Concert Review: Cigarettes After Sex at MTELUS

Cigarettes After Sex burned their way into the hearts of Montrealers

Romance was in the air at MTELUS on Tuesday, Oct. 4, as the sold-out theatre swooned with their loved ones awaiting dream pop band Cigarettes After Sex to appear.

The show was opened by The Furniture, an experimental duo from Baltimore, who played a sequence of synthetic (and almost robotic) sounds, awakening the audience’s senses. Although there were no lyrics to their songs, the crowd was in awe.

The duo performed their self-titled debut album which consisted primarily of the synthesiser, the drums and small sprinkles of unconventional instruments (like a necklace to make twinkling background noise.) Even though this was a peculiar production of sound, it made for a unique experience and a good way to begin the show.

After a quick intermission, two of the Cigarettes After Sex members teased the audience with an instrumental intro. Moments later, lead singer Greg Gonzalez made his way on stage and kicked the show off with the crowd pleaser “Crush.”

With the band having only released the albums I. in 2012, Cigarettes After Sex in 2017 and Cry in 2019 the setlist, although short, was packed with fan favourites.

The group was complimented by a very minimalistic background consisting of a black and white flame in order to have the audience truly focused on the music.

Contrary to the music, the crowd was deafening. The audience shouted the lyrics to every song which made it hard to hear people calling for help when two girls were injured.

Luckily for them, Gonzales stopped in the middle of performing to make sure everyone was alright and went so far as to restart the song from the beginning.

They ended their setlist with “Sunsetz,” one of their most beloved songs from their 2017 album. The audience illuminated the stage with flashlights and lighters, creating a romantic ambiance.

After the band made their exit, the crowd wept and cheered. Running back on stage, they stated that they don’t usually perform encores but that we had made for such a great audience they simply couldn’t resist. The group began with “Apocalypse,” which made the crowd fall in love with the band all over again. The first row held out their hands as they sobbed for Greg. 

Finally, they ended the show with a haunting rendition of “Dreaming of You.”  A disco ball dropped from the ceiling, beaming through the smoke above the audience.

If the crowd’s reaction and the sold-out show is any indication, their next concert will definitely take place at a larger venue and I highly suggest you check them out!

Graphic by James Fay

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