With the Saturday night (October 8) of Up+Downtown Music Festival providing many options for concertgoers in Edmonton, none would be as loud and powerful as punk band White Lung's performance, led by frontwoman Mish Barber-Way. Slowly gaining recognition as one of Canada's most critically acclaimed rock groups, especially after this year's Polaris Music Prize-shortlisted album, Paradise, White Lung sound more direct and more polished than ever before.
The band's live show translates the new melody-driven direction of the band well while maintaining the live rawness of their earlier material. Barber-Way's vocals were sometimes strained and didn't quite have the same ferocity as on the records, but her intensity and drive were still in full force as she did a snake-like punk rock shimmy and delivered her words with rigour. Thanks to the wave of dexterous musical onslaught launched by guitarist Kenneth William and rock-steady pummelling from Anne-Marie Vassiliou, standouts from 2013's Deep Fantasy like "Down It Goes" and "Drown With the Monster" hit as hard as expected.
Not usually known to do encores, Edmonton fans persuaded White Lung for a special treat — two more minutes of the lightning-fast "Bag," from their second album, Sorry. That's the White Lung way – quick and dirty and over before you know it.