Before beginning their final track of the evening, Shame, Young Fathers’ vocalist G Hastings takes centre stage; for a fleeting moment, it feels like I’ve left the concert hall and entered some kind of mystical protest site—part political and part spiritual.

7-Young Fathers Montreal (8)

With an austere look cast across his face, Hastings delivers the statement: “We are all refugees.” And without allowing much time for those words to fully resonate, the band leaps into a passionate and kinetic final song, the line “Shame on you,” repeating over and over.

In a Young Fathers show, there is a looming sense of heaviness, of burden, of trouble in the world; their regulated hip hop beats and smooth r&b vocal harmonies seem to be constantly under threat of being drowned out by discordant noise.

8-Young Fathers Montreal (4)Implicitly speaking to the world community’s failure to properly address the Syrian Refugee Crisis, Young Fathers place the blame and the “shame” not just upon political leaders, but also upon themselves and upon their audience, too — fun stuff for a casual Thursday night show. But it wasn’t all doom-and-gloom. As much as Young Fathers touch on elements of darkness and despair in their performance, the concert felt like a kind of catharsis, it seemed to channel a clear sense of hope.

Indeed, a Young Fathers show is a multi-leveled, one-of-a-kind spectacle, and a ton of fun, too. I spent most of my time during the 1 hour and 15 minute set dancing, feeding off of the indescribable levels of energy put forth by the band—in particular, the wildly erratic jerks and gyrations of Kayus Bankole and the powerful drum patterns of Steven Morrison, who uses his full body to keep time. The performance was incredibly physical, and the band’s eagerness to move and explore the space onstage had me moving, too (even though my moves were more of the Dad-variety).

When the lights finally went up at the end of the set, I felt as though I was being beamed back down to Earth. For a few minutes, I gazed dreamily around the room, regaining my bearings, incoherently clapping and mumbling “One more song!”

I left the Fairmount on Thursday night feeling as though I had been a part of something spiritual, something important—even though I can’t really articulate what that was.

* photos by Georgia Vatcher

Like music? Live in Montreal (or are visiting)? Looking for something to do over the next seven or eight days? Here are a few suggestions from writers Ford Donovan, Bianca Lecompte and Jason C. McLean:


Hailing from Sydney, Australia, these indie-rockers have made it big ‘down under’ and are looking to continue their success in North America. Nostalgically evoking nearly every aesthetic of early 90s Britpop, from the shimmering guitar leads, to the Oasis-like major key choruses, to the ultra-English attire of sneakers and track suits, DMA’s also inject new life into a musical style that has yet to be revived in the mainstream.

The band’s recent appearance on The Tonight Show is indicative of the potential splash these guys could make in the US and Canada; come to Petit Campus on Friday night to see what all the buzz is about. (FD)

DMA’s play Petit Campus, 57 rue Prince Arthur Est, Friday, March 25th, 9pm (doors 8pm), $12. Tickets available through Greenland or at the door

Young Fathers

It’s hard to define this Scottish quartet in terms of genre. Sometimes Young Fathers are clearly hip-hop, sometimes electronic, and sometimes soul. But that’s the central beauty of the band, they’re almost genre-less. Their biggest hit to date, a booming alt-hip-hop number, Deadlines brings to mind the sounds of a dystopian acapella ensemble in the very best possible way.

For the past several years, they’ve been touring all over the world—venues and festivals both big and small—and are finally making their much-anticipated return to Montreal. I saw these guys for the first time in England last year, and their live performance totally blew me away. Do yourself a huge favour, and check them out next week. (FD)

Young Fathers play Théâtre Fairmount, 5240 av du Parc, Thursday, March 31st, 9pm (doors 8pm), $15 in advance or $18 at the door. Tickets available through Greenland

Grre en famille

Montreal’s Grre en famille already launched their second album Désamorcer la bombeoffer online March 18th, but they’re premiering it officially this Thursday. If you’re looking for a mix of ska and reggae music with a solid Quebecois twist, check out this show. (JCM)

Grre en famille play Le Petit Campus with openers BradyCardie Thursday, March 24th at 9pm. Tickets are $10 at the door

The Goods Homegrown Edition

If you’re looking for a “warm alternative to the average Montreal  night out,” resident DJs Andy Williams and Scott C have been providing just that since 2002 with The Goods Homegrown Edition, a no-frills event featuring funk, soul, jazz, hip hop, afro and latin music. (BL)

The Goods Homegrown Edition is at La Sala Rossa, 4848 boul. Saint-Laurent, Saturday, March 26th. Doors open and music starts at 10:30pm. $10


Blockhead started out as a rapper, but this NYC born and raised performer soon found out that making the beats was his real passion and embarked on a solo instrumental career which brings him to Montreal this weekend. Come hear the unique sounds of this producer/performer, you won’t regret it. (BL)

Blockhead with openers Eliot Lipp and Voyage Funktastique perform at Newspeak, 1403 Sainte Elisabeth, Sunday, March 27, 10pm. $10, tickets available through the Newspeak website

Know a band or an artist that should be featured in Shows This Week? Maybe a show FTB should cover, too? Let us know at We can’t be everywhere and can’t write about everything, but we do our best!