Photographs by Neil Van.
The ongoing re-education of yours truly continued Sunday night at the hands of Whitby’s finest Protest the Hero.
I’ll admit my motives for going were shallow to the point I won’t get into here, but I went out and did I ever get schooled with an impressively massive night of progressive metal.
The packed Mod Club was witness to the final night on a tour celebrating the 10th anniversary of their debut album, Kezia, which won them almost universal acclaim across the globe. Never heard the album or the band myself, but what’s the worst that could have happened?
Following two sold out nights at the Opera House, the tour end moved the very rammed and slightly more intimate confines of the Little Italy club. One observation I’ll make that I’ve noticed over the last year; the heavier the band, the nicer the crowd and band.
Hailed like hometown heroes, the guys ambled on stage like they were playing a kegger with a whole lot of friends, but instantly went into full throttle with the most awesomely massive sound I’ve heard at the Mod Club. Everything sounded full and clear, and at no point did the venue’s sound not hold up to a very thorough pummeling. The light show was so appropriately obnoxious and made for the perfect accompaniment to what was coming out of the speakers. They didn’t need it, but it was a pretty sweet accent.
The band was tight and made making such a massive sound look effortless AND fun. There wasn’t one member that didn’t have a shit eating grin throughout the 45 minutes it took them to tear through Kezia. Technically they were impressive, each member blissfully beating their instruments to create beautiful chaos.
Rody Walker is the everyman frontman that easily could have got a lift from anyone in the place when he requested a lift back to Whitby after the gig. His vocals were impressively strong and nicely mixed in with the other instruments. His banter was hilarious and self-depreciative at times but also real warm towards his fellow bandmates and audience, another aspect I notice happens at a lot of heavier shows.
The crowd was also fantastic, willing and energetic disciples to Walker and company. They knew every word and every impressive signature change (and there were lots) I could only kick myself that I didn’t get in on this party ten years ago.