Against Me! / Murder by Death / The Sainte Catherines / Crimson Mire Kathedral, Toronto ON - May 27, 2005

Toronto's Crimson Mire were lucky enough to play for a nearly full house during their opening set, as old and young punks alike gathered early to bear witness to the growing phenomenon that has become Florida DIY heroes Against Me! Their blend of old school melodic hardcore was only hampered by the occasionally asinine lyrics. Montreal natives the Sainte Catherines followed, and while a few kids in the crowd seemed intent on showing off their ninja moves by kicking 14-year-old girls in the head, almost everyone else enjoyed the set immensely, as the band combined elements of punk, hardcore and straight-up rock to create an original, compelling sound. Having amassed an even greater fan base than the one that appeared at their last Toronto gig roughly a year ago, bluesy-emo rockers Murder By Death offered a set comprised of material that took from both of their full-length releases and included several newer compositions. The band's unsettling sound is one of the most unique to exist in the realm of punk-derived music, with the inclusion of a cello as a lead instrument and a lyrical obsession with all things "devil." With their rousing finale, the stage was set for headliners Against Me!, who had the crowd so riled up a chorus of several of the band's songs was struck up by a huge portion of the crowd before they were even on stage. Any talk of "selling out," which has circled the band since their signing to Fat in 2003, was silenced by the choice of "Impact," from their Plan-It-X debut, as the first song of the night. The rest of the set drew from every corner of their diverse catalogue, including obvious favourites like "Sink, Florida, Sink" and the pure catharsis of "Problems." Ending the encore-free night with the unifying sing-along of "We Laugh At Danger (And Break All The Rules)," Against Me! lived up to every iota of hype that has surrounded every single thing they've done since Reinventing Axl Rose.