Royal Canoe

Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal QC, August 2

Royal CanoeParc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal QC, August 2
Photo: Pierre Bourgault
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Despite the blistering heat that affected both hungover/exhausted attendees and the band, Manitoba's Royal Canoe made everyone's decision to trek to the festival for 1 p.m. worth it by kicking things off with an exuberant, inventive set. The indie rock sextet played tunes from last year's debut record, Today We're Believers, and quickly won the crowd over.

Opening track "Hold On To the Metal" got the audience involved with fast percussive handclaps as everyone grooved, even in 10/8 time. The rest of the set was just as fun, and the band was tight and creative, with live vocal samples, Tune-Yards-esque vocal harmonies on "Birthday" and "Bathtubs" in 15/8 time. The band's many groovy instrumental flourishes and sing-along choruses were memorable, especially during one notable breakdown featuring two members pounding on drums, three on keyboards and one singer shrieking into the microphone. The band's jubilantly quirky performance was a great way to kick off a long day.

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