Viet Cong w/ Crosss @ The Garrison 1/31/2015

It seems like not long ago that I first saw Viet Cong at Izakaya Sushi House and at the crowded Smiling Buddah during NXNE. Each time, the crowd grew larger and larger and last night they played a sold out show at The Garrison when they could’ve easily maxed out Lee’s Palace. They had grown by buzz so fast that I heard high school friends of theirs that they hadn’t spoken to in 15 years messaged them asking for a spot on the guestlist that had already been full for weeks.

Crosss opened up the loud night with their dirty psych-grunge rock. I thought the placement of the lead singer was a little bit awkward with his side facing the audience. Their loud shredding captured my attention at first but their calm demeanour and strange positioning left me disengaged by the end of their set.

Friends from bands Viet Cong had shared bills with in Toronto were visibly seen in the audience: Greys, Mexican Slang, Ketamines among others. Their LP sold out at the merch table way before their set had even started. There’s good reason. Their self-titled album is fuckin’ addictive and well on the way to topping album of the year lists.

The majority of the set focused on the recently released self-titled LP but selections from Cassette made it on the bill as well. Favourites like “Bunker Buster” and single “Continental Shelf” brought on headbanging and dancing. It was a rather polite pit but everybody could be seen in their own way as moved by the band’s post-punk music. The highlight of their set was the intense “Death” that closed their set. The intensity was so high that it was announced drummer Mike Wallace had broken the bass drum pedal. If for some reason there was someone in the audience who wasn’t a Viet Cong fan already, they were definitely hypnotized into being so after “Death”. One thing for certain is that this will be the last time we’ll see the band on a stage this small.

Check out Viet Cong’s video for “Silhouettes” below.