We waited long enough for this event to come, as this was my second time seeing Red Skies since the En Route show. Having been blown away by their performance then, I was hoping to experience the same, if not more, of the same this night. The bands chosen to open the night were some of Montreal’s best metal-core sensations, and having never seen any of them except for Fayne and Red Skies, I knew I was in for a treat.
As I approached Il Motore, I saw the boys of Fayne hanging around outside on this chilly, springtime evening, and exchanged some hugs all around. I heard music going on in the venue, so I ran in only to discover that Braebrook had already begun their set. A generic-sounding band at first, it didn’t catch my complete attention, but as the set progressed, I was enjoying the show. They expressed strong energy, good chemistry, and from what I had researched, this was the band’s second gig after vocalist Jesse and guitarist Ben left Pandora’s Wake. It was nice to see some dudes come together and create musical magic. Check out their single released in February, “Anathema”. The melodic heavy rush of this track will get your heads bobbing and your bodies bouncing.
In The Name of Havoc came on next, and from what I gathered from this evening’s show, I thought all the bands were metal-core, but this band was completely different from the rest with their southern rock ‘n’ roll, hardcore sound. Where did these guys come from!? My jaw was literally dropping during the entire set, and couldn’t help but say “holy fucking shit.” to myself several times. Funny enough, the set started out with a bit of a technical difficulty regarding an amp, which I would imagine was frustrating for the band, as I was getting pretty restless myself. Finally, once all was done, little Oren screamed into the mic, “How are you guys doing!! People who shindid, shindon’t.” I had no idea what he was talking about, and I might have not even heard him correctly, but then these ridiculous rock ‘n’ roll guitar solos kicked in, accompaniedby the vocalist’sgrowls, and I no longer cared about the wait. Malcolm Macleod’s voice was an impeccably rich, Buddy Holly-esque sound which surprised me, considering how heavy the music was and how well it all went together. After browsing the band’s Facebook page, I read that they describe themselves as “NOFX and ZZ Top’s bastard child who was adopted and raised by Iron Maiden and Pantera, and grew up to marry Every Time I Die.” “Junk Yard Dogs” was performed towards the end of the set, and I could totally hear that.
Considering the minor technical difficulties happening earlier on, the show was not that far behind on schedule. The almighty Fayne were approaching the stage next. As I watched Joseph jump around prepping himself for his usual high energy performance, I noticed Cody Dodds of Red Skies nervously pacing around the venue; perhaps anxious and excited about the whole evening. “What’s up motherfuckers!? Who wears short shorts? I wear short shorts motherfuckers.” yelled Joseph to some dude in the crowd right before he rumbles into the mic. “Let’s fill that space!” all thewhile running into the crowd, trying to gather everyone closer. They played some classics like “Bitch,” a personal fav of mine. Between Chris’ backup vocals and Joe’s powerful lungs, it made for a Deftones-ish sounding, awesome duet. They expressed a strong, spiritual connection with each other and with the crowd. I just always feel drawn in. That’s just me.
Next up was a band that went out of their way to make for an awesome stage set up. Thinking the stage wasn’t big enough as it was, I wondered how the band would be able to fit on there with two enormous posters behind them. They made it work. These sweethearts are called Eyes of Sinners. Our own Jason Greenberg had the pleasure of reviewing these guys a little while back when they opened for For Today, and I must agree with him on several aspects. When the set began, I liked what I was hearing; heart-wrenching, gut exploding, loud metalcore raunch with some very, very loud bass lines. So hmmm, okay, I dig it. But each track sounded the same. I did not hear much diversity in the music at all. They had great stage presence and Joel the screamer was very interactive with the crowd, and for those who read my reviews, you know I absolutely love that. They clearly care about their musical careers, but they need to let loose a little bit. I found it really rad, however, when Joel gave us some free CDs. For a set that took longer than it should have to set up, I was really looking forward to something more.
Last but not least were the stars of the evening, Red Skies. Cody took off his hoodie and glasses and prepped on stage. The band’s fans gathered closely. I still noticed there weren’t too many people, but it was still a perfect turn out to film a music video. “Get the fuck up front!” Cody screamed to the crowd and what an awesome crowd it was. “Are you all ready to be in a video tonight!? Make some fucking noise, Montreal!” More and more fans were putting on their Red Skies tees (which were being sold for 15$) and getting ready to mosh; the crowd went wild as the band began with their first track, “Ignition”. Cody’s voice was absolutely insane, I don’t know how the kid does it; high-pitched, screech-y screams, coupled with his seemingly unlimited amount of energy on stage. A ‘blue man’ jumped onto the stage during the second track, “Up in Smoke,” to join the band, then crowd surfed across the pit. Third track in, “Identity,” had a less heavy, more groovy sound to it and the breakdowns were unreal. I have no words to describe how awesome the guitar solos that Charles Legault played were. I was overwhelmed with how amazing the performance was. Cody mentioned how he suffered from addiction and depression, and thanked the crowd for being there for him, as music saved his life. The band brought doomy, dark, heavy, melodic music to the stage which made for a diverse and entertaining set. During the performance of the video shot, “Egodeath,” the crowd went wild. I am stoked to see what the video ends up looking like. Congrats guys, I wish you luck in the next En Route Vers Heavy show.