Boys Night Out lead singer Connor Lovat-Fraser looking pretty in pink at Babylon Nightclub in Ottawa in 2003. Photo by Junked Camera
Last week I recalled the tale of how epic Alexisonfire were on a fateful day in 2003. Today I will tell you of how Boys Night Out, a little-known screamo band from Burlington, Ontario, helped me feel more confident and reinforced many of my punk rock ideals that same night.
Boys Night Out played before Alexisonfire, and they were not as heavy but were a great blend of pop-punk and screamo. The band was just about to release their debut album, Make Yourself Sick, and played a lot of new music which was exciting, as well as some tunes from their earlier EPs. For anyone who was not really aware, lead singer Connor Lovat-Fraser, transformed his dark and murderous short stories into lyrics or concept EPs (like concept albums but shorter). So while the new material was very much of the emo and screamo variety, the older stuff was the inner working of the mind of a serial killer he had created, very cool stuff. But I digress…
What I remember most of Boys Night Out’s performance has nothing to do with their music. The music was great, but what struck a chord was when an ignorant showgoer called out the lead singer for wearing a pink shirt. The snarky sarcastic remark as the band took the stage, “Hey, nice pink shirt man,” was met with, “Damn right it’s a nice shirt, and I wear it proudly because real men can wear pink.” This really hit home for my 16-year-old self. It reinforced the idea that there are no gender limits to colours, to be comfortable with who you are and that I should think and dress how I want. I had been dealing with being bullied for my appearance quite a bit in high school, like many others, so this was very powerful to hear. If he can come into a room filled with no one he knows, and most not even there to see him, and have such confidence and be so comfortable, anyone could.
This was one of the most punk rock things I had heard from a lead singer on stage, and it happened at a screamo show. Check out a few videos below of the great early workings of this now defunct band.