Donning variations of the casual button-up long-sleeve, Wintersleep sent reverberations through each concert goer’s sneakers from the floorboards up, buzzing with guitar distortion and crashing cymbals. The quintet kicked off the show with “Hum,” off their latest album Hello Hum, released this June. The energy onstage was instantly evident, with each group member wholly absorbed in their instruments and engrossed in their craft. With the final note of each track, frontman Paul Murphy would transform in seconds from spirited rock maven to endearingly shy boy-next-door, smiling inwardly and murmuring a satisfied “merci” into the microphone. As per usual in Montreal, the crowd went wild at the slightest note of French.
Cruising through a set list comprised of favourites old and new, each tune was more polished than the next, flawlessly producing sound akin to that found on their albums. Remarkable performances included “Weighty Ghost,” a crowd favourite of The Late Show with David Letterman fame that begs for a sing-along, the sunny and smooth “Resuscitate”, distortion-heavy “Drunk on Aluminum”, and “Laser Beams”, appropriately accompanied by blinding, flashing and strobe-like white lights.
Monolithic rock ballad “Nerves Normal, Breath Normal” closed the show. The face-melting, multi-layered, heavily instrumental piece had the whole house wide-eyed and slack-jawed, especially during an intense drum solo courtesy of Loel Campbell. With the cymbal’s cry of the final note, Wintersleep was escorted offstage by a ringing, resonating outro emanating from their synth machine, sending the audience off with one last earful of magic for the road.