Operation: The Spark, A Success In Winnipeg

By Samuel Stevens

Yet another night of what feels like a never-ending Canadian Winter, the frigid Winnipeg weather didn’t keep the fans of Enter Shikari, Single Mothers, and Milk Teeth to pack in The Pyramid Cabaret in downtown Winnipeg to see Operation: The Spark commence. Enter Shikari are currently touring North America with Single Mothers and Milk Teeth promoting their recently released fifth album, “The Spark”.

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Milk Teeth Vocalist/Bassist, Becky Blomfield and Drummer, Oli Holbrook. Photo by Samuel Stevens Photography.

The first band up to perform was the Punk Rock band Milk Teeth, who hail out of Stroud, England, United Kingdom. It was the bands first time to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and it seemed to go over well with the crowd inside The Pyramid Cabaret. Performing such songs as, “Owning Your Okayness”, “I Stabbed You First”, and “Brain Food”. It was blatantly clear the fans in attendance were enjoying the music being performed in front of them. Surprisingly I never heard any of this bands music before this night, they made a fan out of me and I’ve had their music on repeat since. I’m looking forward to what Milk Teeth release in the future. Hopefully coming back to town very soon.

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Single Mothers vocalist, Andrew Thomson. Photo by Samuel Stevens Photography.

Single Mothers were the second band up to hit the stage of The Pyramid Cabaret. Single Mothers are from London, Ontario, Canada. The Punk Rock band have been to Winnipeg before, most recently just back in October of 2017, the show was also at The Pyramid Cabaret. Although a clear favorite among the staff of The Pyramid Cabaret, the fans in the venue were certainly having a blast themselves during Single Mothers’ set as a mosh pit broke out among the fans in the pit approximately mid set. The band performed songs such as, “People Are Pets”, “Half-Lit”, “Hell (Is My Backup Plan)”, and “Christian Girls”, to name just a few. There’s currently a buzz around Single Mothers and after finally seeing them perform live, I now understand why. If you get a chance to see this band on this tour, or a tour in the near future, you will not be disappointed whatsoever by their music and live performance.

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Enter Shikari vocalist, Rou Reynolds. Photo by Samuel Stevens Photography.

Headlining the night was the British band Enter Shikari, who blur the lines between various genres, such as Post-Hardcore, Alternative Rock, and even Electronicore (a heavier genre of music mixed with Electronic/EDM). Enter Shikari are no stranger to Canada, having been to Winnipeg alone for I believe the fifth time now, but I’m surprised that they haven’t been able to find the same commercial success as they’ve found back home in the United Kingdom in both Canada and the United States.

Approximately ten minutes before the band made their way to the stage to start Operation: The Spark, the venue filled with sounds of aircraft, the members of the band checking in with each other over tape getting ready for deployment, and testing the sound and stage lights. This being my 200th concert overall, I found this quite the unique and elaborate intro to a concert I’ve seen over the years of going to shows. The bands most recent album “The Spark” is mostly inspired by Brexit and the election of Donald Trump and in my opinion it produced some of the bands best material to date, so it was upsetting to say the least seeing that the fans at the show weren’t connecting to the new music as much as they were to their older material on the set list. Some of my favorite songs performed during the night were, “The Spark”, “Rabble Rouser”, “Airfield”, ““Anesthetist”, “Redshift”, and “Live Outside”. Five of the six songs mentioned are off “The Spark”. Some of the older material preformed included songs such as, “Solidarity”, “Anything Can Happen In The Next Hour…”, “The Last Garrison”, and “Zzzonked”. Well, also the “quick fire” round as vocalist, Rou Reynolds put it, which also included a mash-up of four older songs performed in under eight minutes. This included, “Sorry You’re Not a Winner…”, “Sssnakepit”, “…Meltdown”, and “Antwerpen”. Operation: The Spark wouldn’t be a perfect mission if there wasn’t a hitch in the plan. During “Arguing With Thermometers”, Bassist Chris Batten’s keyboard kept turning off on him and was resolved in no time by guitarist, Rory Clewlow.

My only dislike from the entire show was how over the top the lighting was for the size of a venue like The Pyramid Cabaret. 75% of the time I was looking away from the stage as the lights were blinding. The lights certainly go with their style of music, it works with the stage performance too, and made the venue a lot more lively than it typically is. Each band’s set was different from the last and both Single Mothers and Milk Teeth made a fan of me from their high energy performances. Enter Shikari never fail to entertain and still after seeing them live three times, deliver one of the funniest shows you can attend.

…OPERATION COMPLETE…

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