So, last night I went and saw Bad Religion at Kool Haus in Toronto. Probably not for everyone, but they're one of my favourite bands, and this post will explain why they will always remain so.
I've been to lots of shows in Toronto, and a couple at Kool Haus specifically, and so I know how Toronto works. I fully expected to pay, and not in small amounts. I decided I had to go to this show before I knew how much it was.
Ticket for show - $40.
Well, that's not too bad, actually. 3 bands, 2 of which are near legends in their genre (Bad Religion is celebrating their 30th year, and Bouncing Souls have been around about 20), at a really decent venue, in Toronto. I saw Less Than Jake and Goldfinger there (with 2 openers) for something like $65.
So, I drive to Toronto, and park at the venue. I parked at the venue. Possibly a mistake.
Parking - $20.
I'm pretty sure I could have saved $5-10 by parking a bit farther away, but I fully intended to be exhausted by the end of the show and knew I wouldn't want to walk 10 blocks to my car. I was right, so I don't really regret it. Still, though...$20?
First band of the night, Off With Their Heads. Hadn't heard them before, but they were decent, not amazing, but decent. Especially considering their drummer couldn't get across the border and the guy they had filling in had never played with them before.
Between sets, I decide to grab some water.
Bottled water - $4.
Yeah. About what I expected. This is a big venue in Toronto. I'm sure the snooty industry types found it to actually be quite reasonable.
I also took this chance to check out the merch booths. I walked away with a Bad Religion - 30 Year Anniversary t-shirt, printed both sides, 2 colours, really decent quality.
Bad Religion t-shirt - $15.
Fuck. Yes. A band of that size that still gets how to not fuck over their fans with merch prices. I don't remember exactly, but I'm pretty sure even the zippered hoodies were $40 or less.
Bouncing Souls got up to play, and put on an excellent show. And then Bad Religion took the stage.
Holy shit was that an amazing set. 27 songs (including 3 song encore) spanning all 30 years of their career, and they still seem like really down to earth guys that fucking love what they're doing and love the fans for being there. Admittedly, their 27 song set was under 2 hours long, but this is punk rock we're talking about
Set highlights included throwing in some Rush riffs into the middle of "Generator", and "American Jesus" being turned into "Canadian Jesus".
By the end of the night, the $40 ticket price seemed way more than reasonable.
Thank you, Bad Religion, for sticking true to what you stand for, delivering a great set of great tunes and overall a great time. The crowd responded by being one of the best pit experiences I've had in years. Great energy, overall positive, and no pit egos getting in the way with people picking fights. And no hardcore dancing. Thank. Fucking. God.
Also, I was pressed up against a very attractive girl who was dancing and singing every word. That didn't hurt either
Some videos (not taken by me, I was right up front in front of the bassist):
Sounds like a great show! I definitely need to catch Bad Religion next time they come to Glasgow. I haven't really liked anything I've heard after Empire Strikes First though