On April 23, a beautiful and balmy Montreal night, four very talented indie bands took the stage and delivered a hugely entertaining show in front of another packed house at Sala Rossa.  The four bands that performed, BEN CARDILLI BAND, SYZZORS, FM HI LOW and TRACER FLARE all put on a great show. April 23rd is also William Shakespeare’s and the late, great Roy Orbison’s birthday, and it’s a good bet both of these rebels would have been very impressed by the stellar performances. 

Recording Arts Canada would like to congratulate all four bands, and is pleased to announce that FM HI LOW took home the top prize for the best performance of the night, as deemed by a panel of industry professionals in attendance.  The panel of label reps, award winning engineers, and studio owners evaluated each band’s performance. FM HI LOW is looking forward to recording new material that it plans to release in the very near future. They join Foreign Diplomats, Tofu Stravinsky and James Taylor as bands that have recorded material for up-coming releases at RAC’s Montreal studios.

Once again, the staging of the Concert was handled by Recording Arts Canada students, supervised by J-P Nault, a veteran live sound engineer and long time RAC Lecturer. The event was co-ordinated by Justin Wiley. The lighting and sound was excellent, and the RAC student crew did a fantastic job. 

“If music be the food of love, play on.” William Shakespeare.

A very supportive crowd greeted every band with a boisterous level of appreciation. Each band, after completing their set, hung out to listen to the other acts. At one point, FM front man Frase needed a guitar, and Ben Cardilli dashed to the rescue. Frase, who was playing a classic Flying V, finished off his set with Ben’s Les Paul. It was another great night of camaraderie and music at the RAC Showcase. As always, every act walked away with a prize and valuable constructive feedback from this group of accomplished and insightful industry professionals on the panel. At RAC, we’re delighted to help bring new audiences and industry exposure to these artists. All the bands were able to bring their music and merch to a new crowd, thanks to the great turnout.

Host Joey Langlois sang a few tunes with the beautiful and talented Stefanie Parnell in between sets. Langlois and Parnell’s voices were seamless and intoxicating. As well, the sister duo known as Tommie Smith played a couple of songs. These girls are very soulful, talented young artists with a promising future in music. These side stage performances gave the audience a chance to hear some great guest performers while the crew worked on preparing the main stage for the next set. 

So, here’s a quick breakdown of each band’s set, in order of appearance.

BEN CARDILLI BAND is an assembly of very talented musicians from Montreal who play a unique & honest brand of modern rock, drawing on many musical influences, past and present. Led by the ultra talented Ben Cardilli, the band played a super tight set, filled with dynamics and intelligent harmonic progressions. Cardilli’s melodic and alt-rock songwriting is complemented sublimely by guitarist Chris See Hoye. Cardilli’s voice is both sensitive and powerful. The set moved from moody, to super-charged, back to atmospheric, which was quite an accomplishment considering it was a 30 minute set. 

Band members are: Ben Cardilli, Lead vocals, Guitar; Chris See Hoye, Lead Guitar, Vocals; Kevin Brunelle, Bass; Pascal Beauregard, Drums. 

SYZZORS was the second band to perform. The Montreal-based electronic trio performed a dark, sexy set of tunes, with mesmerizing melodies, hypnotic bass lines and powerful beats. Raphëlle’s guitar work and beautiful melodies with Gabriel’s electronic beats and synth sounds complement each other intuitively. We couldn’t help but notice the amazing 1940’s Harlem grooves laid down by drummer Lidandre. This is a very talented band.

Group members are : Gabriel Tremblay, Keyboard, Sampler and RAC grad; Raphaëlle Chouinard , Vocals, Guitar, Percussion; Lidandre, Percussion

FM HI LOW, led by singer, songwriter, front man extraordinaire Frase MacDougall, put on a super high energy show that did not go un-noticed by the panel. FM’s one-love vibe is evident in every note played by this extremely talented act. The trio looked great, and every inch of space on stage was used by MacDougall to bounce and bop through-out the set, adding more punch to his very magnetic stage presence. A blend of groove centric musicianship and incessant beats and loops had everyone in the club hopping from start to finish. 

TRACER FLARE was the final act to perform. The Montreal band played a high energy and punchy set. Front man Marc Morin was super charged on stage, and the band’s combined use of instruments and technology was evident during every song. Tracer Flare’s arrangements are very dynamic, with plenty of interesting dynamic and melodic progressions. Traces of 80’s Simple Minds could be detected in some of the beats and synth parts. Overall, TF delivered a very impressive set that combined strong tunes and a torqued performance that draws on retro pop-rock, post-punk, new-wave and prog rock influences.

Tracer Flare band members are:
Daniel Stein, Guitar; Marc Morin, Vocals; Max Tay, Synths; Frank Roberts, Drum; Jerome Payette, Bass.

RAC’s 5th Concert Showcase is evidence that Montreal is one of the world’s hottest music talent hubs. This was just one of many exciting events hosted by RAC, all with the aim of helping build bridges to the industry and successful careers for both emerging recording artists and Recording Arts Canada students. Congratulations once again to all four bands for a wonderful evening.

For more information on this or other RAC events, please call us at 514-286-4336, or send us an email at [email protected]

Our next Concert Showcase will be held in July 9th, 2014 at Sala Rossa in Montreal. Artists can Apply here.

“I may be a living legend, but that sure don’t help when I’ve got to change a flat tire.”  Roy Orbison