On Thursday evening, I got lost in a forest. Okay, that’s a lie. My ears and mind got lost watching Junip perform live at Le Belmont in Montreal. Junip, a Swedish based band, is a five piece intellectual ensemble whose complex music is performed by a mix of extremely talented granola musicians.
They started their set off with Rope and Summit, a Junip classic. In the middle of the show they played my favourite, Without You and continued to please the audience with Always. For those of you who haven’t heard Junip’s music before, they have silky and repetitive melodies that are down-to-earth and layered with forests (or that’s what they remind me of). If I smoked dope, this would have been the perfect show to have lit up for. Your mind can honestly go missing when listening to Junip’s music and yet feel somewhat safe in the lost woods you stumbled into.
Their performance at the Belmont was silently adored. Every attendee was hypnotized by the smooth rhythms of the bongos, the mellow guitar riffs and José’s serene voice, which cast a composed ambiance that sunk in amongst the crowd and layered the venue with a cool, collected feeling. It literally felt like an episode of MTV’s Unplugged. The red, blue and whitish lighting that beamed on the band (just like in the MTV unplugged Nirvana episode) gave them a tranquil aura glow that would have heavily impressed those-aura-reading-people. Honestly, they’d still be guessing just how this band became so centered.
Interestingly enough, Belmont was set-up in a fashion that reminded me of 90s poetry readings (not that I’ve been to those, but I would imagine they looked like this). There were tables and stools spread out across the floor in a beatnik lounge fashion, giving everyone the opportunity to sit and enjoy Junip as opposed to standing around like HedgeStone. It was a nice change from my usual dancing, clapping and roaming around.
Cool beans (literally cool, chill and relaxed this time). Junip’s played TO last night and their next Canadian stop is in Vancouver on November 11, 2010 @ Venue (how suiting). Vancouver, you’re gonna love this band, it’s exactly who you are.
Photos by Chris Zacchia