​The Dirty Nil Bell Stage, Quebec City QC, July 13

​The Dirty Nil Bell Stage, Quebec City QC, July 13
Photo: Rick Clifford
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In comparison to the Ontario clubs and bars they first established themselves in, Festival d'été's Bell Stage dwarfed the Dirty Nil and their instruments. Considering the volume at which the trio is known to play at, though, it didn't matter in the least.
 
Frontman Luke Bentham was in fine form, sauntering onstage with a bottle of wine in celebrating what he called "the best fucking day of [his] entire life" after getting to share a stage with his favourite band, the Who, on his birthday. His energy was palpable, bending backwards and kicking the air mid-riff, blowing his bubble gum during solos and pulling faces through his clear-bodied guitar as if it were a window.
 
The show also offered a look at new bassist Ross Miller, who has handled the low end since the departure of Dave Nardi. Flailing around onstage barefoot with his Rickenbacker, Miller's active bass lines proved a suitable counter to Bentham's gritty guitar and vocal attack.
 
Miller lined up as a backing vocalist as well, and the two excelled in harmonizing with one another throughout "Pain of Infinity" and "Fuckin' Up Young," though it was painfully apparent when things got a little too pitchy as they attempting to sing in unison. But while the sonics were spotty in places, there was certainly no lack of spirit.