For the uninitiated, it might have been a surprise to see a massive line-up of shivering Marianas Trench fans awaiting entry to see the beloved BC band. Those in the know are well aware that they formed in 2001; however, it was another 5 years before the band released its debut full-length entitled Fix Me. Since that time, the band has released 5 albums, but with each subsequent release, they have only had increased success and adulation. With a career truly spanning 15+ years and 5 studio releases, it goes to show the longevity the band has enjoyed, and it’s clear that their Trenchers will still flock to whatever venue to revel in the music and magic of a Marianas Trench show.
It started with a great kickoff set from Mariana Trench’s tour DJ George Thoms (whose set showcased a number of great early ought classics – it was the emo jams that had the crowd singing along, and surprisingly the T Swift tune had the emo kids singing in unison as well). It was a fun way to literally warm the crowd up, as there were more than a few still shivering from their time awaiting entry to the venue.
There aren’t many bands who can pack the Cunard Centre like these BC lads did last Saturday night. On this, the last Canadian tour stop, PEI-based four-piece Logan Richard was tapped to be the opening band. During my pre-show prep, Logan Richard’s material on Spotify did not do the band a great deal of justice, but their live performance, however, showcased a great deal of polish and talent. There were moments throughout their set that clearly demonstrated they were more than a 2-dimensional pop act. At points, I certainly heard shades of John Mayer and Jack Johnson, as well as Canadian guitar wizard Shaun Verrault (and I heard a little Wide Mouth Mason influence as well). From what Logan and his band demonstrated during their opening slot, it won’t be long before this band graduates from opener to headliner.
It was then time for the band so many were there to see: Marianas Trench. The roar went up as AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” faded away, and Josh, Matt, Mike, and Ian hit the stage. For a band such as Marianas Trench, which has a catalog of high energy, high emotion pop tunes, it was somewhat unexpected to see the band harmonize on the beautifully haunting Eleonora. The crowd was entranced during this number, and Josh’s voice sounded as good as ever. After those in attendance picked their jaws up from the floor, it was time to get the show rolling, and the band shifted into “Only the Lonely Survive”, letting Josh’s voice soar throughout the cavernous Cunard Centre. With each song, the crowd was right there with the band, ready to sing, jump, bounce, cheer or whatever was needed.
There are plenty of acts that have come to town with a pre-built touring setlist and proceeded to perform a static and staid show, which left a large number of folks walking away while shrugging their shoulders. On this night in Halifax, this was anything but static or staid, this was a performance by a band who loved its fans, performing for fans who loved this band. It was a reciprocal affair; for as loud as the crowd cheered, it only spurred these lads from Vancouver on further. Looking around the venue, there were plenty of Fix Me Trenchers who were sharing in their fandom with a new generation of fans. Old, young, guys, girls, and parents hanging out in the back watching their kids revel in the music that they have long loved.
While there was a chill in the air outside, when it was time for the legion of fans to stream out of the venue, it was a refreshing blast after dancing along for the past couple of hours. Plenty of folks left sweaty, exhausted, exhilarated and grinning ear to ear; it was another great night of live music in Halifax. Until next time, MT.