I started remembering all the shows I've been to and it turns out there is 46 of them. I've mentioned the ones I've been to since I was made staff here, but these are the 40 that came before that. If you care, I can't believe I was bored enough to make this list up. Good memories though:
Sum 41, Billy Talent, Flashlight Brown at the Burton Cummings Theatre in May 2003
First show ever! And Sum 41 was my favourite band at the time.
Sum 41, Treble Charger at Grand Beach Entertainment Centre in June 2003
Because I loved Sum 41 so much and my sister’s friend was going, I tagged along to this festival, but Sum 41 quit playing early because of the mosquitoes. Treble Charger ruled though.
Jane’s Addiction, Audioslave, Incubus at Fiddler’s Green in August 2003
My sister got lawn tickets to Lollapalooza when I was visiting her in Denver and we went in the evening because it was really hot. I only really liked Incubus.
Sum 41, Protest the Hero, Bombs Over Providence at the University of Manitoba in September 2004
Because I loved Sum 41 and tickets were under $20 I went to this. And I discovered Protest the Hero, who has gone on to be one of my favourite bands.
Green Day, My Chemical Romance at the MTS Centre in May 2005
I really had to convince my dad to let me go, but I’m glad I did because this show ruled. Green Day are the best band I’ve seen in an arena by far.
Fall Out Boy, Silverstein, Atreyu, Thrice, Gogol Bordello, The Offpsring at Invesco Field in July 2005
This was Warped Tour and I always wanted to go ever since I head Blink talk about it. So my sister took me when I visited her in Denver one year because it never comes here. I had a good time, but 15-year-old me was devastated FOB didn’t do a signing that day. I know it's lame, but to this day I still really want to meet Pete Wentz.
Saves the Day, Moneen, Circa Survive at the Garrick in April 2006
All I remember is that Circa Survive was amazing live.
Social Code, random local bands at the Collective in the summer of 2006
My friend asked me to come and she had a free ticket so I couldn't say no. This show didn't make me appreciate Social Code. And that one band Servants of Society sure liked hanging out with 16-year-old girls for dudes in their 20's.
Comeback Kid, Sick City, Regret, Dirty Work at the Garrick in February 2007
This was Comeback Kid’s CD release show and it was a cool time. The first show I ever attended as a writer for that Winnipeg Free Press site for high school students.
Taking Back Sunday, Underoath, Armor For Sleep at the Burton Cummings Theatre in March 2007
I had the best seats I’ve ever had there for this show. I was in love with Where You Want To Be at the time too so I was really excited to see TBS.
The Used, 30 Seconds to Mars, Senses Fail, Saosin, Aiden, Chiodos at the Winnipeg Convention Centre in April 2007
My first Taste of Chaos. I thought the Used would suck, but they were really good. It was 30 Seconds to Mars and Saosin I hated. Aiden was just funny.
Set Your Goals, Daggermouth, No Trigger, Hostage Life, Dirty Work at the Collective in May 2007
One of the best line-ups ever, too bad the show was really small. I just chilled out right by Dave of SYG when they were playing. And I tried my recorder for the first time because I interviewed Kenny from Daggermouth.
My Chemical Romance, The Bled at the MTS Centre in May 2007
The Winnipeg Free Press gave me a free ticket for the press box so I went. It was OK, but I hated being so far away.
Protest the Hero, All That Remains, Blessthefall at the Garrick in May 2007
This was part of Tour and Loathing and it reminded me how much I love Protest the Hero live.
Ten Second Epic at the Park Theatre in August 2007
I only went because my friend wanted to go, but then it sold out so she couldn’t get in and the Free Press couldn’t get me a +1. They were surprisingly good and covered Third Eye Blind so it wasn’t a total waste though.
Strung Out, A Wilhelm Scream, I Am Ghost at the Garrick in August 2007
Mostly guys in their late 20’s, early 30’s and they all hated I Am Ghost. My friend and I were the only underage girls, haha. Except for this one kid who was only there for I Am Ghost.
Boys Night Out, Sick City, Sights & Sounds, Living With Lions at the West End Cultural Centre in September 2007
It’s true, Boys Night Out really do suck live. Still love their CDs though. Sick City ruled. And so did a very young Living With Lions.
Boys Like Girls, All Time Low, The Audition, Valencia at the Garrick in November 2007
I hated Boys Like Girls. But the rest of the bands were good. The only problem was it was filled with 14-year-old girls. Even as a 17-year-old girl I felt old, haha.
Alexisonfire, Anti-Flag, Saosin, The Bled at the Burton Cummings Theatre in December 2007
I still hated Saosin. But I loved Anti-Flag and Alexisonfire ruled. They invited everyone on stage and George climbed up to the second balcony, not using the stairs. The Bled were OK, I love how the Winnipeg winter scared them and they dropped off the tour after this show.
Silverstein, Protest the Hero, illScarlett at the Garrick in February 2008
Rody played this show in a skirt or dress, I can’t remember which. illScarlett was awesome. I missed the Devil Wears Prada, but I don’t think I missed much.
Henry Rollins at the Burton Cummings Theatre in March 2008
Not music, but Henry is amazing. Everyone should go listen to him talk for a few hours at least once. I can relate to what he says so much.
Protest the Hero, Chiodos, The Fall of Troy, Sick City at the Burton Cummings Theatre in April 2008
Another great show from PTH. I liked all the other bands too.
Coheed and Cambria, Baroness at the Burton Cummings Theatre in May 2008
Worst show I’ve ever been to by far. Baroness was awful. Coheed looked so bored, my friend and I actually considered leaving early. And I really do like their music so it hurts to say that.
The Flatliners, Carpenter at the Albert in June 2008
First bar show! Except I had to go to school in the morning and left after the Flatliners so I missed Strike Anywhere. The main reason I went was to interview Carpenter though.
Motion City Soundtrack, The Spill Canvas, Sing It Loud at the Garrick in July 2008
MCS chose an amazing set-list and Sing it Loud were OK. I wasn’t really feeling the Spill Canvas though, I know I’m in the minority.
A Wilhelm Scream, Living With Lions at the Pyramid in July 2008
Good show, would have been better if I didn’t forget my ID at first though.
Lagwagon, MxPx, TAT at the Pyramid in September 2008
Got my first pick ever at this show! And the line-up was amazing, TAT turned out to be really good. More girls need to be playing the electric guitar.
Anti-Flag, The A.K.A.s, The Creepshow, One Second 2 Late at the Garrick in September 2008
Loved Anti-Flag, but I felt the openers weren’t as good.
Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish, The Flatliners, The Real Deal at the Garrick in September 2008
Less Than Jake is probably one of the best live bands ever. So much fun! I still don't like Reel Big Fish though.
Carpenter, Living With Lions, Aspirations at the Cavern in November 2008
This show was really small, it just felt like a party. Even though Matt from LWL lost his voice, it barely even mattered. Carpenter ruled and it was cool to see Stu show off what he was doing after Daggermouth.
Anberlin, Madina Lake, Between the Trees at the Garrick in January 2009
I know a lot of people love Anberlin, but I just can’t get into them much and this show didn’t help. It was still better than Coheed and Cambria though so that’s saying a lot.
Gob at the Albert in February 2009
Gob played all the old favourites and this show was absolutely amazing. I can’t remember who was supposed to open though... I think it was the Johnstones.
Underoath, Norma Jean, Innerpartysystem at the Garrick in March 2009
Just an interview with Underoath brought me out to this show. I’m not a big fan of any of the bands.
Thursday, Bring Me the Horizon, Pierce the Veil, Four Year Strong, Cancer Bats, FAME at the Garrick in April 2009
My second Taste of Chaos. Over half the crowd left after Bring Me the Horizon so Thursday almost played to an empty room. BMTH were awful, it was crazy seeing how much the crowd was into them. Oh, and Cancer Bats ruled.
No Use For a Name, Only Crime at the Albert in May 2009
Sadly missed Pour Habit, but NUFAN are one of the best live Fat Wreck bands.
Misery Signals, Dead and Divine, Haste the Day, Architects, Sights & Sounds at the Garrick in May 2009
Went to interview Andrew, but ended up staying for the whole thing. It was OK, small crowd for the Garrick.
Billy Talent, Rise Against, Rancid, Theory of a Deadman, Anvil, Silverstein, Inward Eye at Canad Inns Stadium in June 2009
I can’t believe I willingly saw Theory of a Deadman, but they played before Rancid at this Rock on the Range festival that was held on one of the rainiest days of the year. Rancid were the best band that day and worth it though.
Blink-182, Fall Out Boy, All American Rejects at the MTS Centre in August 2009
The crowd during Blink-182 absolutely ruined their set for me. But Fall Out Boy was awesome and deserved to headline that night. Yeah, you heard me.
Protest the Hero, Between the Buried and Me at the Winnipeg Convention Centre in September 2009
Only went to interview Rody and see PTH, they opened up for Killswitch Engage so I couldn’t be bothered to stay.
A Day to Remember, Ten Second Epic, I Am Committing a Sin, Brendan Rivera at the Garrick in September 2009
I actually like A Day to Remember so I went to see them. Silverstein were headlining, but with a CreComm schedule I didn’t feel like staying and I saw them in June anyway.
Edit: Forgot about Misery Signals, the Smallman Records retrospective made me remember, haha.
Before I begin, I just want to say I didn’t get to sit down with Tony Sly after all due to time constraints so if you saw this post and cared, I’m sorry.
Anyway, wearing all black, Tony Sly hit the stage for 20 minutes and opened with “Via Munich” then went straight into “Already Won.” Of course, most of the songs came from his debut solo record 12 Song Program and they sounded great in a live setting, especially one like the Burton Cummings Theatre. Filled with red, plush seats, it’s not the typical place you’d expect to see a punk show, but it worked well for his set.
I’m sure he was expecting to get heckled for No Use For a Name songs, which he did. “I’m just here to make the other guys more punk,” he said before launching into an acoustic version of “Justified Black Eye” off of Leche Con Carne, giving them what they wanted. Earlier on in his set he played “Soulmate,” which is one of my personal favourites from NUFAN. His voice sounded amazing as always and with nothing more than his acoustic guitar, he proved he really is one of punk’s better vocalists that night.
Next up were Teenage Bottlerocket, one of Fat’s newer bands and they killed it when they opened with “Skate or Die,” a song that will get stuck in your head with just one listen. Their bassist Miguel was banging his head throughout most of the set just like he does in the video for that song. Ray nearly did the splits a few times while strumming away at his guitar too.
Then they played “Radio,” which might remind you just a bit of the Ramones. After playing “Forbidden Planet” the band stopped to acknowledge Winnipeg’s own Propagandhi and attempted to cover one of their songs in honour of them. They went through an impressive amount of tunes like “Welcome to the Nuthouse,” “Blood Bath at Burger King,” and “On My Own,” but when you specialize in 2 minute pop-punk songs, it's not surprising they squeezed a lot in. Just like their records, it seems like it was over just as it began, not that it’s a bad thing though. And despite the seats, they got a little pogo-party going.
The headliners of the night were none other than NOFX and I have to say they put on one of the more entertaining shows I’ve ever seen. Forget the phrase "less talk, more rock" because they love to talk and I think it’s great. While there are a few bands that can pull off the silent treatment, shows are usually a lot more fun when you get the interaction bands like NOFX give. If I just wanted to listen to their songs, I’d probably just stay home.
And not to anyone’s surprise, Fat Mike started off the set by talking, not playing a song. The stage set-up was pretty bare, but it didn't matter because they didn't need anything flashy to start the show off. He decided to tell the crowd what felching was and acknowledged this 11-year-old kid who was right up front, dancing like crazy and just having a blast before heading into “Dinosaurs Will Die.”
I was impressed with all their Winnipeg banter. I’m not too sure if they know this much about every city they play, or if it’s just because Kent and Limo apparently used to live here, but it was awesome. Bif Naked, Stretch Marks, The Royal Albert Arms, mosquito jokes, these guys knew their stuff. In fact, the longest they ever kept quiet was when they launched into the NOFX classic “The Decline.” El Hefe played the trombone and the crowd’s energy was insane.
For “Reeko,” Fat Mike started playing guitar instead of bass and then they played another off of Punk in Drublic called “Leave It Alone.” Between songs Fat Mike put a bra on Melvin and religious beliefs were made fun of before “Leaving Jesusland.” El Hefe brought out his trumpet after and then the guys began making fun of each other on stage with jokes like: “What did the Mexican kid get for Christmas? My bike.” for "Arming the Proletariat with Potato Guns." Not the funniest perhaps, but it proves just how eager they are to make lame jokes about themselves.
For the encore, Melvin started singing a bit of that Black Eyed Peas “I Got a Feeling” song and got booed. Fat Mike gave his lecture of the night when he said don’t do drugs until you’re 30 or a millionaire. Then they said they’d be back in 3 years, El Hefe brought out his trumpet again and they played “Kill All The White Man.” But even that wasn’t it since “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist” started playing. It was hilarious to watch Fat Mike try to dance and El Hefe did a cartwheel. It was a fun way to end an already entertaining show and you could tell they were having a blast too, which is just as awesome.
Since I did interviews with Chris from The Flatliners and Ty from Broadway Calls, I didn’t catch as much of the show as I normally would have. So why am I blogging about it, then? Well, it's been awhile since I made a news post announcing this tour and I want to give all the bands an extra shout-out at the very least. So now, if you care enough to read my experience, you can. And if you've been as well, I'd love to hear from you:
They are a local band that only played the Winnipeg show and they were OK from what I caught, which was the last 2 songs and the bass intro to “Longview” by Green Day. I don’t really want to write more because I barely saw anything to judge.
These guys played a fun, fast paced set when they kicked things off with “Back to the Youth.” The crowd was pretty mellow, but they were able to connect to the crowd and get a small circle pit going near the end. They pulled out their Spanish with “!Hasta Los Cobra Skulls Siempre!” which was a pleasant surprise and they kept on going with “The Cobra and the Man-Whore,” “Thicker Than Water,” “Honorary Discharge Under The Influence,” “Rebel Fate,” and “The Streets of Cairo” among others.
The second I got a promo copy of their self-titled from Smallman Records back in 2007, I’ve been a gigantic Broadway Calls fan so I was especially excited to finally see them. And I can happily say they sounded great and their set didn’t disappoint me at all. The crowd was still a little timid, it was the type of situation where you didn’t have to push anyone or get there early to be right up against the stage. It sucks because these guys deserve to play to a packed room. But because it was so small, it felt like they were playing just for me in a way so that made the set all that much more memorable.
As for the set-list, there was no way I was going anywhere during their set and it’s as follows:
I’m terrible and missed some of their set to finish up the interview with Ty, but in my defence I’ve seen this band a ton of times since they always play Winnipeg and they often open up for other bands coming through too. I’ll never forget seeing them with Less Than Jake in 2008, that’s still one of the best shows I’ve ever been to. Plus, I'd like to think both interviews will more than make up for this not very detailed blog.
Anyway, they were just as energetic and crazy as ever and the crowd finally really started to liven up for the first time that night. “July! August! Reno!” “This Respirator” and “Eulogy” should give you a brief taste of what they played. Thankfully I caught some new songs like “Carry the Banner” and “Bleed” and they sounded great live too. Cavalcade just came out on Tuesday after all and it's one of the many records worth picking up this past week.
Went to the show last night, here's my take on it:
After playing a surprise show just weeks earlier at a small bar called The Albert, it's weird to see them move up behind a gigantic barridade at the MTS Centre. They still killed it though, as they kicked off their shorter set with "Hail Destroyer" and played other tracks like "Lucifer's Rocking Chair," "Pneumonia Hawk" and of course their Beastie Boys cover "Sabotage" among others. The venue was still pretty empty for their set, but the ones that made an effort to show up early didn't seem let down at all. The interview with Liam went well, expect it in 2-3 weeks along with the one with Alan from Four Year Strong. I was told that a headlining tour will be happening around this fall so get excited for that!
It took me awhile to really appreciate Against Me! and Tom Gabel's voice, but once I did I was hooked. Because of this, I also missed them when they've come through in the past so it was nice to finally see them. With the awesome album art for White Crosses hanging, they walked on to "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'" and tore right into "Rapid Decompression." Even though it just leaked, they played a lot more new songs than I was expecting. Even "I Was a Teenage Anarchist" which totally made me smile. They are one of the few bands that truly sound better live than on recordings and it made up for the fact that they barely talked to the crowd:
I saw this band headline the Burton Cummings Theatre in 2007 and near the end it turned into a gigantic party. They invited everyone on stage, ran through the crowd and George even climbed up to the second balcony, without using the stairs. I have never seen a band get the crowd so involved and create such an intimate performance. They simply played last night though and while I'm not surprised at all, I know that this band can be capable of a much more with a longer set and a better venue. That's my only complaint however, they still sounded great and stuck to a lot of their newer stuff. They still haven't headlined Canada in support of Old Crows/Young Cardinals so it made sense:
There were lots of kids and parents at the show last night waiting for this band and it kind of reminded me of when I saw Billy Talent back in 2003 when I was in grade 7. Mind you, their debut wasn't released and I was there for Sum 41 but still, it's a much different vibe than the shows I usually go to. You can hate on Billy Talent for making the same record all you want, but I'm happy to see how far they've gone. At least in Canada, the United States still hasn't caught on to one of our most popular bands. And really, no other band even comes close to sounding like them.
Anyway, they kicked off the show with "Devil in a Midnight Mass." Ben is still an amusing frontman and I like how he's not afraid to talk to the crowd. He held up an 87 jersey and talked about Canada taking the gold for hockey, just as an example. And someone in the pit brought a Canadian flag with them and was holding it up so that was pretty awesome. Of course, the MTS Centre started to get crazy too. I guess a man punched a woman in the face and I'm not surprised at all. Whenever you go to that arena, you can be assured people will get hurt.
The highlight was probably when Tom Gabel from Against Me! came up to sing "Turn Your Back" with Ben. He said that never happened before, but I think he was just saying that. Anyone confirm? The lights and stuff were basic and just OK. Ian added on an awesome, slightly longer solo to "Devil On My Shoulder," the second last song of the night so that was cool. Anyway, here is the set list:
Went to the show last night, here's my take on it:
Trapped Under Ice
To be totally honest, I never heard of this hardcore band from Maryland until it was announced they were on this tour. The crowd seemed more familiar than I was actually and it was a good time with lots of energy and moshing. I wouldn't say that their set turned me into a gigantic fan, but it was pretty decent anyway.
Polar Bear Club
I was pretty excited to see this band and they didn't disappoint. Chasing Hamburg was one of my more favourite records from 2009 and they pulled off the songs live just as well as they do on a recording. There was no overly amusing banter or anything, they just played but they played well and here is what the set comprised of. If anything, it was just a shame they didn't play a little longer:
Four Year Strong
When they were driving from Iowa to Winnipeg, a wheel came off their trailer and they were stuck on the side of the road for a little while. Doors were supposed to open at 6, but they didn't actually open at 7. In fact, during the start of Polar Bear Club's set they still weren't at the venue, but they made it with just 10 minutes to spare! And they still put on such a great show. You couldn't even tell they didn't have a chance to settle in and do a soundcheck, like they did when they were here last April for Taste of Chaos. It was awesome hearing the new songs live. And it was pretty cool when a bunch of people rushed up on stage for a big sing along at the end:
Every Time I Die
Since FYS were finally here, I missed some of Every Time I Die's set to get everything sorted out. A big thank you goes out to Alan Day for taking time to talk to me instead of cancelling the interview all together! Expect it ready to read within the next 2-3 weeks because school is SO busy for me right now.
Anyway, from what I did catch of their set it seemed like a good time! They were here a few years ago with Alexisonfire so it's nice to have them back up here in Canadian cities most bands don't play. Keith and the rest of the band were great and they seemed to have played a wide range of their material. There wasn't an encore though and here's a rough taste of what they played. This is far from complete, but I figured I should put down at least a little bit of what I caught since they were the headliners: Roman Holiday, The Marvelous Slut, Apocalypse Now and Then, No Son of Mine, Who Invited the Russian Soldier?, The New Black, Kill the Music, After One Quarter of a Revolution and We’rewolf.
And that's about it. It was very much a less talk, more rock type of show.
Went to the show last night, here is my take on it:
The only time this band really caught my attention during their set was when they covered a song by Refused and didn’t butcher it. They even picked one of my personal favourites “Summer Holidays Vs. Punk Routine” but they didn’t sing it themselves. They had Moneen’s bassist Erik Hughes come up on stage to do the vocals for them. That was pretty cool to witness.
Sights & Sounds
For those unaware, the band features Andrew Neufeld from Comeback Kid and Joel Neufeld from Sick City. It’s definitely different than their full-time bands, much more dreamy and experimental for lack of better words. By this point, the crowd had moved closer to the stage so the reception was warmer than it was for Passenger Action. But overall, the set was pretty basic. They just played their songs and didn’t interact much with the crowd, but they had much more energy than Passenger Action. Neufeld can head-bang better than most. They released their full length Monolith on Smallman in May and played tunes like “Reconcile,” “Storm & the Sun,” “Night Train,” and “Sorrows.”
It’s been quite awhile since Moneen toured across Canada and Kenny Bridges took time to acknowledge that fact later on in the set. The last time I saw them was in 2006 when they toured with Saves the Day and Circa Survive. I wasn’t overly familiar with the band’s material at that point, but I could tell most of the crowd was. Kids were singing, moshing, crowd surfing and the band was just as energetic. It’s a show that I will always have in the back of my mind and it inspired me to check out more of the band’s stuff.
“Hey, we’re Moneen,” Kenny Bridges simply stated before tearing into “Don’t Tell Locke What He Can’t Do” off of their acclaimed 2006 effort The Red Tree. No dramatic entrance, no flashy stage set-up, just four guys playing music.
The crowd was enthusiastic for their presence, but they didn’t really go crazy until “The Passing of America” near the end of the set. I can’t help but feel like some people were just waiting there for that song. And trust me, once it was played, the room came alive similar to how it did three years earlier. They invited members from the opening bands on stage, grabbed huge drums and went into the crowd to pound them until nearly everyone was chanting “No, I won’t go, I want to stay here with you!” at a deafening level. It’s always cool to see that type of crowd interaction and it’s what makes shows worth attending.
The encore simply consisted of “Start Angry...End Mad.” Bridges was mumbling something about a curfew between songs so perhaps the venue was the reason. The show was held at the West End Cultural Centre. The last time I was there was in 2007 before they shut it down for renovations and while it looks a lot nicer now, I'll still take the Garrick any day over that place.
Anyway, I got a rough set-list for those who want to have an idea of what they are playing. I could be missing a song or one could be in the wrong order but overall, it’s pretty accurate:
Oh, and the interview is coming. Probably in two weeks at the most because I know the other staff have interviews to post and I’m busy finishing off my last two weeks of school. I interviewed Steve and Erik. We only had 15 minutes, but I still think we covered some decent ground.
So on Thursday, I went over to the Garrick to interview Frank Turner and also, Benny Horowitz from the Gaslight Anthem. Expect both to be posted in 2 weeks at the latest, school is very busy, so I don't have as much time to transcribe things as quickly as I used to. I think both went well though. The Gaslight Anthem interview was originally supposed to only last for 15 minutes, but Benny spent an extra 10 minutes talking with me so most things could be covered. And Frank Turner is a very interesting guy, if you still don't have any of his records I suggest you get on that right now.
But anyway, the show was pretty good. Too lazy to give some big, huge review. I didn't care for Murder by Death's set, but I loved both Frank Turner and the Loved Ones. I noticed some people were asking questions about the Gaslight Anthem's set-list, so I figured I'd just get it at the show and answer that myself:
Old White Lincoln
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
The ’59 Sound
We Came to Dance
Miles Davis & the Cool
The Patient Ferris Wheel
Señor and the Queen
Meet Me by the River’s Edge
Here’s Looking at You, Kid
The Navesink Banks
The Backseat Encore: Blue Jeans and White T-Shirts
We’re Getting a Divorce, You Keep the Diner
I find it funny that by the time I attempt to close this blog, I get hired on as staff. Weird, now I feel bad about the last post and I guess I will make the effort to keep it going, at least a little bit.
I wish I had something else to say though, but I really don't. Thanks to Eda and Linda pushing for me to get on staff and Jason for making the change! I really appreciate it and I am really looking forward to this amazing opportunity.