On Friday night, the skies were clear and the Commodore Ballroom was alive with the rock of Plants And Animals. It was a modest stage setup, with a hefty delivery of indie rock that kept the horde subdued until the very done. This three piece, from Montreal, made a fan out of me, before the first song was finished.
Usually I walk into a show with a healthy knowledge of the band I am about to bare witness too. Not on this night. I decided I would go and just honestly absorb what they performed, and give it a truthful review. I had heard the band before, but in very small doses. Usually they occupied a few minutes of my day, as I my ipod ventured through my musical gathering. But I hadn’t really gone into their catalog and heard any tracks back to back. This was about to be a very new experience, and I was excited.
I showed up a little late, and as such, missed the openers. The crowd was retreating from the stage, to replenish. I felt this a good time to press forth and secure a great location. I found myself at the base of the stage, and I was getting excited.
Plants And Animals took the stage a few minutes earlier than the schedule had dictated. Already I saw this as a huge plus for the band. Most bands now a days, never make their marks, but these Canadian boys were so eager they came out before their mark.
The trio was very laid back on stage. Taking a minute to get their instruments prepped, and then they were off. A huge high powered light sat to the right of the stage. Illuminating lead singer, Warren Spicer, and turning him into nothing more than a shadow. Nicolas Basque, on bass, was swaying and jumping to the music, as drummer, Matthew Woodley, laid down a tight steady beat. This group hadn’t come out to start soft and build, they came out strong and had the building mesmerized.
The vocals were intense, and the lyrics were poetic. Spicer grabbed the mic as if it would run away, as he sang from his soul. His power expressed by his sharp, serious stare. Only to be softened by the gentle closing of his eyes, as he chanted the lighter bits of each song. A great front man for the group. His voice has a good range of tone, but the poetry behind it is the real reason to enjoy.
Those in attendance, mostly sat back with a huge grin on their face through the first three, or so, songs. Just taking in the great performance and enjoying it. Then, it was straight to the floor to sway as one solid unit to the rhythmic output on stage.
Plants And Animals definitely earned my vote as a genuine live performing group. There was no over the top theatrics or heavy duty stage props, it was minimalist, thus emphasizing the music. The group was humble to the audience and, in true Canadian fashion, very soft spoken between songs. If you are looking for a band to start filling space on your ipod, this is a solid front runner. Plants And Animals are one of the sleeping giants of indie.