Presets / Dandi Wind Petit Campus, Montreal QC March 28

Once the crowd had a few drinks in them, tentatively moving random limbs to the new school electro selections of DJ Thomas Von Party, Dandi Wind charged on stage in a Native get-up and a massive, multi-coloured balloon headdress that flowed like hair. The thing quickly got caught in the ceiling and pulled off the excessive princess wig underneath, revealing a very ’70s, boyish hairdo befitting the singer’s hippie past in BC, where she may or may not have been raised by wolves. She and Szam Findlay have played plenty of shows in their adopted hometown of Montreal, and even though the set list could use some new material (there’ll be another album this year), it’s hard to get tired of such a lively, stylised performer. For the uninitiated, imagine a wide-eyed, heavily costumed woman with a manic strut and a voice like Nina Hagen on speed, limbs flying in time to danceable synth punk with industrial edges. It is most definitely something to see. Less so, the attention-starved, retro grade club kid who seemed to think he was part of the show. But at least his laugh-out-loud stage invasion infused a little entertainment into an otherwise tepid set by Sydney, Australia’s Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes, aka Presets. In their defence, Dandi Wind is an unfortunate act to follow, and Hamilton’s relatively smooth, steady vocals make it harder to shake it on stage. Like your average indie rock show, this was nothing to look at, and the songs sound like some grand fusion of all the synth pop/new wave mining we’ve witnessed since the start of this decade. Not that they’re devoid of tunes, like the crowd-pleasing set-closer "I Go Hard I Go Home,” which finally whipped the crowd into club-mode, but everything about their set could’ve been more fresh and fun.