Dance Laury Dance, Cancer Bats & Bat Sabbath @ Mavericks

Cancer Bats Poster

The “Double Header Bat Madness” tour, they said. See a great show, they said. I boomed back from Toronto the day of their Ottawa show but of course I could have seen them at Lee’s Palace on Friday. I was staying nearby and it was apparently the climax of their month-long Canadian tour. It’s okay, I was content to be with my brothers. And oh boy, I was actually black out drunk for the end of it. The horror was as wonderful as it sounds, a crazed three-band show at our beloved Mavericks, filled to the tits with folks wanting to celebrate Cancer Bats¬†in all their glory¬†under the full moon.

Dance Laury Dance¬†opened just after 8 ¬†and woke the room thoroughly up. This quintet from Qu√©bec City was pulling the hair out of their heads and shrieking at the top of their lungs. They’ve been playing for a long time now but very rarely come to Ottawa. We were blessed with their finger-wiggling madness. Cancer Bats frontman Liam Cormier came out and raged out the last song of their set, a track that’ll be featured on their next album¬†Hellelujah,¬†coming out this winter. “Hells Rock’ N’ Rollers” was my favourite track just because of “We’re coming to your town, we’re gonna burn it down!”

The¬†J√§gerettes were handing out swag to any schmuck with hands and of course there was J√§ger in large amounts. It was a sticky mess but not sticky enough because the mosh pit was slick underfoot. Most pits I’ve encountered you can spot coming, like a hurricane forming on the radar. Unsuspecting slobs in front of the stage were dazzled by the first scream-o tune of Cancer Bats’s set and swiftly thrown head over heels when the mosh erupted without warning. It was a good one, it hurt.

Their recent album¬†Dead Set on Living was the focus of the tour and there was a large amount of energy put into perspiration. No body was dry at the end of that show, and I’d like to mention that it was pissing rain outside and even the pipes on the ceiling ventilation were sweating. Cancer Bats make music that could melt copper wiring, that thoroughly thrashes ear drums. On top of the frayed nerve endings & burnt metal I also smelled madness: schizophrenia! The Toronto foursome ran through the proverbial revolving door to put on their costumes and came out dressed as¬†Bat Sabbath, essentially a¬†Black Sabbath¬†cover with a cancerous twist. From what I remember it was raucous. Liam kinda looks like a young Ozzy, when you think about it.

As far as a cover band goes, it was tastefully done. Well, as tastefully as the guys were willing to be. But basically they played good songs, old songs, channeled the band’s zeal without making fun of them, and finished their fall tour with a solid bang. Between the two alter egos, the first was my favourite. Anyone who performs in my city and mentions Bridgehead is obviously after my vote. So I vote for the Mother Fucking Cancer Bats.