Canadian punk band Propagandhi have been rocking since the early 90’s. With 2001’s ‘Today’s Empires, Tomorrow’s Ashes,’ the band departed from their former skate-punk identity to make music focused on real world issues. Fusing their sociopolitical commentary with a melodic hardcore and progressive thrash-metal sound, made their music more relevant than ever. Now with the release of their new record ‘Victory Lap,’ Propagandhi have started their tour with a performance last Tuesday, October 10th at the London Music Hall in London, Ontario.
The atmosphere within the hall felt somber at first; a chilly Tuesday night may have had something to do with that. This changed once the evening’s festivities were kicked off with G.a.s. Drummers followed by Iron Chic. The supporting cast gave life to the crowd, most notably Iron Chic who performed a set list featuring songs from their 2013 album ‘The Constant One.’
But the fans were ready for what they came for. The lights dimmed and an epic war themed soundtrack had begun to echo throughout the hall. As the tension rose, vocalist/guitarist Chris Hannah entered, followed by bassist Todd Kowalski, drummer Jord Samolesky, and guitarist Sulynn Hago. The crowd roared with overwhelming praise as they pushed closer to the front stage.
What followed next was nothing but raw energy as Hannah belted ‘Victory Lap’ while Kowalski pumped his fist in the air like a crazed man. It was only fitting to begin the set list with the titled track from their new album, since Hannah ensured the audience it “kick’s ass.” The sheer intensity from Hannah and Kowalski shredding on their guitars, and Samolesky drumming like he’s possessed, was paused to introduce new comer Hago (who replaced David Guillas last year). Hago held her own, bringing tons of ferocity as she whaled on her guitar with precision.
Songs like ‘Dear Coach’s Corner’ had the crowd pushing, shoving, and jumping non-stop like an energizer bunny. But when Hannah reminded everyone they know how to party, anarchy ensued. With the amps cranked to eleven, 2001’s ‘Back to the Motor League’ turned the hall into a madhouse filled with punks moshing, fist pumping, and head-banging as if the world was going to end. It was a triumphant moment that made for one memorable night.
Once Propagandhi ended their set list, the audience howled “PROP-A-GAND-HI” calling the band back to the stage. Kowalski re-entered as he fist pumped in sequence with the chanting crowd. The band picked up their instruments and ended with an encore performance of ‘Night Letters’ followed by ‘Anti-Manifesto’ from their classic 1993 album ‘How to Clean Everything.’ They finished the night off with one last stellar performance and thanked their fans for attending a concert on a Tuesday night. Propagandhi came to London and without a doubt, they did not disappoint.