After seeing them open countless shows over the years, I finally saw Cancer Bats headline last night. I'm not sure what took me so long, but I'm glad I finally went because this band puts on a killer show. They kicked off their set with "Old Blood," the first single from Dead Set On Living, their new record that drops on April 17. I was also happy to see them play "R.A.T.S" because that's probably my favourite track from the new record.
And of course they didn't forget their older records either. I was happy to see "Sleep This Away" make the cut because it's one of my favourite album openers ever. It's just so heavy and low and it translated perfectly to a live setting. "Deathsmarch" is another song I was glad to see them play. Basically, the only downside was having to leave a little bit early to catch the last bus. Usually shows finish by 1 a.m. at the Pyramid, but whatever. The best thing was that lots of people showed up, which was nice to see. The place was pretty packed and everyone went wild, including the band. I want to post a picture Jeremy Bolm from Touché Amoré took because it shows Winnipeg's love for Cancer Bats better than any of my words can. It was an intense kick-off for the band's Canadian tour:
Speaking of Touché Amoré, I don't listen to them much, but I still enjoyed their set even if I thought it was incredibly short. The only song I recognized was "Home Away From Here," which they dedicated to the Weakerthans and Propagandhi. Apparently they played here before, which made me respect them more because few American bands tour western Canada. The best part was during a song that I think is called "Honest Sleep." A bunch of people jumped on stage to sing the last part of that song, even though the security guard was less than impressed.
Waster, formerly known as FAME, opened the show and they were OK. A Sight For Sewn Eyes was next and they were OK too. I think it's cool the singer performed the last song in the crowd and he also said that Distort will release their new record in June. All in all, it was a fun night and my fellow Canadians should definitely go to this tour when it rolls through their city!
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: