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Show Review (El Mocambo, Toronto)

Being that it was the tail end of a mammoth weekend celebrating the release of Fucked Up's debut on Jade Tree, Hidden World, a palpable tiredness pervaded El Mocambo's stultified air for much of the band's October 29 show. This could have been due to a series of reasons, but maybe most notable is that it was the end of the Halloween weekend. Most of the out-of-towners who had traveled to see the many hardcore lineups had returned home, and those who remained were burnt out.

 

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To top it off, the lineup wasn't all that friendly to the narrow-minded hardcore fan, although Wyrd Visions' placement as opener served Colin Bergh well. His solo psych project seemed to entrance the crowd, perhaps aided by his wizard costume, and it was a quiet but effective kick-start to the night. He was followed by Anagram, one of the city's most incendiary live acts. Singer Matt Mason was the only costumed one, wearing a sort of modified balaclava, alternately screaming and hypnotically chanting songs from the band's recent split twelve-inch and two LPs, leaning heavily on After Dark, which was released earlier this year. Unfortunately, the band's early placement in the night, the general lack of intimacy provided by El Mocambo, and a decided "Should I like this?" vibe from some in attendance meant the set wasn't its usual act of arson. That vibe heightened with Creeping Nobodies, whose hybrid art-damaged melodic noise had a hard time sparking of the majority of the crowd's interest. The members weathered the crowd's apathy nicely.

Cold World, comprising Pennsylvanians wearing sporty costumes and wigs, received the best reception up to that point, with their metallic, over-the-top New York-style hardcore creating an instant pit. Their combination of almost-rap, shouted hardcore and early Slayer/Metallica thrash vocals alongside an impressive tightness energized the night, even if some in the crowd found it too extreme.

De-extreming things was the flame-broiled meat 'n' potatoes rock 'n' roll of C'mon. Guitarist Ian Blurton and bassist Katie Lynn seemed to alternate between having fun and dealing with tired, cranky jerks in the crowd. They kept their faithful happy and probably made some new fans, with new drummer Dean Dallas Bentley(of Monster Voodoo Machine, Maps of the Night Sky, All Systems Go and others) adeptly making up for recently departed drummer Randy Curnew. Part of the crowd's crankiness was likely due to the fact Toronto punk legends the Viletones were slated as a surprise act, but singer Steve Leckie was M.I.A., ixnaying the performance. I was happy: It meant I could go home earlier. Many were not.

After an awkward costume contest, Fucked Up took the stage dedicated the set to Jon Drew, the engineer/producer Hidden World, creating bedlam from the first moment, playing a mixture of songs from the new album and old ones, with an early shot of semi-theme song "Generation" setting the place on fire. Guitarists Gulag and 10,000 Marbles wore gold facemasks in the style of song character David, and bassist Mustard Gas was probably the most energetic member, happily jumping around and rocking out even harder than the kilted, eventually pantless Pink Eye, whose huge presence only got huger once he displayed his giant baby ass. 

 

Although less massive or enthusiastic than over the rest of the weekend, diehards still spazzed out and stage-dived throughout the band's set, which sounded amazing and never let up.

 

***

Band: http://lookingforgold.blogspot.com/

Label: http://www.jadetree.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/fuckedupcanada

"Baiting the Public" MP3

Robert Pollard - Show Review/Gallery (Abbey Pub. Chicago)(The Foundry. Dayton, Ohio) Week in Preview [December 5, 2006] Heading to the record store? Here's what's new.
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