Cover photo cred - Sam Roberts Band

Last Saturday wasn’t alright for fighting, but more like rocking on a chilly Saturday evening to the sounds of Canada’s premier indie rocker Sam Roberts. We came, we saw, and we got conquered by the straight ahead rocking tunes of the Sam Roberts Band as they debuted to the hometown Montreal audience of their latest and fifth studio album “Lo-Fantasy”, and had us caught like a ‘deer in the headlights’.

It was a passionate crowd ready to rock seemingly wanting to get hypnotized, which they did. At about 9:10, Montreal natives SRB hit the stage with the straight ahead headbanger “Shapeshifters” and we all knew that we were in for a treat and some serious musical business from these veteran cats who’ve been together for a decade or so.

Lead guitarist Dave “Nuge” Nugent, drummer Josh Trager, bassist James Hall, keyboardist Eric Fares, and relative newcomer to the band, saxman Chet Doxas, along with Sam, have consistently been showing why some American music mags in the know have compared Sam and the boys to the early Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

Most of us knowing that SRB was playing the album’s tracks in order, knew what was next, and it was the smash classic of the plea for unity in “We’re all in this Together”, a song, which has been a staple on rock radio across Canada for almost half a year.

The fourth track, Metal Skin, my second favorite also showed off a slithery, smooth side and sounded just as slick as the actual CD version. The first half of the CD as played last night showed a rockier side and the second half a more subdued, somewhat slower side. On the final track, Golden Hour, SRB put us in some form of musical trance, not too slow and not too fast, but just right to end the show. It just had that nice jazzy feel to it.

The boys came back for a 4-song encore including some favorites like Let It In from Collider, a personal faveBridge to Nowhere, and ended the evening with the blistering rocker from the first album “Don’t Walk Away Eileen”, and got everybody in a sing-along to this perennial favorite.

After the show, Sam and the Boys continued to show the consummate gracious pros they’ve been through the years by joining into the crowd on the floor with the mandatory signature of CD’s and vinyls and the taking of pictures.

Lo-Fantasy, which was recorded at Montreal’s Mixart and Spain’s El Mirador, took 12 days to record and recorded the standard way straight from the floor with none of today’s artificial digital track transfers via email. The Sam Roberts Band, now gets on the road starting February 19th and through most of March, with mainly in northern American towns and some on the Pacific side, but do include a stop at Quebec City’s famed Imperial Theater.

On their website, some dates are up for Ontario stops in April, and we should soon be hearing of a Montreal date soon. So stay tuned.

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