FIELD REPORT: TOPS // Puro Instinct // Jerry Paper

All Photos: Brandon Bakus

All Photos: Brandon Bakus

Gerard Marcus

For those five or so people out there who've been with us from the beginning, you'll know by now that we have a bit of a thing for Montreal's TOPS—they've been featured a whopping twelve times on the site so far, more than any other act. Last Sunday, our rock-star photographer Brandon Bakus powered through a post-Halloween hangover to cover their show at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg and make it a round thirteen. Accompanied by local favorite Jerry Paper and LA's Puro Instinct, it was, predictably, an excellent show. Pics and notes follow.

Jerry Paper

Jerry Paper has always been fairly inscrutable, and it seems this performance was (thankfully) no different. From his odd brand of pop music to his live act which teeters on the edge of performance art, there's always something he does that's perfectly off. His sets are fluid and passionate, which contrasts brilliantly with his shy, awkward stage banter. Also, there's a lot of groaning. He really seems to love groaning.

Puro Instinct

Traveling all the way from the mean streets of LA were electro-pop wonders Puro Instinct. They hit the stage with a powerful, neo-retro California sound, reminiscent of the late '80s or early '90s with an undeniably contemporary twist.


This was our photographer's first timing seeing TOPS live, and when asked what he thought of the indie-rock four piece his first words were "authentically sweet." It was pretty apt, for a camera jockey.

There's a sincerity to the way TOPS plays that shines through in every aspect of their performance. It never seems like they're trying too hard, and they let their art speak for itself—the simple beauty of their music is as endearing as it is mesmerizing.