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Photos by Mike Ford
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PROTEST THE HERO at the Horseshoe Tavern, Saturday, January 26. Rating: NNN
They've played bigger rooms in Toronto over the course of their lengthy career, but Saturday's sold-out Protest The Hero show at the Horseshoe was special for a few reasons. For starters, it was the Whitby progressive metal/punk band's first appearance here since announcing they would be leaving their label to strike out independently.
While they aren't the first group to do so, they also set up an IndieGoGo campaign to crowd fund their fourth studio album, which has already doubled their goal of $125,000.
"Thank you for your generosity," said lead singer Rody Walker to the ecstatic crowd, who happily overlooked the band's late start and wasted no time whipping up a mosh pit. Despite his forays into writing country songs last year, Walker hasn't forgotten how to growl with the best of them, while showing off the vocal range that makes him stand out as a frontman.
Those hoping to hear what the new record (scheduled for a release sometime this summer) might sound like were out of luck, but the five-piece played an hour-long set spanning their discography, right back to their 2005 debut album Kezia.
The band has have been playing together since they were 16-years-old and the camaraderie shows onstage. Balancing technical metal riffs and melodic choruses, they proved that no matter what comes next, they've still got plenty of gas left in the tank.