Partner Cabaret de la dernière chance, Rouyn-Noranda QC, September 1

Partner Cabaret de la dernière chance, Rouyn-Noranda QC, September 1
Photo: Matt Williams
Sackville, NB's Partner kicked off their late night set at Cabaret de la dernière chance with a tune where they claimed they would rock our world while simultaneously pulling off the feat in a single succinct, AC/DC-esque rock 'n' roll joyride. Partner have been putting in a lot of live work over the last year or so, and their shows have reached an effortless, blissful high.
Over an hour on the first night (September 1) of FME, Josée Caron and Lucy Niles were hilarious and engaging, bending the entire sweaty, packed room to their will while they joked about weed in French, started chants of "JERRY! JERRY!" before a song about daytime TV, and melted faces with every tune. Niles was especially on with the stage banter. "Thank you to Boreal for all this friggin' free beer," began just one slew of thank-yous. "Thank you to the cheese tray. Thank you to the vegetable tray."
The song introductions were almost as entertaining as the songs (which is saying a lot). "This next song goes out to all the dykes in the house," Niles said. "It's about lesbian porn. It's called 'Lesbian Porn.' You know who you are." Caron strapped on a harmonica for one tune and played slide guitar with a borrowed lighter on the breezy "Creature in the Sun."
Almost every song inspired the crowd to head-bang and throw up the horns, a reaction that's pretty much always a direct result of Caron's incendiary solos, which scream and burn and howl like power pop J Mascis epics distilled into 30 seconds of speed-addled six-string nirvana. Along with Niles' heavy-as-hell rhythm playing and the rest of the band's solid back-up, Partner really have everything they need to kill any audience dead with the power of their electrifying rock'n'roll.
After a blazing "Ambassador To Ecstasy," Caron collapsed to her knees on the stage floor and poured Boreal down her throat while the crowd chanted for one more tune. So Partner led them all in an a cappella sing-along of Queen's "We Will Rock You." Consider us rocked.