On October 6th a few hundred people packed out The Corona Theater in Montreal to take a wonderful, starry-eyed trip down memory lane. Heading the excursion was non other than reactivated So-Cal melodic hardcore trailblazers ATREYU. Backing them were Wovenwar and Beartooth, two bands whose lineups consist of former members of top-tier North American Metal(core) bands from the last ten years.
For those who don’t know, Wovenwar is the new musical entity created by ex- members of As I Lay Dying (AILD), Nick Hipa, Jordan Mancino, Josh Gilbert, and Phil Sgrosso with vocalist Shane Blay of Oh Sleeper fame. I’ve casually familiarized myself with their first self-titled record, and was excited to see how it translated to the stage; I’m pleased to say I was not disappointed
Given that the band is ⅘ AILD, Wovenwar are very much not its predecessor, and is reminiscent at the same time. Musically, Wovenwar is considerably dialed-down in aggression, yet (for obvious reasons) shares a lot of the melodic sensibilities we’re familiar with from AILD. Their quick, half-hour set showcased the best off their first album, and was a fine introduction to anyone new to the group. Sgrosso and Hipa’s distinctive guitar melodies and writing prowess permeated the songs, and showed that their writing abilities go well beyond the brand of metal they’re known for.
Vocalist Shane and bassist Josh traded and harmonized vocals all night, which was a nice change from the synthetic backing tracks that are becoming all too familiar in the scene. Jordan Mancino put on a stellar drum performance, as he is known to do. I found myself watching him for a good portion of show, admiring his playing and the dynamics he brings to these songs.
BearTooth is the new band started by former Attack Attack! singer Caleb Shomo. Now, I never liked AA!; never did, probably never will. Thankfully, Beartooth sounds nothing like AA, and HOLY FLYING DILDOS do they put on a stellar show. I’m going to sarcastically refer to them henceforth as “A Day To Remember-core”, and what I mean by that is that they are another band who have struck that perfect balance of balls and hooks. (Maybe “BallHookCore?”) Beartooth’s music is more on the straight hardcore/punk side, and they bring all the energy you’d hope they would.
From the onset Caleb engaged the audience with masterful skill, and the crowd responded incredibly well. It’s obvious I’ve underestimated their popularity here. The whole band gave great energy and didn’t let up, perfectly accenting the songs they performed. Each song they played from their new album Disgusting had just the right amount of aggression, and each was highlighted with an impossibly catchy chorus, many of which the delighted audience was singing straight back to them.
So here we are at the show’s apex. Atreyu are a band I’ve seen live quite a few times before in their “heyday,” as some would say, a grand era during metalcore’s inception where mascara and mosh were blissfully wed. It was a much simpler time. Not only have Atreyu not missed a beat since their hiatus, but god damnit, they seem to have gotten better. Their set exuded experience at every level, and it was inspiring to watch a band still dedicated to giving a great show. There was no shortage of movement on stage by all members as they tore threw a veritable “best of” from their discography.
Things really kicked off once the band started “Right Side of the Bed” from their Cursed record, and they didn’t let up. Their cover of Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name” got everyone in attendance singing, while immediately making me want to get a beer. At one point bassist Marc McKnight decided to take a stroll around the venue, even stopping to grab a photo with me mid song. McKnight’s overall performance was actually a show highlight for me.
Atreyu could very well have ended their show after they played “Bleeding Mascara” and “Lip Gloss and Black” back to back, but instead they teased the audience before closing out the set with two encores. Overall, this was a fantastic evening that I’m sure a lot of people won’t soon forget, and hopefully Atreyu will continue on the path they helped pave for so many others.
Huge thanks to extensive enterprises for putting on the show and Atreyu for inviting us as guests.
Written by Paul Ablaze
Photography by Stacy Basque
*edited by Kate Erickson