By Samuel Stevens
The nice and hot temperature of 32 degrees Celsius on July 12th wasn’t stopping all the Pop Punk fans from coming down to The Good Will Social Club to see the full Canadian line up of talent. The night featured the local greats in Bleed American, the Ottawa up-and-comers, Bearings, the Vancouver veterans in Living With Lions, and the Pop Punk powerhouse from Oakville, Ontario, that is Seaway.
I walked into The Good Will fairly past the start time of 8:00pm, preceded to hand both my I.D. and $25 to the man at the door to acquire my entry for the night. Although I did inadvertently almost miss out on all of Bleed American’s set because of a Winnipeg Transit fare box needing repair in the middle of my bus ride, it didn’t stop me from at least getting the last three songs of their set in. The three songs I was able to take in from their set were all hard-hitting Pop Punk songs that would absolutely get any room in front of the band moving on their feet.
The second band to the stage was the Ottawa based Pop Punk band, Bearings. Bearings are no strangers to Winnipeg being in the city once before, a little bit ago on September 20th 2017, opening for State Champs, Homesafe, and Sleep On It. Since the last time the band has been to Winnipeg, myself and others have most likely listened to their songs off their debut EP, Nothing Here Is Permanent, a handful of times. For myself, I was looking and hoping for the band to perform their songs, “Petrichor” and “Letters Home”, which the band flawlessly opened their set with.
Although I was looking forward to those two songs being performed, a good portion of the Bearings fans in the venue were looking forward to it as well. The people in attendance who’ve never heard of the band before the night and the older fans were both wowed when the band performed their song “North Hanson”, a song about losing someone close to you. Bearings also performed some new material during their time on stage, so be on the look out for some new music from Bearings sooner than later.
Going eleven years as a band, I guess you could call Living With Lions a veteran Pop Punk band that has toured the country countless times. I’d also like to say Living With Lions unintentionally over the course of their time as a band has become a super group of sorts since the formation of the band. Although not in the band full-time anymore, on bass and backing vocals, you have Stu Ross who is very busy and performs different duties in many other bands, that include: Comeback Kid, Misery Signals, Lowtalker, and Youth Decay. Drummer, Loren Legare is also in Comeback Kid and Youth Decay with Stu. Lastly, guitarist, Craig Spelliscy was formerly in the now defunct Edmonton Pop Punk band, Ten Second Epic.
The band primarily gave the rowdy, but good-natured, audience all the fan favorites, but they had to sneak in a couple of newbies in the setlist because the band are releasing their third full length album, Island, this fall on September 21st 2018. Living With Lions performed the forthcoming album’s lead single, “Tidal Wave”, live in Winnipeg for the very first time. It shouldn’t be very long before the band makes their way back to Winnipeg for another raucous show.
Finally, the headliner of the tour, Seaway hit the stage just shy of 11:00 PM. Seaway are currently on tour for their third full length album, Vacation, and touring it for a few weeks across Canada. Seaway are currently up there as one of my top 3 Pop Punk bands. I’ve now honestly lost count how many times Seaway have toured and played Winnipeg, either opening or headlining, but they are one of the few rare bands that try to never skip the city when they go on their Canadian headline tours. The last time Seaway made their way through Winnipeg was November 7th 2017 opening for Silverstein on the Dead Reflection Tour (which can be read here). Vocalist Ryan Locke mentioned at the previous Winnipeg show that they’d be back in early 2018 and sure enough they came and delivered for all the fans who made it out to The Good Will.
The band performed a solid fifteen song set, opening with one of my favorite songs off Vacation, “Neurotic”. Which features the line, “I’ve been everywhere, man, Winnipeg to Amsterdam”, in the second verse. As a big fan of Seaway it was one of those cool moments that only you can really fully understand to want to experience in person. The band went on to play a few more songs off Vacation before getting to the fan favorite “Best Mistake.”
Being the first day of the tour there was bound to be a live debut somewhere on the setlist, which came six songs in with the band performing, “Day Player”. Vocalist, Ryan Locke joked afterwards that they made it through the song without screwing up, before a few fans slightly heckled the band to play, “Sabrina the Teenage Bitch”. Which Ryan joked with the crowd, “No requests please!”. Ultimately, by the end of the night, Seaway didn’t play “Sabrina…”, but that’s okay as I got to hear my favorite song off the new album, “Scatter My Ashes Along the Coast, or Don’t” during the bands encore. Uncertain they were even gonna perform it, mainly because Beartooth vocalist, Caleb Shomo who is featured on the song, clearly wasn’t there to perform it with Seaway, I left with my heart full of joy and my night made!
All the photos that were captured during the show can be viewed here.