Bayside + I Am The Avalanche @ Corona Theatre

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Is it just me, or have the shows that kicked off 2023 in our city been absolutely awesome?!  I’ve yet to feel even the slightest twinge of disappointment at any of the shows I’ve attended so far, and when the line-up for tonight’s show was announced, I know that streak is not in jeopardy in the slightest.  Punk rock is back… if, indeed, it ever really went away.  Those of us jumping around the floor of Theatre Corona tonight certainly don’t think so!

After Koyo and their bare-chested frontman Joey Chiaramonte blow away the cobwebs from a previously lazy Sunday to kick off the evening, it’s the turn of I Am The Avalanche to keep the party going.  Formed from the ashes of one of my favourite bands, The Movielife, by their lead vocalist Vinnie Caruana, the last (and only) time I saw them was back in 2005 in my hometown of Manchester, England, around the time their stellar self-titled debut was released, so to say I was buzzed to see them on the bill tonight would be an understatement.  Heck, I even wear the shirt I bought way back then to the show tonight.  Is that lame or perfectly acceptable?  Discuss.  In any case, the band dish out high-fives to me after the show on account of it, so I regret nothing. 

Their 40-minute set is absolutely killer, starting off with the explosive I Took a Beating from that debut record, with all the gusto and hooks I remember, and soon follow it up with the anthemic Green Eyes.  Vinnie reminisces about a previous visit to our city with No Use For A Name, and by way of tribute to their now-departed frontman Tony Sly, a dynamite cover of Not Your Saviour is another set highlight.  Amsterdam has a much heavier feel to it, culminating with Vinnie growling into his mic, while The Shape I’m In is every bit as furious.  Brooklyn Dodgers resumes normal punk rock service to close out the epic set, and I could easily go home now and be content with my night.

I Am The Avalanche setlist

  1. I Took a Beating
  2. Holy F***
  3. Amsterdam
  4. Green Eyes
  5. Honey Bee
  6. Not Your Savior (No Use for a Name cover)
  7. The Shape I’m In
  8. Better Days
  9. Gratitude
  10. Brooklyn Dodgers

Not yet, though.  Obviously, nobody is leaving early tonight when Bayside are the headliners, and it’s apparently only their 2nd or 3rd club show here EVER (according to frontman Anthony Ranieri).  They are eight albums into their almost-20-year career, and there’s not a dud among them.  Tonight’s 85-minute set draws fairly evenly from their entire catalog, and truly showcases how consistent they have been during that span.  I am already singing my guts out two songs in on the pounding The Walking Wounded, which starts out almost cabaret before quickly turning thunderous, and even more so when Vinnie Caruana joins the band onstage midway through to join Anthony on vocal duties.  I always thought that part sounded like Vinnie on the record, I never knew it actually was him (Wikipedia later confirms this)!  I feel super privileged to witness that collaboration live!

The floor is in full swing by the time Sick, Sick, Sick arrives, fists punching in the air in time with the bridge, and my vocal cords are already on the verge of capitulation after I bellow my way through the perfection of Already Gone and They’re Not Horses, They’re Unicorns.  A cover of Smoking Popes’ Megan leads seamlessly into Duality, which still sounds fantastic all these years later, and we even get a full hair-metal-esque solo from guitarist Jack O’Shea on Hate MeBlame It on Bad Luck and Montauk close out the main set in carnage, the pit heaving more than ever.

There are a few rare moments of chill in the set, though.  It Don’t Exist starts with just Anthony and his acoustic guitar before the band gradually rejoins among a few more swirling spotlights on stage and more than a few cellphone lights and cigarette lighters in the crowd; pure stadium anthem vibes!  Don’t Call Me Peanut follows a similar path, with Anthony dropping off the mic entirely at times to let the crowd roar back the lyrics.  In many ways, it’s equally as powerful as the rock-out moments!

After closing out the encore all-guns blazing with Go To Hell and Devotion and Desire, Anthony announces, “Thank you Montreal, we’ll try not to leave it so long next time!

You guys had better not!

Bayside setlist

  1. Big Cheese
  2. The Walking Wounded
  3. The Wrong Way
  4. Sick, Sick, Sick
  5. How to Ruin Everything (Patience)
  6. Already Gone
  7. They’re Not Horses, They’re Unicorns
  8. Masterpiece
  9. Strangest Faces
  10. Prayers
  11. Numb
  12. It Don’t Exist
  13. Landing Feet First
  14. Megan (Smoking Popes cover)
  15. Duality
  16. Hate Me
  17. Blame It on Bad Luck
  18. Montauk


  1. Don’t Call Me Peanut
  2. Go To Hell
  3. Devotion and Desire

Review – Simon Williams

Photos – Eric Brisson

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