North American Crusade 2020: Black Label Society, Obituary, & Lord Dying

By Samuel Stevens

North American Crusade 2020 featuring, Black Label Society, Obituary, & Lord Dying

March 10, 2020

Burton Cummings Theatre

Lord Dying - Erik Olson
Lord Dying. Photos by Samuel Stevens Photography.
Obituary - John Tardy
Obituary. Photos by Samuel Stevens Photography.
Black Label Society - Jeff Fabb
Black Label Society. Photos by Samuel Stevens Photography.

Winnipeg Slayed One Last Time

By Samuel Stevens

Slayer with Lamb of God, Anthrax, Behemoth, and Testament

May 22nd 2018

Bell MTS Place

Although this show may have begun earlier than most shows tend to, the early start time didn’t prevent fans from filling the venue as the thrash metal band Testament hit the stage. Testament recently stated in an interview that this Slayer farewell tour is going to act as the band’s last run to support their 2016 released album, Brotherhood of the Snake, before starting work on their next full length album. Having a discography spanning 35 years, the band performed songs from throughout their catalogue including, Brotherhood of the Snake, Practice What You Preach, Into The Pit, and a few more.

Behemoth - Nergal
Behemoth. Photos by Samuel Stevens Photography.

Second to the stage was Behemoth, the blackened death metal band hailing out of GdaƄsk, Poland. At first, it did not seem that vocalist and guitarist, Nergal, was very impressed by the energy given off the Winnipeg audience. But, as the show went on, the crowd became more and more energetic with each song. Behemoth started their set off strong with their songs, “Ov Fire and the Void”, “Demigod”, and “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer”, and ending their performance with, “O Father O Satan O Sun!”.

Anthrax - Scott Ian
Anthrax. Photos by Samuel Stevens Photography.

Following Behemoth was Slayer’s “Big Four” brethren, Anthrax. On the heels of the bands newly released two-hour live DVD, Kings Among Scotland, which was released last month on April 27th, Anthrax came to have another great time with the famously known Winnipeg crowd. Anthrax was just in Winnipeg this past February at the Burton Cummings Theatre with Killswitch Engage and Havok on the Killthrax Tour (which can be read about here).

Anthrax performed all their gems, starting off huge with Caught in a Mosh, which got the Winnipeg crowd riled up right off the bat. Some other songs performed were, I Am The Law, Indians, and the Joe Jackson cover, Got the Time. Before the band made their way off stage, they continued to get the Winnipeg audience to sing the Canadian national anthem,O Canada“, just as they did the last time they were here in Winnipeg.

Lamb of God - Randy Blythe
Lamb of God. Shots by Samuel Stevens Photography.

Second last to the stage was the heavy metal/metalcore band, Lamb of God. This is the band’s second time back to Winnipeg since the very unfortunate event in 2010 -resulting in the arrest and jail time of vocalist, Randy Blythe in Prague, Czech Republic in June 2012 which led to the band’s North American tour to be cancelled- It’s been two years since their performance at the Burton Cummings Theatre with Clutch and Corrosion of Conformity in June 2016. Lamb of God just released their brand new cover album, Legion: XX, just last Friday, May 18th. Legion: XX was released under their old moniker, “Burn The Priest” to mark the band’s twentieth anniversary. The band performed a variety of music from their catalogue with such songs as, Omerta, Ruin, Walk With Me in Hell, 512, Laid to Rest, Redneck and more. It’s no secret Lamb of God vocalist, Randy Blythe, is friends with Winnipeg’s own Chris Jericho. So a shout out from the band before, Walk With Me in Hell made crystal clear sense occurring sometime during the band’s time on stage.

Slayer - Kerry King
Slayer. Photos by Samuel Stevens Photography.

The final band of the night is definitely the one everyone came to see one final time in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. As a band for three years shy of four decades, being part of the thrash metal, “Big Four” along side Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax, and touring the globe countless times over the years, the band have come to terms to retire with one giant final world tour. “Slaaaaayer!” rang throughout Bell MTS Place as “Delusions of Savior” was played over tape. As soon as the curtain dropped, Slayer went right into the songs, Repentless, Blood Red, and Disciple. Performing a hefty nineteen song farewell set spanning their entire 37 year career, the fans were in for quite the treat. Slayer sure wanted to go out with a bang, assembling a powerful line up of bands for their final world tour and a hell of a set list to tie it all together. The band performed all the fan favourites including, Hate Worldwide, War Ensemble, Black Magic, Seasons in the Abyss, and ending the set incredibly strong with songs, South of Heaven, Raining Blood, Chemical Warfare, and the appropriately titled, Angel of Death.

We Were Here Tour: Lights, Dear Rouge, & DCF

Written by Chelsea Stevens // Photographed by Samuel Stevens

Now what seems like a never ending Winter, the return of -30 degree temperatures didn’t prevent Winnipeg Pop fans from braving the cold for a night out at the Burton Cummings Theatre to see the all Canadian line-up of Lights, Dear Rouge, and DCF on the We Were Here North American Tour.

DCF. Photos by Samuel Stevens Photography.

DCF started out the whole night with his “No Type Remix”, a popular song originally performed by the Hip-Hop duo Rae Sremmurd, mixed with his own lyrics, which was a great way to hype up the crowd, but to also show off his own talent. He then performed his singles, “Sky Ferreira” and “John Cusack”. DCF then went onto explain the outfit he was wearing, the outfit of a Prince. This is because his social media are all “Prince DCF”, and that the outfit he was wearing was not an outfit from Hamilton or a Captain Crunch costume. He also explained that DCF stand for his initials, David Charles Fischer. He then ended his set by playing his new single, “Bring A Friend” and a cover of Paramore’s “Misery Business”.

Dear Rouge
Dear Rouge. Photos by Samuel Stevens Photography.

Second to the stage was the husband and wife duo, Dear Rouge. They began with the song, “Chains”. Danielle’s stage presence really made you want to sing and dance along with them. She also wore a jacket that was fully tasselled. The band just released their second full length album “PHASES” about a month ago. They performed the songs “Black to Gold”, “Tongues”, “Boys & Blondes”, and ended the set with “Little By Little”.

Lights. Photos by Samuel Stevens Photography.

Lights started her set out with “New Fears” and “Savage”, she then played some older songs, “Second Go”, “Toes”, “Up We Go”, and “Siberia”. After singing the song, “Moonshine”, she walked off stage and had the LED screen in the back show images from her comic book “Skin & Earth”, which is also the name of the album Lights is touring because the album and comic book coincide together. Both the Skin & Earth album and comic book, tell a story about a girl named En in a post-apocalyptic world, dealing with mental health, depression specifically, and tries to get the message across we need to take care of the earth as it’s the only one we have. While creating this comic book Lights was able to explore her sexuality and had an epiphany that she is bi-sexual like the character in the music and comic. Even the readers can learn more about Lights by reading Skin & Earth because En is pretty much Lights herself. Lights went on to take the show to a slower route by performing “Banner”, a cover of “Believe” by Cher, and “Muscle Memory” all acoustically before leaving the stage once again while more images of the comic book appeared again.

While performing the song “Morphine”, Lights jumped down from the stage to between the stage and barrier to get closer to her fans and even shake fans hands. Once back on stage, Lights finally talked about her comic book, how she wanted to release something like this for a very long time, getting to the inspiring “quote of the night” that was, “just do your shit” because no matter your insecurities, sometimes you just, have to do it. Continuing on from her comic talk, Lights genuinely thanked everyone for buying tickets because Lights partnered with Plus 1, which takes $1 from every ticket sale to a charity of the musicians choosing. Lights for the Canadian dates chose a charity that helps out the government with environmental issues to help keep the Earth healthy. Lights ended her main set with the song, “Giants”. After a few minutes of cheering, Lights returned to staged to perform an encore of two songs. After performing “We Were Here”, she talked about the time she met Burton Cummings at an airport when she was leaving the Juno Awards a few years back and how he sat her down to give her vocal tips that she still has on her phone’s notepad and appreciates him for it because they work for her to this day. She also continued on saying how she’s performed at the Burton Cummings theatre a few times, but I guess now with that story, it means a little more playing a venue named after Burton Cummings. Lights ended the show performing “Almost Had Me”.

Our Lady Peace, Matthew Good, & Ellevator

By Samuel Stevens

It’s no surprise that Winnipeg is a big city of Rock fans and would pack into the Burton Cummings Theatre for the first night of two back-to-back sold out shows on the current Our Lady Peace, Matthew Good, and Ellevator 20 date tour across Canada. Our Lady Peace are currently touring to promote their ninth studio album, “Somethingness” and Matthew Good is promoting his twelfth album, “Something Like a Storm”.

Nabi Sue Bersche - Ellevator
Ellevator. Photos by Samuel Stevens Photography.

The Hamilton, Ontario Indie/Alt. Rock band, Ellevator opened the night with a pretty stellar thirty minute performance for the Winnipeg audience. I was unfamiliar with this band going in to the show, but I recognized their song, “St. Cecilia” immediately as they began playing it. I still can’t place where I’ve heard the song prior, but it’s a great tune everyone should check out if they get the chance to do so. Ellevator have an upcoming self titled EP to be released on April 20th. There are big things coming for Ellevator, so make sure to watch out for them in the near future.

Matthew Good
Matthew Good. Photos by Samuel Stevens Photography.

Next to the Burton Cummings Theatre stage needs no introduction. Matthew Good was welcomed with an extremely loud warm welcome from the Winnipeg audience immediately as the lights went low. This created a massive energy in the room you could feel. A feeling that will give you goosebumps that instantly you knew it was going to be a great show from here on out. With how long Matthew Good has been on the Canadian Rock scene, which has been since the mid 1990’s with the Matthew Good Band, before disbanding following a falling out and going solo in the early 2000’s. It was no surprise a majority of, if not all of the crowd knew a tune or two from the Canadian Rock legend. Good has also performed in this theatre countless times over his career, which he referenced on stage during his performance. Good performed an hour-long set featuring songs new and old. Including in no particular order, “Bad Guys Win”, “Apparitions”, “Decades”, and “Load Me Up” to name just a few. Lastly, the light design for Matthew Good on this tour is insane, but beautifully done to match each song packing a hell of an extra punch to the show. I’m sure it won’t be very long before Matthew Good returns to Winnipeg and brace the Burton Cummings Theatre once again.

Jason Pierce - Our Lady Peace
Our Lady Peace. Photos by Samuel Stevens Photography.

Headlining the show was the one and only, Our Lady Peace from Toronto, Ontario. Going on a big 26th year as a band, they do not fail to own the stage and deliver a hell of a performance. Our Lady Peace show no signs of winding down, just releasing their ninth studio album, “Somethingness”. This was the first Our Lady Peace headline show in Winnipeg in six years, which vocalist Raine Maida apologized for a few songs into the band’s set, but the last time Our Lady Peace were in Winnipeg was just seven months ago opening for Guns N’ Roses at Investors Group Field on their Canadian tour last August. Which was reviewed here.

Also like Matthew Good, Our Lady Peace performed a primary nostalgic set making sure to cover their extensive catalog performing such songs as “Angels/Losing/Sleep”, “Innocent”, “One Man Army”, “Clumsy”, “4am” and performed “In Repair” and “Somewhere Out There” acoustically. The band performed a few new songs as well, including their single, “Drop Me in the Water”. The band’s encore of three songs was fun, the band started with the song, “Ballad of a Poet” off their album, “Somethingness”. Which is about when vocalist Raine Maida first saw The Tragically Hip live in Toronto and set his path to become a musician. Following was when the band really had fun, by performing a cover of the Matthew Good Band’s “Hello Time Bomb” performed with Matthew Good and his entire band. As soon as the song hit, the audience went into the most wild of cheer. That same feeling from Matthew Good’s set returned, leaving me with goosebumps. Our Lady Peace proceeded to end the night with their popular song, “Starseed”. I predict Our Lady Peace will be back to Winnipeg soon enough, hopefully this time not with a six-year wait.