Hey! You’re an @$$HOLE! LET’S PARTY!
The Stomp Records people know how to throw a party.
Not you generic cocktails and chatter type party. No. A “footprints on the ceiling” beer drenched “Howling at the Moon” type party. The kind of party that your Mom & Dad worried you were at in Grade School. Only this time… maybe that was your Dad who just ripped off his t-shirt on stage and dove into the mosh pit!
There were kids at the STOMP 20th Anniversary Concert that had yet to be born when the iconic Montreal record label was first founded back in 1994. A record label that helped establish many Canadian ska acts and launched The Planet Smashers‘ careers into interplanetary STARDOM!
Full disclosure, I saw a Planet Smashers show in 94-95, I was in my 20’s then.
I’m not a huge fan of ska music. In fact, I just had to ask my girlfriend what the term for “ska dancing” is. I thought it was “pogoing”. It is in fact called “skanking”. A term that is still flagged by spell check, but I would now make a case for adding it to the lexicon. Simply put, skanking is FUN! Add it to your bucket list.
20 later years. Wow. 20 YEARS…. just Wow!
So, this was no simple concert. It was a CELEBRATION, and like any 20 year old’s birthday party the debaucherous good times ensued.
• Excessive Drinking
• Rambunctious Dancing
• Beautiful People
• Girls in Bunny Suits
• Loud Music (obviously)
There were even people smoking cigarettes inside; the norm during the Planet Smashers first tour, a crime now worse than public nudity but far more glamourous.
Danny Rebel and the KGB kicked off the night.
Club Soda was already close to maximum capacity and the energy was soaring from the moment the first chord was hit.
The surprise of the evening for me was The Beatdown. Their music put a huge smile on my face. I found my cheeks hurting by the end of their set. Smooth and witty lyrics delivered with an upbeat attitude. They hit almost every note in perfect time. A Beatdown “SuperFan” stole the spotlight for a brief memorable moment by upstaging the lead singer with his drunken antics. Before leaving I went to the merch table and bought their latest album. Track 7, Justice, is my favourite.
Not that the crowd needed any more warming up, but SUBB took to the stage and almost BROKE it.
The lead singer wore his Beastie Boys t-shirt with pride as he blasted his energy across the packed hall. I had to retreat to to back of the club as the mosh pit erupted with passion.
And then came the life of the party…
I made it to the front row moments before the Planet Smashers took to the stage. I had hoped that the crowd had spent most of its energy during SUBB’s set. This was not to be the case.
The first notes of Fabricated filled the air, the crowd pushed forward in a frenzy.
Feet were in the air and beer spray was splashing in my face. I felt rejuvenated. There was no option but to dance. The energy of the crowd, the pumping of the horns, the joyful spree of the up-beat guitar. Everyone knew the words. Everyone sang along.
It was perfect.
The roar of appreciation took over the hall after the first song . Matt Collyer, lead singer of the Planet Smashers could not hide his pride and gratefulness. He seemed elated, like he was exactly where he was supposed to be, doing exactly what he was meant to do. He had come far and this celebration was a monument to the success of his record label and the legendary status of his band. We recently had a chance to talk to Matt about Stomp Records and The Planet Smashers, the full interview is HERE
Second up was the well received Missionary Downfall, followed by what may be their best known song, Life of the Party.
“Crash through the lobby, don’t know where to go, date’s not here, it’s a quarter to ten, time to start jumpin’ ” Matt belted.
The energy and the intensity in the front row tripled. No quadrupled!
“Wo-oh hey hey I’m gonna rise up to the occation, Wo-oh hey hey the party doesn’t start till I get there”
I was lost in the crowd being pushed in every direction and loving it.
“Yeah! hey baby, I’m the life of the party, life of the party, Yeah! hey baby, I’m the life of the party, life of the party”
So many people jumped on the stage and dove into the crowd that I lost count.
By the end of the song it strongly hit me that I am in my 40s and should probably seek a safer concert viewing location. I spent the rest of the show “skanking” in various locations, but never returned to the front of the stage.
To say that I had an amazing time would be an understatement. It was the most fun I had at a show in YEARS. This is what live music should be like. All fun, no pretence. But this blog is about the show, not how messed up the world is, there is plenty of that in US Magazine.
The concert had a lot of reminiscing.
Matt talked about the Hab hockey riot in 93, when the band was just getting started. Ceco joked “Yeah, no-one throws a riot like Montreal.”
The Highlight of the show for me is when Matt and Ceco, the core members of the band, did a paired down version of Repo Man. It was just the two of them and they introduced the stripped down song as “probably a bad idea”. They quickly messed it up and had to start over. It was fun to imagine that this is what the creative process of the band must look like. Just two dudes jamming and having fun. In the end I loved the way Repo Man sounded live this way. Going from this softer song into the high-energy crowd pleaser, “Surfin in Tofino” was a great way to make the crowd go ballistic.
When we interviewed Matt he said that Surfing in Tofino is one of his favourite songs to play live because he never knows how people will react… The answer is… indescribable
The concert was followed by an “Oscar” speech in which Matt gave his heartfelt thanks to the fans and the people who help make Stomp Records function on a daily basis.
Life of the Party
Like Your Girl
All Men Fear Women
You Might be
Surfing in Tofino
Too Much Attitude
Super Orgy Porno Party
Pee in the Elevator
Review – Myles Beeby
Photos – Chelsea Gray