Xavier Caféïne Montreal, QC November 21

One-time leader of the fringe punk pop band Caféïne, Xavier Caféïne hasn't exactly switched to decaf, but following the Quebec chart success of "Gisèle," he's taking dead aim at the mainstream. In a set packed with tunes from his new album Bushido, the latter-day mixed martial artist, well-tailored chanteur and friend of public transportation ("Le Metro") played true-blue rock front-man, eyes squinting in soulful anguish, arms akimbo and voice soaring to the upper floors. The tunes can be corny, despite the unrelenting punk spirit of his songcraft, but the strategy is sound.