Patti Smith reads poetry as backing band Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & The Tra-La-La Band join her Pop Montreal.
A hush swept the audience as recent rock n' roll Hall of Fame inductee Patti Smith walked on stage at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre yesterday, a ghostly venue that still carries the spiritual air of its past religious incarnations.
Smith, looking like someone's cool grandmother, explained that she had just arrived in Montreal that afternoon with little time to befriend the eight avant-garde musicians from the Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & The Tra-La-la Band who joined her. In fact, she confessed that relationship was so new she hadn't even learned their names.
Nevertheless, a kindred spirit for experimental, atmospheric instrumental grandeur proved strong as Smith followed Zion's orchestral crescendos with her clarinet on some compositions while reading poetry over top others.
The audience was enamoured with Smith, as she filled the in-between-song moments with genial conversation, increasingly eroding that initial intimidation barrier between the audience and a still-vibrant artist with magna historical importance.
Stay tuned for my next post when I get Fucked Up.