The best way to get through a cold winter week in Ottawa is with a rock and roll show on a Wednesday night, especially when Heat and ONFIILM are playing.
I discovered Heat a few years ago when they played during MEGAPHONO at the absolutely incredible venue, the Diefenbunker in 2015. That night I knew this band would be something special, and since then they have become one of the best bands to come out of Montreal since Arcade Fire, in my opinion. Yeah, they are that good. The band’s latest album Overnight is an absolute gem that continues to showcase the bands talent. They have a modern twist on new wave/post-punk sound, think of this day and ages Lou Reed or Psychedelic Furs.
Draped in a cloud of smoke the band treated us to late night jams on hump day at the Dominion Tavern. They opened with “The Unknown” and “Lush” off their new album. The drummer does a great job of combining his electronic drum set and standard kit, pretty impressive to watch and hear both played at once. Mid set they doubled down on songs off their first album Rooms playing the title track and “Susisfine,” giving the crowd a taste of the sound that made me fall in love with them. They then played “City Limits”and dedicated it to a friend of a friend whose dog recently passed away and lead singer Susil Sharma said “all dogs go to heaven, right?” Like I needed another reason to love this band.
Take my word for and see this band soon and any chance you get because they will not be playing little intimate venues much longer. This band really should explode.
Before Heat was Ottawa’s very own ONFIILM. The bands which started as an art project, plays some psychedelic rock filled with distortion, guitar solos, and vocals that take you back a few decades. Their live show features glitch art videos produced by the band made from 80’s VHS tapes, as well as two dancers. It makes for a busy stage but it doesn’t effect the bands ability to deliver the rock to the crowd. During the set they dedicated their track “Good Ones” to the guitarist’s uncle who recently passed away and loved the Dominion, they had their last beer together there about 6 months ago. It was a powerful moment. My favourite song from their performance was “Listen.” There is just something about the opening vocals which build and build and build, that just captivated me. It was great to see the band live after interviewing lead singer and guitarist Jordan Criag earlier this week, you can read that piece here.
Their live performance is definitely worth checking out if you are looking for some cosmic sounding rock and roll.