despite having been sick all week, i summoned up the crazy immense energy to attend okkervil river at les saints in montréal on saturday night. and i am so happy that i did! this was not a show to be missed.
last year, i saw okkervil river at the salla rosa, and they did not go on 'til after 11:15p.m., so i only got to watch about 25 minutes of the show before i had to boot it to the bus station to catch the last bus back to ottawa. thankfully, this year it was a saturday night; no work in the morning...
and okkervil river were in top form, full of enthusiasm and energy, and a crazy setlist of brilliant new tunes and old gems; a perfect mesh, really. i even managed to snag one of the setlists from the stage after the show was over. i couldn't reach it, but a complete stranger decided to help me by crawling up on the stage and grabbing it for me. he could have kept if for himself, but apparently fellow okkervil river fans are generous folks.
the okkervil boys (and one girl now too) put on the perfect show! they opened with a girl in port, which was a great way to set the mood, and followed it up with rousing renditions of singer-songwriter and a hand to take hold of the scene. i forget what they played next because i think that on a whim, will sheff decided to deviate from the setlist, and i didn't recognize the song. but that's ok, 'cause then they played four of my favs all in a row; starry stairs, plus ones, john allyn smith sails, and pop lie.
most of the band then left the stage for a mostly-solo quiet tune by sheff, which
they finished the set with for real, a crazy performance of our life is not a movie or maybe (with a lot of crowd participation), and and equally explosive rendition of unless it kicks, where sheff was demanding that he see the whole crowd clapping their hands along to the tune; and we all happily complied!
the encore was perfect; blue tulip, okkervil river song, and westfall. what a night.