by: Myles Tiessen
Two shows took place at The Good Will Social Club on January 27th for WINTERRUPTION. Five bands entertained a crowd of hyperactive fans from 7 PM until well past midnight, making for a jam-packed evening of rock n’ roll music. This is coverage of the high-octane late show, featuring Mulligrub, Jamboree, and Tired Cossack.
Mulligrub threw a fastball right down the middle of the indie-rock batter’s box. With their jangly guitars, power chord choruses, and syncopated rhythms, the trio felt reminiscent of some early Alvvays. Their set dipped between some exciting indie-rock that veered into the pop-punk arena and some sad slowcore. Like their 2016 album Soft Grudge, their live performance carried some of the same passion and zeal as some early 2000s alternative music. It’s always a treat to listen to a band with such apparent love and passion for their music.
Jamboree knows how to fill a room with noise. Their towering sonic output that night was loud, effervescent and drew in any stragglers still smoking outside. Their goofy stage presence worked opposite their heavy song material, making for an entertaining show on all fronts. Songs like “Quebec” and “Be True” got people singing and jumping. Even with slower songs like “Another Day,” the band held their younger fanbase in the palm of their hands. For the most part, their live renditions stuck pretty close to the album versions, so it was pretty clear when the band indulged in the raucous clatter of pure noise.
Some of the best moments were when the quartet gathered around the drums to melt their songs into a whirling loud sound collision; it’s great to see where the band’s impulses are. They played loose, confident and proved themselves to be a reinvigorating force in Winnipeg’s music scene.
Tired Cossack brought the house down. The energy, playfulness, and talent were undeniable. Led by Stephen Halas, Tired Cossack pays tribute to Halas’ Ukrainian heritage with a unique blend of post-punk and polka. It’s simultaneously hilarious and brilliant and matches the magic of his folkloric lyrics. Drawing the self-described “Ned Flanders” look (collared dress shirt under a crew neck sweater), Halas used his witty humor to work the crowd and commanded their attention unlike any other that night. Post-punk thrills, shoegaze wobbles, and slick riffs reinvigorated a most likely lethargic audience, some of whom had been there since 7 PM.
The live performance carried so much energy that softer songs on the record started to shine through with a punk rock edge. “Machina” was a brilliant example of this. On Hocus Pocus, “Machina” leans heavily on the shoulders of coldwave, a common genre throughout the whole record. But live, the song fucking ripped. Halas moved around on stage, used hand gestures, and played to the increasingly fervent crowd.
With New Order-like melodies, an amazing baking band, and a standout sense of humor, Tired Cossack was the exact type of experience you want from a concert. Fun, energetic and talented.