| September 13, 2012 | Comments (2)

On Wednesday night, the Bell Centre played host to three beloved punk bands of our generation – Hot Water Music, The Gaslight Anthem, and Rise Against.

Hot Water Music opened the show, with a high energy performance; although because the stadium was not even at half capacity, the sound was lacking, making it very difficult to hear much, but what I could hear, I loved.  Regardless of the less than ideal sound, they played an awesome set that included tracks like ‘Trusty Chords’, ‘Drag My Body’, and ended with ‘Caution’.

They were followed by The Gaslight Anthem, who also played a magnificent set.   These guys played with so much heart, and proved why they are considered to be one of the prolific bands of our generation.  What impressed me most about their newest album was the guts that lead singer Brian Fallon’s voice had developed (you can see the review here!), and it was excellent to hear them play old songs with this new fortified tone.  They played a great mix of new songs and old, giving all their fans something to enjoy.  Highlights from the set for me included the songs ‘45’, and ‘The ’59 Sound’, among others.  The band also had excellent stage presence, and they kept their fans fully entertained while including a bit of witty banter about hockey and baseball.  Stay tuned for my interview with Alex of the Gaslight Anthem later this week!

Rise Against followed The Gaslight Anthem, headlining the show.  It was clear to see that Montreal loves Rise Against, and for a good reason – these guys write great tunes that anyone can enjoy.  In between The Gaslight Anthem and Rise Against’s set, the Bell Center completely filled up.  This was my first time seeing Rise Against, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, considering I didn’t even expect them to be able to fill up the Bell Center as they did.  While I know their lyrics have always had a powerful political undertone, the last thing I expected from this band were the heart wrenching video montages they played of war torn countries, pollution, abuse, and so on, so forth.  I am always pleased to see bands that have a global conscience, so I thought it was an interesting touch.  I hope their fans took this message home with them.

The first few songs of their set were not so great – lead singer Tim McIlrath was slightly out of tune and off beat, but he warmed up a few songs in and delivered a great performance from there on in.  The sound for the show was not awesome, so this could have been a good reason for that.  The crowd seemed particularly excited whenever they played tracks off of their 2006 album, ‘The Sufferer and the Witness’ like ‘Ready to Fall’, ‘The Good Left Undone’, and  ‘Drones’.  Of great note was the introduction into ‘Re-Education’, where McIlrath highlights the short comings of public education, and reminds us that punk rock re-educates us all.  After ending the first set with ‘Prayer for a Refugee’, McIlrath came out to play some acoustic tunes for an encore.  First was ‘Swing Life Away’, which was quite glorious.  This was followed by a beautiful homage to the late Tony Sly of No Use For A Name, who passed away in July of this year.  Tim McIlrath played a cover of ‘For Fiona’, which was sure to leave any No Use For A Name fan in tears; myself included.  The show ended with ‘Savior’, off of their 2009 album ‘Appeal to Reason’, which I think was a great way to end the show.

While each of the bands gave a magnificent performance on Wednesday night, none of these bands have sounds that are suited to play a venue like the Bell Center, though I must give them props for drawing such a huge crowd to nearly pack the stadium.  I am unsure if it was the stadium or sloppy sound mixing, but unfortunately, the sound left much to be desired.  Despite this; however, each band played an awesome set, and fans seemed to have a great time.  Wednesday night at the Bell Center was an excellent reminder that punk rock is not dead; it is alive and well, here in Montreal.

Check out LIVE PHOTOS by clicking on the link right here:

Find out more about Hot Water Music here!:

Official Site

Find out more about The Gaslight Anthem here!:
Official Site

Find out more about Rise Against here!:
Official Site

Photos by: Nour Haik

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Category: Photo Updates, Reviews

Comments (2)

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