The Planet Smashers Hit Montreal - Concert Review
It's no surprise that The Planet Smashers played to a sold out crowd on Friday night at Club Soda. The ska punk band has long established itself in the local, national, and even international music scene; first and foremost, however, they're Montrealers. But before they hit the stage, they were preceded by The Resignators and The Dreadnoughts.
The Resignators came onto the stage with an infectious energy that the audience picked up on immediately. The Melbourne, Australia natives brought their brand of ska punk music to the crowd. The crowd screamed, sang, and danced along to the catchy tracks, including their song, See You in Hell, which appeared to be a crowd favorite.
They may need to return in the near future; without a doubt, they have made new fans in Montreal.
The Dreadnoughts' set can be summarized in one word: outrageous. The Vancouver folk punk rockers set began with a pre-show stretch that included their version of downward dog (though it looked more like lunges), arms stretches, and then humping your neighbor. Needless to say, not everyone in the crowd participated in the full warmup.
The craziness didn't end there. But first, the music.
Upon hearing, "Ladies and gentlemen, let's see if you know how to Polka!" I didn't expect the magnitude of the circle pit that would form directly behind me and occasionally suck me into the swirling vortex. Luckily, I was prepared for moshpit survival, but it was intense, to put it mildly.
The set contained Polka music, sea shanties, and a good dose of folk punk. It was clear that the crowd was already aware of The Dreadnoughts' music, as they sang along to the majority of their songs, which included Ivanhoe, Cider Road, Elizabeth, and favorite, Polka Never Dies.
Poutine, another favorite, had the crowd especially enthusiastic. Montrealers and poutine. Go figure.
As mentioned earlier, there were other shenanigans of note. Drummer Marco Bieri drummed blindfolded while being crowd surfed to the back of the venue; then, while still blindfolded, he was thrown a loaf of bread to catch. He caught it on the second try. Later during the set, they played baseball with a loaf of bread as the bat and oranges as the balls, except that the bag ripped open and bread flew everywhere. I even caught a slice. And of course, there was the peanut butter and banana incident...
Were the gimmicks entertaining? Yes. Would their set have been strong without them? Absolutely. Not only are The Dreadnoughts funny, they're also very talented. Their performance was tight; musically interesting, infusing the mandolin and violin into their music; and they sang about poutine - what more can a person ask for?
the planet smashers
By the time The Planet Smashers were ready to start their set, the crowd was plenty warmed and ready for the main event. The band received thunderous applause and cheers as they launched into their set.
The song selection featured a great mix of old and new, the energy increasing with each song. Swayed, Mission Aborted, and Girl in the Front Row had people dancing from early on, turning the venue into a party, rather than just a concert.
Life of the Party was clearly a fan favorite; The Planet Smashers were met word for word, note for note, from a crowd that never missed a beat. Big O and Blind we also performed, among popular tunes.
At one point during the show, a gentleman in a wheelchair was crowd surfed to the front of the venue and onto the stage. The band continued to play, but welcomed him, commenting on how awesome it was to see the care the audience put into getting him onstage. I'd never seen that before in person; it was a great moment. What may have been greater was that when the band asked if the crowd would help get the gentleman back to his spot, many people moved forward, lifting their arms in support.
After spending the majority of my time in front of the stage, I ventured to other areas of the venue to observe the different vibes of the crowd. There was no difference. In front of the stage, people were dancing. On the balcony, people were dancing. In the very back - you guessed it - people were dancing. This is rare. The music had managed to touch everyone in the venue.
The most entertaining song of the night was probably Super Orgy Porno Party. The name is a bit shocking, but the song is so catchy. Plus, I think people just enjoy yelling, "Super orgy porno party," at the top of their lungs.
It was obvious that The Planet Smashers felt as though they were at home. They even dedicated Too Much Attitude to anyone who has walked down St. Laurent Boulevard. The show was fun, the music was catchy, and the crowd danced from start to finish. Want to leave a concert with a smile on your face? See The Planet Smashers.