CMW Review: The Besnard Lakes, March 22, Lee’s Palace

Over the past few years it’s been difficult to get CMW out there to the mainstream Toronto music crowd. Everyone that’s just come back from SXSW is tired and feel the need to take a break, the weather still isn’t quite Spring-like, and the talent that might consider playing CMW (or CMF as it’s now being called) may have chosen to skip it and play NXNE instead or just tour instead.

This year has been a little bit different though. You’ll see that those in charge of CMW have been able to latch on to other big-name bands that just happen to be touring during the six-day music festival. By claiming a few seats to each of these venues and allowing a very small number of those with wristbands to attend each is just clever marketing. Why wouldn’t they want to advertise Rihanna/ASAP Rocky, Stars, Nick Cave, and Heart on your posters? Regardless, with this many bands over this many days, you’re bound to find some quality. One of those quality acts are the Besnard Lakes.

Riding on their fourth album Until In ExcessImperceptible UFO, the Montreal-based band played just after midnight in the headline slot to a mostly packed Lee’s Palace. They played three tracks (that I could tell) from their new album which is different than their previous albums as it’s less about the ups and downs and instead is more focused on a consistent sound from beginning until end.

Besnard Lakes played a set full of fuzzed out psychedelic ’70s rock with a strong rockstar stage presence. The vocals of primary songwriter and guitarist Jace Lasek nicely complemented the soft and warm voice of bassist and wife, Olga Goreas. They even had time to throw in a Fleetwood Mac cover during their encore that added a nice nostalgic touch.

They’re presently in the middle of a tour with Montreal Psych-mates Suuns.

Posted on by Brent in Canadian Music Week