When I arrived at Bar Le Ritz PDB on Wednesday, Dead Elegance was already playing their set. Considering how early it was, there was actually a really decent crowd filling up more than half the venue. The band dedicated their second to last song, “Deathbed” to someone they knew that had passed away. The singer placed a candle and photo on the stage and finished the song kneeling in front of it. It seemed to be a pretty emotional song for him, but that just made the set even better. I think at times the vocals could have been a bit louder since I found it hard to hear them every now and then, but other than that, they put on a good show.
A Wasted Sacrifice was second to take the stage, and this band has been around for years. I knew I had heard the name before, I just couldn’t place it, and later realized it was a band I had seen a few times like six years ago. They’ve come a long way since then, and have definitely improved. They played a few songs off their new EP, which is free to download on their Bandcamp page. They’re a lot heavier than I remember; more intense, and more talented. There was some interesting guitar distortion during one of their songs, and sometimes their music reminded me of Hatebreed, like they had that original hardcore sound.
L.A’s Silent Planet was up next, and this band was different from the others. Their music was softer, but launched into some heavier parts. I wasn’t too keen on the vocals; they were too raspy and strained. During one song, one of the guitarists pulled out an extra drum, and proceeded to play a beat alongside the actual drummer. It was a slow song that was building up to something, which happened when the entire band literally just exploded with energy on stage. It was the most entertaining thing to watch of the evening, so despite the fact I wasn’t really into the vocals and music, I still enjoyed their performance.
Kublai Khan from Texas was next. Let me just start by saying how much I respect this band, even though this was my first time hearing about them. The vocalist was saying something along the lines of how music is something everyone can relate to, no matter your race or color, and it brings people together. I find this to be 100% true, and for that, they have my respect. They dedicated their song “Blossom” to local Montreal band, Obey the Brave, whom they were recently touring with.
Texas In July seemed to be the crowd favorite, and stole the show. I didn’t think it was possible to have a circle pit in such a small bar, and yet…it happened. The two things I liked most about this band were how great the vocals sounded, and the talent emerging from the guitarists. I’m one of those people that are super picky about vocals, but this band has a really good vocalist so there was no complaints from me about any part of their set.
Headlining the show was Gideon, a heavy-as-hell band from Alabama that killed it. The clean vocals blended almost perfectly with the unclean ones. Personally, I enjoyed this band much more than Texas In July because I found them to be heavier and more energetic. I also found their music to be a lot catchier. They played songs off of their album Calloused, my favorite one being “Savage.” Before seeing them, they were completely unknown to me, so I’m glad I got the chance to see them.
Written and Photographed by Shannon Fong