," a story she explores on her song "Downtown." After breaking a banjo string due to strumming too hard during "You Look Like Trouble (But I Guess I Do Too)" and her cover of Motörhead's "Ace Of Spades," LeBlanc quipped that she felt badass, as she should — she has major skills on both the guitar and the banjo. After thanking the lighting and sound technicians, she took the time to talk about the Dr. Julian Foundation and its Garage À Musique initiative, to which all the night's funds were being donated.
LeBlanc's performance of new song "Race Track" highlighted one of her biggest strengths, which is her ability to lull one into a false sense of soft security before launching into epic breakdowns that stop just as abruptly as they start, demonstrating a mastery of her instrument and material. With the English EP already receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews, it's just a matter of time before you start seeing Lisa LeBlanc's name pop up a little everywhere, just as it should.