Overall I’m a pretty lucky guy. I get to research and write about my passion and at the same time go to numerous shows in numerous settings to further my love affair with music. However, every once in a while I will go to a show where the planets align and the world shifts a little on its axis because I was present for a band putting on the best performance I have ever seen from them. In some cases like Friday in Halifax I get to raise the bar of live entertainment and witness the best overall performance my metal eyes have seen. In Halifax, the Cancer Bats left us all in awe of a performance that will go down in the lore of Halifax.
We got to start the evening outside The Paragon watching the Metal Mouth Media (http://www.metalmouthmedia.com) guys do their thing with the hilarious “Metal Faces in Metal Places.” I’m still amazed at what people are willing to do for a free pin. If you can manage to tear yourself away from We Love Metal make sure to check these guys out. They work hard and do an excellent job of promoting local metal.
More after the warp:
After heading inside it didn’t take long for one of my personal favorites “Orchids Curse” to take the stage. For going on at 9:45 there was a surprising amount of people present and they got into the band as soon as Josh Hogan took the mic. In true Orchids fashion the band tore through a technical set that saw them end with the Halifax Metal Anthem, “Work Horse Walks Alone.” The crowd ate up the rawness of the song and I was so pleased to see a large audience understand everything I love about Orchids Curse.
With some apprehension I watched as “The Mighty” Black Moor” took the stage. The apprehension was from the recent membership changes. I haven’t heard the new line-up and I was very concerned that one of my favorite thrash bands may have lost the magic. I was totally and completely wrong! The two new additions played wonderfully and showed the energy necessary to keep up with the frantic pace of the “Still Very Mighty” Black Moor. Having heard the new song “Hellraiser” live I knew the band was still on the road to super stardom. Also they had the line of the night that struck me as hilarious: “We got some new shirts, they got a shark on em’. We thought you would like em.” Guess you had to be there.
The third to take the stage was Halifax’s “Sight for Sewn Eyes.” The band has a lot of raw energy and some technical pieces to keep the crowd entertained. It may have been wiser to place them after or before Orchids as the difference between Black Moor and Sewn Eyes music is quite drastic. Heavy Steve and I had no issue with the style change, but others were a little perplexed.
As Sewn Eyes left the stage people started clamoring to the front. You could tell automatically that the Cancer Bats were the main event of the show in the eyes of this crowd. The Paragon appeared pretty much full from where we were standing and the heat in the place got unbearable with all the human bodies pushed together. From the moment Liam and the guys took the stage the crowd was going nuts. With chants of “Cancer Bats, Cancer Bats” and spontaneous circle pits forming we all knew we were witnessing something special.
The energy that Liam maintained throughout the entire set was amazing. The sound quality was spot on. Liam told a story of how special Halifax has always been to the band and he was sorry it took 3 years for them to play at an over 19 venue. Even when they played a “new” song the crowd was well informed to the music and singing along. With the set winding down “Hail Destroyer” finished off the crowd with Liam heaving the mic into the crowd and going for a little crowd surf himself. The band came to the front of the stage at the end and gave a round of applause to the fans. The acknowledgement of a magic night and sincere gratitude was well conveyed between the band and the crowd.
The crowd appeared to thin some as 3 Inches of Blood took the stage and I feel bad for them having to follow the performance of the Cancer Bats. 3 Inches is always a solid show and Cam Pipes was hitting his monstrous vocals which make the band memorable to anyone who has seen them. After plowing through some new material the boys started playing the hits and he crowd came alive for them. “Silent Killer” is always the highlight for me.
After 5 performances and a packed house I think everyone went home happy. I was quite surprised that Halifax showed the discrepancies of a Hardcore Punk Band and a Classic Metal Band being on the same bill. Normally we take what we can get and make every band feel at home, but in this case I can say without a doubt the crowd was there for Cancer Bats and they let everyone know it.
Show me your horns,
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