A Look at the Magic Stick Lounge

N2D kicked off the start of the 2011 show season with a first look at the Magic Stick's new lounge setup and a second listen to Montreal's The Besnard Lakes.

 We learned in October there would be some changes at the Majestic. To better concentrate on the restaurant operation, they stopped holding shows in the Majestic CafĂ©. In its stead, they conjured up the Magic Stick Lounge. Using a lot of black pipe and drape, they curtained off the main performance area. The billiard tables on the left were spirited away into the back corner, joined by some old comfy chairs and cordoned off with more pipe and drape. Add a stage opposite the bar, a few high-tops and presto: the Magic Stick Lounge.

It's nothing fancy, but it definitely works. The space is much more intimate, closer to the bar and the sound was excellent. So were The Besnard Lakes when we saw them last June at London's Call the Office, which is why we came back for seconds. They're still touring on the impressive strength of their two Polaris Prize nominated albums, 2007's The Besnard Lakes are the Dark Horse and 2010's The Besnard Lakes are the Roaring Night, both satisfying interpretations of 70s-infused atmospheric rock with poetic lyrics. When Jace Lasek is on his game with that angelic falsetto, it sends shivers up your spine. Photos: Russ Gordon

The Besnard Lakes' guitar arsenal.