I was really looking forward to seeing this show as it sounded like an absolutely killer line-up. I had never heard of Stolen Babies prior to this show, but all of the rest of the bands are fantastic, so I was excited to head to downtown Vancouver to see what was one of the best line-ups I have ever had the opportunity of seeing live (Stolen Babies, Paradise Lost, and co-headliners Katatonia and Devin Townsend).

However, when I got to the venue there were a few hiccups: my photographer and I were unable to get inside the venue to do our scheduled interview with Paradise Lost as the staff member we dealt with was totally uncooperative. Then, after that we had a few camera troubles which resulted in our enthusiasm for the show being dampened somewhat. Thankfully, after we finally got in and the show started, musically, the night was like a dream come true.

The first to hit the stage was Stolen Babies. Before the show I listened to a few of the band’s songs on Rdio and thought it was kind of meh avant-garde, weird stuff. Their live show; however, was much better than their recorded sound. I can’t say I’m a total fan now after seeing them live, but after witnessing their impressive live show I will now go pick up their new album when it drops in a few weeks. If the tour comes to your area, make sure that you get there early to check them out as they played a very short set.

Next up was Paradise Lost, who I was really looking forward to seeing as I have been a fan of theirs for almost 20 years. Surprisingly, this was their first show in Vancouver, but the band smoked! Despite the fact that they have been around for so long, they showed that the old dogs can still play just as well as any of the newer groups. Especially impressive were the two new songs they played (“Tragic Idol” and “Honesty In Death”). The only thing I can complain about is that their set was much too short – it was only about a half an hour long. Very disappointing on length, but other than that PL played a fantastic set!

Katatonia was next and they too played a great set full of songs from both their past and present. I was actually surprised at how well the songs translated into a live setting as on record, a lot of the songs are more atmospheric and subdued. Live however, the band is quite energetic and their talent thoroughly shines through.

Devin Townsend ended the show and by the time he hit the stage at 11 O’clock, The Commodore was PACKED. Needles to say the crowd went nuts when Devin hit the stage. Even though I’ve heard plenty of his stuff in the past, I could never understand the hype surrounding him. Well, now I am fully aware! Devin is an amazing, high-energy performer who just exudes enthusiasm and generally looks like he is just happy to be there. I was completely impressed and will now be picking up Epicloud when it drops next week.

Besides the technical problems we had and the missed interview, the show was fantastic and I highly recommend seeing these bands if they come to your town.

Check out the song: “Ghost” (From the ‘By a Thread’ Concert Series)