We Are Wolves / Pas Chic Chic

El Mocambo, Toronto ON October 17

BY Lauren RahamPublished Oct 20, 2008

We Are Wolves, indeed. Screaming, flailing and spitting their way into the hearts of their legions of Toronto fans, Montreal trio We Are Wolves were as animalistic as their name suggests.

Opening for We Are Wolves was Pas Chic Chic, another Montreal-based group who differ in their approach to stage presence. With the demeanour of a lounge singer, frontman Roger Tellier-Craig beckoned the crowd to come closer and stay a while. Pas Chic Chic are made up of members of two other well-known Montreal post rock outfits, Fly Pan Am and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, so it's no wonder their songs were layered and on the smoother side of things. They were rehearsed and precise, with nearly every Tropicalia and post punk-inspired song blending into the next. However Marie-Douce St. Jacques stood out like a sore thumb as she awkwardly tried to connect with the audience while singing. She reminded me of Tina Fey, but not in a good way.

Putting appearance above comfort, We Are Wolves took the stage with standing drummer Antonin Marquis, keyboardist Vincent Levesque, who insisted on wearing his black trench coat and scarf for nearly half the set despite the bright lights and his increasingly sweaty face, and lead singer and guitarist/bassist Alexander Ortiz. There's something very insincere about a band that take every opportunity to shock their audience, like children eager to show off to their friends. Engulfing his mouth over the microphone, cursing in French and acting ferociously aggressive was Ortiz's route. Proving his standing as one of rock's gymnasts, near the end of their set he played the guitar upside down. Let me clarify: he was upside down, along with his guitar, with his legs stretched and leaning against a wall and his shoulders firmly cemented to the floor.

The audience, mainly young hipster types crowding ever nearer to the stage, loved it. The most entertaining part came near the end of their set when the everyone decided to form a mosh pit — probably not the wisest move at the El Mocambo, where a concrete floor will break your inevitable fall.

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