Strung Out / Bane Opera House, Toronto ON - September 29, 2005

Strung Out / Bane Opera House, Toronto ON - September 29, 2005
Photo: Stuart Green
It may seem hard to believe, but Strung Out has been around for about a dozen years. Hard because while a ton of bands they've inspired have come and gone, or parlayed that inspiration into mainstream mall-punk commercial success, these SoCal thrashers are still keeping it real and putting many younger bands to shame. Still touring in support of their dark, metal-edged Exile in Oblivion disc (a tour that has kept them on the road since early summer), the band showed no signs of road weariness on this night. Now with six full-lengths and a couple of substantial EPs behind them, they have an awful lot of material to showcase, and given how much they put out on stage, only a limited amount of time to do it. But do it they do. Their set, while focusing on the new disc, did not ignore their past either. It's interesting to hear them play poppier entries like "Population Control" up against a musically and thematically heavier song like "Cemetery." Given the band's more recent switch to a heavier sound, the older stuff unavoidably takes on a tougher edge. Not to be outdone were Bane, who offered up hardcore beyond the token tribal floor punching of their peers. Like Strung Out, Boston's Bane has been at the game long enough to know how to put on a show. They perfectly bridged the warm-up gap between hardcore and melodic punk, setting the stage for Strung out to deliver the killer blow.