A farewell tour is a lot like a break up. You get sad, nostalgic, a little bitter, and chances are good that in three years time you’ll see them fuckin’ around at Rockfest or something. This past Thursday at La Tulipe here in Montreal was a little bit like saying goodbye to an acquaintance that I’d always had at least a little bit of a good time with. Twas the last Montreal visit from Sioux City, IA’s Christian metalcore ensemble, For Today, and here is how it all went down.
It’s been a little while since I got to regale you with my description of a night of live music, but the plot has hardly changed when it comes to me having to get out of my day job to get to a venue on time. Local hopefuls Alongside opened up the night with what I can only imagine as a whole lot of front to back and side to sides. As I didn’t see it for myself, I can only tell you that if you wanna hear some heavily produced metalcore by a band from your hometown, then go check out their links.
Following up as the first of many touring acts was hipster-clad, post-hardcore quintet Rival Choir from Denton, TX. Being the post-hardcore fan that I am, it was only fitting for the universe to decide that I was not meant to enjoy myself and catch this act either. That being said, inside reports informed me that this was definitely an act to see, and upon personal research, I conclude this: think La Dispute with inexplicably bigger balls. Go grab a listen.
The night kept rolling, and I finally got to stroll into the venue just as the mighty Tuscaloosa, AL hardcore household name, Gideon, took the stage. These Alabama cats sling hardcore the way hardcore is made today and no different, thus making them very much a ‘love or hate’ band. As someone who’s constantly looking for the next thing to grab me by the balls, I can safely say that, although I usually enjoy this act to no end, this was not necessarily their night. Definitely worth a listen, but they can be hit or miss when it comes to stage time. Maybe it was the room, maybe it was the band, or maybe I’m just a picky asshole; go find out for yourself.
Rounding out the opening support was Ocala, FL’s Wage War. If Gideon is playing hardcore the way 2016 likes it, then Wage War is playing metalcore the way 2016 likes it: nice and fucking cookie cutter. No disrespect to a set of dudes living the dream, or even more so to the crowd of sixteen-year-olds that were eating that shit up, I’m just somebody who misses diversity and warmth in a genre like this. They’ve obviously made it for a reason. That reason is beyond me, but they can fill a room, and the crowd will most definitely react. I’m just tired of seeing the same ol’ same ol’. Agressive chugging; constant breakdown beats; over-the-top, high register clean singing; yeah I’m into all of these things, but stray from the path a little here, homies (Pun ENTIRELY intended).
Harcore and metal bands come and go like the fleeting winds. What’s made For Today so special over the years is this very unique blend of lower register-vocal melodies followed by the usual vibrant rumbles of everything that isn’t a chorus. They’ve always been a solid act, albeit preachy as all living fuck. With some luck, this last performance was no different. While still ripping out crowd pleasers like “Break the Cycle” and “Immortal,” the band also delved into some classics and first releases that hadn’t been heard in years, like “Agape” and “Saul of Tarsus.” Their sound was solid though not extravagant (which isn’t exactly uncharacteristic of La Tulipe). The band showed life and the crowd followed the motions as requested. Barring certain stage tomfooleries that I won’t dive into in order to try not to “upset” anyone, this was a goodbye that fit the band’s career, and also every performance I had ever witnessed by For Today since the first time I caught them. Best metalcore band I’ve ever seen? Absofuckinglutely not. Good time? Sure. Will I probably catch myself listening to their shit years from now? Totally. I’ll probably miss you cats. That, or you’ll be coaxed into a reunion before I know it.
Written by Jason Greenberg
*edited by Kate Erickson