Michael Rault AXENÉO7, Gatineau QC, February 5

Michael Rault AXENÉO7, Gatineau QC, February 5
Photo: Ming Wu
There's a kind of duality to Michael Rault's performances, in that his poppy, refined and incredibly hooky side is at odds with the wild untamed guitar solo-wielding version of himself. The fun is watching the two battle it out and eventually find some semblance of balance.
Credit to Rault's band for really helping to achieve that balance — especially his guitarist, who seemed most attuned to what his bandmates were doing. Rault would have his back to the crowd, knee deep in a solo as his guitarist would fire shots of feedback into the crowd, watching and listening to his bandmates to keep the song from going off the rails. What was most impressive was how the band came together, how when they were all listening to one another and playing as a group they could dish out rock moments with seemingly wild abandon, then drop all that for some sweet vocal harmonies and tight pop moments.
There was a considerable void in the crowd, directly in front of Rault until the band broke into "Sucksess," which found a few dancers pouring in from the back of the room. It was a bit disappointing to find out that Rault was singing "being a sucksess ain't no fun" after hearing "being a sexist ain't no fun" through the entire song; there's an idea a male artist should get to writing. Consider that one a freebee, songwriting world.