Words by: Adam R. Harrison
Photography by: Adam R. Harrison
Wallet chains, black hoodies and guyliner were back in style for an evening of late 90s flashback industrial metal music with Filter and Orgy as they brought their Make America Hate Again Tour to Toronto’s Opera House. Aside from the frontmen, both bands sported brand new lineups and presented a catalogue of new material as well as some classic favourites.
Orgy opened their set with “Talk Sick” a groovy, dark and heavy tune with plenty of bass rhythm from their latest EP of the same name. Long time frontman, Jay Gordon’s vocals were difficult to hear at times, but his presence was felt from the get-go. An energy that was then emitted to his bandmates, who were also decked out in black gothic gear and face paint. The vibrant 45-minute set came to a close with the band’s acclaimed cover of New Order’s “Blue Monday.” Gordon quickly took to the floor to sing “How does it feel, to treat me like you do” with his fans and admirers.
Filter opened their 100-minute set with a track of their new album Crazy Eyes entitled “The City of Blinding Riots,” but for the audience it was more like the theatre of blinding dry ice. The quintessential industrial frontman, Richard Patrick, who has aged considerably since the memorable music video for “Take A Picture,” lingered behind a white sheet, his shadow casting alongside some rebellious military footage.
The band went on to play a slew of heavily political songs from Crazy Eyes, including highlights like “Your Bullets” and “Pride Flag,” with a few greatest hits mixed in. Before the opening riff to “Take A Picture,” Patrick shared the story of his father’s passing in 2015 and how the song’s meaning has changed since he first wrote it. The audience sang along with Patrick as he emotionally took himself through the verses and into the unforgettable line, “Hey Dad, what do you think about your son now?” The main set closed with Filter’s debut single “Hey Man, Nice Shot” which is also the first song Patrick wrote after departing Nine Inch Nails. Mid-song Patrick pulled his cellphone from his pocket to make a video of his fans singing along with him.
The band returned to the stage to the sound of the venue’s smoke alarm going off from the mass amounts of dry ice that had flooded the theatre’s atmosphere. But the show must go on, so Filter just played over the noise until it stopped. After the first encore song, the band had already broke curfew and were being waved off by crew but Patrick encouraged his bandmates to finish their final two songs anyways making one final exclamation, “I never turn my back on my fans.”