Hollerado / Free Energy / The Reason Media Club, Vancouver BC November 12

Hollerado / Free Energy / The Reason Media Club, Vancouver BC November 12
What a difference a year and a half makes. The last time Hollerado came to the Media Club, the Manotick, ON-based group played to a nearly empty room. Now, with their mind-blowing "Americanarama" video quickly becoming a viral smash, the band packed the same venue, bringing along Philly rockers Free Energy to open.

Hamilton, ON's the Reason got the evening started with a brief set of bar-rocking tunes that were pleasant if a little unremarkable. The between-song banter quickly grew tiring, as the band repeatedly yelled for the audience to "give it up."

When Free Energy hit the stage, the energy immediately exploded, as they opened with a series of cuts from this year's Stuck on Nothing. The songs mixed mug-swinging party rock with T. Rex-style glam, and singer Paul Sprangers spent the majority of the set channelling Andrew W.K. as he tossed his hair and pumped a fist above his head. Guitarist Scott Wells, meanwhile, used practically every song as an opportunity to stand on top of the stage monitors and fire off deliciously corny cheese metal solos. It was ridiculous, but utterly charming, and the highlight came when Hollerado bounded onstage to add backing vocals to the stomping "Bang Pop."

Hollerado kept the good feelings coming, although the fun-loving group were in surprisingly serious form as they tore through thunderous versions of "Americanarama" and "Juliet." The mood soon turned goofy, however; they brought out a confetti canon on both "Got to Lose" and "Do the Doot Da Doot Doo," and they even invited Said the Whale drummer Spencer Schoening onstage to tell a joke between songs.

During the encore, frontman Menno Versteeg complained that he was too drunk to keep playing guitar, ditching his instrument and running into the crowd while his bandmates jammed noisily. It could have been a disaster if it weren't so hilarious, and it made for the perfect end to a night of rowdy fun.