The Gig: Stomp Records 18th Anniversary Party featuringThe Planet Smashers & Creepshow
Where: The Opera House, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
When: 15 February 2013
In One Word: Schwiiiiiing
It’s a mixed crowd of fresh-faced, under age punks with straight edge X’s drawn onto their hands by bouncers- and 20 somethings armed with time machines, set for the recent past. The only veterans in the house tonight are the bands themselves. The Planet Smashers put out the first non-compilation album on the label in 1995- and their fun first blend of ska punk has continued to draw new fans to their high energy sets.
Rude City Riot does a good job of getting the skank pit going, but when The Creepshow’s new lead singer hops on stage to start setting up – my heart stops, and “Dreamweaver” starts playing in head. I’m not the only to compare the caterwauling bleach blonde to the hard rocking babe that Tia Carrera plays in Wayne’s World. There are a couple of dudes behind me who’ve just come to the same conclusion.
Kenda “Twisted” Legaspi is the third woman to front the horror movie inspired psychobilly band. She replaced Sarah Blackwood after Walk Off The Earth’s “5 peeps, 1 guitar” cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” went viral, catapulting the band to fame and a contract with Columbia. (Sarah Blackwood took over the role for her sister Jen after her pregnancy). We decide we really like Twisted, and not just because she’s a total bombshell. The girl can wail, and she adds an edge to the band. That is at least, until she’s scared out of the mosh pit by the antics of some of her underage fans.
Finally the crowd gets what they’ve been waiting for, and The Planet Smashers take the stage like returning heroes. They play through a set that includes songs they’ve never performed live before, as well as all their standards. The skank circle/mosh pit ebbs and flows throughout the performance, hitting its apex for “Sk8 Or Die!”. During “Surfing in Tofino”, Matt Collyer has the crowd sit down and wait for his word to freak out. And of course, the night ends with the signature Planet Smashers song “Super Orgy Porno Party”.
Although I didn’t know about the Smashers in my small town Ontario punk days, many of the bands that passed through our shit town would have been on Stomp Records. (I’m dating myself, but the Flatliners and The Johnstones were the favourites that always brought us out). These shows were small operations, running more on love of the music than the love of money. It’s joyous to see 18 years later there’s still a scene that’s attracting fresh faces. Happy birthday. Long live DIY.
© Natascha Malta, Music Vice
Share and discuss using the links below. Follow Music Vice on Twitter at @MusicVice. Long Live Indie.