Rockstar Taste of Chaos Tour 2009!!!

The evening kicked off with Ernie Ball Battle of the Band winners... who unfortunately I missed because I have to work a "real" job by day and couldn't make it in time... I heard them playing as I walked towards the venue and you know what, it sounded pretty darn good! I guess that's why they won...
Four Year Strong from Worcester, Massachusetts, exploded onto the stage next, throwing a shit ton of energy in everyone's faces to start the night off Strong. Immediately interacting with the audience and getting the crowd moving effortlessly, turning the room into a whirlwind of bright purples and blues, the tell tale sign of FYS fans! These guys have gained popularity at light speed in Canada, virtually unknown this time last year they had almost every kid singing along to every word at a show that is typically not a place for a poppier punk band... Poppy is a stretch for their performance last night though, they managed to blend right into the hardcore lineup with a heavier, louder, and more intense spin on their almost radio-friendly songs, incorporating beefier breakdowns and losing some of their softer vocals for better suited growls. They even broke into Slayer's Reign In Blood as a segway into my personal favourite of theirs, Beatdown In The Key Of Happy. It was LEGEND - wait for it .... wait for it .... - ARY! With a whopping three members rotating lead vocals their set was visually stimulating to say the least, with the keyboardist rocking out the hardest; whether at the keys or on the mic or just doing shit all he held my attention at gun point the entire time!

Before you knew it Four Year Strong were over and right on schedule the room erupted in chaos as Pierce The Veil broke out onto the stage, AND ONTO TABLES! My preconceived notion of tables being a ridiculous stage prop were tossed onto the floor with all the empty beer cups as both the bassist and the guitarist hopped up and down effortlessly and towered over the crowd, not missing a note or a step, rocking out harder than most can manage on solid ground. The bassist was even running on the spot, on the table, whilst playing at one point.... holy jesus! Although this was the first Canadian tour ever for this San Diego band, they are far from unknown in Toronto. The singer managed to charm the socks off the crowd instantly and had almost everybody screaming for them after the first song before making his way onto a table as well to take rocking out to new heights! Three guys. Three guitars (inc. bass). Two tables. The only ingredients needed to create one of the best live shows I've seen... even the hearing impaired would have been blown away with their performance last night! Frequently sounding to me like Mars Volta, more specifically something off of De-loused in the Comatorium, I became an instant fan, and even spicing up the set with samples of top 40 hits including Lady GaGa's Poker Face and Beyonce's All The Single Ladies, and ending their set with a bang with an amazing rendition of Michael Jackson's Beat It, which can be found on their myspace.

Next came home town favourites, the Cancer Bats. And welcome to Headbanging 101, please take a seat! With the bands growing heavier and heavier as the night progressed (so wait, why is Thursday headlining again?) each group upped the ante when it comes to energy on stage, and although the CB guitarists were bound to the spot by the pure insanity that they had to play, the singer was able to bring it enough for the rest of them. Back and forth across the stage, only stopping his legs to bang his head, and back and forth, back and forth. With amazing chemistry between him and the audience, the singer was just eaten up by his fans throughout the set. Although there was less to see visually otherwise, the fast paced fingers of each member on their instruments still kept the audience mesmerised and the energy level was through the roof, by no means diminishing with the time. As soon as the second song there were kids limping out of the pit, covered in sweat and shit eating grins. Definitely responsible for one of the biggest crowds of the night, the Kool Haus was torn apart during Lucifer's Rocking Chair and Hail Destroyer, with kids tripping over themselves to get to the middle fast enough to throw down or punch floors or mow the lawn or whatever it is they do in there. Intense. That's the only way to describe it. Intensely fucking wicked that is!

From the second that Bring Me The Horizon set foot on stage it was obvious who should have headlined the show. The UK band "faced" (scratch moted) literally every other band before them with the deafening screams of their fans, even trumping Toronto's very own Cancer Bats with the largest audience of the night. Really fucking tight right off the back, their performance ruptured the Kool Haus with such intensity and passion that the band sounded like a symphony of guitars, when in reality the five-piece was made up of only two guitarists creating the fierce harmonies. Despite the miles of ocean separating the band from pretty much everyone in the venue, every single person seemed to know every fucking word to every fucking song, creating almost a cult-like atmosphere around the stage and particularly around their singer who was idolized like a God. Something about them brought me back to the days of the Refused, which in turn brought a tear of joy to my eye. BMTH were the perfect band to tear up the stages after Cancer Bats, with more headbanging and once again increasing the energy in the room to keep the crowd alive and pumped for.... Thursday? (Whomp whomp). With crazy drum influenced break downs this set was definitely a hardcore kid's wet dream. Vic Fuentes from Pierce The Veil came back out on stage to help sing one of the songs, and shortly after the set was ended with the very popular myspace exclusive track Chelsea Smile, which set the crowd on fire and proved to be, for most, the high note to end the night on.

Time check: 9:45pm. The show was literally right on schedule, which is very rare, and approximately 50% (and I'm being generous) of the people were pouring OUT of the Kool Haus, not even bothering to stay for our very own Canadian band who could once almost sell out that very same venue. Another 50% of the remaining audience appeared to be in line for the Cancer Bats signing, and from the looks of it they all left immediately after too. I repeat... Whomp Whomp. Fortunately for Thursday the dismal crowd that was left all sounded very stoked on seeing them... there till the bitter end! The spastic singer started off with enough energy to convince me to nod my head along at the very least (if you haven't noticed already Thursday is not a band that I'm particularly fond of) but my eyes remained on bassist Manny Carrero from Saves The Day and Glassjaw throughout the entire set as he bumped and grinded his way around the stage. The drummer also caught my attention with his mad skills, proving to be the backbone of their performance. The singer was an irritating site on stage, conveniently posing on his knees directly in front of the video cameras down below for a close up profile, and the soft whine of his voice was either putting me to sleep, or sending me running for the bar. To be fair though he did keep the energy going, although not that it was very necessary with the few people left. Their saving grace was the many dedications to good causes including Shirts For A Cure which I highly urge everybody to check out. Contrary to Bring Me The Horizon's singer Oli Sykes being treated like a God by his fans, Thursday's singer Geoff Rickly clearly thought he was God but it wasn't from the audience's point of view. *cough*LOSER*uncough*. In order to keep the children amused a bunch of black balls were tossed into the audience which just served for a pleasant distraction from the band on stage. It remains a mystery why Thursday was chosen to headline, although I think the tour just rotates the lineup each show... but at the same time it was very convenient for them to play last so that nobody had to suffer through them waiting for any of the good bands playing! Thursday was definitely the weakest link of the 2009 Rockstar Taste of Chaos... Goodbye!

Rockstar Energy Drink
Taste of Chaos
Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands
Four Year Strong
Pierce The Veil
Bring Me The Horizon
Cancer Bats
Shirts For A Cure

I'm Sarah. I Do What I Want.