Recently over the holidays, after over a year of waiting for them to return to the US, I hopped in my car and drove over the Canadian border to Chatham, Ontario to go catch Protest the Hero.
Let me first start by saying that this is the only band that when I heard them for the first time in the car, I pulled off the highway immediately after the song ended to get to Best Buy and find the album (Thank you XM radio). I'd only caught them once before and it was only 3 songs at the 2006 Warped Tour that I was shooting for the newspaper I worked for at the time, so needless to say, I was pretty goddamned excited to see this band again.
I get to the venue, Twisters, which is not much more than a bar with an open area and a 3 foot tall, small stage off to one side with a couple of cheap can lights shining toward the stage. Well, I thought to myself, this could be pretty dissapointing. Within the next hour and after the first opener the venue was packed…well not so much to the proverbial rafters…because let's face it, this place was a hole in the wall.
Protest the Hero went on early, which was actually nice since I had quite a drive to get back to the US.
Simply put, this band is ridiculous. I don't know that I've seen a band this young with this much potential. About to put out their third album which from the sounds of it, is set to be a mind-blowing release for experimental metal fans. The new tracks they played were just as strong if not stronger than their previous efforts with even more intricate guitar work. The band has definitely taken a few pages from the UK band Sikth's play-book.
Their stage show is very low key, stopping to tell little stories all the time, like about how the singer Rody was wearing a vest because someone spilled coffee in his bag and he was trying to cover the stain on his shirt, or how that was ok because on one tour he peed in their bassist's shoe, to which the bass player Arif had no knowledge and left the stage for a minute.
The crowd was killer, probably because Chatham is only a few hours away from their hometown, so there was definitely a strong fanbase, who from the looks of it were damn near as excited as I was to check these guys out. If you get a change, I HIGHLY recommend you do the same.
Fortunately I was able to snag a photo pass to the show, but there was not barricade so I really had to fight my way around to get some photos. I did end up with a few cool shots though. Right now they are hosted on my person site because our gallery is currently in revamping mode. But you can take a look at the shots on my page.