Hm... I said something in that last post about promising a ...Trail of Dead review, didn't I? Alright then. I'm going to need you all to go on an adventure with me. We're going to travel back in time two weeks and this show is still totally fresh on my mind. I can taste it. Gross.
Considering how much I love this band, I hope none of you are expecting an open-minded or even critically objective review. That's just not my scene, baby.
No, instead I will gush. I will gush that the band is as fiery as ever, even in the face of nasty internet rumours about impending breakups and miserable touring experiences, etc. I will gush that Conrad Keely can command an audience's attention, in-key or not. I will gush that Jason Reece is a dynamo performer deserving of a very long career in music. I will gush that the band can make me feel at home anywhere they play, even if I did have to travel hundreds of kilometres to see them.
My only real complaint would have to be the extreme shortage of songs from their latest album, So Divided. * Admittedly, the album hadn't even been released yet at the time (due to the release date being pushed back), but since when has that stopped a band from previewing new material? Surely the band were aware that the album had already leaked all over the internet anyway. The album-opening "Stand in Silence" made an appearance early in the set, but almost everything else came from Source Tags & Codes and Madonna. Interestingly though, I thought two of the night's highlights came from the under-represented Worlds Apart.
Jason Reece first stepped out from behind the drums for "Caterwaul," which signalled the show's taking-off point. The crowd seemed to suddenly wake up and realize they were at a rock show. The show surged onward and upward from there, climaxing with the punk-stomp of "Will You Smile Again." While Keely and company blasted through the song, Reece again led the party, pulling people out of the audience (myself included) to rock out on the stage. I'm the one wearing blue in this last photo.
* I've read that more new material has made its way into recent setlists, including "Eight Days of Hell" and the stellar "Wasted State of Mind." Two new songs can be heard on the band's myspace. Go check it out!
** All photos by Thilo Reinartz. Thanks, dude!