We Went to a Show - Pinegrove at Bar Le Ritz PDB, Montreal

On a self-described “kinda random tour” between albums, Montclaire, New Jersey’s Pinegrove made their way to Montreal’s Bar Le Ritz PDB with supporting acts Lomelda and Florist. As the venue filled with eager fans, early birds were treated to the sad, beautiful musings of Lomelda. With this project, songwriter Hannah Read transports an old ethos of love songs into the 21st century with wandering electric guitar, soft synths, and catchy drum tracks, Americana meets experimental folk.

Florist then transported us to the Catskill mountains of New York state, the inspiration for their latest record If Blue Could Be Happiness. Emergent motifs of nature, light, and air in these tracks hint at the fleeting seasonality of life. Ethereal bowed guitar and soft droning synths backed Emily Sprague’s poetic lyrics and flawless acoustic noodling. This project is a sensitive and artful exercise in DIY folk that proved a moving live show.

 

After being laid emotionally bare by these two openers, the crowd had to switch gears in order to welcome Pinegrove to the stage. Charismatic frontman Evan Stephens Hall teased the crowd with some playful banter throughout the set. Pinegrove’s live show is noticeably groovier and jammier than their studio recordings, viscerally feeding off an energetic and dedicated crowd who was with them lyric by lyric. A balanced setlist selected tracks from their breakout record Cardinal, favourites from their archives, and new tracks off an upcoming LP to be released this spring. Pinegrove’s unique melding of roots rock, “alt-country”, soft punk and even the slightest indulgence of emo are all filtered through cathartic songwriting. Within their catchy, offbeat progressions, Pinegrove is creating sincere and clever pop music. Having reached a newfound critical and commercial success, time will tell where this project goes next; for now we are captivated.

Thank you to Blue Skies Turn Black and Bar Le Ritz PDB for having us, and thank you for reading!

- Colin Crawford

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