I have been a big fan of BTBAM ever since Alaska was released. I have seen them on almost every tour since (Alaska, pre-Colors, full album Colors, Great Misdirect, unfort missed Parallax, last summer at Heavy MTL) and now the Parallax II tour! Got to Montreal early enough to have a few at the usaul pre-show watering hole Foufounes!
As per the lineup on the posters and ticket, Russian Circles would be first, Unexpect and then BTBAM. Walked in around 8:15 just after showtime and came to realize that Unexpect was on first and we had missed the first few songs. But HOT DAMN the last 45 mins the played were spectacular!
I was not familiar with their stuff so no setlist unfort but they definitely made me a new fan! Fronted by a sexy female lead singer, a long dreadlocked bassist playing on what appeared to be an 8 or 9 string bass, 2 guitarists that complimented each other vocally and technically, a drummer who could rip it up with some of the best and a lone violinist whose sound suited very nicely in the mix, even though his look was plain compared to the rest of the band. The band is very talented all around and really appreciated the crowd reaction! Quite a few pits started, including one by the bassist after he walked into the crowd, and it set a great tone for the rest of the nigfht. If you haven't checked these guys out yet, DO SO!!! It was certainly UNEXPECTED
Update: Setlist (according to Setlist.fm)
Unsolved Ideas of a Distorted Guest
The Quantum Symphony
When the Joyful Dead Are Dancing
Until yet a Few More Deaths Do Us Part
Next up was the 3 piece instrumental Russian Circles. Again, I was not familiar with them so no setlist either. They too were very musically and technically sound! Very progressive with a odd resemblance to Tool and Kyuss/Fu Manchu mixed together. Fat bass sound, some groovy guitar riffs and a drummer who was belting out a bunch of sweet licks on just a 4 piece kit! As much as I enjoy instrumental music from some bands, I really do think they need to add vocals in some fashion be it a solo singer or from one of the current members. I would have preferred them first and Unexpect second as I feel the flow of the show would have just been better, but all in all, they were a great act for this show.
Update:Setlist (according to Setlist.fm)
Death Rides a Horse
Finally what the packed Club Soda crowd was waiting for, Between the Buried and Me!!! They came out and ripped through a flawless set! I would have liked to have heard the fabulous Goodbye to Everything opening from the album into Astral Body, but they came out and began the opening riff right off the top and it was just as sweet to hear! The pits were flying high now and with no barrier at Club Soda, several stagedivers, male and female alike, took full advantage through the night. Lay Your Ghosts to Rest continued right after without any interuption! Having seen the set from the TO show, I was so excited for the next part about to begin! The Ants in the Sky/Prequel to the Sequel is my favourite segment from Colors and I have not seen it in quite some time! Witnessing this in all its glory is mind blowing! We even got to witness one stage diver perform a hoe down on stage during Ants' interlude
Extremophile Elite was up next and just kept the momentum flowing! I think this is one of the strongest songs on Parallax II and was extremely looking forward to witnessing it! Again, just flawless and a great crowd sing along with the main "chorus" if you can call it that. Disease, Injury, Madness followed and just turned up the action on the floor right off the get go! The pits were frequent and superb all night! After a quick breather, they came out and performed one of my personal favourite songs now, Telos!
Since it's introduction as the first single from Parallax II, I have not been able to get some of the ferocity out of my head! This should become a staple in their live show for years to come I believe. Then the final song of the evening, the ever popular Selkies! I have seen them play this song several times, but it still is a great closer and Paul ripped through his solo near the end to a well deserved grand applause from the crowd!
This show was an outstanding show all around from the openers to the mighty BTBAM! They have never disappointed live and I truly believe they are on top of their game right now! I have accepted that I will probably never hear any deeper cuts from pre-Alaska ever again, but if they continue to produce music that they have been othrough the last few years especially with Parallax II, I can live with it! Can't wait to see them again and again and again! Even if you are a part time BTBAM fan, see them live, it will make you a full time supporter!
Lay Your Ghosts to Rest
Ants in the Sky
Prequel to the Sequel
Disease, Injury, Madness
Selkies: The Endless Obsession