Published Jun 27, 2014British Columbia punks Gob have been fairly quiet for the past few years, and until last night, they hadn't visited Toronto for nearly two years. They were given the warmest of welcomes back to Toronto's punk scene at landmark venue Sneaky Dee's.
Gob received some local support from Toronto act Like Pacific, and Coldfront from nearby Oakville. The crowd was sparse when Like Pacific took the stage, but the audience stayed mobile as they churned out youthful pop punk. Like Pacific's set was criminally short but packed a punch — the act closed with a delightfully punishing song called "Stay Pissed." The heavy riffs and metal breakdowns were refreshingly different from the previous songs they played, and a small but respectable mosh pit started up to close off Like Pacific's set.
A handful of dedicated fans stuck by the stage to listen to Coldfront's emotional punk rock. The show would have benefitted from shuffling the bill — the buzzing energy of Like Pacific's set dissipated during Coldfront's performance. Most of the audience weren't captivated by Colfront's emo vibes; the Oakville act would have been much better suited for the smaller, more cozy earlier crowd.
The show was advertised as an "intimate" performance, but Sneaky Dee's was abuzz, and the members of Gob mingled around the venue as if the show were a homecoming celebration and everyone was invited. Their set was electric — an ever-churning mosh pit culminated in the front, with tons of floor stomping and a few brave crowd surfers (despite Sneaky's incredibly low ceilings). The venue boomed with the sounds of some of Gob's most beloved songs, including "I Hear You Calling" and "Give Up the Grudge." They included a popped-up cover of the Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black," along with a number of new songs off their upcoming album, Apt. 13.
The band bantered between songs, cracking jokes and calling out people in the crowd — once again, it felt like Gob was playing to a room full of close friends. They closed their set with "You're Too Cool" and their punk anthem "Soda," and the entire night's energy culminated to see Gob off with roaring enthusiasm. The effort from the openers was valiant and respectable, but it was clear that the audience came out for one band and one band only — Toronto has a lot of love for Gob, and it was a thrill to welcome these punk kingpins back to the scene.