Face to Face

With Strung Out, The Darlings, The Artist Life

Friday, April 29

Starlite Room


It’s interesting that musical tastes seem to go full circle.  But in the end…people find themselves at the start.  That’s what a band like Face to Face is for so many people.  But with age comes new rules — or at least obedience to said rules. 


A bold-lettered sign saying something about ‘No Moshing, No Crowd Surfing’ invited the crowd into the Starlite, and with that alone, you kind of got the feeling things have changed.  And of course they have.  The punk rock line-up itself is considerably older than when they were in their prime.  They're old enough to father the kids they once catered to. Yet if bands — punk rock or otherwise — enjoyed success and could build crowd excitement like this at any age, they’d be more than happy.


After a slow line of fans leading to the Starlite finally got through the doors, The Darlings were on the stage.  “These guys would have been huge if they were around back then,” my friend commented, getting it exactly right, again proving the nostalgia of the evening.  During that crucial point of the late 90s when bands like Face to Face, Strung Out, Bad Religion, Good Riddance, etc dominated smaller clubs in Edmonton, a band like the Darlings, with their infectious melodies and chanting choruses, would have been right up there with the others.


Strung Out proved that this tour was a co-headlining affair.  As they ripped through a insanely energetic set full of some more recent stuff, but much from their earlier Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues and Twisted by Design. Their metal infused punk sound has always been reminiscent of 80s and 90s nostalgia, and still after nearly 20 years as a band, they show no signs of again (slowing down).  Proved not only by the dripping sweat from the band members and crowd, but by the cover of Pantera’s “Walk”.


After a long delay of stage preparation and the annoying, yet vintage, make-the-crowd-wait build up, Face to Face ripped into their hour-plus set documenting the band’s vigorous career (skipping some noticeably mellow times of the band).  Stand out fan favourites “Disconnected,” “Complicated,” “Over It,” and “I Want,” proved that even after a 9-year break between studio albums and 4-year hiatus as a band, haven’t slowed the band considerably.  While the bouncers attempted to enforce the guidelines asking for civility, a raucous Friday night crowd muted their efforts. While only playing three from their upcoming Laugh Now, Laugh Later, the band displayed the same, classic 90s punk sound and left the sweaty, drunken crowd asking for more, even if the entire evening was insanely long.


more in Music Review     |     posted Apr 30th, 2011 at 4:14pm     

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