Leftover Crack

The Starlite Room, Edmonton AB, June 28

Leftover CrackThe Starlite Room, Edmonton AB, June 28
Photo: Dana Zuk
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While Edmonton's music scene is ripe with local talent spanning the gamut of crust, D-beat, hardcore, ska and everything in between, it isn't often that the city welcomes such big-name punk legends as Leftover Crack. So it's no surprise that the New York-based group's inaugural skanky soiree into Edmonton was sold out within just a few weeks of tickets going on sale, propelling this particular show to the pinnacle of Edmonton's most anticipated shows of 2016 thus far.
 
The night began with a last-minute modification of set times, moving Leftover Crack to the second slot within a three-band roster due to longer-than-anticipated travel time for supporting act Days N' Daze. The lineup outside the Starlite Room reached a jaw-dropping length, and the humidity of Edmonton's hot, wet summer climate made waiting to get inside in time to see L.O.C. kick off their set a particularly gruelling ordeal. Maximum levels of impatience lingered in the low-lying heat, which mostly subsided once everyone was crammed together inside the venue in time to catch Leftover Crack's set.
 
Fittingly, the band opened up with their theme song, "The Good, The Bad, and the Leftover Crack" before shifting into high speed with "Nazi White Trash." The floor in front of the stage shifted and swayed, with bodies slamming together in friendly aggression to the upbeat, angst-fuelled ska-punk sounds. The crowd glistened with sweat, studded vests and suicide spikes of all shapes, sizes and colours. As with most punk shows of this calibre, it was incredibly difficult for one to make their way to the nearest bar without being elbowed, pushed, or pressed up against the sticky skin of another profusely perspiring human.
 
The extreme discomfort of the heat and overwhelming congestion that loomed in the dense air was no match for the stellar set that L.O.C. tore through with their signature vigour. Sturgeon's raspy, accelerated vocals belted out lyrics to superlative song selections that spanned the discographies of both Choking Victim and Leftover Crack. The set list included such choice tracks as "500 Channels," "Life is Pain," "Infested," "Born to Die," "One Dead Cop" and "Ya Can't Go Home," not to mention an unexpected homage to Canadian music with a very punkish rendition of Bryan Adams' "Summer of '69."
 
After a brief intermission towards the end of their set, which afforded attendees the luxury of going outside to inhale some much-needed fresh air, the band hit the stage once more for an encore consisting of "Rock the 40 Oz" and "Gang Control," making it well worth it for those who stuck around. Despite having obvious sound issues throughout their set, Leftover Crack delivered a scintillating performance, and successfully provided Edmonton fans a taste of their unique flavour of New York hardcore ska-punk.

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