Monday, August 20, 2012

Draken Live!

I figured I haven't posted in a few days, so I'm going to fill you guys in on how my weekend was. Yay!

Since the weekend previous to this one I spent at Heavy T.O. 2012 where I both got kicked in the face and busted up my knee something fierce, the original plan for this weekend was to lay as motionless as possible. Well, that sort of happened. Sort of.

My buddy Stuart is part of this band. They're called Draken. And they're pretty rad. They played Sunday at a bar in Brampton, ON (All-Stars, or something), and I was commissioned to act as roadie and tour bus driver for Stu. I didn't have a problem with it because I've both roadied and had a roadie before, so I knew how to do it and how helpful it is for the band and how much it means to them. So we hit the road, tearing up the tar off the 401, off to get our metal on.

We arrived at the bar and met up with the rest of the band. There I met Alec, a friend of the band who would later become my billiards and mosh buddy. We stuck around outside for the first 15 minutes or so, because the opening band wasn't really our thing. Or good. But I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and just call their sound "not for me". Around then Alec told us about a couple of drunk douches kicking people off the pool table for no reason, so he convinced me to partner up and kick these guys' asses... pool.

I told Alec I sucked hardcore at pool, but it didn't really matter, because we didn't find the offending guys once we stepped into the bar. We did however find an older couple playing, and when they finished they asked if we wanted to play 2 on 2. Since we got there with pool on our minds, we took them up on the offer. We totally got our asses handed to us because a) I blow chunks at pool and b) I really blow chunks at pool. It was fun (at least for me).

After some billiards and beer, Draken finally hit the stage!

I've seen Draken play once before at The El Mocambo and they absolutely tore up the stage then, so I had some high expectations for this show. Boy did they deliver.

They had a longer set time than last time I saw them, so they had time for two Trivium covers ("In Waves" and "Black") as well as a new instrumental song that clocked in at around 7 or 8 minutes. The rest of their set was most of their EP, with them busting out "In Sheep's Clothing", "Deathmatch (Between Dinosaur and Dragon)", "Last Day on Earth" and "Torrential Rain". Everything was pretty tight with these guys, just like last time. There were a couple times when their drummer, Kyle, fell out of time for a bar or a half, but I'd chalk that up to the shitty mixing by the sound guy. The bass and drums were way louder than both guitars' rhythm tones, but the lead tones used cut through the mix really well (which was wicked because those fucking solos).

The crowd got into it too. For the most part, people were just sitting, but there were two pits that formed throughout the night. One was during "In Sheep's Clothing", where the pit included a middle aged mom and her daughter as well as some totally drunk guy and a couple teenagers. The second pit was for the last song of their set, "Last Day on Earth". The band asked anyone who hadn't gotten up and moved to get in the centre, and that's when I realized I hadn't been in the pit all show. I tried starting one the last time I saw them, but nobody was willing to move with me. I noticed Alec was standing in the centre of the floor so I moseyed on up to him and gave him a little nudge.

He nudged me back.

I pushed.

He shoved.


Some other guy jumped in as well, and we had a wicked three man pit. It had been a long time since I had been in a pit, too (probably around a year ago, at Heavy T.O. 2011). When Draken finished up "Last Day on Earth", we were all chanting for an encore. Their faces lit up like Christmas trees. They had never been asked for an encore before (trust me, it's one of the greatest feelings ever as a musician), and the bar staff had been nice enough to let them play one more song. They opted for another Trivium cover, but I'm not sure what the song's title was. Either way, it rocked.

Post-encore, we all went on stage to congratulate them and help pack their shit up to bring home. Once everything was ready to go, I chauffeured Stuart and his gear back to his place and made my way home to sleep. When I woke up the next morning, I was greeted with an unpleasant surprise (other than work). Remember that busted up knee? Apparently pits don't make them feel better. It was flawless logic the night before. I'll give it a couple days. If not, third pit's the charm, right?


That's all for now, folks!

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