Published Nov 20, 2014Central Arbutus Records signee Sean Nicholas Savage has a pretty healthy local fanbase, having recorded and produced in Montreal for quite some time. The prolific singer-songwriter released his 11th studio album, Bermuda Waterfall, a record inspired by isolation on the road and reconnecting with people, earlier this year. It should have translated to an intimate live performance. Unfortunately for the crowd at La Sala Rossa, Savage's visible intoxication and flippant stage behaviour made it hard to engage with the material. Performing alongside Sexy Merlin on drum pads and a mullet sporting, black turtleneck-clad Dylan III on keys and backing vocals, Savage performed mostly new material, including Bermuda Waterfall debut single "Naturally" as opener.
Savage's stage presence could only be described as awkward and twitchy, complete with inebriated winks and kisses to the crowd. At one point Savage ironically pointed out that "there's a drunk girl in front of the stage, somebody stop her," after performing "Heartless," perhaps confusing his own state with that of the patron, or maybe just calling out a friend. Either way, as far as showcases go, this one left a lot to be desired. "Please Set Me Free" played like a scene straight out of The Wedding Singer, perhaps intentionally, with Dylan III and Savage playing up the camp factor. Dylan III provided some of the night's better vocals, harmonizing with Savage and sometimes outshining him altogether, and Sexy Merlin was appropriately discreet, performing more than adequately — not to mention professionally — on the drum pads and providing the backbone for most of the songs.
What was supposed to be a 45-minute set was cut short after barely 30 minutes, although nobody seemed to mind, possibly because they were antsy to rush across the street for the exclusive BADBADNOTGOOD set at Casa Del Popolo.