Show: Threat Signal / Skynet
Where: Club Absinthe [Hamilton, Ontario, Canada]
Photos By: Paul Ferritto [Click To Enlarge]
After a barrage of opening acts, it was time for Skynet to take the stage. By this time, the crowd was already battered and bruised from heavy moshing and other violence caused by the other opening acts. But when Skynet took that stage and their djenty sounds began to emanate, to say all hell broke loose, is well, the understatement of the century. Skynet’s sound was thick and heavy, full of monstrous riffs and decimating breakdowns – it was as if some beast had been born through their amps and had begun to lay the smack-down on the crowd. The reality of this was because of one man – Blake Prince. This man is one of, if not THE, craziest front men I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. He was all over the place – interacting with the crowd, running around like a methed up raccoon, and most of all, handling the stage as if it was all just another day in the life. As the set rolled on, the moshing became furious, and the crowd surfing began. Well, not just “crowd” surfing, front man surfing as well. Adrain Levasseur jumped fearlessly into the crowd more times than I could count, and you could see this had a direct correlation to the energy in the crowd. The more intensity he brought to the table, the more bloodshed could be seen in the audience. The signs of a great band is one who can command their stage with grace and madness, all in the while, purveying their musical material with the highest of precision – and this is exactly what happened that cold rainy night in Hamilton. As I said in the Devin Townsend show review, the English language is truly incapable of describing such events, and it seems that 2012 is quite the year of enlightenment for me. Never have I witnessed such madness and utter chaos on stage. Truly, Skynet has made a fan out of me, not so much because of their actual material (because let’s face it, we don’t ALL like djent), but instead, because they are a band who knows their craft well and slings it at the crowd with the utmost quality. This is a band, regardless of how you feel about djent / core, that you ALL need to see live. You may just walk away with a smile on your face. All I can say is this; Skynet, you can expect to see me at more of your future shows.
After Skynet had completely annihilated the audience, it was time for the hometown heroes, Threat Signal, to take the stage. Threat Signal is a band most Hamiltonians hold close to their heart. They are the band that has put my fair city on the metal map, and for that, I am truly thankful. It’s always nice to say, “hey, I saw those guys play for a crowd of ten people back in the day”. So for me, looking back and being one of the few people to be standing amongst said small crowd, it was nice to see how far they’ve come. As I said, from playing a small time show with ten people to now – an absolutely packed, sold out club – is exactly what happened that night. The energy that was emanating from each and every single one of those attendees was simply – breathtaking. I felt it in my bones, and I couldn’t wait for it all to begin. After what seemed like an eternity of stage prep, the first notes could be heard, and the insanity began … immediately. Oh no, my headbanging friends… it didn’t take one minute, one song, or one word, it was madness right from that first distorted note – it was tremendous. Threat Signal’s stage show is one of sheer power. Frontman Jon Howard commanded that crowd just like any commander controls his army. As the set rolled on, bodies were strewn about the club like rag dolls, and extreme crowd surfing ensued followed by many bumps and bruises endured by the insane crowd. At one point, he managed to get the crowd to circle pit around the pillar that was situated in the middle of the room, at which point, the chaos level had hit a new all time high. I could go on and on about this, but really, all you need to know is that Threat Signal came, conquered, and totally gave back to their diehard Hamiltonian supporters. This is a band that respects their roots, and truly treated all of us that night. Their sound was impeccable, their stage presence was phenomenal, and the gratitude that seeped out from the band was truly delightful. That night, Threat Signal made me fear for my life and my safety … and that’s a very good thing. Chaos and insanity embodied that set, and that’s all you need to know. Threat Signal … thanks for making Hamilton proud.