Show Overview: Between The Buried & Me and Russian Circles @ Club Soda.

Having driven the 1200 kilometers from Halifax to Montreal the day before, we arrived at Club Soda plenty early to get a good spot for what would prove to be an epic and extraordinary show. 


Hometown favorites UNEXPECT kicked off the show at 8:15 on the nose, and rapidly got the crowd warmed up with their frantic and theatric metal songs. Equal parts distorted guitars & screaming, and soaring female vocals & virtuoso violin, the band's unique sound was a great start to a diverse bill. Their set here was a little more 'traditional' metal and had less of the operatic/horror style elements as when I saw them in Halifax, but it seemed to be the right mix for the crowd, and especially for one young fan on the balcony, drumming along with every song.

Russian Circles - 02
Of course, there was really one main reason we had made the 13 hour journey here, and that was to see the magic of  Russian Circles live. The stage loomed with stacks of the band's trademark Emperor cabinets and amps, with gear piled high on tables and racks on both sides of the stage. A giant drum kit filled the centre stage as the band emerged in near darkness with rising noise and feedback, before kicking into 309. The guitar tone was thick and massive, but Brian Cook's bass was not to be outdone, filling in the club with deep, dirty bass sounds that felt like a kick in the gut. 

To be honest, being from Halifax, we're used to loud shows, and this could have been a bit louder, but none the less the amount of sound being produced by just 3 people was still extraordinary to see live. There were no mics and no chatter from the band, and the lighting was mostly back light, creating the image of eery silhouettes against a black back drop. The band was in perfect form, playing through a selection of songs old and new, including Harper Lewis and Geneva, spanning an excellent cross section of all their records. I would have been happy to see these guys play more songs, but when your main act is Between the Buried and Me, there isn't a lot of time for openers to stretch out or play encores, sadly. 

  1. 309
  2. Harper Lewis
  3. Geneva
  4. Mlàdek
  5. Death Rides a Horse
Russian Circles - 01
Between The Buried & Me, on the other hand, showed cased 'stretching out' to it's fullest, drawing on what seemed like the entire range of Western musical genres. Frontman Tommy Rogers was in one instant standing at the front of the stage, screaming his head off in mindblowing fashion and then jumping behind his keyboard and delivering an astonishing vocal range that other singers could only dream of pulling off. In the mean time the entire band seems to be playing non stop without ever missing a single note, weaving between incredibly complex riffs and pivoting into beautiful soundscapes. 

I wasn't as familiar with their back-catalog as many of the screaming fans no doubt were, but I can safely say I don't think I've ever seen a band that tight perform such flawless renditions of their songs, which were almost indistinguishable from the records. There were no crazy surprises or major theatrics, just a solid hour of fantastic songs, including a two song encore. I can't imagine where these guys summon the energy to do this every night (supposedly all the band members eschew drugs and alcohol) but it was truly an inspiring sight to see. After seeing this band, the bar for live performances just got a whole lot higher, and I don't expect to see anyone top it for a very long time.

Between The Buried & Me - 01

1.  Astral Body
2.  Lay Your Ghosts to Rest
3.  Ants of the Sky
4.  Prequel to the Sequel
5.  Extremophile Elite
6  Disease, Injury, Madness
8.Selkies: The Endless Obsession
Between The Buried & Me - 02



Saturday, February 2, 2013


@ Club Soda
1225 St. Laurent, Montreal



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