Braid / Minus The Bear / Murder By Death / Viking Club Kathedral, Toronto ON - June 1, 2004

Embarking on a reunion tour five years after their break up, Braid were giving all the people who never got a chance to see them while they were still around one last look at one of emo's most influential bands. The night began with locals the Viking Club, whose trashy post-post-hardcore was a shocking jolt to the system that only got better as their set went on. While initially seeming slightly anxious, as the band became comfortable their energy soared and the music went with it. Murder By Death followed and came damn close to stealing the entire show. Playing songs about the devil and whisky by way of a musical style that is uniquely their own, the band's cellist, Sarah Balliet, became the new crush of every member of the audience. Minus The Bear, composed of former members of Botch, were phenomenally tight, but their disco-meets-post-punk sound only takes them so far. While still enjoyable to watch, the band's music grew slightly stale about halfway through their set. Braid took the stage to the static tape crackle of "The New Nathan Detroits," plugged in and immediately kicked into the song, the first track from Frame and Canvas. For many in attendance, this was an experience they never could have imagined. Exceeding all expectations, the band was insanely tight and played for close to an hour and a half. Clearly enjoying themselves, the camaraderie between the group was wonderful to watch; while Bob Nanna remarked several times that this tour was all for the fans, in many ways it seemed like the band was getting something wonderful out of it too. Drawing from all of their releases, and finishing with the emotional slow rocking of "I Keep A Diary," the set seemed to please all members of the audience. As Chris Broach was left on stage to strum the song's final few chords, one couldn't help but feel like they had just been apart of something truly special.