Canadian bands team up for tour

Plants and Animals’ latest tour kicked off on the night of March 3rd at Starlight, with the help from supporting band Karkwa.

Speaking to The Cord before the show, Karkwa’s lead singer Louis-Jean Cormier remarked, “We already know each other, but we don’t know what is going to happen tonight.”

What happened was a stellar indie rock concert.

Karkwa started the night by powering through a strong opening set. The Francophone band delivered songs off their latest album Les Chemins de Verres like “Le Pyromane” and “Moi-Leger” to a delighted crowd.
With guitar, bass, keyboards and two percussionists onstage, the music’s complexity and band’s attention to detail were expertly showcased to the eager audience.

Having garnered much acclaim for Les Chemins des Verres, including 2010’s Polaris Music Prize, Cormier noted that other than a few “isolated dates and festivals,” this year marks the band’s first real tour of the province.

He continued to say that the Polaris Prize provided Karkwa with the opportunity to expand their fan base beyond countries like France, Switzerland and Belgium — and of course, their province of origin, Quebec.
Cormier believes that the prize helped the band gain more international recognition, but Karkwa hasn’t experienced any overwhelming transformations since the award.

“We don’t have any castles in Spain, we are not millionaires,” he joked.
Plants and Animals took to the stage shortly after Karkwa’s set to rapturous applause.

The three-piece band played songs off their newest album La La Land including “Tom Cruz” and “The Mama Papa,” as well as older tunes off their 2008 record Parc Avenue like “Feedback in the Field” and “Good Friend.”

Also hailing from Quebec, Plants and Animals consists of both Francophone and English-speaking members, though unlike Karkwa, they write and perform in English.

When asked if there was ever a noticeable language barrier between Quebecois bands and their fans, Cormier said that singing in French hasn’t been a problem.

“When you have musical language and people can groove on the beat, everything’s okay,” he quipped.

He also spoke about his peers in Plants and Animals, saying that they “represent very well what’s happening now in Montreal.”

Cormier believes that the mixture of French and English members “playing together and forming new bands” is a trend that should and will continue.

Despite the overwhelmingly English-speaking audience at Starlight on Thursday evening, it was clear that neither band’s music went unappreciated.

Both Karkwa and Plants and Animals delivered tight, entertaining performances that will surely be remembered.

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