Is punk alive in Montreal? Could an old school band like Lagwagon be able to bring it back to the old school Olympia Theatre in the heart of Montreal? These questions and more will be answered below.
Before we saw the legendary Lagwagon, we were introduced to another California pop punk band, This Legend, headed by Chris Castillo on vocals. I’ve got to say, these guys had some catchy tunes and were not out of place here. If you’re a fan of pop punk, be on the lookout for these guys. If you’re not, it may sound like you’re like you’re listening to the same song over and over again, which tends to be the knock with which bands of this genre have to live with. On the big stage they sounded good and looked quite comfortable. Guitarist Benjamin Harper was having a blast out there, jumping all over the place like it was going out of style. I spoke to Chris after their set, and for him, Canada rocks and they look forward to coming back. So do we.
Next up were the punk rockers Swingin’ Utters, bringing their style of street punk to the stage. Their music is hard hitting, and their show was the same with lead signer Johnny “Peebucks” Bonnel making us feel every note of each song with his strong vocal performance. He was all over the place, like a Rottweiler on a leash; he was ready to explode into musical bliss. This was my first time seeing them, and I had been told they put on a good show. Thankfully they didn’t disappoint. They were supporting their new album Fistful of Hollow.
Finally, it was time for Joey and the gang to hit the stage. Lagwagon has been in the game for the better part of the last 25 years. One might ask, are they still relevant? I had a friend say they are overrated and just your average pop punk band. Well, as the guys hit the stage, they would prove to us why they are both relevant and more than the average bear. The band kicked off with two new songs, “Obsolete Absolute” and “Made of Broken Parts” from their new Fat Wreck Chords album, Hang. The crowd, mostly thirty-somethings, finally got their asses moving and finally it felt like I was at a punk show! After a few more songs, I turned to my friend and he could not deny that they kick ass! I was impressed with their energy and stage presence, still jumping and shredding through their hits like “Razor Burn” and “Falling Apart”. Seeing Chris “Big Bitch” Flippin jump is most impressive, not to mention his skills on the good ol’ guitar! So, needless to say, this California pop punk bands loves the province of Quebec, and it shows by their performance and the reaction of the fans!
Punk is alive and well in Montreal!