show review


Going to an Underoath show reminded me of my early days listening to metalcore and screamo. They were one of the first bands I got into that was part of that genre of music and their release They’re Only Chasing Safety had a big impact on my musical taste which was altered from then on. Over the years Underoath have gone through some member changes and just recently lost their last founding member, Aaron Gillespie, who with his signature drumming style and vocals was the band’s backbone.

When I was in high school I spent most of my weekends going to shows. When one of my favourite bands was coming to town, I’d comment my excitement to my friends on MySpace and we’d all gather in our skinny-jeaned glory to travel to Toronto. One of the bands that we never missed was The Devil Wears Prada. I had a great time during those days, so I was ecstatic when one of my old friends asked me to go see The Devil Wears Prada open for Silverstein at the Kool Haus in December.

As with any time you hit the town, it’s always good to pre-drink. Thus, I began the night drinking in a parked car owned by James Manning’s (Dancing With Paris) girlfriend. After establishing a decent buzz we proceeded inside to meet up with some more friends and enjoy the ska and punk which the night would provide us with.

My Sunday began with a jaunt to the water point. On my travels I was approached by two young men wearing g-strings and corsets, who drunkenly informed me that Karnivool were about to play on the main stage, and that they were “the best band in the world.” Well, who was I to argue with two vagrants with such impeccable dress sense and the ability to maintain some level of awareness at 11am after two solid days of alcohol consumption?

Sonisphere day two. Or hangover day one, as many of us will remember it. For the festival-goers who were up early enough (or perhaps hardcore enough to just not have been to bed yet) Family Force 5 took to the Saturn Stage. If you’re unfamiliar with them, as I was, then I can tell you they’re a little like Hollywood Undead mixed with 3Oh!3 and Brokencyde. Certainly not to everyone’s taste, but they put on a decent show nonetheless, as was evident from the slightly confused smiles on the faces of a questionably metal crowd.

As 55,000+ rock fans descended upon Knebworth this year for the second annual UK Sonisphere Festival, it became apparent that Sonisphere has been swift to throw its dirty, sweaty elbows into the likes of Download and the Reading and Leeds Festival to become one of the premier festivals in Britain. While promoters Kilimanjaro are highly experienced in the live music scene, Sonisphere’s virginal inception last year raised a few questions – would they be able to top 2009’s awesome headlining bands Metallica and Linkin Park?

After about 5 hours of sleep I was back to Parc Jean-Drapeau for the second day of Heavy MTL. I quickly got myself to the front of the Mayhem Stage where Hail The Villain soon came on and rocked the crowd, opening with “Try Hating The World”. HTV were magnificent performing songs off their album Population: Declining. Bryan Crouch satisfied the crowd with his scary movements and talked about how they are the most badass group – Hail The Villain definitely won fans’ hearts.

I got to Parc Jean-Drapeau around the same time 36 Crazyfists hit the stage. I could hear them rocking both past songs and new songs off their upcoming release Collisions And Castaways. The live set was sounding great as I stood waiting to get in. After came Skeletonwitch killing fans with their death/thrash mixture. By the time I got in they were on their second last song and fans were definitely mesmerized by their talent.

There was a rather workmanlike quality to the recent performance in Seattle by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, but I don’t mean that as a complaint. This wasn’t a band going through the motions of a set, but rather a well-oiled machine that has been cranking out album after brilliant album and hundreds of stirring live sets since the band as we know it was set in motion in 2001.

There are few bands I will drive four hours to see live. In the past I have made the sacrifice for Metallica and 36 Crayfists. But having heard that Alice in Chains, one of my favorite rock bands of all time, and arguably one of the best rock bands of the 90s, was performing in Boise, there was never even a question of whether or not I would be there.