Concert Review: The Flatliners in Winnipeg

When I go to concerts, I have one simple rule: Never miss the support bands. You might listen to music you have never heard before and discover bands that you didn't know exist. The rule turned out to be important once again when The Flatliners gave Winnipeg a good walloping on Wednesday evening. The punkrock band that has been playing together for 15 years now had some excellent support in Winnipeg - from shredding guitar riffs by the two Winnipeg based bands Sour Days and Clipwing to the "Indie rock space noise" (self-description) by Seas from Toronto. It's always a good sign if you end up spending more money at the merch than you planned, right?

The Flatliners rock out at the Park Theatre.
                                          Foto: Tinnitus Attacks
The evening was intense to say the least. From the start with "Hang My Head" to the encore with "Caskets Full," the Flatliners delivered a high-energy set filled with the typical catchy melodies, thundering guitars, Chris Creswells charismatic voice, a pumping bass and the driving drums. Although it was a rather small crowd brawled together in front of the stage, crowdsurfers did not hesitate to jump off the stage and trust their fellow punkrock afficionados to catch their fall. Chris Cresswell talked about the special relationship the band has with Winnipeg and about the importance of family ties and community in his announcements. You could really tell that he was overwhelmed as the crowd continued to pogo. When I saw the band for the first time at the Punkrock Holidays in Lindau in 2011, I was especially stunned by the songs "Count Your Bruises" and "Monumental" - and I was overly glad that the setlist on Wednesday also included those two songs. I feel like I still have to get to know the records better so next time I see the Flatliners I can sing along. 

Seas left a lasting impression on me.
                                Foto: Tinnitus Attacks
The crowd also made the support bands feel welcome. While sometimes people just wait for the main band to play and just applaud out of courtesy, it was obvious that the package at the Park Theatre had been put together very fittingly. Seas amazed me: Chris Hughes is an impressing stage persona with his dreadlocks that he likes to whirl around and in his torn flannel shirt he looked like a grunge hippie from another era (and I guess you could say that about the bass player too). I've never heard of them before and I learned that I also have to check out Moneen. The variety of their sound and the melancholy really got to me. No question I had to buy the new album at the merch. "Cursed" was released on Dine Alone Records on Nov 6 and you can buy it on vinyl, CD, and tape. 

Clipwing and Sour Days, who gave their live debut, were also really worth checking out! Both being from Winnipeg, they cranked up tasty guitar riffs and fistpumping punkrock sound. I liked how every band got the attention they deserved, because punkrock should all be about participation and equality. So of course The Flatliners as headliner played longer, but the support bands made the most of their slots and I'm sure they won new followers. I can say that for me in any case! 

You can see many more pics on my Flickr page. Just follow this link to browse them