While I’ve been waiting years for this band to tour again, on February 1st Death From Above 1979 came to London Music Hall in London, Ontario.
It was an extremely cold and blizzarding typical night in London, which prevented quite a few people from making it to the show, but those who could come definitely woke up the next morning with their ears still ringing and no regrets.
The opening band was less than memorable – two guys, one on guitar and one on drums. The mic was too low, and although the drummer was putting his heart into his instrumentals, the guitarist/lead singer just didn’t seem that into the show. But the second opening act, Metz, definitely did their job of hyping up the crowd – cue the mosh pit I got sucked into – with their more punk sound and louder vocals. On a side note, Metz had some really sick merch, so check them out and buy a t-shirt because I love mine.
After about a 40 minute wait, DFA1979 finally came out. Sebastien (drummer/vocals) was rocking some seriously white overalls while Jesse (bass/backup vocals) was wearing black head to toe with his infamous see-through bass adding to the look. The crowd absolutely erupted when they heard the opening beats of “Turn It Up” off of their 2004 album You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine. And while the mic still should have been turned up a bit louder, I’m sure all anyone in the crowd was thinking about was how wicked it was to finally see these guys playing together again.
They played through the next song, “Right On, Frankenstein,” and then stopped for a few seconds, grabbed their beers and just looked out at the crowd. It was a dramatic pause, then “Virgins” started to play, which is one of the post popular songs off their newest album The Physical World. This got the crowd going crazy, and I’m pretty sure everyone around me was absolutely belting out the lyrics.
“Cheap Talk” and “You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine” were the next songs played, after which they took another break so Sebastien could attempt to watch the Superbowl game playing on the TV’s behind the crowd. They got right back into playing with “White Is Red,” my personal favourite off The Physical World; which featured a pretty impressive light show which definitely added to the experience that song brought the crowd.
Their biggest single off The Physical World was “Trainwreck,” which was the next song they played – an awesome way to pump the crowd back up after one of their slower songs being played. Then they brought it even harder with “Crystal Ball,” which has an absolutely amazing bassline in it that you can’t help but dance to. They played “Nothin’ Left” next, which was a pretty awesome for my friends and I. Sebastien turned to face the three of us at the barrier, pointed us out and sang the chorus to us. When we looked around confused he smiled and nodded at us as he sang. That really established a connection with the band and the audience; the show just becomes so much better when they recognize people in the audience.
Jesse took another break after this song to have a drink, during which Sebastien was trying to see who won the Superbowl game. He joked around saying he bet someone the band’s rights that the Seahawks would win…He kept it going by saying the band would obviously have to break up again now, which definitely got a laugh from the whole crowd.
They went right into “Goin’ Steady” off You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine, which had everyone singing along with the catchy chorus. The sing-a-long kept going with “Gemini” and “Little Girl”, but then they started playing “Government Trash.” That’s a song with some pretty heavy drums and bass which really got the crowd surfers going. With bodies passing by all around our heads, everyone just seemed so into the song, so it was a little disappointing when it finally had to end.
To finish off this set and keep the crowds’ energy up, they played “Always On.” It’s a song that talks about he never-ending cycle of life, which I think everyone had a feeling of during this song – it was a really great way to end off their set. Jesse threw some DFA1979 picks into the crowd, and Sebastien threw my friends and I one of his drumsticks as he waved to us and walked off stage.
The crowd went wild, chanting DFA as the eyes on the bands brand image (Jesse and Sebastien’s faces with elephant noses) were lit up red.
They came back out after about 5 minutes, almost instantly starting to play “Cold War,” which is such an intense, fast-paced song already, so it was an incredible song to hear live with the strobe lighting adding to the song as well.
Next they started a slow buildup to “Romantic Rights,” my favourite off of You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine. It’s got an insane beat to it, which could get anyone pumped. Mix that in with a chorus so catchy it physically hurts me and bam – you’ve got the musical wonder that is “Romantic Rights.”
The final song of the night was “The Physical World,” which the band gave their absolute all for. Jesse was rocking out on his bass in a way he hadn’t the whole show, and Sebastien poured water over his drums while he played them, which looked absolutely amazing with the strobe lighting. With that, Sebastien dropped his drum chair onto his drumset and walked off stage waving, as Jesse dropped to his knees during the ending notes, the stage went black and the elephant faces lit up in rainbow lighting as Jesse walked off stage.
Overall, an absolutely incredible show. The venue was huge and the music sounded awesome (although I wish Sebastien’s mic was turned up a bit louder.) The merch was reasonably priced, with a large selection. And Sebastien came back out after his set to give my friends and I DFA1979 guitar picks. A wicked way to end the night, if I do say so myself.