Piccolo Rialto, Montreal QC, September 18

Photo: Steve Louie

BY Matt BobkinPublished Sep 19, 2014

Ever since signing to Constellation Records earlier this year, Montreal-based art-rock quartet Ought have been blowing up in popularity, releasing a critically-acclaimed LP with another EP on the way, and taking their ferocious live show across North America and Europe. The band kicked off their current tour in the city that brought them all together, ripping through cuts from the aforementioned debut album, More Than Any Other Day with a sense of vigour and alertness.

The setlist featured the band's most roaring material, starting with "Today, More Than Any Other Day" to build up into a louder, punk mood before "The Weather Song," arguably the band's poppiest hit. Lead singer Tim Beeler justified the many comparisons between him and Talking Heads frontman David Byrne with spastic energy and spoken-sung vocals bolstered by punk flair and an endearingly awkward stage presence.

All four band members were on-point, with crisp, angular instrumentation that retained focus even when played quickly. The band seems to be speeding up their songs as they refine their renditions, as with "Pleasant Heart," and Beeler seems as confident as ever as singer, guitarist and, occasionally, conductor, leading his band through outros with no one aside from Beeler knowing when he's going to end the songs. Beeler's energy seems never-ending and, when giving the guitar over to guest Charlotte Cornfield for "New Calm Pt. 2," took the opportunity to break out his best dance moves.

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