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LIVE! Comeback Kid & No Warning at Biltmore Cabaret

photo by Selena LaBelle

My face was high-fived by the scuffed Converse All Star attached to a crowd surfing man with a beard. The shoe lurched at my face unexpectedly like a horror movie jump scare, a metaphorical Voorhees blade that thankfully didn’t strike a gash through my forehead. When it came to lack of bloodshed, I was one of the lucky ones.

The announcement of Comeback Kid and No Warning was an excitable surprise for the Canadian hardcore scene. Collectively, the pairing had dominated the West and East Coasts of the country in the early 2000s.

photo by Selena LaBelle

No Warning was the first to take the stage, mostly showcasing newer material, more particularly songs from their last album, 2017s Torture Culture. This was the band’s first foray into Vancouver in probably around a decade, and their energy was ecstatic. A circle pit emerged under direction of frontman Ben Cook, and slam dancers soon began flailing about. Crowd surfers made their way to the stage, only to dive back off. At one point, the singer noticed a projector screen rolled up above the stage, ripping it down, playfully shielding the band form the erratic crowd, almost as if to compliment the audience on their crazy panache.

Building on No Warning’s vibes, as soon as Comeback Kid hit the stage, the Biltmore became a complete warzone. The number of crowd surfers and stage divers doubled, and the velocity in which they were catapulting themselves back into the pit was borderline dangerous. Punk shows at the Biltmore are very anything goes, and this was no acception.

There was a particular point where the mosh pit felt more like a hurricane, and my body, along with many others, got toppled onto the stage. I was lifted up from a friendly long-haired man who was bleeding from his left eye. I don’t think he had any idea. When I tried to tell him, he either didn’t hear me, or didn’t care, he was in his own world.

photo by Selena LaBelle

Comeback Kid played songs that spanned their career, including some tracks from their new album, Outsider, such as “Surrender Control,” and the melodic “Somewhere Somehow.” The band closed their set with their classic “Wake the Dead.”

Overall, it was a wild night. I woke up the next morning with a sore neck, stiff legs, and a giant bruise on my left chest muscle. I also seem to have a few scratches… pretty much everywhere. This was the type of show that’s meant to allow audiences the chance to let loose at their most extreme. And let loose we did.

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