tUnE-yArDs Ukrainian Federation, Montreal QC September 23
Published Sep 24, 2011It takes a brave amount of guts to begin a show by yelping, grunting and occasionally straight-up roaring into the microphone, but said courageous experimentalism is the very reason tUnE-yArDs' Pop Montreal performance was packed full of bodies and officially sold-out. With the help of a three-piece band, Merrill Garbus transfixed a room of sweaty adorers with her salubrious concoction of tribal vocals, wild saxophone and raucous polyrhythms. "It's so hot my brain is melting," she said, wiping the dripping white eyeliner from her cheeks before launching into "Powa." Later, she invited a handful of newly acquired back-up singers (whom she'd shared a Pop Montreal symposium with earlier in the day) on stage to perform a new song. It's the tUnE-yArDs way to be inviting, but this show proved Garbus is totally in control.