SHOW REVIEW: Protestant @ Borg Ward, 05.06.08

Review and photos by Dan Agack

As I wandered into the Borg Ward I was immediately taken aback with the sheer volume of band merch presented. Table after table of records calling out, “Buy me! Buy me!” It’s the kind of scene that makes collector nerds like me start to sweat. Wrapped up in the moment, I temporarily lost focus of my night’s intention. The new Protestant LP/CD The Hate. The Hollow. had been unleashed upon the masses by local label Halo Of Flies, and we were all there to celebrate accordingly.

Northless kicked off the show. A couple of ex-Vacations members were handing out musical massages. The sheer amplitude of their tech/drone metal hybrid had my jeans quivering. Winnipeg’s Under Pressure picked up the tempo with some rocking and raging hardcore, rivaling the grace of the hardcore greats. The rampant Poison Idea comparisons that these guys get are apt. Pulling Teeth, from Baltimore, rounded out the openers. Their combination of tasteful solos, short songs and well thought lyrics were a nice change of pace from the usual metallic hardcore lot.

I positioned myself in the front of the crowd as Protestant constructed their wall of amps and prepared for musical annihilation. With the crowd steadily growing, I noticed an abnormal current in the air. Our anticipation was on a greater level than usual. You could tell that something special was about to happen.

Now, I’ve seen Protestant play quite a few times and they’ve always delivered the goods. On this night however, Protestant raised the bar a few notches. Guitarist Cory vonBohlen commented between songs about how the world is shit and we’re living in it, the perfect summation of their epic hardcore assault. With circle pits aplenty, Protestant ripped through one crushing song after the next. To close the set, bassist Jesse Smith took the vocal reigns for a blazing Uniform Choice cover. With the crowd dogpiling on the mic to help sing the choruses, another stellar show drew to a close. I emerged from the Borg Ward with new records in hand and a renewed faith in hardcore.

To get a copy of The Hate. The Hollow., visit Protestant’s MySpace page or Halo of Flies Records’ MySpace page. And to find out who’s invading Borg Ward next, well, click here.

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One Response to “SHOW REVIEW: Protestant @ Borg Ward, 05.06.08”

  1. jamie Says:

    no kidding, the record market out front i was not financially prepared for. i missed part of Pulling Teeth because i couldn’t tear myself away from reading mix-tape track listings that were for sale.

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