Show Review: Creepshow, Dreadnoughts, Brains & Fundamentals @ Opera House

Worlds Collide

Jan 7th 2012 at the Opera House

What do you get when you combine two psychobilly bands, cider punks and a ska group? Well, a mess. But also the first great show of 2012.

Montreal ska band, The Fundamentals, primed the audience with a short and early set. Despite being in the same psychobilly vein as the headliners, The Brains didn’t get much stage time either. They got the place moving though, with plenty of upright bass-slappin’ and crowd chants. Lead man Rene D La Muerte’s desert-smooth vocals proved to translate well in a live setting, even though the sound system left him muffled. I’m pretty sure he sang in French at least once, but it was hard to tell.
The show-stealing Dreadnoughts’ entire set was a hurricane of activity. All five band members had something unique to contribute, including the most punk fiddle and mandolin playing you’ve ever seen. Each of them played, kicked, jigged, hair-whipped and crowd-walked with seemingly every ounce of their being. They even showed up later in the night, dumping their fiddler off the stage in a beer tub (who then canoed over the crowd; one of the coolest pit antics I’ve witnessed.)
Obviously, The Creepshow had a lot to live up to. They jumped right in with ‘Psycho Ball and Chain’, one of only tracks they’d play from their debut album, Sell Your Soul. Now that they have three albums under their belt, they seem to be shying away from the pre-Sarah Blackwood material. Or perhaps they’re just tired of the album that made up their entire show set list for years.
Crowd participation was the name of the game, or perhaps incorporated out of necessity. Sarah especially, seemed a little overwhelmed with the amount of stage diving. Perhaps because her mic was nearly knocked into her teeth more than a few times. The show ends with half the audience onstage for the tour anthem, ‘Hellbound’. The encore performance of ‘Sleep Tight’ found Sarah on the floor; the crowd brought to their knees (literally) around her.

The mixture of mohawks (yeah, apparently people still have those) and psychobilly ghouls in the crowd proved a bit strange. Circle pits collided with swing dancing, leaving a lot of (older) fans towards the back. While the idiosyncrasy is explainable, the troubling thing is this: kids these days don’t know how to stage dive. Which led me to draft up these helpful guidelines:
1. Don’t Interfere with the Performance

That shouldn’t even have to be said, but apparently it does. If you’re going to stage dive, get up at a place where you’re not going to bump into any of the band members. Interrupt a show and risk getting a pounding from both the band and the fans.
2. You’re Not Important or Amusing

Hand in hand with the above point. No one wants to see you on stage. Get up there and jump off, it’s that simple. Don’t dance around, take pictures or heaven forbid, grab a mic.
3. Take a Risk

A stage dive is just that, a dive. Don’t stall, looking for the best clump of hands to gently lower your fat ass into. You’re not an 80 year old getting into a therapy pool.
4. The Honest Facts

You’ll lose your shoes, or the contents of your pockets. Girls will get fondled. The overweight will get dropped. Don’t like it? Don’t do it.


About J2

What happens when you're a wordsy music aficionado who works for NXNE, CMW, HPX, Olio Music Festival, The JUNOs and Polaris Music Prize? You spend all of your free time blogging about it... Follow on Twitter if you're so inclined: @HearPlugged

Posted on January 23, 2012, in Show Reviews and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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