Saturday, 6 April 2013

Shout Out Out Out Out at Underworld

Shout Out Out Out Out  |  Underworld


On the night of March 22nd I made my way up the many, many stairs to Cabaret Underworld to see Shout Out Out Out Out, an Edmontonian band, perform. They’re wildly popular in my former Albertan stomping grounds, and I’ve always been a big fan of this band. I have a lot of fond memories going on road trips with friends and listening to  Not Saying/Just Saying in the car. Many quality jams are found on that debut album, and they continued to make great funky synth-pop on their follow-up records. One particular memory I have of this band was seeing them play in a sports bar in Grande Prairie, a smaller city outside of Edmonton; that place was absolutely packed and totally stoked on their music. There was barely anywhere to move in there. As such, I was curious as to how the music fans of Montreal took to their tunes.
There were two opening acts for this evening: Oh No! Yoko and Dear Rouge. Both bands are from the Vancouver area, though Oh No! Yoko have recently relocated to this city. Oh No! Yoko are a rock power trio of guitar, bass, and drums, and the guitarist assumes vocal duties. Their music features angular, layered guitar riffing, intelligent drumming, and vocals that occupy the upper register. They’re well worth watching, though unfortunately their set began at an achingly early time so most of the people who came to the show missed their set. It was a shame! I recommend people make a point to leave their houses early in order to see them if such unfortunate circumstances happen again. 

Dear Rouge followed, and most of this night’s crowd showed up during their set. This and is a five-piece of two guitarists, a bassist, drummer, and vocalist/keyboardist. All were entirely clad in black except for the vocalist who donned a red outfit, which is apropos considering their name. The sound of their music is defined by a very tight rhythm section underneath some grungy guitars. They displayed a talent for writing anthemic choruses and a good sense of dynamics. High marks all around for this band.

When Shout Out Out Out Out entered the stage, an energy surged throughout the venue as if everyone there knew what was up. The audience emerged from comfortable hiding places by the bar, pool tables, couches, and ceiling supports, and they made their way toward the dance floor. From beginning to finish, their set was as if a living skeleton dressed in a black cloak riding a flaming black stallion rode by where you were standing and tore off your face as if it were affixed to your head with velcro while cackling wildly, and your initial reaction was not to scream but dance. And dance we did; people danced until they were righteously stinky with a thick layer of sweat. Their music is not merely performed but powerfully exuded by six gentlemen: two drummers, a bassist, and three keyboardists. The middle keyboardist sang, and augmented his vocals with a vocoder. There were some thick-as-syrup sequenced synthesizer lines offset by ambient noises, funky bass, and the dancingest beats you will ever hear. They went through their catalogue of excellent tunes, and even played some of their earlier material such as the long running crowd-pleaser “Dude You Feel Electrical.” I could have hung around and listen to them perform for hours on end, but unfortunately they finished for the night and were followed by DJ sets. This was an absolutely stellar evening, and you absolutely must see Shout Out Out Out Out the next time they come to the city.
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