Plants and Animals / The Luyas Divan Orange, Montreal QC June 9

Win Butler. Leonard Cohen. Richard Reed Parry. Two of these people were spotted at this show, while one was simply seen eating lunch somewhere else earlier in the day. With the bros and their lady bros taking over lower St-Laurent to gorge and gawk over the F-1 weekend festivities, much of the non-pompous crowd congregated further up St-Laurent, in-between the outdoor Fringe Pop stage and the adjacent Divan Orange. While I unfortunately missed the openers, Woodpigeon, I was equally as unfortunate to catch the Luyas. While they clearly had their fans, I call bullshit. Given that recorded music of theirs, reined in a bit, is entirely more palatable, not to mention the deserved success the members have had in other outfits (Bell Orchestre, Torngat), perhaps it was simply this specific live show that came off as a boring and annoying art installation of shrieking horns and vocals. Thank Christ for the arrival on stage of Plants and Animals, the latest signees to Secret City, home to Patrick Watson and Miracle Fortress. Though entirely different, they share with Watson an anachronistic something or other that places them beside the normal indie fare. Someone suggested "post-classic rock” while someone else cooked up a sentence that included "French” "tribal” and "Phish, but not sucky.” Whatever "it” is exactly, their first song, "Mercy,” took off like a bat out of hell that grew up to be the bandleader of a wham-bam Baptist choir. Known as skilled musicians that play with acts like Timber! and Socalled, among 1,200 or so other bands it seems, in this primary project, what they seem to do is write deeply layered, melodic and rhythmic songs that they then set on fire for their live show. At times guitarist and lead vocalist Warren Spicer seemed to be channelling music like the guy on Heroes who blows the city up. Finishing off with "Bye Bye Bye,” a song somehow reminiscent, awesomely, of Queen, the crowd and band poured back into the street to pound beer and see if Win Butler had stolen any more basketballs.