The "Farting Out Fortress Start To Finish" Protest The Hero Tour w/ Abandon All Ships

Fashionably late as usual I arrived at the Mod Club on Sunday in time for a few last songs by Abandon All Ships. It was immediately clear that this band had the crowd completely riled up for Protest, but as I gazed upon the stage filled left to right with bouncing boners I decided I hadn't missed much. The stadium-style light show gave the initial impression that this epic band was fit to play the ACC, but after examining them closer I realized the lights were the only epic part about them. As one song ended and they prepared for the next the crowd erupted with chants of "Protest, where's Protest, we want Protest" clearly ready for the end of their set. Although as they started to play the confusing crowd continued to sing along with their next melodramatic electro-moshcore song. Finally, they announced their last song and during the intro the band seemed to further piss half the audience off by breaking into this retarded rendition of electro "dancing" while the other half of the audience again belted out the words along with them. As I shook my head in a mixture of annoyance and disgust I heard a male voice behind me speak my mind by exclaiming "I HATE THIS!". HERE HERE sir! Thank god they were almost over. After their poor display of entertainment on stage I was holding back the urge to shoot this band, the singer in particular, with more than just my camera. Sianara SUCKERS!
Finally, Protest The Hero were about to take the stage. These hometown heroes were clearly the focus of a lot of love as Arif walked on stage to set up and the crowd went absolutely nuts. He blew the fans kisses as he walked by, loving the limelight, proving that this band that I grew up watching in Cobourg and at the Dungeon in Oshawa had fully morphed into legitimate rock stars. The smell of weed filled the non-smoking venue and the crowd started chanting once again for Protest. The intro music to their album Fortress (which they were performing start to finish at each show on this tour) began as the band and their friends back stage teased the shit out of the audience by walking back and forth beside the stage as if they were about to come out, before ducking back into the shadows. At 9:45pm the band took the stage for real and the entire venue broke out in pure madness. From the very beginning Protest nailed every note and key, sounding identical to the recorded album. Rody alone was thoroughly entertaining to watch while his vocals remained surprisingly bang on. Over the years since those grimy Cobourg shows I have to say he has become one of the best frontmen I've ever seen. Arif was grinning the entire performance while plucking away on his bass at the side of the stage, practically hidden from view except for a few ventures to the middle. Moe owned the shit out of his drums in the back while Tim and Luke hammered away on their guitars, helping kids onto the stage to crowd surf at the same time without missing a chord. The entire band seemed as equally amused by their enthusiastic fans as the fans were with the band, and you could clearly tell how much they love playing for Toronto and how much they value the people that support them. They called off their security at one point to let kids jump on stage without being ambushed and thrown off, and at one point Rody even gave up his mic to a couple of boys who wanted to sing with him, making their night before they dove back into the madness. Across the venue all you could see were hands in the air, and the sound of the crowd singing along was almost deafening, coming close to drowning out the band entirely. All too soon it was over, and I couldn't believe the full 41 minutes of Fortress went by in what felt like a measly 10. I turned to leave not expecting the band to return to the stage but after the relentless cheering from the audience Rody emerged from the sidelines once again. "Um, we don't normally do encores, but since we know you guys all love Kezia better we are going to play you a couple songs off that album, what do you guys want to hear?" The crowd went nuts yelling out basically every track on the older album, as well as Rody's "Cigarette Song" which was quickly denied by the band. They settled on "Turn Soonest To The See" and even I almost wet myself out of pure joy. When the song's breakdown hit the entire floor shook from everybody jumping around and going crazy for it. The next encore was "Blindfolds Aside" and this had the crowd pushed so close to each other and the stage that sweat was literally dripping from the ceiling above me. The venue would erupt with every chance to sing along and the incredible experience sent shivers running down my spine every time. They ended their encores at 10:45 after an entire hour of playing, and on my way out the door all I could hear was every kid bragging about all their injuries from the pit. You know it was a good show when...










I'm Sarah. I do what I want.