It may have been Dayglo Abortions vocalist Murray Acton, aka The Cretin, who remarked on the rarity of so many members of Vancouver’s metal and punk communities assembling together under one roof at Saturday’s historic, sold-out show; but frankly it is all a bit of a blur – between the raucous and rowdy capacity crowd and the high-energy performances by every band on the lineup, simply breathing the air in the venue was enough to intoxicate.
Aggression vocalist Brian Langley’s gruff but lighthearted between-song bantering with the crowd set a friendly tone for the evening and demonstrated how Vancouver’s underground can acknowledge and dispel tension between its punk and metal subcultures without posturing or drama (and setting an example sorely needed by some of the less gracious members of the audience.) The ubiquitous Golers delivered a no-nonsense, trademark set of punked-out thrash, followed by a mind-blowing display from Process. Dayglo Abortions are always well-received in Vancouver, but despite some technical difficulties (and one foolhardy stagediver’s serious leg injury), this was the strongest local performance by the band that this reviewer has witnessed to date.
Zimmers Hole literally took the stage with a bang, accompanied by the sound of pyrotechnic concussion fire and blinding laser light. The diabolical assault, overseen by The Heathen – vocalist Chris Valagao, with assistance from the diminuitive Lord of Cheese in goggles and a red spandex jumpsuit – rained processed cheese slices and cheeseburgers down upon the crowd, punctuated by various antics with buxom corpse dolls and rubber chickens. Blistering riffs seared eardrums further battered by subsequent concussion blasts, but the spectator horde of the damned came back for more, again and again. With perhaps the exception of Black Sabbath’s upcoming concert next week, this was the most widely anticipated gig in recent memory, and for good reason.
That said, the show marks another high point for hard music in Vancouver, following so closely on the heels of Yob’s New Year’s Eve performance and raising expectations for local concerts to come (most notably Modified Ghost’s three-day festival in April, the lineup for which one must see to believe.)