Crosss, Petra Glynt, Michael Rault and Kings Quest closed out MEGAPHONO‘s final show Thursday night at the Dominion Tavern in the Byward Market.
The night began with an Ottawa band whose name lends itself so very well to a video game, Kings Quest. The wonders of Kings Quest lie within their very diverse vocal contributions. The band’s primary vocalists are two females, but there are also two other male members who contribute vocals, all of them are so different from one another but they work in such harmony. They mostly played songs off their latest release Fox Island, including the ultra catchy and excellent “Alana.”
Kings Quests name is medieval but it was Michael Rault that took us back in time. The Toronto-based singer, guitarist and songwriter was quite the flashback. The best way I can describe it would be the sound of people jamming to 70s and 80s rock and blues with a hint of psych coming out of a neighbour’s garage, and you just need to go visit. The songs that had me hooked right away was “Too Bad So Sad” and “Nothing Means Nothing.” Then there was the super fun “I Wanna Love You,” which reminded me of The Beatles’ cute love songs with some really sweet “oooohhhs.”
Next up was the show stealing Petra Glynt. She was a super energetic solo performer playing smashing drums with experimental and atmospheric sounds layered with looping vocals. She made amazing use of all pedals, knobs, drum machine and the floor tom at her disposal. Petra Glynt is a solo project out of Toronto of artist Alexandra Mackenzie and it blew me away, and I was clearly not alone by the complete silence and focus of the crowd at the Dominion. A song that truly stood out was the tribal influenced “OF THIS LAND.” It was a mesmerizing experience and one of the highlights of a festival that saw many really impressive performances.
Having the responsibility and honour of closing out MEGAPHONO was Crosss. This very heavy doom rock trio, often described as futuristic grunge, brought that rock sound the Dom is much more used to. The Montreal-based trio is led by multi-instrumentalist, and only remaining original member, Andrew March. March was playing his guitar upside down, the low E string was at bottom instead of at the top, something you certainly don’t see very often. Often overlooked are drummers but the drummer makes Crosss. He is so solid and driving, dictating the flow of the impressive wall of sound created by a three-piece. It’s a good thing the festival ended, as my neck needed some time to recover.