I’m not a man that typically likes to judge people; I get judged all the time and it sucks, so I typically try to invoke karma as best I can. You wanna dress a certain way? Sure. You wanna create a halo of hairspray that will follow you till the end of your days? Alright. You wanna straight-up wear fucking makeup? COOL. But unfortunately, like most human beings, I suck at trying to be a better person sometimes. Follow me now as I tell you about my feelings, and about that time I caught the Beyond the Barricade Tour at Montreal’s very own La Tulipe.
Opening up the night with a bang was My Day Job. They took the stage in the wee hours of that morning, and managed to power right through both of the first two opening acts. Seriously speaking now, as usual, I gave a good listen to the evening’s local love Projekt F since I had to miss their set. If you love shock and really fucking freaky industrial shit, go give them a listen. As for Boston’s Ice Nine Kills, there’s really not a whole lot to say. INK is everything you would expect out of a popcore band: pseudo-heavy music, pretty choruses, and even prettier members. Rated “P” for preteen.
As I finally managed to waltz myself into the miasma of powder-based makeup and hairspray, Anaheim’s gothcore quartet New Years Day took the stage. Now this is why karma will eventually bite me on the ass for my honesty, but here goes nothing. This was painful, and I don’t mean in the angsty ‘woe-is-my-life’ kinda painful. I mean, this was truly bad. I can whole-heartedly say that more effort went into their appearance than into any of their actual musical capability. I will most definitely receive some heat for this, but from top to bottom, there was nothing tight or sonically pleasing about what I witnessed. The vocals were out of key, both the five-string bass and the seven-string guitar were COMPLETELY unnecessary and solely for visual effect. The drums could have been worse, but even I’d have been able to keep time with simplicity of the actual music performed. There, I said it.
OK, moving on! And the Lord said, “Let there be breakdowns!” And on that day, Sioux City, Iowa set forth a Christcore quintet, For Today. You might remember For Today from my previous barrage of comedic Jesus cracks regarding their Fight the Silence Tour. Fun fact: they haven’t really stopped touring since then. Luckily, the hand of God apparently sits firmly on these cat’s shoulders because for the most part, all that road burn hasn’t seem to deter them from their beatdown metalcore ways, most notably on their performances of “Devastator.” The only one that seems to have suffered in the slightest would be singer Mattie Montgomery, which is to be ENTIRELY expected. Nonetheless, their set was as tight as ever, albeit short. I could have happily ended the night on “Fearless” but alas, there’s more to come.
Closing out the night with a wall of candles and a light show that could have given the entire crowd epilepsy was Scranton, PA’s baby, the sort-of-boys from Motionless in White. Physical appearances and shock value aside, MIW definitely came out sounding big, but turning yourself up to 11 has never really been it for me. Their songs were tight, yes. The crowd ate that shit up entirely, yes. My problem lies with their level of originality, which was borderline nonexistent. The lights dimmed and the show began with “Death March,” which essentially sounded like any given Manson track. The tunes rolled, and various “influences” could be smelled from a mile away by anyone of eclectic taste. Then we heard “Puppets 3 (the Grand Finale)” which, without any dispute, is practically a blatant rip off of Bleeding Through’s “Kill to Believe.” An influence is meant to shape your sound; you’re not supposed to write songs that sound completely like your favourite band! There are limits here guys!!! Maybe I’m too cynical, and if you think so then I’m sorry.
The last cliff note that I wanted to wrap up on was talking about the moniker of the actual tour, “Beyond the Barricade” – as if to encourage stage diving and participation past the guard line. If any of you have ever been to La Tulipe, then you’ll know that there isn’t any barricade. Ideal right? Not fuckin’ really. Each band prior to MIW’s set encouraged and enticed stage dives and all things of the sort (including that really douchebag thing where kids take selfies on stage with the band mates. Do that with me and I’ll eat your phone!). But not MIW, no no no! A designated MIW crew member (fuckin’ t-shirt and all) would come football-blitzing out from side stage and ever so anxiously get every crowd member off the stage, tout-fucking-suite. I totally get it, kids are annoying; they step on your pedals, they interrupt important parts of your act, they probably smell bad, and they insist on taking stupid little fucking pictures with you. My problem is that this designated crewmember quite literally cherry-picked kids while crowd surfing and got them off stage. If that doesn’t describe it properly, I mean to say HE WAS LITERALLY STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STAGE FOR A SOLID MINUTE AND A HALF DOING THIS. It’s like saying, “It’s a Beyond the Barricade Tour, but don’t you fucking dare come up here! Get off, GET OFF!”
Written by Jason Greenberg
Photography by Alex QB True North Visual