Review: Thundercat Leaves Montreal Love-“Drunk”

At precisely 10:15pm yesterday evening, Thundercat took the stage at Montreal’s Société des arts technologiques for what was soon to be an unforgettable evening. This was my third time seeing the Brainfeeder bassist live. The first two were held at far more intimate venues (read my review of the second show here). There is a lack of intimacy, but it is also nice to see him somewhere with a much larger crowd.

Despite his growing crowds (upwards of 1000 attendees yesterday), he still possesses the same awkwardness of his earlier outings in the city. There is virtually no talking between songs, but on occasion, a slight smirk before diving into the next track.

Fresh off the release of his third studio album, Drunk, the set still managed to contain a healthy amount of songs from past projects. Additionally, sprinkles of his collaborations with Kendrick Lamar from the Grammy-winning To Pimp a Butterfly, were quite crowd pleasures. In particular, a mashup of “Bus in These Streets/These Walls” got the audience grooving. However, as per usual, it is the mystical “Them Changes” that most rocked the building.

One aspect I could always appreciate about Thundercat’s performances is that he always finds interesting ways flip his songs live. Nothing ever quite sounds the same as its album form. Fans should expect nothing less than fresh takes on the tunes they love, be it a mashup, remix, or diving off into a solo. As amazing as his album material is, nothing quite beats seeing the songs with these solos. 

Thundercat’s playing skills second to none. He’s like the Twista of bassists: quick, passive, and usually behind a star, but shines when he takes the lead. With a more subtle pianist and drummer to compliment his skills, Thundercat certainly took the lead last night!

It might have felt more special seeing him at smaller venues, yet it’s a delight to see this tremendous talent grow. Oddly enough, this was probably my least favourite time seeing Thundercat live. This says so much about his caliber, considering it was still excellent.