When it came to winning over the crowd at his M for Montréal performance last night (November 15), Lou Phelps had his work cut out for him. His opening night showcase was exclusive to gold pass-holders only, turning the show into an intimate industry event for people more interested in schmoozing and boozing than tuning in. Though his frustration was palpable, he powered through a series of tracks that showcased his boisterous flow.
The set was dominated by tracks from his debut project 001: Experiments, featuring production by Phelps' Polaris-winning older brother Kaytranada, but a new self-produced track performed near the end of the set showcased Phelps' impending emergence from his brother's shadow. Visibly energized, his delivery showcased an enthusiasm that suggests good things to come.
The lack of reaction from the crowd was disappointing — call and responses went unanswered, and an attempt to get everyone to bounce their hands to the beat during set closer "My Forte" died out quickly — but Phelps soldiered on undeterred. Though he was unable to capture everyone's focus, those who paid attention were surely rewarded.