Billy Talent are riding a punk rock wave of success this week as they kick off their 19-date Canadian tour in Victoria. Supporting their new album Billy Talent III, the band has just received four Juno nominations, among them album and song of the year. Delivering high-octane intensity from their first song to their last, Billy Talent exploded onto the stage and satisfied their following of devoted fans. Front man Ben Kowalewicz provided his trademark hyperactive and intense performance backed by guitarist Ian D’Sa, bassist Jon Gallant and drummer Aaron Solowoniuk.
After recently performing at the 2010 Olympic Victory Ceremony, Canadian patriotism was still thick in the air. Kowalewicz donned a Sidney Crosby t-shirt and stated, “Let them have football,” he said, “Hockey is f—ing ours.”
Revealing a softer side to the face of Billy Talent, Kowalewicz also talked about his personal connection with Vancouver Island. He mentioned that his Dad lives here and his eighty one year old grandmother from Parksville was in the crowd at her first Billy Talent concert.
Kowalewicz was gracious as he thanked his support acts on this tour. Alexisonfire along with Against Me and Cancer Bats rounded out the quartet of punk rockers and provided the crowd with almost four hours of heavy, loud rock. While Cancer Bats and Against Me set the tone for the evening, the much anticipated Alexisonfire pleased the audience with its mix of heavy and sweet songs. With three front men instead of one, singers Dallas Green and Wade MacNeil and George Pettit covered all the bases and set the stage for their comrades and headliners.
Billy Talent provided hit after hit, Rusted from the Rain, Try Honesty, Devil on My Shoulder, Fallen Leaves, and Red Flag, and this makes one realize, these punk rock kids aren’t really kids anymore. They have been doing this now for fifteen years and at times it shows. One of the hardest working bands in punk rawk, Billy Talent showed its true colours, and is set to let Canada know all about it.
Billy Talent with Alexis on Fire, Against Me & Cancer Bats
Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre
March 3rd, 2010
By Lillie Louise