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Killer shows to see in small Montreal venues in July

Get intimate with some serious heaviosity this summer.

There is nothing better than shows in the summer. The outdoor fests are okay, I suppose, but they tend to draw pedestrians. For the real deal, you have to pack into the watering holes and let the walls drip and just deal with some elbows. As we lead up to the Behemoth of the summer season, Osheaga, there are some absolutely killer shows happening in small Montreal venues this month, with two extra special gigs happening over two consecutive nights. Freak out!!!

July 4

While the roman candles get lit stateside, we can do our own celebrating with what should prove to be the heaviest show of the year: the Body and Dis Fig at Bar le Ritz PDB with the middle slot going to Cel Genesis and the sweat act spot going to Big/Brave member and all-around good egg Mat Ball. If you saw the Body devastate Sala and blow up the PA years ago, you know this duo’s psychedelic violence will leave marks. If you like your pummelling heaviosity with a daring dash of experimentation, you will want to scoot down to the July 26 announcement and expect to see the same people that packed it in for the Body. (179 Jean-Talon W., show 8 p.m., $27.13)

July 5

As promised, the one/two combination-punch happening the night after the Body is the psych and wacky soundtrack-y warlords Grails, who finally return to Montreal since they tried to squeeze onto Casa’s postage stamp sized stage almost 10 years ago. After starting off their career as a decidedly sludgy affair, it was once the members started digesting off-kilter soundtracks that Grails seriously led a charge that is still being felt in underground music today. This will be an utterly killer show, and seeing the Body and Grails within a night of each other is definitely a personal “pinch me” moment. Openers are Soma and this all goes down at le Ritz. (179 Jean-Talon W., show 7:30 p.m., $30.20)

July 26

Again, it’s been a good while since Locrian set the controls for the heart of the sun at Casa but this heavy/electronic trio return after a lengthy spell and are guaranteed to challenge your preconceptions of what metal and electronic music can be. I would of course never advocate drug use, but if you were going to dose for one show this month… If that wasn’t enough, opening is the drone lord thisquietarmy with t.g.a regular guest Away (from Voivod), who will be laying down the back beat. If the Body and Grails have you hot under the collar, this gig will prove to be your perfect summer triple play. This all goes down at the sacred hall of Foufs. (87 Ste-Catherine E., show 9 p.m., $24.56)

July 30

With all of this heaviosity happening this month, I will change speeds and alert the pedal-pushing, myopic, backpacker nerds about the post-rock gig of the month. Now, I must admit that pedal pushin’ post-rock is about as sexy as childbirth but even I have to don my proverbial cap to the epic soundscapes that Caspian are able to weave. As far as arm-folding, gentle head-nodding post-rock goes, these substitute teacher-esque dudes absolutely crush. If you think I’m blowing smoke here, go check out their recent KEXP session and thank the Ol’ Johnson later. Openers are And So I Watch You From Afar (ugh, that name absolutely sux) and Bas Relief. This gathering of tech bros is happening at Fairmount. (5240 Parc, show 8 p.m., $38.65, all ages)

Current Obsession: Portishead, Third

Killer shows to see in small Montreal venues in July

This article was originally published in the July 2024 issue of Cult MTL.

For more Montreal music coverage, please visit the Music section.