A crazy drunk guy was spotted walking around the Corona Theatre on September 7th, ranting and exclaiming how much he thought the venue “sucked” and was “fucking shit.” One could only have hoped that for the sake of his happiness, the bands’ performances would lighten his mood. Unfortunately, with Leftover Crack vocalist Scott “Stza” Sturgeon and guitarist Brad Logan being denied entry into Canada, Joey Steele of All Torn Up! and Dave Rodriguez of the Krum Bums had the added stress and challenge of satisfying disappointed LC fans. However, although LC’s performance was strong and well-executed, the length of it may have very well further enraged the concertgoers, especially that already pissed-off drunk dude.
Going on a bit later than the scheduled show time of 8PM, perhaps anticipating that the venue would fill up with more audience members, Montreal hardcore punk band Cell opened the night to a very scattered crowd of not many people. Vocalist Sasha had power and intensity in her voice and performance. However, with the microphone levels low and the guitar volumes high, it was difficult to hear clear vocals coming from the speakers – an issue that was present for all three acts. Although Sasha was most definitely passionate and fierce, guitarist Adam and bass player Andrew stayed quite isolated on their respective sides, head banging closely to drummer Evan without circulating the stage much.
It was difficult not to be entertained during Montreal Francopop punk band MUDIE’s performance with a giant screen hanging over them projecting humorous, profound, or captivating footage, depending on the song they were playing. With stage décor consisting of cardboard cutouts of pizza and basketball players, it was clear that music isn’t MUDIE’s only passion. Changing outfits and interacting with the audience between pretty much every song, frontman and co-founder of Montreal’s Pouzza Fest, Hugo Mudie, kept the audience engaged. The size of the crowd started growing and people were getting increasingly revved up, energy that I wouldn’t attribute entirely to alcohol consumption – MUDIE did good. Although the mic levels were still trash, the music and melodies were clear and moving enough to have an impact on the crowd, even though the lyrics were incomprehensible.
Leftover Crack – man, these guys hate cops. They hit the stage hard, and even though it was a modified lineup, Steele and Rodriguez provided an excellent performance with fury, political rants and roaring vocals. Bodies were surfing through the crowd, and beer cans were flying through the air onto the stage, almost hitting members of the band, all within the first three songs. It wasn’t long before bandana-faced Rodriguez was in the camera pit, pulling people up onto the stage. The guitars were heavy and the drums were fast and fierce. Energy was blasting off the stage onto the members of the crowd, who projected just as much excitement as the band when they were invited up to join them on the mics, especially for cop-hating songs such as “Gang Control” and “One Dead Cop.” One could have expected that there would be several speeches against discrimination and politics as well “Fuck Trump!” and “Fuck the police!” cheers initiated and encouraged by the artists. Well, there were, and even though the mic quality was still shit, Leftover Crack’s messages were conveyed quite clearly.
The balcony was closed off, but the floor was full of LC lovers. Although they may have been slightly disappointed that the ska sounds of LC were not played on Friday night, the audience still responded well to the heavier, more screamo songs played. They were fiending for more Leftover Crack, so when the artists called it quits after a set of maximum one hour, the fans felt slightly ripped off, especially since the two main members of the band were absent. I hope that pissed-off drunk dude didn’t lose his shit on anybody…
Written by Keenan Kerr
*edited by Kate Erickson