The first thing you notice about West Hollywood’s legendary The Roxy Theatre is the inky black curtains that surround the stage – deployed to build excitement or signal the night’s end.
Gracing the iconic venue on Wednesday, Feb 27, Montreal’s Men I Trust delivered their hushed and hypnotic dance grooves with aplomb, emerging from the pitch-black drapery to a cheering, sold-out Los Angeles crowd.
Call it what you will, but “chilled-out” is what Men I Trust achieve with each of their songs. Onstage and below, primary colours of red and yellow swirled about as the unique, fluttering sound of lead singer Emmanuelle Proulx recalled the silvery vocals of Sia.
During the night’s highlight, Lauren, one could feel the bass lines of Jessy Cason pairing perfectly with her croon. In fact, there was an undeniable kinship between the quartet. Securing foundation from the drums, the trio of guitar, synth and bass ignited an intoxicating slow-burn of beautifully minimalistic sounds and arrangements.
With tracks from their 2015 album Headroom and 2019’s Oncle Jazz washing over everyone in attendance, the group dispatched an impressive contrast between the buoyant and the airy, effortlessly arousing a hazy atmosphere that aligned perfectly with the nocturnal vibes inside The Roxy Theatre.
Concluding their night, Men I Trust offered up their latest single Say, Can You Hear. Veering away from their R&B leanings – reminiscent of French electro-rockers Air – the up-tempo number was something slightly new: Punchy and tight, yet unquestionably melodic. Whether it was a window into their musical evolution, judging by the crowd, it seemed a lot of LA had already caught on.