Photos by Randall Vasquez.
Punk band At The Drive In has quite the history. The band formed in Texas back in 1993 and has released three albums, has had line-up modifications, and even a break up. They reunited in 2012, and again in 2016. With this being said, last year for their first reunion since 2012, they canceled the remainder of their tour which included shows in Boston, Detroit, Montreal, and Toronto. Tickets were re-funded, and fans that had been waiting for this were extremely unhappy. As a result of this, the band finally re-scheduled the dates that did not occur and luckily, I was able to attend!
Le Butchettes opened the show with an impactful set. She entered the stage with just herself, a guitar, and some wild energy. The crowd was shocked by her hair pulling- literally pulling out her hair and throwing it onto the stage. However, her songs do signify some very important messages. Although her energy is eccentric and sometimes even overwhelming, the idea of being so emotionally raw is beautiful.
I will be completely honest here, I was kind of under the impression that this reunion was more-so for commercial reasons and money but, they put on an excellent and energy-filled show. Of course there is still a possibility that this is the reasoning but from a viewers perspective, the band seemed to genuinely enjoy themselves on stage. Cedrick (singer) could not have been more energetic between his hard hitting vocals, and constant antics (tricks lol) with the microphone. Additionally, his stage dive in the beginning of the show sure as hell kicked it off with a good start. The band opened up with title track from their best album “Relationship Of Command”, “Arcasenal” and the crowd went wild. The band was back, and it seemed as though they never left.
They played a great variety of songs such as “Sleepwalk Capsules”, an amazing performance of “Invalid Litter Dept.”, “Quarantined”, and a new track titled “Incurably Innocent”. I personally enjoyed the new song, I thought it had some cool riffs and energy however, there are mixed reviews on it. Some feel as though it lacks their originality.
A lot of the time it was hard to make sense of what Cedrick was saying because it made no sense. At one point, he was talking about taking a piss on stage and then rambled onto nothing and it honestly made no sense. Not only was what we was saying confusing however, the mic was unfortunately not loud enough throughout the set- at times you could hear the audience singing louder than Cedrick himself. It was still a really great show, hands down would go see them again but with a venue as new and reputable as REBEL, I was disappointed to see this technicality issue.
The band apologized a few times throughout the show; “It’s the last night of our makeup tour, were sorry for bailing on you” and even promised to return to Toronto following the release of their new album that will be released in the coming months. The show closed with “One Armed Scissor”, and there could not have been a better way to end it off- a classic that everyone appreciated, perfect for the reunion for fans and the band as well.