It was the second day of spring, but no one told Montreal that winter was over because it was still cold as fuck! That being said, it didn’t stop thousands of Montrealers from gathering in the streets of Montreal for St-Paddy’s day for a few pops. After the festivities, many migrated to local pubs to continue the tradition of the Irish: DRINKING! What a perfect day for a punk show as the many revelers crawled into Metropolis that evening to catch Pennywise, the legendary punk band from Hermosa Beach, California.
First to step on the stage were Montreal’s own Punchline 13 fresh from the release of their album Cut The Rope. Having listened to their album, I was excited to see their live show under the difficult circumstances of opening for such great and established rockers. They definitely held their own with their brand of pop-punk/ rock and roll as they warmed up the crowd. Their singer, Sly Hawk, was very energetic, telling jokes as he introduced the band casually as ‘Guns N’ Roses’. At times I found the band lacked the energy I have come to expect from punk bands; was it due to the lack of space on stage (from so many other amps and instruments in back for other bands), or something else? Regardless, I did enjoy their take on “Footloose” and their performance of “Sitting on a Star.” Fans of pop-punk should definitely give these guys a listen.
Massachusetts’ A Wilhelm Scream came on stage like a bat out of hell. Their catchy songs and their energy was immediately transferred into the crowd of the venue, which was near capacity (that’s saying something, since Metropolis is pretty large!) Chris Barker of Anti Flag joined the band early on stage for a little bit of fun, and the crowd ate it up. A few “Alright, alright’s” later, the band was in full swing with the crowd successfully doing a great circle pit. Now that’s a punk rock show! This band knew what they were doing and did it well. They said, “We have been doing this a long time” and it shows. Amazed with our Montreal crowd, singer Nuno Pereira said, “This is the best feeling ever- seeing you guys rock out.”
The last band to hit the stage before the headliner was Pittsburgh’s Anti-Flag playing their unique brand of punk rock. Let me tell you how this went: a giant circle pit; flying beer, shoes, t-shirts, and ball caps; “fuck you” fingers in the air; political messages; more fuck you signs; more flying beers; more moshing; the drum kit lowered into the crowd; singing in the crowd; playing drums in the crowd; more flying objects; awesome songs; some “1-2-3-4” chants, saying “Fuck police brutality;” more mosh pit, more beer, more songs; 20 years of experience, and more practice cause that is awesome; playing “Die For Your Government;” punk legendary status confirmed. I think that sums it all up. They fucking rock! Every show you go to you know what you’re going to get: a good old party!
Finally Pennywise hit the stage and did their thing like the professionals they are. They gave us a solid set, with a good mix of old and newer songs, some cool covers, and a good time. My favorite moments were when they covered the Beastie Boys song “Fight for your Right,” as well as when guitarist Fletcher explained why he likes the underdogs. Other great moments included the songs “The World,” their cover of “Stand by Me,” the crowd singing “Fuck Authority”, and finally their anthem; quite possibly the best punk song ever; “Bro Hymm”! A great night indeed!
Written by Eric Brisson