Jess Buick, Contributor Ω
Billy Talent’s Dead Silence World Tour continued with its second Canadian date at the Interior Savings Centre March 16. A variety of fans spanning all ages waited excitedly outside the arena in anticipation of the all-Canadian rock show featuring four Ontario-based bands.
Indian Handcrafts was the first to hit the stage, using its edgy punk to set the tone for the rest of the evening, clearly stating the audience should prepare for a night of hard rocking.
Hollerado took over from there, jumping on stage and pumping out a great vibe with its indie rock and a energetic set.
The lights dimmed as AC/DC’s “T.N.T.” echoed throughout the building before Sum 41 exploded on stage, opening with the 2003 hit “The Hell Song.” Led by lead singer Deryck Whibley and his fire-engine red hair, Sum 41 rocked old favourites such as “In Too Deep,” “Still Waiting” and “We’re All To Blame.” The performance struck a chord with the audience as seemingly everyone knew every last word, making for an outrageous experience.
A few songs in, Whibley took a moment to invite members of the audience on stage. He picked five lucky fans who were brought up to dance on the side, up close and personal with the band and the raucous party.
At one point, Whibley parted ways with his guitar, belting out his own rendition of Queen’s “We Will Rock You.”
Smiling, joking and having a blast on stage, Sum 41’s presence was infectious, wrapping up with the hit that sent the band to stardom, “Fat Lip,” from 2001’s All Killer, No Filler.
Billy Talent took to the stage, kicking out songs from across its entire catalogue. Opening with “Lonely Road to Absolution” and continuing straight into “Viking Death March,” the Mississauga foursome was energetic and ready to rock right from the start.
Ben Kowalewicz, lead vocalist of Billy Talent, proved why he is regarded as such an amazing entertainer. His character and charisma was second to none, solidifying him as a powerful frontman.
Drummer Aaron Solowoniuk maintained a huge grin throughout the performance, clearly enjoying every second of the show, happy to be in an arena playing music with his friends.
“Stand Up and Run,” a single from the band’s latest release, Dead Silence, was dedicated to the late Stompin’ Tom Connors, famous for his puck-inspired hit “The Hockey Song.” Such a tribute to a legendary and influential Canadian musician was fitting within the bounds of an all-Canadian Saturday night rock show.
Continuing with the hockey flavour, Kowalewicz playfully dedicated “This Suffering” to Vancouver Canucks fans in the audience, referencing the team’s most recent loss.
Playing a huge collection of songs, Billy Talent made sure to include some of its oldest hits, including “Try Honesty” and “This Is How It Goes” from the band’s self-titled debut album. “Devil On My Shoulder” from Billy Talent III, closed out the band’s regular set.
With the crowd pleading for an encore, Billy Talent returned emphatically hammering out “Red Flag” and “Fallen Leaves” before ending the night with “Surprise, Surprise.”