20 March 2002

Date:March 20 2002 Author:Mike

Babylon Nightclub, Ottawa

There were high expectations for this one, with the headliner having sold in excess of a hundred and fifty thousand copies of their first two full-lengths(excluding a couple EPs they released before they signed with Tooth and Nail). Now on Epic(where they've already sold roughly fifty thousand copies of the new CD), the Juliana Theory are headlining a club tour with Buffalo vets Snapcase and North Carolina's .hopesfall. This sold out in a big hurry, to be sure.

Babylon can fit about four hundred and thirty safely, and the place was packed to the seams; both opening bands are big draws in Ottawa, and you knew Juliana would bring in the hordes. Melodic ruckus with a huge bass end was brought in the form of .hopesfall, who've been touring pretty much nonstop since their last Ottawa visit last October, and this show was much better, due to a better venue and a better vibe; namely, vocalist Jay Forrest melding into the crowd almost immediately, bringing the noise to the kids. Opening with 'Andromeda', the band worked two old favourites, 'April Left With Silence' and 'End of an Era'(the closer) into a set otherwise composed of songs from 'The Satellite Years', and they were tight as a drum.

Snapcase have been around for years, slogging it out as an independent band on an independent label and gaining massive respect for their DIY ethic and workhorse touring schedule. 'End Transmission' is their latest album, and they showcased some songs off that record, but not overly so. Going back five or six years for their setlist, they got the moshfest going in a big way, never letting up on the intensity. The more experimental nature of their newer material, which I hadn't heard, impressed me.

Brett Detar, Juliana's lead singer, is a tender twenty-four years old. Having spent time in Zao before leaving to concentrate full-time on this band, he's got hardcore/metal roots, and it shows in his stage presence, though the Juliana Theory are a straight-up rock and roll band. Banging furiously and playing guitar on all but one or two songs, he led the tri-guitar attack with a vengeance. This being Theory's first Canadian tour, they stuck largely with material from 'Emotion Is Dead', and the crowd devoured it, particularly favourites 'Into The Dark' and 'If I Told You This Was Killing Me, Would You Stop?' The tunes from the new record, 'Love', quadrupled the rock factor, and even though it's only been out five weeks, the crowd responded nicely to the new songs, 'DTM' being the fan favourite among them. The band is tight, the result of four years of work and sweat. Kudos for a great show.

Mike || 2003-03-20 19:45:50

Copyright © 2002, Mike

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