Words by: Alison Seroude
Photography by: Dakota King
This past Wednesday night, Stray From The Path’s ‘Subliminal Criminals Tour’ came to Toronto’s own Tattoo Queen West. Stray From The Path brought along some Toronto favorites to open the show with Deez Nuts, Major League, Being As An Ocean, and Comeback Kid setting the fans up with just a taste of what the headliner had in store, in a very intimate and personal setting.
First to the stage was Australia’s own Deez Nuts, fronted by former I Killed The Prom Queen vocalist, J.J. Peters. The venue was still letting fans in once Deez Nuts took the stage, and regardless of the small crowd, people still enjoyed and sang along to their short-lived 30-minute set.
Following Deez Nuts was New Jersey’s Major League. While every band on this tour is classified as some form of metal, Major League stuck out like a sore thumb (but in a good way!). The bands frontman, Brian Joyce, even took a minute between songs to comment on how they don’t necessarily sound like the other bands and the hate they received in online comments about how they shouldn’t be on this tour. Joyce had a few select words for those fans, but didn’t let that stop him and the rest of the band from putting on a good show and enjoying themselves. There were only a few true Major League fans that night, but after their great sounding live performance, it’s certain they’ve bagged a few more fans.
When California heavy-hitters, Being As An Ocean, took to the stage, you knew in that moment exactly how the rest of the show was going to be played out. Opening their set with ‘Little Richie’, Being As An Ocean were the show stealers of the night. Their frontman, Joel Quartuccio, spent the entire performance off stage and in the pit. In fact, the only time he was ever on stage was when he used the side bar as his own personal platform before stage diving into the mic-chord-entangled crowd. The whole venue during Being As An Ocean’s set became Quartuccio’s and the crowds, with Quartuccio even joining fans on the balcony and getting them involved. Being As An Ocean put on such a high energy show, that even the biggest hater would have to reconsider, and it’s no wonder why they play so many shows in Toronto and why the city loves them so much.
Following that performance was Comeback Kid. While they put on a perfect show musically and the crowd was into their set, their overall performance appeared lackluster. When following a performance where the frontman was very involved, and performing before a band the entire crowd is there to see, you need to do something to make your set memorable. That’s not to say that Comeback Kid don’t put on a show, they definitely try to, they were simply not placed in the best position on the set. While the crowd was into them and could sing along and knew the band, it was sadly a performance that was out-shined, and could’ve stood out if they had played before Being As An Ocean.
After hours of waiting for the band everyone was there to see, Stray From The Path finally took to the stage and opened up with none other than ‘Outbreak’. Once the first note played the crowd went wild. Everyone had become part of the mosh pit as they were encouraged by Drew York. York continued to keep the energy up and to get the crowd aggressive by talking to the fans shortly between songs about how the world needs to change.
Any Stray From The Path fan knows just how passionate this band is about equality and justice because they make it so clear in their lyrics, but that doesn’t stop York from using that as a platform to continue to shine light on social issues and getting the listeners to become enraged about such injustices. After shining the light on sexual harassment and misogyny, along with a nice f— you to bands like Front Porch Step, York led it into none other than ‘D.I.E.P.I.G.’.
After York’s little rant, the crowd did not let up from that song on until the end of Stray From The Path’s set. Every new song they would get into, the mosh pit would grow larger and larger as more and more fans wanted to throw down and get up on stage with Drew York to sing along to their favourite songs. After playing songs like ‘Scissor Hands’, ‘Black Friday’, and ‘First World Problem Child’, the crowd as hyped up as they could be and it didn’t seem like they were going to do anything else but get rowdier. Unfortunately, the show did have to end, and Stray From The Path closed with ‘Badge & A Bullet’, which many assumed the wouldn’t play after playing ‘Badge & A Bullet Part II’. Everyone in the crowd, along with the band, gave it their all for that last performance and made the song memorable for the crowd, to help tide them over until the next time Stray From The Path return to Toronto.
Stray From The Path’s Setlist:
Negative and Violent
Badge & a Bullet Part II
First World Problem Child
Badge & a Bullet