jakub | June 18, 2023

Alexisonfire’s Homecoming Show at Budweiser Stage, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, June 16, 2023


 

 

The anticipation was at an all-time high as post/hardcore band Alexisonfire headlined Budweiser Stage on a Friday night in Toronto. Since the release of their album, Otherness last year, the band has been on a roll touring across North America and Europe. With Metz and punk rock band PUP as the opening acts, there was no doubt it was the show everyone had been waiting for since it was first announced.

Rock band METZ was the first opener of the night. The three-piece act brought their punk rock sound to the forefront. Alex Edkins tore through his vocals while he played his guitar which was aggressive and chaotic, while Chris Slorach and Hayden Menzies ripped through their bass and drums in sync. METZ gave the early crowd a robust set that showcased their punk rock sound to the core.

 

Lineup:

Alex Edkins – Lead vocalist, guitars

Chris Slorach – Bass

Hayden Menzies – Drummer

 

 

Setlist:

1. Blind Youth Industrial Park

2. Get Off

3. Hail Taxi

4. Demolition Row

5. The Swimmer

6. Headache

7. A Boat to Drown In

 

 

Rock band PUP was the second opener of the night. They wasted no time getting the crowd rowdy with their third studio album’s first song, “Morbid Stuff,” the title track. Since this was the third time seeing PUP live, I expected the crowd to get chaotic with endless moshpit and crowd surfing from beginning to end. PUP’s set was nothing short but extraordinary, as Stefan jumped over the crowd during “Old Wounds,” while Nestor jumped from time to time to their performance. As Steve held out a transgender flag at the end of their set, the crowd let out a roar of excitement and approval after an unreal 14-song set of madness.

 

Lineup:

Stefan Babcock – Lead vocalist, rhythm guitar

Steve Sladkowski – Lead guitar, backing vocals

Nestor Chumak – Bass, backing vocals

Zack Mykula – Drummer, backing vocals

 

 

Setlist:

1. Morbid Stuff

2. Kids

3. My Life is Over and I Couldn’t be Happier

4. Dark Days

5. Totally Fine

6. Robot Writes a Love Song

7. Free at Last

8. Sleep in the Heat

9. Reservoir

10. Old Wounds

11. Scorpion Hill

12. Waiting

13. Familiar Patterns

14. If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, I Will

15. DVP 

 

 

The real party started when the light dimmed, as the massive crowd roared in excitement for the arrival of Alexisonfire. The band members walked onstage and waved to the sold-out audience before the start of “Sweet Dreams of Otherness,” the first single of their latest album, Otherness. The three vocalists (Green, Pettit and MacNeil) all blended together effortlessly to give off an ethereal feeling. The reactions to the crowd were like every other Alexisonfire show; aggressive moving, head-banging, and the never-ending crowd surfing in the pit.

While the audience got to hear some of their classic bangers like “Pulmonary Archery,” “.44 Caliber Love Letter,” and “Rough Hands,” the band let out some new and surprising ones as well. “Sans Soleil” and “Blue Spade” are songs from their new album that featured more of Pettit’s vocals and Green’s heavenly vocals, while the band played “Control” from Watch Out!, which I don’t think anyone has seen Alexisonfire played this song since their farewell tour. As the band tuned out their instruments, Pettit acknowledged METZ and PUP as the opening acts. He urged the crowd to keep supporting local bands before the band surprised the audience with their cover of “Fully Completely” by The Tragically Hip.

As the final sounds of “This Could Be Anywhere in the World” finished, the band walked off stage briefly before coming back for an encore. “You make me feel invincible!” George exclaimed to the crowd before McNeil started addressing the sign in the crowd saying, ”Play at my wedding?” Both Pettit and MacNeil jokingly refused to play the couple’s wedding as they would disappoint their grandparents. After that funny moment, the band played “Accidents” with the crowd screaming “Let’s redefine” on the bridge. After “Young Cardinals,” MacNeil thanked the sold-out crowd before the band surprised everyone with their last song; the live debut of “World Stops Turning.” It was a fitting way to end a memorable night with MacNeil shredding through his guitar while Pettit breaks the mic stand. The rest of the band walked to the centre to thank the audience before Pettit took a picture with his son to commemorate the night.

As my third time seeing Alexisonfire, it amazed me to see how they continue to sound better after 20 years since they formed together as a band. Whenever you get the chance to see Alexisonfire live, you will understand why they are called “the only band ever.”

 

Lineup:

George Pettit – Unclean vocals

Dallas Green – Clean vocals, rhythm guitar 

Wade MacNeil – Lead guitar, vocals

Chris Steele – Bass

Jordan Hastings – Drummer 

Matt Kelly (Touring Member) – Keyboards, pedal steel

 

 

Setlist:

1. Sweet Dreams of Otherness

2. Boiled Frogs

3. Pulmonary Archery

4. Drunks, Lovers, Sinners and Saints

5. Accept Crime

6. San Soleil

7. Crisis

8. Rough Hands

9. Control

10. .44 Caliber Love Letter

11. Blue Spade

12. Fully Completely (The Tragically Hip cover)

13. The Northern

14. Dog’s Blood

15. This Could Be Anywhere in the World

Encore:

16. Accidents

17. Young Cardinals

18. World Stops Turning (Live Debut)

 

 

 

 

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