Face To Face - Live in Montreal (Cover Artwork)

Face To Face

Live in Montreal (2015)

live show

SoCal punk legends Face To Face have always been in my top five favorite bands ever since I can remember listening to music of my own choosing. Their no frills, meat and potatoes stylistic approach always appealed to me a little more than some of their contemporaries from the mid-1990s era. The songs are fast and basic with lyrics that deal with everyday life. When I got word that their Triple Crown series was making a stop in Montreal, I decided that the Self-Titled show on the third night was the one for me as I still consider that album from 1996 to be one of the strongest recordings in the history of punk rock.

Les Foufounes Électriques was the host venue; an old-school, multi-level bar and nightclub that fit the no frills vibe just right. Local openers Prevenge played a solid set of tunes in the vein of Avail or maybe Dillinger Four that convinced me to check them out again soon. Then after about 20 minutes of listening to The Clash over the club’s PA system, Face To Face walked up onto the weathered, wooden stage and kicked into the album’s lead track, “Resignation,” with one of the most frantic circle pits I’ve seen in recent years. The sound was exceptional and the band hit every chord to a tee. The room was full of energy as song after song was hammered out to the raucous audience of about 400 who knew almost every word. There weren’t any stylized outfits to describe or logo banners to critique; just four men in black t-shirts playing fast songs.

After the band completed the 12 songs off the album, I was expecting to hear a few more from their recent releases. I was dead wrong as frontman Trever Keith almost jokingly cut into the opening riff of the old, obscure b-side track “I Used To Think” which has an odd time signature causing drummer Danny Thompson to fumble for a few seconds before sending things into full gear. More rarities finished out the evening that left me amazed and silenced without any “…but they didn’t play this song or that song” arguments to speak of.

Although Keith and company are visibly heavier and greyer than in years past, their live show hasn’t lost a single step. With a set list that would silence even the most hardcore of fans, I cannot give this performance anything but the highest of ratings. If you get the chance to attend the Triple Crown series, you won’t be disappointed.

Set list:

1. Resignation
2. Walk The Walk
3. Blind
4. Ordinary
5. I Won’t Lie Down
6. Can’t Change The World
7. Handout
8. Everything’s Your Fault
9. Take It Back
10. Complicated
11. Put You In Your Place
12. Falling
13. I Used To Think
14. Dissension
15. Not For Free
16. Paint It Black (Cover)
17. Not Enough
18. Disconnected
19. Don’t Turn Away

You can check out some photos from the show here.