It was a huge-mega-sold-out-night at the Corona Theatre featuring the likes of Graveyard with Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats and Demob Happy rolling into town. The sold-out show amped up a lot of buzz as the trio of European acts crossed the pond to deliver a killer show. Graveyard have never been to Montreal before, so the hype was serious. Uncle Acid have been coming through fairly regularly, and have amassed a solid fan base here. As for Demob Happy…well honestly I don’t even think anyone knew there was another act on the bill until the day of the show, but they pulled out my favourite performance of the night, by far.
The English trio, Demob Happy, opened up the tap on what would be a fairly rambunctious night. The group oozed retro garage-pop-rock. They opened with a song called “Fake Satan”. Although not as heavy as their fellow countrymen in Uncle Acid, the two bands playing together clearly made sense. Heavy psych poured off the stage as these three dudes were absolutely giving it. Drummer Thomas Armstrong was the focal point for me. His excessive energy stole the show. Songs like “Spinning Out” have a vicious punk flow to them, but also tap into the Era Vulgaris sound of Queens of the Stone Age. These tunes were catchy, made great use of all three vocalists, and were played with a heavy hand. The only thing to criticize would be the guitar rig, which was comprised entirely of a single Vox combo. These songs deserve to come out through more than one speaker man, c’mon.
Paragraph two, MORE DEMOB. Yo these guys were stellar. “Loosen It” throws in some Death From Above 1979 vibes if you need further convincing on diving into their discography. Dream Soda was their first LP release, and the band is now on tour supporting their sophomore album Holy Doom. “Less is More” is a single off that release. It was a great show from a band that came out and played like they hadn’t eaten in months.
Following them were doomlords Unlce Acid and the Deadbeats. Veterans of the scene, no one was stranger to their ways. Drenched in darkness, the droogies took the stage to lay an unrelenting massacre upon the bloodthirsty crowd. “I See Through You” came blazing through the thick hanging air. Like an eighteen wheeler cruising through the night on an open road, driving stoner tunes fell out of the back at top speeds. Their 2018 release Wasteland comes as the much anticipated addition to their discography.
The crowd got quite rowdy for these boys. There was a lot more action than you’d expect at a stoner show. Pits would open up and engulf the innocent. “I’ll Cut You Down” sent people into a frenzy for sure. Although there were some energetic moments throughout the set, there was also a lull at one point. A lack of dynamics in the set list created some redundant moments. Playing fourteen songs was a long haul as well, but if that mood is what you love, then you would have struck gold that night. To others, it was like a strong acid trip that lasted just a little bit too long.
Finally, after what could have been a complete show on its own, the Swedes in Graveyard took to the stage to bring some light to the shadowy realm created by the Deadbeats. Long-time fans finally got the chance to see these beauties here in Montreal, and they did not disappoint. A shaky vocal start turned into a warm performance by front man Joakim Nilsson. Rolling some sweet blues in to contrast the night, songs like “Uncomfortably Numb” hovered right in the sweet spot pocket. It was great to feel more dynamics in this set. Although it was another long one, the ups and downs and the crunchy to the smooth made for a nice ride. Beer was flying through the air and people were up surfing on other people. The party was not lacking.
Graveyard are coming off the release of Peace, their fifth full-length to date. Fans were excited to hear some of the new tracks. “The Fox” was an unexpectedly fresh and upbeat track that shows some of the colours that were used on the new album. After an extra-large-double-double show, there could only be an extra-large-double-double ending. Graveyard closed the night with a hefty encore that they capped off with big jams, a drum solo, and a big fan favourite, “The Siren.” It was a long, slow goodbye that had everyone out the door on the right foot. Big score for everyone who ventured out that night.
Written by Ben Cornel
Photography by Amanda Hiscock
*edited by Kate Erickson