Touche Amore + Vein fm + Militarie Gun + Scowl @ Fairmount – 24 March 2022

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In the beautiful Fairmount Theatre in Montreal, the excitement could be felt for one of the best hardcore shows that we have witnessed in a long time. The melodic hardcore legends Touche Amore were in town, and they brought an amazing variety of bands with them.

Scowl, a female-fronted hardcore band from California, were the first to hop on stage. The crowd was very welcoming for their first Montreal show ever. The band released to critical acclaim their album “How Flowers Grow” last year.  As soon as the first notes of “Bloodhound” rang out in the theatre, the crowd started moshing and hardcore dancing to the beat. Scowl offered a strong performance filled with as the crowd had a circle pit. Kat, the vocalist, screamed and yelled over the strong bass-driven heavy hardcore punk. They finished up their set with the title track of their breakout album to many smiling faces. I am sure many in the crowd are excited to see them live again.

Next up was Militarie Gun, another Californian band. Their brand of melodic hardcore is mixed up with some indie rock riffs. They offered anthemic songs that the crowd was singing along to. The energy and stage presence of vocalist Ian (who also plays in the excellent Regional Justice Center) was a sight to behold. The sometimes discordant, sometimes moshy guitar riffs were layered over some amazing bass line. The crowd sang along to their songs “Disposable Plastic Trash”, “Pressure Cooker” and “Don’t Pick up the phone”. 

I have never witnessed this in my years of concerts… was up next and many in the audience were in the pit stretching appropriately for what was to come. As the technical crew starts sound-checking the instruments, more than a few in the crowd started moshing to the soundcheck. You know a band is heavy when the fans mosh on the soundcheck. The anticipation was building as the technical team was settling a few issues. hit the stage with a bang as they opened with the song “Hellnight” off their new album “This World is going to ruin you”. They are among the heaviest live bands I have ever witnessed. The crowd was moshing as hard as they could feeding off the band’s insane energy. The band played a set filled with songs off their new masterpiece including “Welcome Home”, “The Killing Womb” and “Lights out”. The crowd never stopped moshing and dancing. Older fans were even treated to a few older tracks. They closed off their set with “Progenitor” to the delight of many fans. An absolutely intense, violent and chaotic set by this Boston band. Vocalist Anthony was a madman on stage and delivered an amazing performance.

The Californian post-hardcore band Touche Amore was up after’s performance. The band walked up on stage with the old 60’s pop song “The End of the world” and jumped right into it playing the track “Uppers/Downers” from their masterpiece “Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me”. As always, the charismatic vocalist Jeremy delivered every line with emotion and raw power. Touche Amore played a varied setlist with songs off all their albums. Many in the audience seemed to know the words to each one of their songs and were singing along with them. It is a testament to the lyrical genius and honest songwriting of the band. At the same time, bodies were constantly diving off the stage and the crowd was moshing and dancing along.

Midway through the set we were greeted with a surprise as Anthony from joined the band on stage to offer his vocals to the classic “History Reshits Itself”. As the evening was winding down, Touche finished off with “~”, “Pathfinder” and the excellent “Flowers and You”. The crowd sang along, dog-piled on each other to reach Jeremy’s microphone. As the last song finishes, the crowd was left wanting more. A chant of “One more song!” rang out over and over until the band complied. They walked back on stage and started clapping their hands to the rhythm of their song “And Now It’s Happening in Mine” to the pleasure of all in attendance who clapped along. The crowd sang every word of this encore and then it was all over. Many in attendance would have taken a few more songs. Overall, a once again amazing performance by Touche Amore.

Thanks to Extensive Enterprise for bringing this amazing tour to Montreal!

 March for the Montreal Rocks crew has been very busy! Check out this playlist of all the standout tracks I caught live.

Review – Jason Maher

Photos – Steve Gerrard

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