Whitney and CHAI Make a Stop at the Corona Theatre

The Chicago-based indie-folk collected made their highly anticipated return to Montreal on Thursday in support of their latest record, Forever Turned Around.

By: Sun Noor

The Nagoya-based four piece garage pop band, CHAI made their Canadian debut this time around, kicking off the show with their upbeat tunes and admirable antics yet unexpected. The outfit took the stage with their matching pink outfits oozing with excitement, immediately shifting the energy of the room as it quickly began to fill up. Those who were unfamiliar with the band were undoubtedly in for quite the set, as the audience was quick to engage with their set, picking up on their catchy melodies and sayings. Before the band continued to perform fan favourite “Choose Go!,” lead guitarist Mana made a little spiel about body positivity and denouncing the unrealistic beauty standards pushed onto to people, which is a part of the band’s inclusivity and self-love ethos, otherwise known as , “Neo kawaii.” The highlight of their set was watching the foursome dancing on stage in matching green costumes during their rendition of “This is Chai.”

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Despite playing the spacious Corona Theatre this time around, a venue that holds up to 10 times the capacity of the previous venue where they last headlined (Bar Le Ritz) Whitney managed to include still give their show quite an intimate feel. Between the band’s vocalist Julien’s drum set being placed directly at the tip of the stage and the constant crowd interaction, the seven-piece ensemble definitely made the audience feel welcomed and in store for an enthralling set. On top of having the intimate stage set up, the band commenced their set with a couple of tracks from the first LP such as “Polly,” and “No Matter Where We Go,” kicking things off with a nostalgic vibe. The band then delved right into the new record, playing all if not most of those tracks in a manner in which the musical arrangements were very prominent. Certain tracks such as “Rhododendron” were played with heavier drums, complimenting the trumpet.

Before proceeding to play their take on NRBQ’s “Magnet,” Julien disclosed that there might be a Whitney covers record on the way, but will not include that rendition. Well still keeps our eyes peeled for that though. Before culminating their set, the band threw in a few more covers during the encore, playing both Allen Toussaint’s “Southern Nights,” and Dolly Parton’s “Gonna Hurry (As Slow As I Can),” which served as a glimpse of more covers to come according to the band.

Whitney always manage to captivate their audience and leave them wanting more despite how long of a set they play.

Whitney’s set list consisted of:

  • “Polly”
  • “No Matter Where We Go”
  • “Giving Up”
  • “Dave’s Song”
  • “Rhododendron”
  • “Forever Turned Around”
  • “Golden Days”
  • “Day and Night”
  • “The Falls”
  • “Follow”
  • “Light Upon The Lake”
  • “Magnet” (NRBQ cover)
  • “On My Own”
  • “Friend of Mine”


  • “Southern Nights” (Allen Toussaint cover)
  • “Used to Be Lonely”
  • “No Woman”
  • “Valleys (My Love)”
  • “Gonna Hurry (As Slow As I Can)”( Dolly Parton cover)

Here are more photos from the show:

Whitney are due to culminate this tour on Sunday in Grand Rapids at the Fountain Street Church before jetting off to Thailand in March, kicking off their Asian tour. Click here to view all of Whitney’s upcoming tour dates.

Watch Whitney’s most latest KEXP performance in full below:

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