Cancer Bats

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  • Lord Dying
  • Palm Reader
  • Incite
02 Academy 2 27/1/16

Hailing from Canada, and with their last appearance in the city being under the stage name Bat Sabbath – the band’s Black Sabbath cover band – the mighty CANCER BATS return to an eager crowd, hot with anticipation for the band’s fifth studio album, Searching For Zero.

With three support acts tagging along on the tour, doors open early and first act INCITE take to the stage. Considering the room is still fairly empty, the band deliver an exceptionally high-octane performance, bringing on Cancer Bats lead singer Liam Cormier for one tune before finishing their set. Second support, PALM READER, bring a slightly more melodious sound to the room with their set incorporating a ballad rather than a string of energetic tracks. Although some of the crowd seem fairly into it, a large portion of the room seem disinterested at the prolonged silences that appear louder than the band’s actual set. Final support act, LORD DYING, bring a different approach to the previous bands: the three members focus much more on showcasing their instrumental prowess rather than an emphasis on vocals, with the now much-fuller room head-banging along to final track Darkness Remains.

As the lights go dim, the low buzz of anticipation fills the room before the first few members of Cancer Bats take to the stage and begin to play. Moments later, Liam Cormier bursts onto the stage and the band launch into their set, with the crowd going mad for them: drinks are flying everywhere, crowd members jump on stage from the mosh pit and dive back into the crowd. The band feed off the ecstatic enthusiasts, drinking in the thrill of the live performance.

As the first few songs come to a close, the band joke about their former appearance as Bat Sabbath, when one time a fan, Foxy, requested the classic Symptom Of The Universe, a song they didn’t know at the time, which they’ve now learnt to play; if only Foxy were here tonight.

Much to the band and crowd’s disappointment, he’s not. However, the band jump straight into the next section of the set. As the band slip in their classic cover of Beastie Boys’ Sabotage, the audience sing along before Cormier states that they “have to talk serious for a minute”. It turns out that Cancer Bats are fundraising for Cancer Research UK, collecting money throughout their tour in an old Wellington boot. The crowd scream in approval and all agree to donate at the end of the show, before Cormier also announces he will be shaving off his long locks at the end of the tour, all in aid of the charity.

As the screams of Scared To Death fill the sweaty room, the crowd don’t tire but seem to have gained even more energy with every song. Every pair of hands clap along as guitarist Dru Tang Rome from previous act Incite jumps on stage to rock out with the band. The set comes to a close with Satellites, the crowd screaming the words so loudly, Cormier drops the mic completely, leaving the crowd’s screams ringing out.

            Rosa Jane

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