Arts & Entertainment

Billy Talent show too tame for fame

 | April 2, 2010

Music aside, the Alexisonfire/Billy Talent concert at Interior Savings Centre March 6 left something to be desired.

Maybe it had to do with the fact that it was an all ages audience at a popular punk band show, or something to do with the space of Interior Savings Centre itself. It felt a little awkward in there. But maybe expectations were set too high.

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The supporting bands Cancer Bats and Against Me! were a certain hit, and Alexisonfire sounded excellent but the show belonged to Billy Talent which made it all seem like a mixed bag tossed together even though all four bands play relatively similar styles of music.

For those that missed out, don’t be too sad you did but definitely check out the bands on the roster. Particularly the Cancer Bats and Alexisonfire, both originating from Ontario, were worth the ticket price alone.

Cancer Bats, formed in 2004 currently feature Liam Cormier on vocals, Scott Middleton on guitar, Mike Peters on drums and the most recent addition Jaye Schwarzer on bass. The hardcore punk band’s newest release Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones is due out mid-April and features their cover of the Beastie Boys song “Sabotage”. Check out the hilarious official video for it at www.cancerbats.com/sabotage. It’s not what you would expect, a lot of screaming involved, but a great cover nonetheless.

As for Alexisonfire, who should have been the main headliner but due to their financial inequality to Billy Talent took the second position, their newest release Old Crows/Young Cardinals is an effectual balance of screamo and understandable melody. The unique vocal balance between lead singer George Pettit and guitarist/vocalist Dallas Green (also known for City and Colour) creates a heavy and tortured atmosphere that riles Canadian crowds like no other. The band’s performance at the 2010 Winter Olympics was shut down just seconds into their show as the fans rushed the stage, and 20 people were left with injuries.
At the concert in Kamloops March 6 Alexisonfire delighted much calmer fans—almost too calm—with a mix of old songs like “This Could be Anywhere in the World”. The vocals and instruments were clean and the band produced a superior live sound.

It doesn’t take tons of awards and platinum albums to produce a great show. Even though the crowd didn’t rush the stage until Billy Talent, and even then there was still breathing and moving room in there, the show was still good. Perhaps metal and punk shows belong in crowded clubs and warehouses instead of arenas. You lose that close impact, pulsing sardine energy these shows are best known for, making it feel like just any old rock concert. These bands are better than that, so hopefully if they make another appearance in Kamloops the fans will take a moment from their comfortable seats to join the throng and make it a real punk show.

But until then, we’re left standing there with our battered ticket stubs and phone-cameras full of photos wondering if it was worth it.

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