Jagwar Ma have been a ‘buzz’ band for quite some time following the release of their critically acclaimed debut album Howlin. Saturday night’s show at The Drake Underground demonstrated their fan base is about more than just buzz, following the band’s dance happy set.
“We had a rough night last night, but you guys. We played Lolapolooza last night,” said Winterfield, clearly fatigued but energized by the audience and they in turn energized with each and every familiar groove. A hypnotizing kaleidoscope of colours, shapes and patterns were projected against the band and their backdrop, which was about as enthralling as Jagwar Ma’s stage presence got.
From the onset of snarling electro to the programmed beats leading into the set’s first track “What’s Love?” it was easy to see the psychedelic/dance outfit were going to take the audience for a ride. Lead vocalist Gabriel Winterfield and company played amongst distorted vocals, strobbing electro and reverbed guitars, whirring along into endless performances, losing track of the songs being played, the Drake turned into something of an acid-rave.
The ambient beats subsided if only briefly to return to the task at hand of performing tracks off their aforementioned debut disc. Like the Blur-esque “Let Her Go,” made way for a momentary sing-a-longs while “Come Save Me,” the Beach Boys on acid, and fan favourite broke down into pulsing beats before Winterfield sang riffs of Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough.” No matter though, this was a fine tuned, dance party of psychedelic reverb and dizzying grooves.