GIG REVIEW: Leprous, Earthside, Binary Code & Dissona Live at The Garrison, Toronto
Seeing metal bands pack a stadium can be a lot of fun, but I’d take a prog show at a small venue any day of the week. More specifically, I’d like to relive this past Thursday, October 6th at The Garrison in Toronto every day of every week, as Leprous, Earthside, Binary Code, and Dissona provided one hell of a good time.
Chicago’s Dissona started the evening off, unfortunately minus a bass player. The backing tracks that the absent member had previously laid down, however, were fantastic. The other three quarters of the band overcame the disadvantage, and put on a solid show, with singer David Dubenic’s stage presence involving a very interesting dance-like movement. Following Dissona was Binary Code from New Jersey. Although the stage was a bit cramped for the energetic five-piece, they managed to avoid crashing into each other, and also achieved a tight set. Frontman Oded Weinstock had smooth transitions from growls to cleans, as well as surprisingly pulling off a haircut that I’m going to call an “under-mullet”.
I was looking forward to seeing Earthside from Connecticut, who released their debut album, ‘A Dream In Static’ almost exactly a year ago, and have already established themselves very well within the progressive community. Opening with “The Closest I’ve Come”, they instantly captured the crowd’s attention with an energy that rivals few others. If there is anything that can be said about Earthside – aside from skill level, of course – it’s that they have fun on stage, and that translates really well with the audience. Keyboard player Frank Sacramone in particular jumped all over the place with his keytar – even into the pit of fans – while guitarist Jamie van Dyck never stopped smiling. Since they’re an instrumental outfit which features various guest vocal appearances, it was great to be able to watch videos of each guest singing along on a screen off to the side of the stage, rather than just having the audio. Their set also included “Crater”, “A Dream In Static”, and closed with “Mob Mentality”.
Then, it was time for one of Norway’s finest, Leprous. When I saw them play in Toronto two years ago, Einar Solberg had been ill, and before the show had started, he mentioned that he felt a bug coming on once again. This didn’t seem to affect his vocal performance, however, going above and beyond our expectations. In fact, every single member of Leprous did. I only wish that the insanity of drummer Baard Kolstad hadn’t been shoved so far in the back. The majority of the set list was comprised of tracks off of their most recent album, ‘The Congregation’, including “The Price”, “Rewind”, “Red”, and “Moon”. Also making an appearance was “The Cloak”, “Foe”, and “The Valley” from ‘Coal’, as well as ‘Bilateral’’s “Acquired Taste”, and an amazing encore of “Forced Entry”.
Overall, The Garrison had decent sound for a small venue, and the general atmosphere was more like a house party than anything – which was kind of the best part. I ended up headbanging harder than I had ever done before with Earthside’s Sacramone during Leprous’s set, and all of the bands could be found hanging out with the fans at any given moment that night. While everyone was tight, there’s nothing like watching Leprous do their thing live, so if you get the chance to see them, I would not suggest passing it up.