Home Music Fucked Up and Aids Wolf bring the strange to Montreal

Fucked Up and Aids Wolf bring the strange to Montreal

by Archives January 20, 2009

If you’re into shows, you already know winter is low season, and your favourite band probably already sold their tour van. But if you’re into hardcore, you probably noticed Fucked Up decided to stop by our hellish winter wonderland, all the way from Toronto.
Local weirdoes Aids Wolf opened for the increasingly popular hardcore act at La Sala Rossa on Saturday night.
The concert hall was packed with a mixed crowd of hardcore kids, scenesters and graphic design-types, all waiting for Aids Wolf to scare the shit out of them. With a name as twisted as Aids Wolf and a frequent association with the term “experimental,” the band set the bar pretty high on the weird scale. Aesthetically, their look and sound was punk-informed – with the exception of the lead singer. Chloe Lum, (stage name Special Deluxe) was wearing an American Apparel black spandex one-piece, draped in a frilled scarf, with knee-high leather boots.
While singing, she would bark like a dog, make grimacing seizure-faces, spin around, and put the microphone in her mouth. The other band members seemed to be in their own worlds, oblivious to the performance art spectacle (and spandex-induced camel toe) happening in front of them. The two guitar players moved very little while attempting technical solos on their Rickenbacker and Daneletro’s, as the bearded drummer thrashed away.
Moving through their material, the crowd occasionally acted like a hardcore crowd, with spontaneous moshing – even Special Deluxe jumped down from the stage to participate. After their 45-minute set was finished, it became evident Aids Wolf uses the “experimental” moniker as a crutch. Experimental music should be about musicians exploring the idiosyncrasies of their instruments and group-dynamic, instead of an excuse to suck.
Moving on to a band that clearly spends more time at the practice space, Fucked Up played a great show. With seemingly unanimous praise from critics for their latest effort, The Chemistry of Modern Life, expectations were high – and they delivered. A hefty (read: 300lbs) Damian Abraham was very much the “I-can’t-look-away-even-though-I-want-to” phenomenon, as he spat water at the crowd, strutting around the stage shirtless and sweaty.
Fucked Up drew material from their extensive catalogue of 7″ and 12″ singles, and last two LPs during the 50-minute set. After songs, Abraham would occasionally interpose with some random commentary about Obama or his love of pug dogs, also thanking fans who drove 10 hours to come to the show, proving his vocal range capable of ear shattering and puppy dog-serenading.
The three guitarists were very much on point the whole night, playing great renditions of the riffs on record, and the rhythm section wasn’t too shabby either. But the focus was definitely on Abraham and the stage-diving moshers, giving the show a Boston/D.C. hardcore “high probability of getting a black eye” vibe. Seeing Fucked Up could definitely be worth a 10-hour drive – not so for Aids Wolf. Anyone who got a flat tire along the way would be saving their ears and eyes from potential irreversible damage.

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