Words/Photography by: Jeanette LeBlanc
On December 4th, 5th & 6th Protest The Hero’s Kezia X Tour took over Toronto’s Opera House (Friday & Saturday) as well at the MOD Club (Sunday), for three incredible sold-out shows. We were lucky enough to hit up the first of the three, getting the brunt of the Kezia 10th Anniversary storm.
The first of the two bands to hit the stage were Guelph locals Mandroid Echostar. With a very small amount of room on their stage set-up, these guys managed to make the most of their space and time on that stage.
Mandroid’s technical and heavy-hitting sound made them a perfect fit for this tour. At one point vocalist Michael Ciccia joked about how awesome this tour was for them, saying how all they have to do is show up and ride Protest The Hero’s tailwind during this mostly sold-out and insane tour.
Of course, that was partially true as PTH definitely know how to rake in a crowd, but it was also evident that a lot of the fans were stoked to catch Mandroid Echostar as they sang along throughout their set. People also cheered at the talks of the band releasing a new album this January.
After the energy continued to grow and the venue felt like it could not squeeze one more body into the place, the time came for Whitby locals/ Hometown Heroes Protest The Hero to take over, and with their original line-up behind them. That’s right, Moe and Arif were back!
With it being the 10th Anniversary since the release of Kezia (an album that the band created as high school kids), everyone was ready to hear the release in it’s entirety, and judging by the opening track “No Stars Over Bethlehem” it was going to be in the recorded order.
Anyone who has ever listened to Kezia knows that it is just banger after banger. Now, anyone who wants to know how that translates into a live set, you will now be informed that it is something you won’t come across very often. The passion and goosebumps filled the hearts and skin of all in attendance, like a dessert storm.
Having been to a lot of shows in the past (like a lot), I witnessed the crowd move in unison like no other. Watching the bodies on the floor jump and stick together was like watching a colony of ants move up and down a series of abrupt bumps in the road. It was nonhuman-like.
There was never a point in the evening where people weren’t singing along together, especially when there came a point for gang vocals in songs like “Blindfolds Aside” and “Turn Soonest to the Sea”. These ones in particular brought “all the feels”.
This show truly felt unique. It didn’t have your normal vibe of everyone getting together to drink beers and cheer at the stage. This crowd came with a mission to make Kezia their bitch, and they did just that. The coolest part about it? The whole thing, including the other two Toronto dates will be captured on their upcoming live DVD.
The entire night was filmed, and the lighting and sound were top notch to back it up. At one point, vocalist Rody Walker made a joke about the filming of their set, saying that they had to wear the same outfits for the next three nights to make it seem like it’s all one show.
All in all, Toronto gave Kezia the love and recognition that it deserved. This album has truly made it’s mark in this city, and our younger years when we grew up listening to it on repeat. No matter the situations our lives are in now- everyone was able to rock out that night and be brought back to the times when Kezia was born and our lives were a lot simpler.