Four Year Strong + Defeater + Superheaven + Elder Brother @ La Tulipe – 8th October 2015

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Pop Punk fans from all over Montreal were cordially invited to see one of the main bands of the scene at La Tulipe this Thursday: the one and only Four Year Strong!


The show started at 7pm, with barely twenty people inside the venue, with an acoustic performance from Elder Brother. For those who don’t know about it, Elder Brother is the project started by The Story So Far guitarist/vocalist Kevin Geyer and Daybreaker vocalist Dan Rose. Dan Rose was by himself on stage, guitar in his hands, and started off with “Pennsylvania” if I am not mistaken. As you can imagine, the acoustic songs were quite different from the actual sound it has on their debut release Heavy Head, released back in 2014. Next was “Throw Me To The Wolves”, that had a warm and nostalgic feeling. The great “Any Sort of Plan” was next, with the touching chorus “I wanna go to heaven but I don’t wanna die”. The sounds of his voice and guitar were crystal clear, making his performance quite outstanding. We also had the pleasure to hear a cover of the Descendents’ “Good Good Things”. It was a shame that only a few people were here as it was more than worth it, it was an eargasm to me. “Who’s Gonna Carry You Home” and “Wish You Were Here” completed the setlist with the same vibe and heartwarming feeling. Elder Brother was a perfect way to start the evening. I’m looking forward hearing more about them. 9/10.


About 50 people were inside the venue as SuperHeaven started their set. I must say I only heard about that band once before actually seeing them that night. With a grunge rock sound and look, along with Fender guitars and long hair, the band made me think about some alternate version of Nirvana. It was kind of a throwback to the 90s, not that there is anything wrong about it. I actually liked their music. Their sound didn’t not seem that unique to me but I could easily understand why they were on this tour. I wasn’t lucky enough to find their setlist online, despite having seen one of their fans getting one at the end of the show so I cannot tell any of you the songs they played that night. My main regret about seeing that band is that they did not communicate with the crowd at all, and when the singer actually did, it was to complain about the crowd being weird and silent. I’m sorry guys, I know that being into your own music is important but try to give the fans some love, alright? And most of all, don’t give them shit. I know it was only to be taken as a joke, but don’t expect much from us by saying things like that. Anyway, apart from that, I appreciated their music but it wasn’t transcendent. It is definitely some nice background music I could study to though. Overall, 6.5/10. Once they will master the stage presence and communication with the crowd, they will get better in my opinion. Tough love, guys.


Up next was the American melodic hardcore band Defeater. Oh man, what a show they put on! I’ve rarely seen something that impressive. The combination of both fans and band were incredible. Vocalist Derek Archambault was all over the stage, screaming from the top of his lungs, getting closer to the crowd through every verse. We could feel his emotions in his voice and posture. The crowd knew all the lyrics by heart and were shouting them in unison with him. Starting with “Bastards” and “No Shame” from their album Letters Home, two punchy and thrilling songs, with an old school hardcore sound: it was brutal. “Unanswered”, taken from their latest album Abandoned, put us in the shoes of a man losing his faith. That song alone gives me the chills, through its intense lines like “I was a good man once but now hopeless and abandoned”. The live performance was even better than the actual song on the album. The next song “Empty Glass”, taken from their second album Empty Days & Sleepless Nights, was another great track, mixing beauty and rage. The band went old school right after with the opening track of their first album, “Blessed Burden”, right before delighting us with three songs from their latest album, “December 1943”, “Spared in Hell” and “Divination”.

Defeater’s performance was nothing but pleasure to my ears and eyes. I could go on and on through every single song they played during their set about how amazing they were. Their three final songs “Dear Father”, “Cowardice” and “The Red, White and Blues” closed the set with as much talent, energy and wow as it started. 10/10.


Four Year Strong was the last band to play at La Tulipe that night, to promote their self-titled album released a few months ago. I’ve been a fan of the pop-punk band for quite a while already, since their 2007’s Rise or Die Trying. I’ve also had the opportunity to see them back in 2012 at the Vans Warped Tour, they were actually the band closing the day if I’m not mistaken, and it was quite a show!

Anyway, the four Boston boys of Four Year Strong started their set with one of their new songs, “We All Float Down Here”, a wonderful fast-paced song that I definitely advise you to check out as soon as possible! It only took them a couple minutes to show what they were made off! Next was “What the Hell is a Gigawatt?”, a fiery anthem to which the crowd sing along without hesitation. With other classics such as “Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die”, “Abandon Ship or Abandon All Hope”or “Stuck in The Middle”, Four Beards Strong did not disappoint, pun intended. They could have kept the show going for hours, with all the qualities we would be looking for in a pop-punk band: from gang vocals to punk riffs and catchy choruses. Other new songs were also part of the set: “Hold Myself in Contempt”, “Gravity” and “Who Cares?” made the crowd mosh pretty hard. I couldn’t believe that fans still had that much energy after giving all they’ve got during Defeater, but here they were singing along and jumping all over the place (or was it just me?!!). The band also performed the excellent “Find My Way Back”, proving us that they were alive (Yes, I’m still referring to the song lyrics, you should know it by now). Four Year Strong knows our days are numbered so they made them count by playing the magnificent “Go Down In History”. Right before getting to the encore, we also had the pleasure to hear “It Must Really Suck To Be Four Year Strong Right Now”, the opening track of Enemy Of The World, released back in 2010.


Their time came and they were ready to go straight on till morning with the “Takeover”, before continuing the encore with the great “Manic (R.O.D)”. Rise or Die Trying fans like me must’ve been really happy that night, with 6 songs from the set taken from that album were played. As their name implies, Four Year Strong had a really strong/solid set, finishing in style with “Wasting Time”, while making sure they weren’t wasting ours. I won’t forget that performance and night any time soon, as it was one of the best shows I’ve been to this year! 9.5/10.

Defeater Setlist:
No Shame
Empty Glass
Blessed Burden
December 1943
Spared in Hell
Dear Father
The Red, White and Blues
Four Year Strong:
We All Float Down Here
What the Hell is a Gigawatt?
Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die
What’s in the Box?
Abandon Ship or Abandon All Hope
I Hold Myself in Contempt
Stuck in the Middle
Find My Way Back
Who Cares?
Bada Bing! Wit’ a Pipe!
Go Down In History
It Must Really Suck to Be Four Year Strong Right Now
The Take Over
Maniac (R.O.D.)
Wasting Time (Eternal Summer)

Review (and iPhone photos) – Maxime Le Huidoux

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