Jagwar Ma Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal QC, August 3
Published Aug 04, 2014So many bands try to fuse rock and electronic music and fail miserably at the task. Then there's Jagwar Ma, a band with just one album under their belt, who managed to nail it first try. Their Osheaga show leaned more on the latter of the two genres, a good move seeing as they were one of the last acts of a lengthy festival. Jono Ma, the band's sampler juggler, synth player and producer concocted a catchy hip-hop beat for starters before bassist Jack Freeman and frontman/guitarist Gabriel Winterfield joined the proceedings to kick into "What Love." This was quickly followed by "Uncertainty," in which Winterfield grabbed his own vocal samples, then looped and echoed them to impossible levels, building a wall of sound over the funky electronics.
They were active, to say the least. When they weren't playing their instruments, Jagwar Ma thrashed around stage and called for props or hand claps from the crowd. Of course, this only riled the fans up even more, which prepared them for the show's walloping highlight, "Four." Here, the track's techno ping and psych-rock vocals brought the performance to a swirling climax. They have this particular sound down, at times sounding like the Stones Roses but with James Murphy running the show instead of Ian Brown.
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