Montreal boys, Priestess, rolled into town on December 3rd for the last Canadian-date on their Prior to the Fire tour. The guys were promoting their new album, Prior to the Fire, which was released just this past October. They will continue on with their tour though the US where they’ll give the Americans a taste of what’s to come when their album is released in the States in February 2010. Fellow acts Trigger Effect and Early Man performed after an impressive performance by Vancouver’s own Black Betty.
Frontman and lead guitarist, Mikey Heppner, belted out intense melodies, like the new single "Sideways Attack". It was followed smoothly by their 2006 hit, "Lay Down" plus many other songs off their new album and off their old one, "Hello Master". This band kept a dominant momentum going throughout the whole entire show. They demonstrated how well they fused barreling metal beats with progressive rock styling- which was nice, hard, and obviously- LOUD. It’s probably reminiscent of the time when they were told by the police to shut up or ship out for playing too loud while recording in a Beverly Hills home-cum- recording studio for their new album. The sound in the Commodore was technically weak at times, though. And it wasn’t the band’s fault. It was whoever worked the soundboard. Heavy bass is all great and good but if you can’t clearly hear the sweet riffs that Priestess is known to deliver, what’s the point?
They took you on an almost psychedelic journey with a projection screen as the main source of lighting for their entire show. Mainly abstract images blazed across the stage, and across the band as well, in almost near sync with the music. No other strong lighting was used which provided for an interesting albeit dark effect. You almost got a more intimate feel and didn’t feel so lost in the capacious venue that is the Commodore. Again, interesting to say the least. I know that I would’ve found this show challenging to photograph.
But in the end, maybe it’s more about the music and less about flashy lights and an image? Touché, Priestess. Touché. You were top-notch.
December 3, 2009
Review by Mhelanni Gorre
Photo by Mike White