Billy Talent / Cancer Bats

Billy Talent / Cancer Bats: live in Londonlive in London (2009)
Warner Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 4

Contributed by: chrisafichrisafi
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Is it just me, or are bands getting younger? Opening act Canterbury hit the stage with the effect of making me feel old beyond my 21 years, with five fresh faces that would easily ring alarm bells in any liquor store. The band themselves are certainly a bit different, with a dual vocal approach shar.

Is it just me, or are bands getting younger? Opening act Canterbury hit the stage with the effect of making me feel old beyond my 21 years, with five fresh faces that would easily ring alarm bells in any liquor store. The band themselves are certainly a bit different, with a dual vocal approach shared between lead guitar and keys. The group were tight and energetic with their upbeat and poppy sound and were not overly taken aback despite the fact they were playing in a somewhat huge, 2,000-capacity venue with very little crowd support. Both vocalists can certainly sing, but they both sound very similar, which immediately begs the question -- why bother? Furthermore, the keys were almost indistinguishable amongst the rest of the sound. Again, why bother? There's talent but, in my opinion, the band's sound doesn't work at the moment.

Cancer Bats followed and absolutely bombed for three tracks. Sound issues blighted opening track "Hail Destroyer," the title track and lead single off their most recent album and the crowd seemed somewhat uninterested as a result. But vocalist Liam Cornier, never a man to be deterred from having a good time, eventually managed to whip the large crowd up into a frenzy, leaving it punctuated with mosh pits. With the sound issues fixed and the huge guitar riffs that are almost the band's trademark booming appropriately off the walls, a thoroughly enjoyable sense of chaos embedded itself for the rest of their set. It was a great save on behalf of the band, for which I must doth my hat and almost certainly picked them up more fans to add to their increasing cult following in the UK. Standouts were "Sorceress" and "Lucifer's Rocking Chair," whilst they also previewed a track from their upcoming 2010 album.

Headlining act Billy Talent, after a slightly over-long wait, then took to the stage. Billy Talent are, in my opinion, an enigma to the 'punk community.' Their first album certainly had some very punk rock moments, but their last two releases have moved much more to an 'alternative rock' style and sound.

Their live show, however, is punk rock through and through. The energy, the passion, the aggression and the crowd itself all epitomised to my expectations for an excellent gig. The set list meandered its way across all three of their studio albums and represented the many sides to the band's sound. From the aggressive and head-banging style of opener "The Dead Can't Testify" (arguably the best track off their new record), through to the slow, almost ballad-esque "Surrender," the band had 2,000 people eating out of the palm of their hand, whilst the faster punk tunes such as "The Ex" almost blew the roof off.

The band finished with an encore of "Fallen Leaves" and "Red Flag," two of their most aggressive tracks, sending hundreds of bodies flying around in all directions and into a huge anthemic sing-along.

Not punk rock? Whatever.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
chrisafi (November 9, 2009)

Nearly all of Billy Talent's songs are cheesy man! The delivery and sound on recording is clearly not to your taste, but live those two songs are aggressive and raw.

givemeamuseumandillfillit (November 8, 2009)

".. "Fallen Leaves" and "Red Flag," two of their most aggressive tracks"

Really? Now, I like the first record ALOT and everything else just kinda sounds like white noise to me but I know those two tracks and they're both really, really cheesy pop tracks..

wearestillalive (November 8, 2009)

The thing with Canterbury is, yeah, they're pretty decent, good fun and all that, but like you said, the singers sound identical (both with faux american accents!), the keyboards are pointless, and they're just rehashing a sound that the Riverclub, Furtherst Drive Home and a bunch of others were doing better years ago. And they seem to be getting support slots which would be far more deserved by other bands who have been around for longer.

chrisafi (November 8, 2009)

The first album is the best in my opinion, if you like 2 and 3, definetely check it out.

LeightonESmith (November 8, 2009)

I saw Billy Talent for the first time this year at the Soundwave Festival (they were playing main stage). They were pretty damn good. I've heard their last 2 albums which were both pretty solid but not the first one. Which is the best of the three?

kylewagoner (November 6, 2009)

I have known of Billy Talent for as long as I can remember but the only song I knew by them was "Try Honesty" until this past summer when they opened for Rancid and Rise Against. Awesome show. Then I checked them out on their albums and yeah, they're pretty much incredible. My friends all love them now, too. They don't really sound like any other band but if I had to describe them to someone, I'd say they're Paramore if Paramore would use that slight tweek they need to make all of their songs "good" instead of "okay." I love 'em.


TheMike (November 6, 2009)

I don't like Billy Talent's albums, but I've seen them twice and they were amazing both times. Score is for that.

eazyd2 (November 6, 2009)

mer lik billly no talent

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