No Warning with SNFU , Four Square and October Crisis at the 360, October 30. Tickets: $12. Attendance: 289. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Appropriate to this spooky time of year, veteran Edmonton crazy skatepunk soldiers SNFU brought their huge songbook, numerous Halloween-related props and novelty items and, most importantly, the huge presence of lead singer Chi Pig to the cavernous 360 .
It was their first visit to Toronto in a little while, and the band kept the crowd happy. Many in attendance were reacquainting themselves with the band that turned them on to punk rock oh so many moons ago.
What really had the room abuzz was the hometown return of opening band No Warning , a five-piece who made their mark on the Ontario hardcore scene but haven't played a proper show here since shortly after signing with BMG.
With major-label backing, No Warning have spent the last couple of years touring heavily internationally, even getting to spend a little time hanging with the likes of Ghostface Killah , whose toughness is apparently shared by this young band and its hangers-on - at least according to rumours on hardcore punk message boards.
That was hardly in evidence when they took the 360 stage, especially if you discount the hard guys who prowled the stage as the band began to play, giving the stinkeye to all.
Stinkeyes were forgotten when singer Ben Cook announced a song from their first 7-inch. The enthusiastic local crowd freaked, in a good way, thanks to Cook's constant shouting vox and the speedy guitars of Jordan Postner and Matt DeLong . A pit developed post-haste.
There was no let-up from then on, just tune after tune of straight-up hardcore played tightly and fervently. They refrained from playing new material, instead massaging an audience that was happy to hear the songs they wanted.
The only disappointment was a probably shits-'n'-giggles-based decision to do a Halloween Misfits cover. In itself, that wouldn't have been a problem, but No Warning's choice of the Kenneth Anger-inspired Hollywood Babylon made little sense in terms of spookiness, and though they played it with some energy, it lacked the gusto of their originals. Gusto is important.
The set was a bit short, but that felt right. Any longer and it would have seemed ponderous.
It was nice to see a scene welcome back a band that's had a touch of outside success. No Warning seemed to appreciate it, too.