Live Review: X-Ambassadors, Theatre Olympia (29/11/2015)

X Ambassadors at The Fonda Theatre

It was -1 on Monday 29th in Montreal, but this did not deter hundreds queuing up to see the X-Ambassadors play their sold out show at Theatre Olympia.  The venue is set up as an actual theatre stage, begging for drama, and boy did this band deliver a show. 

With their debut album VHS being released earlier this year, many of the tracks played were from this album – but even if you didn’t know all the words to every single song the atmosphere in the room was more than enough to get pumped and belt out the choruses.  Opening with the songs ‘Loveless’ and ‘Hang On’, the band began with a bang, bringing their unique punchy, soulful sound to the fore. The band launched into the set with an infectious energy, the lead singer Sam Harris jumping around the stage like a madman, and pulling out some moves that might even rival Drake’s.

“The venue is set up as an actual theatre stage, begging for drama, and boy did this band deliver a show”

Songs like these and ‘Low Life’ speak, as the lead singer pointed out, to those that feel lost and unsure, like their lives are out of control, whereas the force of ‘B.I.G’ is a motivator, an antidote, and the hype within the crowd was palpable. This is contrasted to the intimacy of the songs ‘Naked’ and ‘Gorgeous’, which allowed for a pause in the set, letting the audience connect with the lyrics and melody.  They still retained the X-Ambassadors sound though, with a strong underlying drum beat and the lead’s quite seductive vocals.

When the opening strains of the familiar ‘Love Songs, Drug Songs’ from The Reason EP blared out, the crowd went even more wild, the band not even bothering to introduce the song as the noise level skyrocketed.  The same happened for ‘Unsteady’ and ‘Renegades’ too, the band’s most well known songs, and the band let the audience take over in parts, which was visibly overwhelming for them.  They ended with the hugely popular ‘Jungle’, a song from the streets that does not let up, and it was the perfect end to such a powerful set.

If you want a show with a strong sound, wild dancing, and lots of heart, then this is it.  New, vibrant and exciting, it’s going to be a joy watching this band go from strength to strength.

Abigail Houseman

Image: Justin Higuchi via Flickr

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Co-Editor of the Music Section at University of Nottingham’s IMPACT Magazine.

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