| October 5, 2010 | Comments (291)

The lineup this past Friday night at Montreal’s Just For Laugh’s Cabaret was unusual, to say the least. Hollerado, a band of four twenty-somethings known on the North American circuit for their nacho party nights, opening for The 222’s– late ‘70s punk legends – opening for Asexuals – a hardcore punk band that formed during high school in Beaconsfield, Quebec?


I like Hollerado; probably a little too much. I’ve caught them upwards of ten times this year, I’ve drawn a mermaid making out with a sword on their tour van, I have even been tempted to buy a pair of Glitter-Decorated panties from their merch table. However, watching them take the stage a half an hour late at the Cabaret – in their all-white pants and shirts – was like watching a pop rock lamb being brought to a punk rock slaughter.

“This has got to be one of the coolest shows we’ve ever played – we’d like to thank John,” Hollerado’s frontman Menno referred to Asexual’s dreadlocked frontman John Kastner“It’s an honor to play for someone who got his first guitar by throwing a fire extinguisher through a music store window.”

The group tried their hardest to pay appropriate homage to their icons, but failed to sway the crowd. Aside from a toe tapping teen, a bobbing man in plaid, and (admittedly) myself, the room stared in unmoved punk rock fashion as a band that – used to playing to legions of college kids & inviting packed venues onstage for singalongs – struggled not to fall prey to the almost empty room of middle aged punk rockers.

Fourty-five minutes after Hollerado struck their last chord, The 222’s found themselves playing to a packed room. In their Canadian spin on New York Dolls, and Stooges, The 222’s are still a dangerously sexy breed. To watch Chris Barry sing: “Looks like a female/Fucks like a man,” – complete with that Iggy lean-in and Elvis pelvic thrust – from ‘Female’ to ‘First Studio Bomb’ was absolutely mesmerizing.

Finally, a man in a Maine sweatshirt and Montreal Canadiens cap took to the stage,

“Here are the people I learned to steal shit with, do drugs with, break the law with. The ‘for ASEXUALS!’ Oh, and the band wants to remind everyone to stretch before you mosh – it’s been a while.”

The four high school friends who split in different directions in 1978 - John KastnerSean FriesenT.J. Collins and Paul Remington – played together for the first time in more than twenty years, aside from an appearance at NXNE. They performed their suburban-bred punk to a Cabaret full of people who hung on every word and off of every riff. Despite the nostalgia fuelled excitement in the room, however, Asexuals paled in comparison to their influences. Their set, a mix of their first two albums, with a few Clash odes – Safe European Home and Pressure Drop – just didn’t live up to the hype of their concert and the sheer glory of Barry’s swagger and The 222’s raw sound.

Friday night surely whet the appetite of lifelong fans of Asexuals but, as someone who prefers her music a little more – ahem – virile, The 222’s were the main attraction.

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Category: Reviews