As we arrived early at Cafe Chaos, I found my buddy Jason Greenberg of Camalus chilling outside waiting for his band to go on first. He was anxious, excited, and notified us that the show would be running a little later as they felt it was too early. He ran upstairs to prepare, and John and I ended up chilling with Nick and Tommy Moussis of Call of Saints, and Matt Bailie of BornBroken; we had a little chat about brawls between friends, kicking dudes in the nuts, and being so fucking tired from the busy work week that we’d just accomplished.
8pm arrived, so we all went inside to support our friends Camalus as they opened the night. About fifteen people were watching as Greenberg cracked a joke, mentioning four out of the fifteen people had actually seen his band play. I continued drinking my $6.50 pint of Boreale Blonde and nodded my head cheering them on and chuckling.
As their set ended, we decided to go back outside for some fresh air and a cigarette for John. I then saw Sal LoCoco, the frontman of Sworn Enemy, and we greeted each other with a big hug. Having organized a meeting beforehand, it was great to finally meet the guy in person. We talked about his show in Quebec City the night before and how well it went, and I mentioned how the Strike It, End of Crisis, and A Wasted Sacrifice show went as well. Sal mentioned a new album in the works to be released possibly March of 2014 and that the band would be playing some new songs.
We went inside to wait for BornBroken to get on stage. Sal and I discussed favorite bands and pass-times. He mentioned how some of the bands he currently listens to are Poison, Motley Crue, and Bon Jovi. I was then introduced to Jeff Cummings and Matt Garzilli, the guitarists of the band, as well as bassist Mike Pucciarelli. They seemed really pumped for the show with huge smiles on their faces as they talked to the fans looking to purchase some merch. They all seemed like such sweethearts and were so nice and friendly. Sal, being the only original member, mentioned how important it is for his band members to be recognized and appreciated as well.
BornBroken finished their forty-five minute set and left the crowd pumped and ready to see Sworn Enemy. As the band got ready on stage, I guarded the merch table and prepared my little notebook. It was my first time seeing them play, but they have been to Montreal eight times before.
The set started with “Sworn Enemy” and hadthe crowd thrashing like little monsters in a circle pit. The sound kicked ass! Sal’s screams were crisp and clear, and Jeff’s solos were unbelievably strong and loud. The crowd gainedmore and more excitement as the track went on.
Third track in,Sal’s screams started off “Forgotten”, and the crowd went wild. Sal had this look of anger on his face as he fist pumped the air. Jeff’s mini guitar solos kicked in as he headbanged and ran back and forth on stage, with Matt joining in, ravaging his guitar. The kicks were insane as Danny Lamagna hit his drums hard. The energy was high among the band members behind Sal as he stood mostly in the center very focused on the crowd. I honestly had no complaints about the sound and how these guys did. The people around me did not seem to have any complaints either, as they kept going on and on about how awesome the show was going.
The band continued with”Days Past” from As Real as it Gets and I nearly jumped for joy, as this happens to be one of my favourite tracks. Having seen it live for the first time, I really must say again it was played perfectly tight without any issues from where I was standing. Sworn Enemy plays usually a different set every night. This night, they mixed it up with fifteen tracks from all six albums. They played some classics like “Beginning of the End” and “One Way Trip”. I was cheering the boys on as while I was trying to focus on taking notes; it was difficult for me as they were kicking too much ass. Sal took control of the crowd again, telling them”We are working on a new record. Here is a new song. It’s called “NO APOLOGIIIIESSSS!” The track had killer bass lines coupled with new school metal elements to it. I think we have something really awesome coming our way. “I wanna circle pit!! NEVER TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED,” Sal preached, still pumping everyone up.
Sworn Enemy has released six albums so far since 2000, the latest being Total World Domination in 2009. Rhode Island is their next and last stop of the tour before they will begin working on their new album. The band is known for their intensive long tours; their record was three hundred shows per year for three years in a row. I think the boys deserve a nice break after this.
Written by Liz Imperiale
Photography by John Fraser Landry