I went because of my incredible fondness for Pick a Piper. It was Pop Montreal, one of my favorite festivals in the city. However, recent financial cash flow situations prevented me from partaking in this weekend of music goodness. I only caught a single show. Lucky for me it was AMAZING. Yes, totally and completely amazing. I didn't even see all four acts (curse you Pop Montreal for ridiculously late shows), but the three I saw were just ear candy to the max.
Let me start with Bent by Elephants. This unpretentious jazzy-folk-rock group is fronted by the endearing Chesley Walsh who is backed by musicians of the highest calibre. Walsh is strong as the soulful, full throated helmswoman, and she exudes warmth and charm. There's something about this band that melded hot apple pie with Dizzy Gillespie.
Next up, from a totally different music genre, was Braids. The two bands could not be more different, and yet, Braids was equally a mind blower for me. Think electronica and anime cuteness. A little more frenetic than Bent by Elephants, this band had me riveted as song flowed into song and the entire set folded back on itself in a symmetrical way.
Last but not least, Pick a Piper is what happens when drummers go wild. Two drum kits, lots of electronica, and a psychedellic guitarist. I've been loving this band since their last show at Trois MInots. This performance was a little less jungle beat and a lot more psychedellic-electronic tinged. Highly recommended.
All in all, two new bands to adore and an old new one that continues to develop and grow in good ways. Thank you Pop Montreal, thank you.