Review by Roxanne Finnie
Photography by Suzanne Goodwin
The opening band, Hate On, grabbed my attention and ripped me away from my beer with their opening death metal power chords. The lead guitarist seemed to be living out every metal head's fantasy, complete with the obligatory swinging of his permed hair. What this band may have lacked in originality, they made up for in enthusiasm that even the empty dance floor wasn't able to dampen. For them, this only meant more room to move and occasionally, for the odd guitar solo, they did just that. They played their generic brand of death metal as well as anyone else and, coupled with their energy, you couldn't help but watch them -- for a while anyway. It wasn't long, though, before I was longing for a break in the monotony of the consistent bass line. Not everyone in the audience felt as I did, however, as apparent by the cheers and chants for more at the end of the band's set.
In spite of these pleas (or maybe because of them), the swift and efficient staff of the Niagara were already setting up for the eagerly anticipated Dayglo Abortions. With just this smallest hint of their impending presence, I could feel the energy in the room rising. When the Dayglos stepped on stage and broke into their abusive style of punk/metal/party-till-you-die music, it only took one song to work their fans into a frenzy. Sharing everything from the spotlight to drugs and alcohol, the Dayglos made their show a truly interactive experience. Flying bodies, both on and off stage, only added fuel to the members of the band, who seemed to thrive on the chaos. At one point, the lead vocalist, unable to resist the mosh pit any longer, handed the mic to someone in the audience and dove in.
I watched in amazement as bodies flew into mic stands, amps, and band members. I stared in disbelief as the lead vocalist vomited over the side of the stage and cringed when he later slipped in it. This did empty the dance floor somewhat, but it didn't take much to convince the undeterred moshers that it wasn't so bad to roll around in his vomit, and the dance floor filled again. The Dayglos played on, never missing a beat, stopping occasionally only to hurl more insults at the audience or each other and yell for more beer. No one seemed to mind or even notice that all the songs sounded the same. Everyone sang happily along and a few of the more brazenly talented joined the band on stage.
After almost two hours of watching the Dayglos play (and vomit), I was exhausted and a little stunned. Somehow, this band had managed to re-enact the perfect Kegger party and had gotten paid for it! Despite the insults and other flying items they threw at their fans, the Dayglos have a flock of faithful followers who think they can do no wrong. I can't say I became one of the mass converts or that I even fully understand the attraction, but I do appreciate what it is their fans find so appealing. In an era where bands walk off stage when a few runners or coins are tossed, it's refreshing to see a band who still has the guts (at least, what was left after all that puking) and stamina to do a show in true punk fashion, a show where utter anarchy is not only tolerated but expected.
This was not a show for those looking for musical genius or profound statements about the meaning of life. But, if you have strong gag reflexes, and enjoy good old fashioned barbaric fun, then the Dayglos are worth checking out.
Considering copying some of the images from this story?
Please read this first. Thanks.