I tend to cover bands that I am familiar with, change is a scary thing and I am sure that many of you agree. One day I would like to cover a band I have never heard the music of. That day is not today because I was lucky enough to cover one of my favorite all time bands. The one, the only Propagandhi. I will go more into that when I get to their set.
The first band up was Great Collapse, this is notable because it is the new project of Thomas Barnett of Strike Anywhere along with members of Rise Against and Comeback Kid. While I only caught three songs of their set, it was definitely the best first show I have ever witnessed, by which I mean they were pretty solid and awesome. I’m sure this band will grow larger and become more active as time goes on and their six song EP sees the light of day. They also covered “Religious Wars” by Subhumans, which is a personal favorite and definitely got the crowd energized.
War on Women, also known as the band that Fox News doesn’t think exists, took the stage next. They came out with raw energy and didn’t stop the entire set. Their songs show that feminist centered rock has bite and fury. I love when a band has such a distilled stance and view, especially on a cause that is near and dear to my heart. They are also a bad ass punk band if you just want to listen to the music, but I think it will be hard to avoid the lyrics. Shawna Potter, the singer, brought a reckless abandon to the stage. Her maniacal facial expressions gave a hint into how passionate she is about her music and what it stands for. It’s like watching a person possessed by a demon, a good demon that is.
And up third came The Flatliners, who I am a huge fan of and is the band I have photographed the most. You could tell that Chris Cresswell, the singer, was excited to open for Propagandhi. I said it when I covered them with A Wilhelm Scream and I will say it again. The Flatliners are in my opinion of this generation’s best new bands. They always play solid, write relatable and amazing songs and can get a crowd going. It was great to see the crowd embrace them and was obvious that there were quite a few people there who love both The Flatliners and Propagandhi. They closed their set with “Shithawks”, which is a great primer for the headliner.
I would like to address something before going into Propagandhi’s set, I love this band and they are one of my favorites. This review will contain bias so if you don’t like that, I don’t care. Propagandhi took the stage at this sold out, packed show. The crowd was eager and sweaty and then the set started with the intro audio to “Coach’s Corner”, which was met with enthusiasm from the audience and the sing alongs started. The next song was “Fuck the Border” and that’s when things went crazy. If you can’t tell by now, Propagandhi are a very political band. It doesn’t matter if it’s the topic of refugees, religion, animal rights or sexism, singer Chris Hannah will have an informed opinion on the matter. Also, don’t be mistaken the band has a sense of humor, mostly dry sarcasm, but a sense of humor. Whether it be on stage banter about hockey, because for some reason every Canadian I have ever met loves hockey. Or singing songs about driving across the vast territories to see Sacrifice play a show in Toronto. Their set ran from old to new, including such family favorites as “Stick the Fucking Flag up Your Goddamn Ass, You Sonofabitch” and “Human[e] Meat [The Flensing Of Sandor Katz]”. The latter of those songs is satirical take on a food activist who talked about ‘humanely’ putting animals down for food.
All in all the show had four great bands on the bill and was everyone left happy and excited for the next time Propagandhi will hopefully come back.