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First up was RESPIRE, whose four-song demo EP floored me. Jam it here. From what I gathered, everyone who hadn't already seen the band was thoroughly impressed. One of the band members even told me that it was their best show. They played two new songs that showcase unreal drumming, three guitars and a trumpet as well as Egin's versatile scream. They also busted out "Nihil", this fans personal favourite. Beautiful interludes, soundscapes, layers, cresendos, atmosphere and straight up chaos. The band would be amazing without the trumpet, but with it are something truly unique and remarkable. They will be recording an LP this year that Zegema Beach Records will be spearheading. Based on the live stuff I've heard this will probably be in my top 20 of 2015.
FFO: Isis, Sinking Steps Rising Eyes and Old Soul
FFO: His Hero Is Gone, BOAK and Cursed
No Link :(
FFO: Old Man Gloom, Zozobra and Jesu
To close the evening...errrr, morning, LOCKTENDER took to the stage...errrr, skate ramp, and proceeded to destroy the room with four songs of, well, I don't think massive is a big enough word. Seriously, their presence and power are tangible as well as palpable during their live sets. This was perfectly summed up in one showgoer's flat question following the set, "What the fuck just happened?". As per Egin's eager request last time through Toronto, the band opened with "Seventeen" and had a large number of fans belting out the lyrics along with Nick and Andrew, particularly the ending with "these hands will lift you up". Twas a thing of beauty. The band played a new jam second which showcases some interesting clean, chorded guitars amidst a flurry of drums and Takaru-esque urgency. There's also an extended vocal part by Jason on bass. LOCKTENDER ended with a quick one-two punch of the shotgun blast that is "The Thinker" immediately followed by the extensive and epic "Man With the Broken Nose". Excellent set, as per usual.
FFO: Light Bearer, Isis and Envy