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Pallbearer @ L'Anti Bar et Spectacles, Quebec City, Canada

PALLBEARER/Kayo Dot/Bask
in Friday, 1 September 2017 at L'Anti Bar et Spectacles
by Jean-François Poulin



It's always a bit colder in Quebec City than in Montreal. I am not entirely sure why, but each time I go to Quebec City it's colder and need to bring a warm jacket. Instead of going to the show on Saturday, I and my friend Martin Desbois decided to go to Quebec City. Usually it takes about 2 1/2-3 hours to get there but this time it took 4 ½ hours and we arrived just when the doors were opening. I actually haven't been to Quebec City in almost five and a half years, so it was really nice to come back. This is the first time I have been to a concert in the city; I have been to wrestling shows and hockey games but this time it was different. I must admit that the people in Quebec City are much more down to earth and less stressed than their Montreal counterparts. They arrived to the show pretty much at the last minute and everyone seemed to be happy and there were a lot of people that knew each other.

It's a pretty small venue - I'd say it can contain up to about 250 people - and it was pretty jam-packed when PALLBEARER arrived on stage about 15 minutes past 10 PM. Unfortunately for BASK, there were about 15-20 people in the whole venue and I felt it was a slap in the face for the band that was opening the festivities that night. I thought they did a mighty fine job creating a great atmosphere. I didn't know much about the band to be honest, only from their Facebook page. They are a Psychedelic Stoner Band from North Carolina and it was a pleasure to listen to them. They have a lot of various influences and there was definitely a Bluesy feeling to their songs. There were a lot of long solos and the singer was in fine form; everyone seemed to be happy to be there. Their music was well received by the sparse crowd. They played about 25 minutes (about 5-6 songs) and I wanted a bit more and felt that they deserved a better time slot, but they are an up-and-coming band so I think they have a great future ahead of them.

 
 
I want to point out that the sound system at L'Anti Bar et Spectacles was top notch and the quality was outstanding, especially given that the bands are from three different genres. Everything was pretty clear and they have state of the art equipment that makes bands really like playing at that particular venue. You have other places in Quebec City like Le Cercle and Salle Jean-Paul Tardif that don't have that awesome quality even though they are much bigger venues.

The second band of the night was KAYO DOT. Oh boy, this might be the strangest and weirdest band that I have ever seen live in my 20 years of going to shows. It's give and take, for a lot of people love the band and a lot of people hate the band. I am on the fence on this one. They do have some very good elements and mix a lot of styles together, and have that New Wave feel and very long drawn-out instrumental parts mixed in with some elaborate screaming and rambling. Toby Driver decided to create this band after the dissolution of MAUDLIN OF THE WELL (actually their was a lot of material from that band that was on the merchandise table). I mean, if you get to be signed on John Zorn's label, you have to have a very avant-garde style of music and KAYO DOT fit the bill accordingly. There were a lot of keyboard solos and it was really reminiscent of the 80s Electronic music scene. I also sensed elements of THE CURE mixed in with the guitar sounds of Post-Metal outfits like ISIS, NEUROSIS and bands of that nature. It was really well received and the crowd got really fired up by them. I didn't enjoy it that much but can appreciate their uniqueness and will to experiment.

 

 
Well, we all waited for PALLBEARER and they pretty much blew the roof of the building! The sound of the guitars and bass were outstanding and extremely loud. At the fourth song, my left ear was really hurting but I don't mind hurting my ears if the whole experience is worth it, and it sure was! - with 8 songs clocking in about 1h30 of solid music.

 

 
They were awesome that night! I have been a fan since their first effort ''Sorrow and Extinction'' and it was my first time seeing them. Note to everyone, this was their first visit to Quebec City, they actually played in Montreal on the tour before for the ''Foundations of Burden'' and my photographer was present at that show and told me how much the sound was better this night than that night a few years back in Montreal.

 
 
Let's get back to the fact of the matter. They only played 8 songs but it went really fast, even though most of these songs clock in at over 10 minutes. The most well received songs were from their latest album ''Heartless'' and the two songs they played off ''Foundations of Burden''. The songs from their latest EP ''Fear and Fury'' and their first album ''Sorrow and Extinction'' were well received but had a weaker reaction than I thought they would have.
 
 
The crowd was much younger than I would have thought, may be mid to late 20's. I was definitely one of the older people in the crowd and I am almost 36 years old!

The masters of Doom Metal had the crowd in the palms of their hands. Safe to say that the songs from their latest album had the biggest reaction and the crowd was slowly headbanging to every riff in near unison.

 
 
For those interested, this is their setlist for the show in Quebec City. The second to last song actually is different than most of the shows on the North American tour - we got ''Heartless'' instead of ''A Plea for Understanding''; being that the title song is my favorite of the album, I felt it was pretty cool of them to play it. (After every song title I added the album it was featured on, for your curious people out there.)

1. Thorns (From ''Heartless'')
2. The Ghost I Used to Be (From ''Foundations of Burden'')
3. Fear and Fury (From ''Fear and Fury'' EP)
4. Dancing in Madness (From ''Heartless'')
5. Worlds Apart (From ''Foundations of Burden'')
6. Devoid of Redemption (From ''Sorrow and Extinction'')
7. Heartless (From ''Heartless'')
8. Foreigner (From ''Sorrow and Extinction'')


They had a few technical problems on the first few songs but after that it was smooth sailing; it didn't hurt the overall quality of the show at all. They gave their all and they were dripping in sweat after their 1h30 set. It was intense, thought provoking and the live music just game me chills. It sounded so crisp, and even though it really awesome on CD, experiencing it live is a whole new level; you appreciate every single note. I definitely wanted more songs from ''Foundations of Burden'' - being that's my favourite album by them - but the whole set was amazing. The sound of speakers reverberating on the concrete floor was really awesome and I never felt something like this before - props to L'Anti Bar et Spectacles for having such an amazing sound system. Overall, it was one of the best shows I have been to in years.

 

 
The people of Quebec City are extremely nice and easy going, so there weren’t any problems in the crowd and everyone was really respectful towards each other. I think the bands really appreciated that.

After the show, we went to the merchandise table to look more attentively at what they were selling, but given my limited budget I didn't buy anything, but my photographer bought a lot of PALLBEARER items and was ecstatic.

We went outside in the cold and actually met everyone from the three bands that night. Let's just say that I haven't met anyone as nice as the guys from PALLBEARER in all the years I have been to shows. They are extremely nice, easy going and just a blast to talk to. I was able to talk with Joseph Rowland, the bassist of the band and he was the best. They really loved their experience in Quebec City and my buddy was able to get his vinyls signed and now has a group photo as well; they’re just the nicest guys you can meet. Props must also be given to BASK and KAYO DOT for being fine gentlemen and very down-to-earth people. Nice venue, nice show, and even nicer individuals. It was a pleasure representing Metal Temple in good ole Quebec City!

Jean-Francois Poulin

Photos: Martin Desbois
 

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