Stick To Your Guns + Emmure + Wage War + Sanction @ Club Soda – October 29th 2018

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Metalcore and Hardcore fans united this Monday at Club Soda to see one of their favourite artists of the genre: Stick To Your Guns, along with Emmure, Wage War, and Sanction.

As I made my way into the packed venue at 7PM, Sanction started their express set. With only eighteen minutes on stage, I felt like I barely had enough time to start getting into their music before they were already done. I believe the same applied to most of the crowd as people did not seem that expressive, with only a few fans moshing/dancing or doing windmills in the middle of the pit during their fourth song. Sanction reminded me of metalcore bands Zao and Martyr AD, which I was definitely digging when I was younger, but a lot less nowadays. It is definitely a personal taste, but I fail to see what makes them different from the usual metalcore I have been listening to throughout my life. However, their drummer was really engaged and didn’t hesitate to go hard on the cymbals and his double-bass pedal, which brought an extra level of energy to their performance.

After waiting twenty-two minutes (actually longer than the first band’s set!), Wage War started their set. It wasn’t the first time I got to see these guys, and it won’t be the last, as they know all too well how to prove their worth. Frontman Briton Bond is a pure beast on stage, with a strong stage presence and a voice that is made to perform heavy music. Sure, once again, it is not something we haven’t heard in the past but their performance was nonetheless flawless. Bond knew exactly how to pump up the crowd, asking his fans to “Get up here, shake [the] bodies”. Fans obeyed, and crowd surfed to the stage to then jump off of it. It was amazing to witness (and it lasted the whole night like that!). The band’s performance was mostly comprised of songs from their latest record Deadweight, including its title track, but also “Witness”, “Alive”, “Don’t Let Me Fade Away”, “Johnny Cash”, and the blistering “Stitch”.

Wage War Setlist

The River
Deadweight
Witness
Alive
Never Enough
Gravity
Don’t Let Me Fade Away
Johnny Cash
Stitch

Next on stage was metalcore band Emmure and their frontman Frankie Palmieri. They didn’t waste a minute, starting heavy with “You Asked For It”. Not sure if we asked for it but when Frankie Palmieri tells you to “Get the fuck up” and to move, you do! This first track set the mood for the entire set: a crazy set, filled with stagedives, moshpits, and fans screaming along from the top of their lungs. They actually continued their set in the same order as their last album, with “Shinjuku Masterlord”, “Smokey”, and “Natural Born Killer”, to then take a different order until their 10th song “Sunday Bacon”, from Felony. As mentioned, the band mostly focused their setlist on Look at Yourself and Speaker of the Dead, leaving off any song from their 2014’s album Eternal Enemies, which was definitely surprising to me but wasn’t an issue as they sounded amazing. Once again, kudos to frontman Frankie Palmieri and his unparalleled stage presence and charisma.

Emmure Setlist

You Asked For It
Shinjuku Masterlord
Smokey
Natural Born Killer
Ice Man Confessions
Russian Hotel Aftermath
Flag of the Beast
Gucci Prison
Torch
Sunday Bacon
Most Hated
4 Poisons 3 Words
Children of Cybertron
Solar Flare Homicide
When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong

American hardcore punk band Stick To Your Guns was last. After seeing them multiple times over the years, opening for the Story So Far in 2014, headlining their own tour in 2015 or even playing at Rockfest in 2016, I was so excited to get to see them live again, and once again, they did not disappoint. Starting with the powerful sing-along “Against Them All”, I knew right away that this was going to be another one of those memorable shows. With a setlist pretty evenly distributed with (mostly) songs from their last three records Diamond (2012), Disobedient (2015), and True View (2017), Stick To Your Guns showed their fans what they do best: rock your socks off with their melodic yet heavy songs!

The only regret I have from their performance is their take on the soft part of “The Sun, The Moon, The Truth: “Penance of Self” “ as it didn’t sound as good as on their record, and singer Jesse Barnett ended up simply saying the words rather than singing them. However, I was a huge fan of the speech he gave to introduce the song “Doomed by You”; Barnett mentioned how everyone is looking to control themselves but that we should try to understand the difference of what is outside our control versus what we can control ourselves. We desperately try to seek control of our minds, and of ourselves but end up controlled by the words of others. In the end, when we allow ourselves to be degraded by them, we feel like we’re spinning, lost in space… however, “[we] won’t be doomed by you!”. For real, this speech, with the great transition to the song, gave me the chills! I got the exact same feeling a few minutes later, prior to “The Suspend”, where Barnett mentioned his grandma telling him that “This life is filled with pain” and that we should “Save [ourselves] and live [our] fucking life”. That’s what I love about Stick To Your Guns: not only do they produce great music, along with catchy yet thoughtful lyrics, but frontman Jesse Barnett also always finds the right words to make you feel what he wants you to feel with his songs, which is a quality I admire in an artist.

Last but not least, the band finished their set with an old one, “This Is More”, from their 2005 EP For What It’s Worth. You’d have to be there to understand the chaos that was reigning during that song, as the band invited all their fans to join them on stage to scream along and jump all over the place, it was truly unbelievable. What happened during this last song, just like their entire set, was something I won’t forget anytime soon! Rock on!

Stick To Your Guns Setlist

Against Them All
The Sun, The Moon, The Truth: “Penance of Self”
Empty Heads
Married to the Noise
What Choice Did You Give Us?
We Still Believe
Nothing You Can Do to Me
Doomed By You
The Suspend
Such Pain
Amber
Nobody
This Is More

Review – Maxime Le Huidoux
Photos – Kieron Yates

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