At Les Docks on Wednesday 23 November 2016, three Canadian rock bands for a sold out show!
The Dirty Nil, 8pm-8.30pm
Rumbling drums and powerful screams for this Canadian band which reminds me of Billy Talent for its style and energy on stage.
Monster Truck 8:50pm-9:30pm
Another Canadian band to complete the bill tonight. Monster Truck has that bass line which is typical for hard rock bands. The four members have long hair and act like head metals. Their music is a mix between hard rock and soft metal.
Powerful drums’ beats are accompanied by a constant and hard bass line. Topped with a keyboard and guitar riffs the powerful voice of the singer, who sometimes screams, is backed up by higher choruses. The singer and the guitarist involve the audience by inciting to clap along and talking.
Billy Talent, 10pm-11:25pm
The recorded intro of “Afraid of Heights (reprise)” is played as the four members of the band enter the stage, machingly wearing black and red clothes.
Billy Talent kicks off the gig with the good old “Devil in a Midnight Mass”. The audience is straight away in awe and plunged into the concert. The band plays with the same old energy. Singer Benjamin Kowalewicz jumps up and down and moves easily around stage hands free as he doesn’t play any instruments although he fakes playing an imaginary guitar at times. He is a very engaging frontman talking to the audience and relating to them.
Ian D’Sa‘s guitar riffs and the chords he plays are just brilliant and have that twist which make it unique to Billy Talent. John Gallant’s bass line is present all over. Singer Benjamin Kowalewicz presents the band as well as the original drummer Aaron Solowoniuk who is still fighting his battle against multiple sclerosis (MS) and is replaced by Alexisonfire‘s drummer Jordan Hastings. When coming to himself he says, laughing, that he is Sandra Bullock. The audience laughs as well.
Given the recent election of Donald Trump, a comment about that could not be missing for a band that is politically involved. So the singer says that he finds it ridiculous and tells the audience that “everyone is safe at a Billy Talent concert” whether gay, black, and so on. A touching message which the audience approves with a loud clap. They then play the song “Leave Them All Behind”, taken from their last album Afraid Of Heights, which is related to political promises which are never kept.
“This is from our second album Billy Talent II (2006) do you know it?” The audience screams excited as the first notes of the melodic and touching “Pins & Needles” set in and where Benjamin’s voice shows its sweetest side. To keep up with the melodic moment Billy Talent play “Surrender” another beautiful rock ballad.
Billy Talent plays quite a few songs taken from their last album such as “Louder Than The DJ”, powerful rock songs with a hard bass line and awesome riffs.
A huge pogo takes shape in the middle of Les Docks for “Red Flag”, the rock anthem of a generation and one of the band biggest successes.
The band leaves the stage to come back a few minutes later and play the raging “Try Honesty”, with guitarist Ian D’Sa doing the backing vocals. Billy Talent then plays “Fallen Leaves”, another of their best (known) tunes, with the public singing along and jumping. They end with the screaming “Viking Death March” taken from their fourth album Dead Silence (2012).
An impressive stage energy for a band that has been around for quite a while and never disappoints the fans! And remember, as singer Benjamin Kowalewicz says, “if you’ll come back, we’ll come back”. Which means other Billy Talent concerts to look forward too at Les Docks!
A Devil in a Midnight Mass
Big Red Gun
This Is How It Goes
Rusted from the Rain
Leave them all Behind
Pins and Needles
Ghost Ship of Cannibal Rats
Afraid of Heights
Louder than the DJ
Devil on my Shoulder
Try Honesty (encore)
Fallen Leaves (encore)
Viking Death March (encore)