Live (Jul. 23rd, 2006)
Ed's Rec Room - Edmonton, Alberta
If you follow my reviews at all, you’ve probably saw me mention the fact that Red’s in Edmonton would be closing soon, that Saves The Day would be one of my last concerts that and then that Boys Night Out was my last concert ever in the venue. In a way, it was the end of an era since my first punk show was in that venue and now it was gone; but at the same time it was good because it meant a new venue would be popping up soon. But the truth of it is that I lied, and Boys Night Out wasn’t my last concert there. Dropping the “R”, Red’s became “ed’s” for the month of July before closing down for all of August for new renovations and a new name (rumored to be The Venue) and when the co-headlining show of Story of The Year and Hawthorne Heights got moved from Shaw Conference to Ed’s Rec Room, it seemed as if I would be making one final stop at the venue which introduced me to live music.
Since the door opening was delayed, I walked in a few songs into Halifax‘s set with a slightly pessimistic view for the concert due to the fact that I was dead tired and all my friends had decided to not go to the show at the last minute. Nevertheless, Halifax put on a pretty decent performance, playing songs like Hey Italy, Better Than Sex and fan favorite, Sydney. Of course the highlight of the entire set was when they pulled out the perfect rock tune Our Revolution and got everyone to shout along the chorus of “Hell Yeaaaahhhh!!!!”. The band put a lot of energy into the set, particularly the singer who ran around quite a lot; but for me the stage presence was stolen by the guitarist on the right who personified the rock god of the ’80s perfectly with carefully messed up hair, tight jeans, an old band t-shirt, jumping on the speakers and playing the axe with his tongue – it was great.
After a twenty minute wait of making new acquaintances, Tooth & Nail up and comers Anberlin took the stage and while I wasn’t particularly looking forward to them, I was still rather surprise and disappointed. The first thing I noticed was the singer, how his vocals sounded a lot different than I had remembered and how the entire sound seemed to be harder than it comes across on the album. I took a step past by little startle at the change of sound and decided to take it was if I had never heard the band before, watch Anberlin with a clean slate in front of them- and yet, I couldn’t take them seriously. There was something about the singer’s personality that got to me. He sure as hell wasn’t lazy (unlike Hawthorne Heights‘ front man, but we’ll talk about that later) as he jumped around and was sweating profusely after the first song. It was how he portrayed himself, somehow very stiff, constantly rubbing his hair (once, at the back of the stage, he stopped to make sure his hair was still flat). It wasn’t a bad performance, I just couldn’t get into it.
Next up was supposed to be Hawthorne Heights, so I was surprised to see the shaven head of the Story Of The Year front man take the stage after an amazing introduction of Arnie’s Pizza Shop andStar Wars (easily one of the better stage entrances in a while). At this point in time, let me also mention that I had promised myself I wouldn’t mosh so that I could rest a bit after being to three concerts in the last three nights, including Warped Tour and AFI where I didn’t sit at all – but as soon as they ripped into the first song I couldn’t help myself. They put so much energy into the performance that the crowd, and myself, ate it up and went insane. Vocalist Dan Marsala jumped into the crowd, letting them sing, went crowd surfing and entertained the audience with some pointless banter every once in a while; so not only did the band sound good as they played a wide selection of new and old songs, but Marsala was also a good front man for the job. After the hour long set, I was sweaty, happy and was glad I decided to come; but sadly, once Hawthorne Heights took the stage, I quickly remembered why I wasn’t that excited to be there.
For you see, Hawthorne Heights put on a very boring performance, and their hour long set felt like so much longer. There was very little energy coming from the lead singer as he simply stood still, playing his guitar and singing into the mic stand; and while the one of the guitarists did go crazy, even his antics became boring after a while. The only song I could really determine were Nikki FM and Pins And Needles as the rest all merged into one. Even though I wasn’t expecting much from the band, I was still let down as they put a damper on the whole evening – if only it had been Story Of The Year who closed, then the night would’ve been a better success.