Worst Days Down would initiate the performances for the evening and did so in true punk fashion; loud and proud. With wailing guitars from lead guitarist, Kevin Klemp and bassist Matt Murphy and the pounding drums from drummer Jerome Tovillo, along with the roaring voice of front man Ben Sir, the group injected Fernando’s Pub with a dose of intensity and urgency right from the get-go of their set.
The fast paced melody and catchy tone of the Worst Days Down songs captivated their audience and were wildly entertaining to watch being performed as the band mates utilised every inch of the tight stage while playing. The group does well to contrast an upbeat tempo while containing lyrics in their songs that are more sentimental, and heartfelt. Sir had announced that he had been dealing with a case of laryngitis but did well to manage it, not allowing it to effect his vocal performance to a noticeable degree. The on-stage chemistry of Worst Days Down is unmissable as each member provides key components that make their live act memorable.
A quick line-up change was made and Audio/Rocketry took to the stage. Tovillo and Murphy would be pulling double duty as active members of both Worst Days Down and Audio/Rocketry, which made the on stage transition quick. After a brief introduction from vocalist Joe Vickers the group fired –up, capturing the attention of everyone in the venue, resulting in a crowd accumulating around the front of the stage that built larger and consistently throughout the band’s performance. Audio/Rocketry’s set list consisted highly of newer songs off of their most recent self-titled effort, including “Somewhere In Between,” “Fault Line,” and “Sisters” which seemed to resonate well with old and new listeners.
However it seemed that there were some long-time and hometown fans from Edmonton in attendance, to which Audio/Rocketry treated them to some of their older material like, “Boundless Rocketeers,” “Hey Dynasty, Don’t Forget,” and “Hallelujah Halifax.” The energy Audio/Rocketry is known for producing at live performances was not in short supply as Vickers, and guitarist Blair Drover hopped around the stage, while the crowd in front of them danced along to each song they played.
To finish out the night was hometown band, String Theory. Once on stage and with no introduction, the group dove into “Joker and The Thief,” by Wolfmother. The vocal range from Kassidy Rritzuk impressed many as the group performed a massively diverse set list of covers. From “Respect” by Tina Turner, to Buckcherry’s “Crazy Bitch”, String Theory had the majority of Fernando’s Pub on their feet and moving. The local crowd who was familiar with the group not only danced, but sang along to the covers and the few original songs String Theory performed. After what was a lengthy set-list and a couple of small encores demanded by the crowd. Last call was announced, and people shuffled out of the venue.
It was a great introduction from the two Edmonton bands to Kelowna as for many in attendance, it would be their first time seeing both Worst Days Down, and Audio/Rocketry. Given the chance, I’m sure it won’t be their last time either. For a first impression, the groups left a lasting impression on the patrons of Fernando’s Pub, who would have the band’s songs resonating in their head for days to come. If you have a chance to catch the bands on their Western Canadian Album Release Tour, be sure to go see their shows because the tour wraps up quickly, the final date in Edmonton on March 4th.