Baptists & Congress @ The Astoria, Dec 16th 2011

It had come to my attention that I hadn't posted anything in this blog for a long while. Strangely enough I've still been averaging over 200 views a month, so thank you to anyone who is reading my blog. After I realized people were still reading I decided it was high time to post some more stuff in here, and keep it recent. There are so many great and talented bands in this city that I can't even keep up. However one thing I know for sure is that Baptists and Congress are two of my favourites and this show was not to be missed.



Osk opened up the evening, and if I knew then that I was going to be blogging about the show I would have done a better job of checking them out. Instead I sat at the bar catching up with an old friend that I hadn't seen in months. We had a lot to talk about, but I'll save you the grisly details. However from what I heard of Osk they were great. Crazy, fast tempo short songs. And towards the end when they slowed it down I was banging my head on the bar. Or at the bar, yeah I hadn't quite had enough beers to be bouncing my head off the bar just yet. Osk is definitely a band I'd be interested in getting a closer look at in 2012.



After a long pause Congress took to the stage. The guitarist looked happy as a pig in shit to be up there, the bassist hid behind a head of long hair, the drummer had that crazy manic grin plastered to his face, and the singer looked like he was in the line up at the bank. It took him a couple to get his body into it, but the deathly screech of his was summoned from the bowels of hell on the first note even though at one point I noticed he had his hands in his pockets. Eventually he took off his sweater, put his beer down, took the mic out of the mic stand and cradled it while screaming to the high heavens that were The Astoria ceiling.


The drummer pounded out the beat with a ferocity that would scare off any hipsters that thought they were coming to The Astoria for a dance party. The guitarist brings the perfect mix of metal and rock n roll and the bass tone was to die for. They covered Negative Creep by Nirvana and then followed it up with a brand new song that got the crowd moving. Congress was no less than impressive, and even though I think most of the band members are busy with other projects and riding bikes I hope to see more from them in 2012.



And then came along Baptists, the headliner of the evenings festivities. Heads were banged, feet were stomped, bodies flailed, and this was only during the first song. They opened with the effervescent track 'Good Parenting' that features the lovely lyric, "you're just a shit from my womb." You could tell they had been practicing, because things were as tight as your fat uncle's ugly christmas sweater after the big turkey dinner. Baptists are gearing up to hit the studio at the start of the new year, so it was exciting to hear them at their best, with a full arsenal of new bangers.



Nobody brings more style and grace to the stage than Baptists frontman Mr. Andrew Drury. He's all mean looks and swinging arms while stomping it out like he's godzilla and the stage is Tokyo. Seriously though, he looks like an abusive psychopath that could stomp a mudhole in your ass, which is strange because off stage you'll never meet a nicer and more polite guy. But on stage he was so on point that sometimes I'd forget that there was a band behind him. They banged out 'Farmed' with sheer intensity and after playing a cover that I didn't recognize, they smoked out 'Life Poser'. During 'Bullet for your Thoughts' Andrew decided to join the crowd and sing from the sweaty mosh pit. When he jumped back on stage this was the first time he seemed out of breath, painstakingly taking his place at the top of the list of the hardest working men in showbiz.



After all was said and done they couldn't decide if they were going to give the rabid crowd one more song. The crowd wasn't taking no for an answer, so after some debate they decided to play one final song. Andrew told the crowd that this could very well be the first song on the new record, and then they blasted through a furious minute long song and left the stage. I was content. I was satisfied. And I don't think it's possible for a Baptists show to leave me anything but.


All photos: Bubba Hamilton

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