Well before Shout Out Out Out Out even stepped on stage Thursday night, their presence was felt among the crowd. Flocks of college kids gathered outside the venue and later filled the moderately sized La Tulipe to the brim. The level of excitement was palpable, setting the bar of expectation for the evening very high. Luckily for the audience, SOOOO as well as friends Holy Fuck, managed to follow through swimmingly.
Montreal three-piece Land of Talk opened the night with Elizabeth Powell’s strong but sweet vocals and a solid instrumental backing. Their set wasn’t spectacular, but considering the stylistic differences between Land of Talk and the headliners, they did a commendable job warming up the crowd.
The area surrounding the stage became dense with fans as Edmonton’s Shout Out Out Out Out assembled its barrage of equipment. Such complexity is warranted when one considers it’s responsible for supporting the four bassists and two drummers that comprise the renowned electro-rock group. SOOOO was greeted with the audience’s enthusiastic applause – possibly in response to the flashing block letters on stage commanding: “SHOUT.” The band kept the energy level high and the audience enthralled.
“When we play music we’re totally into it and if the crowd is into it too, there is that connection… It’s a way stronger rush when the crowd is feeling that same thing that you’re feeling onstage,” says Nik Kozub, front man of SOOOO. Dancing broke out almost immediately but for those too timid to let loose, vigorous clapping and head nodding commenced.
“We want to have a dance party every night and that’s why we’re playing the music that we play,” explains Kozub. “Usually even in the places where people aren’t dancing, afterwards they’re totally into it. … I guess some people have a different way of showing it than others.”
The band hammered through their set, their two drummers pounding out beats simultaneously as the remaining members alternated between bass, synths and a myriad of other electro equipment. Songs such as “Dude You Feel Electrical,” from their album Not Saying/Just Saying, highlighted the show; the seemingly simple dance beats masking the somewhat grim lyrics about debt and misfortune.
“There are songs on the record that are specifically about going out to clubs and dancing to forget about the shitty aspects life,” Kozub clarifies. “I think that’s kind of a theme for the album, that juxtaposition of dance music covering up a really kind of dismal world view. Musically, thematically, we’re just going for dance music. We just want people to move.”
Toronto’s Holy Fuck took the stage for a lengthy set of swirling, experimental electro-beats. Although Holy Fuck’s style is somewhat subdued compared to the in-your-face danceable beats of Shout Out Out Out Out, the crowd seemed equally impressed. Since Holy Fuck’s music is solely instrumental, the focus was placed on the unique, improvisational sound attributed to the group’s ingenuity-as well as its use of a wide range of sound equipment. The highlight of the set, perhaps even of the night, was a 20-minute jam session featuring assorted members of SOOOO.
One of the most attractive traits in electronic music is the impact it is capable of making in a live setting. Both Shout Out Out Out Out and Holy Fuck took full advantage of this ability and left the crowd wanting more. After seeing this show, it’s clear that both of these bands have the potential to rise to the top of the electro-rock music genre.