Destroyer / Frog Eyes / Pink Mountain Tops El Salon, Montreal QC - May 8, 2004
Published Jun 01, 2004This mighty BC triad drew a cross-section of indie rock connoisseurs, including a pocket of West coast expats who made their presence felt down front. Likewise, Vancouver's Steve McBean (of Black Mountain, formerly Jerk With a Bomb) made some waves by flexing his funk muscle as Pink Mountain Tops. Via voice, guitar and tinned beats, hot and heavy numbers like "Sweet 69," "Bad Boogie Ballin'" and "I Fuck Mountains" shook their groovy bottoms to the tune of classic hipster rock. However, his set would have benefited from a trim. Victoria's beloved fringe quartet Frog Eyes didn't wear out their welcome. In fact, watching Grayson Walker bulge with melodrama was a blast. Sweaty, breathless and possibly channelling painful memories, he sang with twice the blubbering mania of his records a visually, if not sonically, impressive feat. Completing the yin/yang, Melanie Campbell hit her custom kit with supreme cool and confidence, at once rigid as a totem and relaxed as a Rasta. Frog Eyes also served as the backup band for Destroyer, aka the New Pornographers' Dan Bejar, whose precious brand of intensity seemed to draw from his head, as opposed to Walker's body-wide reverberations. The quintet created a coarse but invigorating rearrangement of Bejar's songs, which was a novel but not entirely effective approach, though an attempt to faithfully duplicate Your Blues on stage may not have fared better. The show's momentum was also slightly undercut by the relentless complaints of a few Destroyer purists. Their demands for more vocals and less guitar were understandable, but so was Walker's annoyance at their implied resentment; he was the (electric) guitarist, after all, playing the second of two sets that night during a full tour of double duty. But, in the end, simply hearing Destroyer live was satisfying in itself.