Top Ten Shows of 2010 (Pt.3)

6. Saturday November 27th 2010, Native American Spearhead, Wolvozomberine & Glorywhore @ The Astoria.

This show makes the list simply because it was so strange and hilarious. About a week or so before this gig I received a text message from my pal Dusty asking me if I was going to the Alexisonfire show. I replied, 'at the forum? Yuck.' So he informs me that he worked with a guy who told him that his band was going to be playing the Astoria with 3 Inches of Blood and Alexisonfire as an afterparty to the PNE Forum show. I looked into it and found a poster on the internet for this crazy show that he was talking about. The poster had both bands playing under pseudonyms, a couple of well placed logos, and all the ticket buying info on it. The next day I went out and bought 4 tickets, not knowing who they'd be for, but not worried in the least that I'd be stuck with any. Not to mention they were only $12. I instantly felt sorry for the suckers who probably shelled out $40 to see these bands in the crap PNE Forum. Give me a smaller, danker and more intimate venue any day.

So I found people for tickets and forgot about the show, until the night before. We were playing Pat's Pub and by the time that show was over I told everyone what their plans should be the next night, and I saw a lot of these people there, and most thanked me for the tip. I'm sure earlier in the evening I thanked Dusty when we met up for some pre-drinks as well.

After a bus ride to The Astoria we hung out on the sidewalk for a bit waiting for everyone to finish up their cans of beer or doobies, and had now officially missed the first band. It used to bother me that no one was ever present for the first band at shows in Vancouver, and now apparently I've become what I used to hate. However after milling about in the crowd, drinking a drink and talking to friends for a bit Glorywhore fired up. A blast of punk and rock n roll with a side of sleaze and a female vocalist made the band worth watching.

Then I saw this happen:

 Before I left the house I assumed this show was going to be a great picture taking opportunity and made sure to bring my camera with me. Unfortunately I'm not much of a photographer, and this shot of 3 big metal fans was the hilight of the bunch. And then 3 Inches of Blood started to play!

I'm an old school 3 Inches of Blood fan so this definitely was not the first time I've seen them play in a small venue. However it is the first time I'm sure most people in Vancouver have seen them play in a venue this intimate since they've garnered such popularity. I was a fan back in the 'Balls Of Ice' and 'Hall of Heroes' days, along with being a big Jamie Hooper fan. I'm guessing he was removed from the line-up because of his lack of hair length. There was some serious hair farming going on up on this stage.

Sometimes during shows I catch myself watching the mosh pit more than the band. Not because it isn't a rocking show, but because that's half the battle right there, and some entertaining people can be found amongst the crowd right at the front of the stage. Take this hair-do for instance:

Yes, that guy rocked, and I think that's who this show was for, the die hard fan that didn't want to rub shoulders with the teeny boppers at the PNE Forum. Look at him, he's fuckin' lovin' it. 

3 Inches sounded great, and they went on to play 'Deadly Sinners' and closed out with 'Goat Riders Horde'. It was all pretty killer and the crowd backed them the entire way.

We hit the sidewalk after this for a breather and probably didn't go back inside until the next round of music began. It was Alexisonfire's time to shine. The atmosphere seemed to change as they started to play. The long hairs hit the back of the bar and a sea of ball caps and brightly coloured hoodies jostled around on the dance floor. The singer was a beefy drunk looking dude that would grab beers from the audience and swill them back. 

When a wad of spit hit him he was quick to hock one back. He pretended to fight with the crowd in the front and put on a thoroughly entertaining performance while the band played through a quick and hardcore set. Getting to see a professional band, that usually performs in front of thousands, play in a dirty dive on East Hastings Street was downright hilarious. I wasn’t much of a fan of this band before the show, but I was smiling ear to ear throughout most of their set, only stopping to hoot and holler as loud as I could between songs. It seemed as if the people behind me couldn’t have cared less, god forbid one of their friends see them rooting on a band that could be considered ‘emo’. I couldn't have cared less who the band was, they were seriously killing it, and I'm guessing it's because they play in a band for a living. The girls swooning on the side of the dancefloor could have been more appreciative too, but they must have had their little emo hearts caught in their throats.

The energy was undeniable, well except for Dallas Green who hung out in the back and didn't even contribute vocally very much at all either, but to me this was a good thing. They threw down a heavy set, and didn't do any of that singy song girly stuff. They only played one song I recognized, the one where they drive around in ambulances in the music video, and the pit went mental. The show ended abruptly after that and Alexisonfire scattered, leaving the emo girls behind. This would have been a great time for me to swoop in and pick up chicks if it weren’t for my hideous ugliness.

5. Tuesday September 7th 2010, Burning Love, Baptists & Real Problems @ Funky Winkerbeans.

To many this may have been a disappointing show with Coliseum being halted at the border, and as bummed as I was to not get to see them rock, I was amongst the only people that could have benefitted from them not making it out; the opening act. We had just come off of some shows in Alberta, playing 3 times over the last 4 days, so we were ready to rock, and holding off our set for a bit while the bar got more full didn't bother me none. It was really cool that Coliseum's absence didn't hurt the turnout, especially on a Tuesday night. So we played, it was fun, NEXT!

Baptists was next, and the crowd flooded over before they had even yet begun. Something hung in the air, the feeling that shit was about to hit the fan. It was exciting, and on a Tuesday night I couldn't think of anywhere else I'd rather be. Baptists pummeled the crowd with heavy riffs amidst wild techy drums and a pair of pipes behind the mic that might just fling his body into the crowd below at any moment. 

It was just so punishing and the singer was such a loose cannon that you were never sure what he was going to do next, and therefore didn't want to stop watching him. Eventually one of his friends jumped up onto the stage, picked him up and chucked him over the wooden barrier into the crowd. Mayhem ensued. My pictures simply did not do the show justice.

It wasn't going to be easy to follow this, but Burning Love was up for the challenge. As a fan of The Bronx I fell in love with Burning Love from the minute I first heard them. They do that hardcore rock n roll sound with an agro singer. This singer just happened to be the dude that used to sing in Cursed, need I say more? 

The guitarists played with mad precision and the bassist rocked out and had a good time, while the drummer stayed steady and the ex-singer of Cursed screamed bloody murder. It's a strange match-up between singer and band, but it was no surprise to anyone how well it was working. The singer waltzed out onto tables in the bar where people were trying to drink and all the heads in the place turned. 

They played all the killer tunes from their album, (I guess you could expect no less when they only have one album) and were super nice guys to hang with after the show. I don't even think I could say that I am biased about this show because my band was on the bill. Regardless of Real Problems playing or not, this show would still definitely land in the top ten of the year. 


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