Cramming 100 people inside an apartment kitchen is not easy. It also is not easy to play live rock music on a residential street without getting a noise complaint or two. But the “Back to the House Concert,” which raised funds for the charity Jam for Justice, managed to accomplish both.
The retro-themed house concert featured four artists playing back-to-back: Enter the Mojo, Parker Konz, Societal Siege, and Alyssa Nazmi. Each act brought something unique to the show, but there was a clear through line: Fun. From the groovy keys and funky guitar riffs of Enter the Mojo to the punk-infused rock of Societal Siege, it was clear that everyone showed up to have a good time.
The night began with the timid ambiance of most house parties, which really get going about an hour or two after the posted start time. With the crowd slowly filtering in, Enter the Mojo probably got a better chance than anyone to show off their sound without crowd-noise. Playing covers of both Childish Gambino’s “Me and Your Mama” and “Redbone,” Enter the Mojo got everyone in the mood to dance, playing with technical skill that most amateur bands would envy.
But as the night went on, it became difficult to make out the specifics of what was happening on stage. From the start of Parker Konz’s set until late in the show, the crowd was so thick that the only way to see the performers was to climb onto the counter or to push to the front of the room. The fact that so many did is a testament to the atmosphere of the show. Instead of being a detriment, the chaos simply added to the setting’s intimate vibe. The concert increasingly became a rowdy and electric experience as the night went on. Parker Konz’s cover of Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs” seemed a fitting late-decade tribute to one of the most successful indie acts from Montreal, and the crowd’s response proved that it still remains one of Generation Z’s most powerful anthems.
Despite how great each band was, the show really peaked with Societal Siege’s pulsing rock-and-roll set. What had been a present but simmering mosh pit throughout the night exploded into a frenetic boil. The original tunes that Societal Siege played were instantly catchy without being predictable, and they allowed everyone to get in on the energy. Multiple attendees launched themselves onto the crowd for a quick surf, and somehow the front rows stayed far enough away from the band to not interfere with their performance.
A DJ set by Alyssa capped off the night of music, which ended up lasting from 9:30 to well past midnight without feeling too long or stretched out. There were rooms in which to hang out and take a breather away from the music, with samosas and free drink samples for all. These spaces provided a nice touch to an already fantastic event, allowing concertgoers to take comfortable breaks over the course of the long night.
Four great acts entered one house and the crowd did the rest. The result was one of the best student-run indie concerts of the year.