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Music

Funeral For A Friend @ The Underworld, Jan. 27

Posted by Jenny / January 30, 2009

20090127_funeralforafriend.jpg Photo by flickr pooler Guus Krol.

For those of you who haven't been keeping track, Funeral For A Friend's last Montreal visit was an 11:30 A.M. slot on the Vans Warped Tour in 2005. For those who have, you know that's unacceptably long. In good time, the band finally decided to grace us with their presence last Tuesday night.

FFAF is perhaps better suited to play a different Underworld - the legendary alternative venue in London's seedy Camden Town, not some obscure low-ceiling locale above a skateshop in an equally dingy Montreal district. The show was originally scheduled to take place at La Tulipe, but was moved due to poor ticket sales.

See, it pays to pay your fanbase visits a tad more often.

Whatever the case, bands and fans alike made the best out of the setting and its intimate ambience. With the exception of the first opening band, This Is Hell, a somewhat obnoxious and more-than-somewhat generic Long Island, NY, five-piece, self-described as a "hardcore band that's doing a tour that has nothing to do with hardcore," the whole enterprise felt very genuine. The questionably named Emarosa actually delivered a solid set, due in part to lead singer's Jonny Craig's (formerly of Dance Gavin Dance) vocals and mesmerizing flaming red chevelure. And while The Sleeping may be a little inconsistent in style, oscillating between rock, pop-punk and post-hardcore, with a few ballads thrown in for good measure, their performance was anything but.

You know how some bands write a perfect debut full-length and no matter how good or bad their follow-ups are, they can just never repeat their initial success? Funeral For A Friend are a prime example, and they know. "How many of you own a record called 'Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation'?" lead singer Matt Davies asked, as a sea of hands shot up. Without a doubt, it was the band's early material that provoked the most intense reaction from the crowd. Opening with "This Year's Most Open Heartbreak" off "Seven Ways To Scream Your Name," FFAF played an assortment of songs from all three EPs and four albums, but heavier on "Casually Dressed..." than any other.

In-between songs, Davies cracked jokes, and bassist Gavin Burrough somehow managed to completely rip his jeans as a result of some inadvertent leg maneuver, thus exposing his very manly jersey blue boxer-briefs, much to all attendees' delight.

"Rip the whole leg off," Davies suggested, his eyes laughing.
Burrough smirked and shook his head.
"Wait until you're outside!" someone shouted, and the crowd erupted in laughter.

I caught up with Davies after the set. He promised one thing: that it won't take another four years for the band to hit up Canada again. In fact, he said, plans are in the works to come back before this year's end.

I'll be keeping my eyes peeled.

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