Canadian folk singer-songwriter, Basia Bulat was first to hit the stage at Metropolis, clad with a shimmery top and a smile that could go on for miles. Poised amongst what looked like an almost sold out show, the thirty-two year old singer transitioned from ukelele, to piano, to autoharp, and back again, even throwing in a little tamborine in the mix. Graciously, she moved through crowd favourites, “Wires” and “Fool,” the latter off this year’s Good Advice album via Montreal’s Secret City Records.
Perhaps the most magical part was toward the set’s end, when Bulat brought out her signature ukelele for “It Can’t Be You”. With the lights dimmed, and the crowd wholly transfixed, the multi-talented singer, let fans sing along as she let out ‘ooooouuu’s into her ukelele mic and before you knew it the crowd was doing all the work. Basia ultamitely taken aback by this year’s Montreal Jazz Fest attendees.
The Tallest Man On Earth hit the stage soon after to cheers from the packed venue. “Merci! Bon soiree Montreal. Happy to be back!” the Swedish singer-songwriter shouts to the crowd before adding, “Same concept…sad songs…let’s have some fun with it.” Breaking into a beautiful rendition of “Fields Of Our Home” there’s no wondering why this act was definitely one to see at the Fest this year.
Vervety smooth vocals sweep across the room, as he plays with his voice, quiet at first and firey before the song’s end.“If I’m already sweating you know it’s going to be a good show” he adds. Masterful fingerpicking, sweeping violins, and sultery vocals summed up more than just a good show.
Review by Sean Carlin