Front Row Pics: Between The Buried And Me, Animals as Leaders, and The Contortionist @ Club Soda, Montreal
So back in July, when excitement over the upcoming Heavy Montreal was already pretty much off the charts, we told you about Grimposium, which we’ve started calling the foreplay to HM ~ you can read all about it here. Grimposium offered a very cool schedule of all different sorts of events and shows, from lectures to band performances to book signings to discussion groups to afterparties. Want to guess which one we went for? That right, band performances ~ in this case, a show on August 5 what wound up being a highlight of our entire festival-centric stay, a bill that put together headliners BTBAM, Animals as Leaders, and The Contortionist. We’ve covered each of the bands numerous times over the years here in the US, and admired all three, but this night at Club Soda (for you New Englanders, think House of Blues Boston and Middle East downstairs having a lovechild) ~ which was packed to the gills ~ we two “admirers” turned into lifelong fans, and the fans in the crowd (read: everyone) turned into a single entity of screaming, moshing, horn-waving excitement, showing the bands major love ~ and getting the same back in return. This was one of those perfect night when everyone ~ audience, bands, crew, bartenders, etc. ~ was exactly where they wanted to be, the energy was nothing but positive, and the music, well, let’s not mince words…it fuckin’ kicked ass.
The combination on the bill (and on the tour the three bands would be wrapping up later in August) wouldn’t have been the first to spring to mind ordinarily, but whoever came up with the idea certainly knew what he or she was doing; not only had the music and stage presence of each band respectively grown exponentially since we last saw them, there was a relationship amongst the three that is difficult to describe ~ and maybe “relationship” isn’t the correct word, as onstage they didn’t interact with each other, no member of one band making a cameo with another ~ perhaps it’s more accurate to say that the bands had very noticeably had a positive influence on each other all ’round. There was more depth, more maturity, more (rehearsed, of course) experimentation with deviating just a bit from their typical sound, and even the lighting, though certainly different for each band, had a thread of commonality that, along with an equally off the charts energy level and palpable excitement at playing this particular club radiating from all the musicians, did an excellent job of tying the entire show together.
Witnessing how far three bands we had already liked so much have come ~ and how warmly and completely they were embraced by the crowd ~ made, against the backdrop of phenomenal music and just the right amount of showmanship and audience interaction, for a show we’re still talking about and which may very well become the standard by which we judge other bands and club shows!
Check out these quick cell phone vids to get just a taste of what we mean!
Animals as Leaders
Between The Buried And Me
Animals As Leaders
Special thanks to Sarah Lutz, Metal Blade Records Canada