If you haven’t had the chance to gather up all your ennui into a tote bag and head down to Montreal’s La Sala Rossa on Le Plateau, it’s a unique experience. Somewhere between looking like a church built in the 70s or a community recreation center, it really had no impact on the vibe of the small show, as small venues usually do. Both Jackie Lynn and Moon Duo brought a night of hypnotic psychedelia that sucked attention to the sounds on the stage to the point where the audience stood stupified, momentarily unaware of their surroundings.
Jackie Lynn is the persona of Haley Fohr’s (Circuit Des Yeux) latest project, which takes her previous proclivity for experimental folk and channeling that through the voice of an androgynous journeyman space cowboy on a lonesome road trip. Dressed in her usual red cowboy hat and white, Elvis-esque jumpsuit, her silhouette was cast on a white gossamer sheet that stood between the stage and the audience also catching the projection of flowing kaleidoscopic lights and textures.
For anyone who has heard the 2016 self-titled Jackie Lynn release, you will have noticed her almost impossibly low vocal style, which translates to the live performance flawlessly. It had me wondering if Fohr was using an octave effect on her voice but some nuances that came through made it clear that it was au naturale.
After the mesmerising supporting performance from Jackie Lynn I wondered how Moon Duo would put on an equally appealing visual performance. That was until the stage exploded in colour as if someone were watching television static on mushrooms. ‘Creepin” was the first tune to kick off the setlist that comprised almost entirely of their latest offering Occult Architecture Vol. 1.
The riff hit hard and I was astounded at how much power and complexity Ripley Johnson can exude from a guitar he looks like he is barely playing. On the converse of that, I couldn’t stop staring at Sanae Yamada’s fingers as they metronomically pounded out the bass drive as if they were robotic.
The highlight of the set was the beautifully brutal and transcending ‘Cult Of Moloch’. The complex polyrhythms shook the crowd out of their complacency. The drum beat evolved from a clear 4/4 rhythm to a 6/8 rhythm so slowly that it would be impossible to pinpoint exactly when it happened.
It has been said that Moon Duo’s music demands a little bit extra of the listener. I can agree with that to a certain extent as the repetitive motifs and excruciating guitar can be taxing after a full album listening session. However, in a live context, you will be snapped away from reality by Moon Duo. You will go into a trance and won’t awaken until the final note dies away.