I was slow in buying my ticket to the obvious under-play at Vancouver’s Rickshaw Theatre with Australia’s Amyl and the Sniffers, but after thankfully securing a ticket last minute I was set for this high profile event of the season. All that to say, this band is freaking incredible. It’s been a long time since I connected to this genre of music. When I was younger I had more of a hunger for it, but punk and metal often lends itself to a more masculine crowd and after a while that gets a little tiring. What I first noticed with this show though was how the crowd was split down the middle between female and male fans; I loved seeing that.
Another Australian band, C.O.F.F.I.N., started off the show. I was very impressed by the lead singer/drummer. He was a powerful presence despite being behind the drum kit the whole 45 min set. His voice was like a roar over the crowd. He said a few amazing words at the end about how Australia needs to be held accountable for the way the Indigenous community has been treated. It was emotional and I always love connecting to a band through what they care about.
Next up was the band we were all there to see. When they took the stage, Amy Taylor, the band’s lead singer, bounced out smiling from ear to ear. Her presence is so welcoming and you know you’re about to have the time of your life. It’s incredible that such a small human can have such a giant presence. I find performance fascinating, because it can’t be faked. She’s got the passion and you can feel it. They opened the set with “Guided By Angels” which is the first track off their newest album, Comfort to Me. The crowd was in right from the start.
I looked around and everyone was smiling… at a punk show! I felt like it was safe to attempt the mosh pit so me and a friend stayed in for most of the set while Taylor belted out hits from the new album and a few bangers from their self-titled debut. “Got It” was amazing live as Taylor crowd surfed and then proceeded to pull a sweaty fan out of the crowd and on stage.
As the night progressed the band got more rowdy, interacting with their rabid fans, leading us in and spitting us out like an elastic band. My favourite moment of the night was when they broke into their single “Security,” which provided an easy singalong moment for the crowd. We all screamed out the lyrics back to the band. A more emotional moment for me was “Knifey,” a song that lyrically resonates on many levels. I felt in a small way like I was healing from the pain of the last few years.
All in all I would give this show a 10 out of 10. I deeply respect the music and the fact that Amy Taylor carries such an incredible presence and unique style in a genre that needs more women on the frontlines. Her male bandmates support her so well with undeniably great guitar work and a tight rhythm section. I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to witness such an incredible band in such a small room.
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