Zeus Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal QC August 5

Zeus Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal QC August 5
It's never easy to open up the day, especially on a stage set to house a near-perfect lineup. Yet when Toronto indie darlings Zeus materialized in all their mustachioed glory, it was to the affectionate applause of a none-too-modest congregation. As the ominous clouds that would plague the festival all day drew closer, the foursome jumped into their first few tunes, a well-oiled machine operating within arm's length of one another.

Warming up with the crisp guitar of "Anything You Want Dear," the group hit their stride when they spread out and slowed things down on an energized rendition of the slow-burning "The River by the Garden." The audience clapped in time to the bluesy number, ending just as the rain started to come down in earnest. Carlin Nicholson, at this point playing bass (as usual, the band did a fair bit of instrument swapping throughout the set), reached heavenward as it began to pour and the group launched into their rollicking take on Genesis's "That's All," demonstrating their considerable prowess in the song's finale.

That tune gave way to the more sinister but no less engaging "Love/Pain," from this year's Busting Visions, as the group's buoyant riffs and impeccable vocal harmonies distracted from the increasingly muddy venue. Although they may have been dealt a difficult slot, Zeus went out with a bang, signing off with an impassioned version of "Are You Gonna Waste My Time?" before handing things off to labelmate Dan Mangan on the stage next door.