Last night my lovely wife and I attended our first big rock and roll show of the year. The headlining act was Canadian group Billy Talent and I admit, I went in not really thinking much of them but, of the 4 bands performing last night, they really were the better act.
Opening bands included Alexisonfire, Against Me, and the Cancer Bats. I had never heard of the Cancer Bats before and, honestly, I don't really care for them. A little too hardcore metal for me. All of their songs sounded the same and I couldn't understand the singer for the life of me. The other two bands Alexisonfire and Against Me both played solid sets and I really enjoyed both bands.
As I said earlier, I didn't really think much of Billy Talent before last night, but some of their later songs are actually pretty good. Now that I've seen them in concert I have to admit, I really have a whole new respect for them. The guitar player can really make his Fender Stratocaster scream and I found myself fixated as he went from chunky driving riffs to searing solos and back again.
I think what I really liked most about Billy Talent was how proud they are to be Canadian. There was a Canadian Flag flying over the amplifiers and between songs the lead singer paused to put on a Team Canada Sidney Crosby shirt and the crowd went nuts!
"Let the Americans have their football, hockey is Canada's f~cking game!" He said as the crowd went nuts again.
So all in all I would say it was a really good evening. It wasn't the best show I've seen, but certainly not the worst. If Billy Talent came back to Victoria I would see them again, but I could do without Cancer Bats. I'm sorry if you're a fan of Cancer Bats.
One thing I've noticed about rock concerts in recent years is that hardly anybody holds up a lighter anymore during balads. Nowadays everyone holds up their cell phones and it's just not the same. I didn't bother. When I first started going to concerts back in the 90's the second a band went into a balad the lighters would be in the air and the whole arena would glow with thousands of little orange points of light. Now it's just a sea of dull blue and green screens. How times have changed.
But the lighter is not completely dead, it's just that nowadays it's an application for the iphone. That's right, an application that shows a Zippo Lighter on the screen. The kid in front of me had it on his phone - move your finger one way to "open" the lighter and slide your finger down to "light" it. Again, it's just not the same, but I suppose it's less of a fire hazard.
Rock on, everyone!!
The Wandering Oak