The Highs and Lows of a Toronto 420 Part 2: The Protomen


The Highs and Lows of a Toronto 420. Part 2
From a smoked out square to the neon underground.

by Chris Murphy

When all was said and done Pat and I began our walking Journey to The Velvet Underground.
Along the way we stopped by the LCBO to pick up a couple cheap bottles of Polish craft beers which we “polish”ed off in a near by park. We walked down to the fabled Queen Street spoke with the gatekeeper and were granted entry to The Velvet Underground. It would be our first time at the venue first thing I noticed was beloved Roboteyes departing the stage we had just missed their opening set.

Then I noticed the long tight venue with low ceilings a bar to the right. as you got closer to the stage the ceiling raised a few inches, the staged seemed half the size of the stage at Protomen’s previous performance in The Hoxton.

So I was curious to see how they were laid out considering they were a band of 7 and an MC making 8 much to my dismay the it made for crap photos of the drummer.
Missing Roboteyes we waited for Georgian natives Bit Brigade to serenade us with their unique renditions of Soundtrack music from The Mega Man II game.

If you’ve ever wanted to witness a highly technical band surround a solo video game player deemed “The Conductor”, perform in perfect timing with a projected screening of Mega Man II.
Then boy have you found the band for you.

I was impressed with the band for the first few tracks before I eventually got sucked into the Masterful control of Player 1 and his mad Mega Man skills. Then eventually the music became more background then center piece. Getting photos of this band is difficult as the only source of light emitting is the projector which is cool until about half way when I personally started to lose interest in the whole spectacle.

Perhaps some colourful side lighting to allow for more creative photos would have kept my interest but all in all I enjoyed the band for what they are. Ultimately they were the cranberry sauce in the meal that was Protomen. A meal I’ve been hungry and waiting for two years now. Considering their performance at the previous Vans Warped Tour was nothing more then a sample. I was ready for the onslaught of pure unadulterated awesome that was about to commence before me.

The crowd buzzing in anticipation for their favourite dystopian rock opera was about to being the band setting up the lights go dim and intro music begins.
Out comes K.I.L.R.O.Y metal faced vigilante and master of ceremonies.
K.I.L.R.O.Y Greeting the salivating crowd of Toronto fans stating ”It’s been a while since we’ve have had an intimate moment with ya’ll”
The crowd cheering in agreement K.I.L.R.O.Y then asking the crowd who’s been to their first Toronto show and their warp tour performance before Continuing with “Look at you fucking now, 460 strong tonight, ain’t nobody waisting no body… Can you dig it?”
The Crowd dug it.
“You’ve come here to do one thing and one thing only. We came here to fight.” K.I.L.R.O.Y says.
“Are you going to fight with us this evening?”
The Crowd Erupts.
K.I.L.R.O.Y asking the crowd to put their fists in the air then finishes with.
“We Are your Heroes, We are your salvation. We are your hope. We are The Protomen.”

It Begins.

7 Members of Pure Rock & Roll take the stage to tell us a story of a Mega Man Dystopia.
Opening their set with Hold Back The Night the power of Sir Dr. Robert Bakker melodic guitar intro to began the journey that would lead the Protofans down to The latest track from the upcoming and long awaited Third Act.

The Gambler belting out “I know a hero will come.” with only the beautiful power she can command in such a song. The Reanimator merely warming up with drum beats comparable to Tool.
Then to have Shock Magnum come in with the heavy riffs Commander B. Hawkins Jr and Murphy Weller to round out the sound Then after slaying the keys Raul Panther III finally takes the mic.
A Man who’s stage performance can only be liked to that of Freddy Mercury ( Their Queen Cover album can attest to this. ) before long Gambler and Panther are singing in unison and my heart is filled with joy.

Before I knew it songs were being pumped out left and right all of their best hits, The Will of One, Father of Death, The Hounds to name a few, they also did an amazing rendition of Shadows of the Night, a song they lamented that was missing from the much praised Cover Ups album.
They would eventually depart from the stage only to return for an encore performing a New Song “Calling” from yet released Act III much to the delight of the masses, then continuing with This City Made Us, into Hope Rides Alone and ending as always with Due Vendetta.

This band commands a stage like no other. Two incredibly talented singers backed by an equally powerful band.
A band that has grown to become one of my all time favourites.
A band I encourage you dear reader to check out.
I then encourage you to reach out to your favourite Music Festival to host the most epic Rock Opera about a dystopian Mega Man universe you’ll every bear witness to.

Until next time when I return with my review of the highly anticipated Tupper Ware Remix Party EP release show at Lee’s Palace on Apr 23rd.


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Check out Part 1 of The Highs and Lows of a Toronto 420 here:
http://noisographyreviews.blogspot.ca/2016/04/the-highs-and-lows-of-toronto-420-part-1.html

You can follow Chris on Twitter/Instagram @Worldmind.
And check his Facebook Page for more photos: https://www.facebook.com/worldmindfilm/?fref=ts

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