The Socio-Political Analysis of a SUUNS Concert

Seeing SUUNS live is akin to transforming the entirety of the socialist bureaucracy into an anthropomorphic, conceptual interpretation of Kafka’s The Trial, giving it acid and charging intoxicated 18-year-olds $10 to watch.

The winding, drawn out rhythms and subtle percussion take their time, leaving the listener contemplative. The songs are in no hurry to get to their apex, the delayed catharsis intensifying their culmination.

“I think when we’re at our best, [the music is] hopefully a kind of meditative stasis,” said drummer Liam O’Neil.

The Link ran across O’Neil while lurking backstage sans backstage pass. Amidst piles of cheese plates and empty beer bottles, he swished by in a rush, raincoat streaming behind him as he carried out musical equipment.

When asked to describe his personal style, Liam painstakingly characterized himself as a “suave cowboy.”

Cowboys aside, SUUNS had a hard act to follow. During the opening set, a persistent high-pitched whine pervaded the theatre. What on first impression seemed no more than an ordinary fire alarm was revealed by indie rock group Miracle Fortress to be anything but.

“That was a conceptual art piece, called Evacuation,” songwriter Graham Van Pelt explained to the audience. “[It] was installation art.”

Not everyone was quite as keen on the conceptual side of music performance as its orchestrators.

“It just really sucks [there’s an] interruption,” said Jessica, a hostess at restaurant Limon next to Corona Theatre, of the firetrucks pulling up outside the venue.

One member of the crowd mulling around outside was Chad Katsenhake:ron Diablo. Diablo is a volunteer at Missing Justice, a grassroots movement which calls for “justice for missing and murdered indigenous women.”

Diablo explained his intention to announce the campaign’s annual march for murdered and missing native women to the crowd.

“People [should] open their eyes, open their ears, open their hearts and really listen to what the problems are out there. Violence against native women is one of the biggest problems that we’re facing nowadays,” he explained.

Other attendees focused on different issues.

video by Shaun Michaud.

Isaac MacDougal, a Montreal-based chef, said his attendance was due to knowing people at Concordia and “[being] inducted into their little circle.”

“How can you extrapolate your experience as a chef onto this concert in a socio-economic context?” The Link asked him.

“I’m working class, and I know that Tribe Called Red has some message behind it, but […] I’m curious about what they actually have to say, and to find out whether [it applies] to a working stiff like myself,” MacDougal replied.

A Concordia urban planning student, working as a bouncer at the theatre, explained his own reason for attendance.

“Being a bouncer is just a way to make money to pay for school,” he explained to The Link.

After the firefighters brought the conceptual art piece to its end, the theatre slowly filled up with screaming, intoxicated froshers.

A few members of this fascinating demographic had booed the aforementioned groups, disoriented and en guarde when confronted by music they couldn’t grind to. Diablo walked on stage in advance of the headline band.

“Are you going to march for missing and murdered native women?” he asked the crowd. “Whooooooooooooo!” they responded.

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