My first exposure to the dingy club live musical stylings of A Place To Bury Strangers was certainly not a disappointment. “The loudest shoegaze band you’ll ever hear” is the critical sound bite that features most prominently in my recollection of previous reviews, and their performance at Montreal’s La Sala Rossa felt more-or-less in line with that statement. The venue’s sound system and mixing efforts were decidedly less than stellar, but that didn’t stop the menacing waves of feedback and drone from reaching their intended effect. After a double dose of quickly forgotten openers, the audience finally woke up with A Place To Bury Strangers.I appreciate a band that has an aesthetic, knows what it is, and makes an effort to keep it unified. Lead singer and guitarist Oliver Ackermann’s somber vocals and stage presence contrast with bass guitarist Dion Lunadon’s rowdy antics and audience interaction in a manner that appropriately mirrors the dynamic present in much of the band’s music. Lurking but confrontational. Managing to shout in your face while hiding in the back of the room.
But as much as I enjoyed the show, it still felt limited. I have a feeling that the APTBS experience has more to offer. In a better venue. With a better mix. On their own bill (Yamantaka // Sonic Titan actually took the final playing spot of the night). I hope to find ample opportunity to test this theory in the future.
EDITORS NOTE: Our correspondent was unable to capture still pictures of the event because of a raucous crowd. A Place To Bury Strangers remain a live band that is meant to be seen for yourself. (Ronnie)