Last night at the Corona Theater was the first Montreal concert by newcomer Mura Masa. The young artist, who is barely 21 years old and whose album came out a mere two weeks ago, managed to draw in quite the crowd. The excitement was palpable as people waited restlessly for the show to begin.
The opening act was provided by Kucka, a little-known Australian artist, whose music is reminiscent of Lykke Li, Zella Day and Aluna George. Although she was dealing with some visible technical issues, her music was catchy and her voice was sensual. Unfortunately her stage presence still needs work; her oversize clothes seemed to be swallowing her whole and her at-times nervous dance moves clashed with the feel of her music. It will be interesting to catch her in concert a few years from now, once her act will be a little bit more polished with experience.
After an hour of opening act, the patient crowd was finally rewarded with the arrival of Mura Masa, sliding discreetly unto the stage and going straight for his computer and instruments, notably his beloved steel drums, propped on a clear acrylic booth. He doesn’t say a word but instead starts layering a beat that everybody recognizes immediately: the incredibly well-received Love$ick. The singer steps on stage and completely captivates the audience’s attention with her energy, her stage presence and the sway of her body. If he’s reserved, she’s explosive: we want nothing more than to keep watching her.
Opening with your biggest hit is a gamble; there’s a chance it’s all downhill from here. The gamble pays off though: people dance with energy, smiles stamped on their faces, for the rest of the show, which goes on for a little over an hour and ends with What If I Go. When they exit the stage, with a soft “Thank you guys so much”, the crowd goes wild, crying out for an encore. They quickly come back onstage, offering one last song. The singer exits the stage, then it’s Alex’s turn, picking up his water bottle and his towel, catching one last glimpse of the crowd and disappearing backstage.
All in all a very enjoyable show, especially from an artist who is just starting out. The singer has a lot to do with it, as she carries the energy of the music throughout the performance, letting loose on stage and seducing the crowd, arms wide open and hair dancing in the air, while Mura Masa remains behind his instruments, seemingly satisfied just to get people vibing. The duality works; I’m already excited for the next tour.