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Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Milo McMahon at Pub Saint Ciboire

Milo McMahon at Pub Saint Ciboire

BIG CITY HUSTLER  |  SEAN ZUMBUSCH

On January 30th, 2013 I went to a Pub Saint Ciboire to see some bands. The venue was very cozy and wood-laden, much like someone’s lakeside cottage. It created a very relaxed ambience for the whole show, which I found to fit the music performed that night quite well. There were three bands: the first was Elle, followed by Milo McMahon and Verra City Waves.


Elle, a local quartet, played first, and they looked and sounded good on stage. They were fun to watch, as I was able to tell from their performance that there is a real youthful enthusiasm behind their music. Their style of music is in that category of indie rock that a lot of the younger bands are playing right now, which artistically is somewhere between nineties Radiohead and The Arcade Fire. I find that playing in this style hurts them, as there are a lot of bands doing this. It makes them sound a little cookie-cutter, but they are young and will therefore find their own voice eventually. I’m definitely interested to see where they go artistically and musically from here.

Verra City Waves was the night’s closing act, and they are a four-piece hailing from Oshawa, Ontario. They play a bluesy style of rock, though the twangy timbre of the vocalist Kiera Amyot’s voice makes their music sound almost countryish at times. They played very tightly and solidly during their set and all of the vocals were on pitch, and their set was generally quite well polished. However, I found their set to be a little too musically restrained for my liking. There were some moments where they loosened up a little bit and played with great passion, but I found that the band for the most part played it a little too safe with rhythms and riffs in their set. I also think that Kiera should enunciate her lyrics more, as they play a very vocal style of music and their songs would be much more approachable from a listener’s standpoint if it were easier to understand the lyrics. Verra City Waves, however, is a group that has a lot of potential and I look forward to seeing them and how they progress in the future.

The real star of the night was Milo McMahon, the event‘s second act. After having spent some years in Toronto, he has come to this fine city to establish his base of operations, and this was the debut of his new band. He sang with a passionate wail; his voice harkens back to the style and register of 70s progressive rockers, except with that particular rawness and energy of punk. He does, however, place emphasis on the clarity of his lyrics, so that his wit and overall lyrical skill is not lost in the sound of the music - a definite plus. The fender-on-fender blast of electric guitar was the perfect companion to Milo’s voice, as it filled the venue with an appropriately boastful roar of riffs in the finest rock tradition. It was a great tone that was very effectively dialled-in like an electric guitar should be. His set included a number of real standout tracks, such as “Big City Hustle,” “Celtic Tiger,” and “Don‘t Go To Edmonton To Dance,” as they all contained a wonderful mix of great lyrics and riffs. Personally speaking, I would have to say that you owe it to yourself to see Milo and his band. It is absolutely a must-see act if you love rock music and want to see an up-and-comer playing the style the way it should be played: with energy and integrity.

Don't Go to Edmonton to Dance (Live in Montreal) - Milo McMahon



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