Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre, Victoria BC, July 14

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Awolnation - Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre, Victoria BC, July 14
Photo: Jason Schreurs
By Jason SchreursAaron Bruno, the guy behind Awolnation, has come a short way since Red Bull created him... er, we mean offered to release his debut album in 2011. What sounded like a studio project when Megalithic Symphony came out has turned into a touring live act with a full band and a more rocked-out sound.

Unfortunately, rock is not Bruno's strong suit, so catchy album songs like "Sail" and "Burn It Down" sounded less like Nine Inch Nails lite in a live setting and more like some third-tier grunge-pop band that no one can remember the name of way too long after "the year that punk broke."

A new song called "ThisKidsNotAlright" didn't hold up much better, failing apart at its desperate arena rock seams. Bruno has promise: with a stage presence that is awkwardly endearing, he could become a sort of anti-hero for kids too spoon-fed to endure the heavier, darker sounds of Trent Reznor or, heck, Muse. But as long as he keeps milking his tired back catalog (i.e. that one played-out album) and sticking with that one annoying high-register near-scream, Bruno's floating face down in a sea of much better festival fodder.
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Boooo reviewer. Victoria LOVES Awolnation! Not sure if you noticed how excited the crowd was up front. I know lots of people who were looking forward to them specifically, me included. The crowd went nuts for "Sail" and "Burn it Down" and even the new one "This Kids Not Alright" which is currently #4 on Victoria's radio station. Of course they arent as good as NIN or Muse, its their first album! But thanks for the comparison. We love and appreciate them here and are just happy to see them growing. We will gladly support them as they do.
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