Beartooth + Knocked Loose + Sylar @ MTelus – 16th September 2018

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Last Sunday, the ‘Disease’ tour headlined by Beartooth made its third stop at Montreal’s MTelus, for a ‘sick’ night! The Metalcore band will release their third album, Disease, on September 28th, 2018 via Red Bull Records, following their 2016 album entitled Aggressive and gave their fans a taste of it, but first… let’s talk about the opening bands for the night!

Metalcore / Rapcore band Sylar opened the night with a solid set. They started their performance with a new song called “Shook”, from their upcoming third album Seasons, due to be released on October 5, 2018. This song didn’t grab me much, and would so far be my least favorite song from the band, despite a Hollywood Undead / POD vibe that I fancy. The next song they played, “Assume”, from their second album Help!, pumped up the crowd quite well, as fans started to go crazy in the pit; Needless to say, Sylar was in our head and on our breath at that precise moment (see what I did there?). Up next was “All or Nothing”, from their upcoming album, making the show more intense by the minute, and yes, we could “keep up”! The band also played my all-time favorite song “Soul Addiction” from their previous album, as well as “No Way”, “Dark Daze” (that has a strong Linkin Park / Mike Shinoda feeling coming from the singer’s voice), and last but not least, “Prescription Meditation” from their first album To Whom It May Concern.

Jayden Panesso’s (lead vocalist) performance was stellar from the beginning to the end of the set. After telling the crowd that “It’s just you and us, fuck everything else”, it felt like fans decided to go all in, jumping up and down, and chanting “Skylar” before the start of their fifth song. The other band members did not disappoint: I must say I was a bit scared at first about how the clean vocals would sound like live, but guitarist/singer Miguel Cardona sounded fantastic! If anything, I, however, felt like the crowd did not appreciate Sylar’s performance as much as they should have. It was clear that barely a quarter of the crowd knew about the band (you could already tell from the fact that the floor wasn’t jam-packed when they started to play) but I’m sure that they gained numerous new fans that night. Last but not least, the band’s performance was timed perfectly, started exactly at 7:30 pm to finish at 8:00 pm, not a minute nor second more or less.

Sylar Setlist
Shook
Assume
All or Nothing
Soul Addiction
No Way
Dark Daze
Prescription Meditation

Fifteen minutes later, Knocked Loose got on stage for quite the performance. Let me be honest with you right there, I did not enjoy their performance much. I am not sure why. I usually enjoy hardcore/punk music and even did enjoy a few of their songs while listening to them on Spotify earlier that day. However, 10 minutes into their performance, I was already totally out of it, with a major headache and I was not appreciating the show they put up. Then, I looked around me and realized that I was one of the only people feeling this way, which makes me question my own sanity during that one-hour set. The band delighted the rest of the crowd with songs from their debut album Laugh Tracks, released back in 2016, such as “Oblivion’s Peak”, “All My Friends”, and “Billy No Mates”. Lead singer Bryan Garris screamed from the top of his lungs and poured his feelings out during that set, and it is actually quite unbelievable he was able to last that long without destroying his vocal chords. Guitarist/Back vocalist Cole Cruthfield also delivered with metalcore breakdowns and a deep metal voice that would make you shiver. Knocked Loose continued their set with more songs from their debut album such as “The Gospel”, “No Thanks”, “Blood Will Have Blood”, and ended with “Deadringer”. The crowd loved them, and I wish I could say the same for me, but I truly believe it was more the headache and my state of mind at this exact time talking more than anything as people around me were headbanging and having the time of their lives. Despite my negative review mostly based on personal feelings at the time, I strongly suggest you give their debut album Laugh Tracks a try so you can see for yourself!

Knocked Loose Setlist
Oblivion’s Peak
All My Friends
Billy No Mates
The Gospel
The Rain
Small Victories
By The Grave
No Thanks
Separate
Last Words
Counting Worms
A Fetish
Blood Will Have Blood
Deadringer

At 9:30 pm, Beartooth finally took over the stage, for (wait for the poor play-on-word once again) a ‘sick’ show! The metalcore band from Columbus started their set with a brand new song called “Bad Listener” that would make me ‘bang my head ‘til my brain rots’ for sure! Throughout that song, I could feel the energy from my head to my feet, while Beartooth was slapping me in the face with reality… and the reality is that they rock! From the balcony where I was sitting, I could see the packed venue jumping up and down to the rhythm of that song and of Shomo’s lyrics, it was breathtaking. The band continued their set with “Beaten in Lips”, from their first album Disgusting, and with “Sick of Me”, from their second opus Aggressive. Singer Caleb Shomo then decided to take a short break to thank everyone for attending the show, mentioning that it was actually the first time the band was headlining in Montreal; It’s true that it’s great to see them finally headlining a show here, after seeing them opening for Silverstein and Atreyu back in 2015. Beartooth continued their set with energy and passion, requesting the crowd to form “a circle pit right fucking now”. Well, Caleb, since you nicely asked, the crowd delivered without hesitation! Things took a more serious and heavy turn with the song “Always Dead”, where moshing was the venue’s official sport as Caleb’s screamed, “You’ll always be dead to me!”.

Later on during the set, drummer Connor Denis showed off his skills for a few minutes on the drums as his fellow band members were taking it easy on the side of the stage… It’s always impressive to see the speed a drummer can reach when performing a solo, and I regret not taking a decent video of his performance! Later on, Caleb made a speech about how people feel like Rock n Roll is on its way out. He strongly disagreed with that: “To me, it seems like heavy music is alive and fucking well! […] Fucking AC/DC […] Fucking Metallica […] These are bands that saved my life […] Rock n Roll is not going anywhere”, he concluded before starting “Rock is Dead”. The show continued with the songs “Body Bag” and the eponymous song taken from their upcoming album Disease, for which singer Caleb Shomo made quite an emotional speech, telling the story of this song and this album in general. Here are a few sentences I had the time to write down as he was speaking:
“When I was writing these lyrics […] I felt so small, so worthless. I know so many of you feel the same […] When I made this record, I set a mission to understand why I feel this way, to understand who I am. […] Two things I learned: Fucking sucks to say it out loud… to say that I will never get better, that it’s not a cold with a quick fix. It’s the same for everybody who is like that. There is no cure, it’s a disease. […] Second thing I learned: that does not make me weak, that does not make me small, that does not make me worthless. […] Our differences are what make us beautiful. Live how you want to live, be who you want to be, love who you want to love, do what makes you happy. You have only one life, don’t let it go to fucking waste.”

Truly inspiring words right there. Especially coming from someone with Caleb’s history and issues with drugs and alcohol… It was definitely the emotional part of the night, and this speech mirrored in my opinion lyrics from their song “Body Bag” that go “One life, one decision. Make sure it ends with you still living!”.

Thankfully, Beartooth didn’t stop there and finished their set with “Relapsing” and “In Between”. It was easy to lose ourselves during this set… we had strength in numbers to get us through this epic night! An unforgettable performance by Beartooth, that surely remains among the top of my favorite bands to see live with Silverstein, A Day To Remember, Seaway, and Enter Shikari! Don’t forget to check out their upcoming album Disease, to be released September 28th, 2018 via Red Bull Records.

Beartooth Setlist
Bad Listener
Beaten in Lips
Sick of Me
Infection
Aggressive
Always Dead
The Lines
Drum Solo
Manipulation
You Never Know
Hated
I Have a Problem
Rock is Dead
Body Bag
Disease
Encore:
Relapsing
In Between

Review – Maxime Le Huidoux

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