Photos and Review by Aaron Tamachi
In what should have been called The Australian Metal Takeover, Parkway Drive, hailing from Byron Bay with fellow Aussie mates Thy Art is Murder and In Hearts Wake dominated the sold out Toronto show at Danforth Music Hall.
Opening the evening was In Hearts Wake, which flowed into Thy Art is Murder and then slammed into Miss May I. With an explosive start, In Hearts Wake took the crowd in with a roar and left them crying out for more with a short but sweet 7-song set. I was surprised with IHW’s performance; they were a fantastic act I’d never heard of till this show. They sounded great with a fantastic stage light production.
As Thy Art is Murder descended upon the stage, the atmosphere in the venue changed somewhat. With ringing guitars and guttural growls, TAIM took over where IHW left off but took the show down a darker path.
Opening with Absolute Genocide and transitioning into Coffin Dragger, frontman Chris McMahon took a moment to express his gratitude to some Canadian Brethren. “We just smoked some of the best Canadian weed! I shouldn’t be up here doing this, I’m high as shit!” (I think my photo supports that claim). These guys aren’t just about weed though, as their live sound is quite literally pitch perfect. McMahon’s impressive ability to swap from pig squeals to low down gutturals and to high pitched screams is simply astonishing to witness live. After a short 7-song set, the stage was all for Miss May I’s taking.
“How’s it going Toronto!?” questioned vocalist Levi Benton. “Let’s get this fucking place going again!” he demanded as the band launched into I.H.E. Relentless Chaos and new song Bastards Left Behind, which the crowd seemed to dig as they continued to crowd surf and spill over the barricade. I’ve been lucky enough to see Miss May I about half a dozen times or so, and each time their sound gets tighter and tighter. There is also the consistency of Benton connecting with the audience during performances. Again it was a 7-song set, then MMI took a bow and it was Parkway Drive’s turn to raise some hell.
Parkway. Fucking. Drive. What a class act! Seriously. Until you see this band perform, you have not experienced a concert. PWD opened with Destroyer, while blasting the crowd with two massive confetti cannons and the biggest smiles you could imagine. After continuously thanking the crowd, PWD dove straight into Dying to Believe and Carrion. Parkway has always been a tight act to catch so it’s no surprise that I say they were perfect. I really would love to provide some type of critique, but honestly there is nothing I could say that would be fair. My personal favourites of the 13-song set (which included the 2-song encore) undoubtedly would be Romance is Dead, Wild Eyes and Karma, and I think the audience could back me up with this choice. The energy, the charisma and power and undeniably the fans make the show so much fun. I want to shout out to PWD’s fans at this show in particular. I haven’t seen so many positive ethics in a pit as I did during this performance. You guys helped to make it a fantastic night!