CKUT music department volunteer Allison Keil reporting from Sala on Fleece's winter tour kickoff show.

Fleece’s first show in Montreal in over a year quickly sold out the La Sala Rosa venue on Saturday, January 20th. Fans, family, and friends of the local band all squeezed into the eclectic venue to watch them kick start their Winter Flowers tour with the Montreal duo, Sorry Girls, opening.

The Winter Flowers tour is a short string of concerts in only four cities; Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Buffalo, NY, making me feel lucky to be able to catch one of their few shows. To much of the audience’s delight, Fleece played a mix of new unreleased songs along with some old favorites throughout their show. They announced on their Instagram story that one of the new songs they played for us had only been written last week! Further, I was excited to learn that we were witnessing Fleece play many of their new songs for the first time to an audience. This gave the night an air of anticipation and inclusivity that one doesn’t always get to feel at concerts, no matter how much you love the artist..

It was clear right away that Fleece has an incredible, fun, eclectic stage presence. The band members entered the stage wearing lots of glitter, 70’s psychedelic patterns, and guitarist Jameson Daniel wore a pink wig that bounced as he plucked his guitar riffs. The band busted out their dance moves before diving right into a brand new song that instantly got the audience grooving along.

Fleece’s hour-long set took the audience through a captivating visual and auditory experience, featuring a dynamic blend of gentle, soothing tracks, and high-energy dance numbers. Early on into the show, Matt Rogers’ vocals on Love Song For The Haters brought the audience into a trance, swaying along, seemingly holding onto every word he sang.

Before beginning to play one of their new songs, Megan Ennenberg announced that “this is a song about your dad.” She proceeded to start playing a fast and funky riff before singing the words “get your checkbook and sign the dotted line. Do you even know what your daddy does…” and “Never call me honey…” It was evident that every person in the sold out show was dancing along, excited for when this song finally gets released on streaming services.

While I obviously love to listen to the group’s recordings on Spotify, I was amazed at how incredible they sound live. They played every note perfectly and the harmonizing vocals from Matt and Megan intertwined so perfectly together, all I could do was listen and sway along in awe. Not to mention, all four band members had such an easy and playful stage presence, it felt like they were playing to a room full of their friends. Matt and Megan pulled out two of the funkiest pairs of sunglasses I’ve ever seen before belting their newest single, Stay At Home Boy.

I was excited when Fleece played one of my personal favorite songs On My Mind. They announced that they had played this song exactly 7 years ago to the date at the very same venue to promote their 2017 album, Voyager. It felt like a very full-circle moment.

One of my highlights from the show was when about halfway through the concert, Matt announced to the audience that “you are not ready for this next song. I can say that again…” He was right in every way. Megan set down her guitar, grabbed her mic, and came right up to the edge of the stage before belting out Umbrella by Rihanna. The entire room became a cacophony of excited screams before the audience started singing along, almost completely drowning out the band’s rendition of the song.

Fleece ended their set with the fitting goodbye song, So Long, before waving to their fans as they walked off stage, leaving the crowd cheering and wanting more. What I did not expect was the song they chose to play for their encore. In all honesty, they chose perfectly. Fleece covered Franki Valli’s Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You, with Megan and Matt taking turns singing the verses. It was the perfect way to end their set; as it is a song that reflects all of the different musical influences and genres that Fleece embodies from jazz to rock with a twist of indie-psychedelic guitar and keyboard elements added by the band to make it their own.

It was most definitely a show to remember; Fleece knows how to captivate their audience, and Matt and Megan’s euphonious voices left everyone in awe. Needless to say, I will be counting down the days until the release of their next album.