Gallows: Winnipeg, Canada – live review

Barn Burner
November 16th, 2012
The Pyramid Cabaret

Gallows took a leap across the pond on their latest tour where they once again had a Louder Than War writer in attendance. Here Chris Hearn gives his account of a Gallows show on Canadian soil.

Ya, ya, I know, there was already a Gallows live review from a show in Glasgow from Jules Boyle, a writer far more familiar with the band than I am. But, now that they are over on this side of the ocean and they happen to be in Winnipeg, you will now get my version of events of the same band on a different night on a different continent.

First off though, I must start with the opening bands (which is a good place to start, no?). I don’t really know how many bands played over the night to be honest. I got there at about 11 pm and a local band called The Blackout Brigade was on stage. I had never heard of these guys but I thought for sure they must have been brought over with Gallows as they seemed so very….British. Very Oi oriented, street punk stuff. I wish I had seen more of their set because they were good. But that’s not too surprising anymore. I have come to learn that there is a ton of talent in this city which is one reason that I quite like living in Winnipeg. Anyway, next time I hear that they are playing, I’m checking them out for sure.

Next up: Metal Blade record’s Barn Burner from the great city of Montreal. Holy geez, that was like a kick in the frickin’ head man. Like a bolt of lightning, they shot off from the very start with heavy, riff filled, machine gunning, hard molten metal madness. They combined pretty much every aspect of hard rock and metal into their sound: AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, black metal, metal, hard rock, rock, stoner rock. They just took a whole bunch of rocks and smashed them together to make shaggy haired, jeans and black t-shirted Barn Burner. Pow. Bam. Whammo! Killer set!


Surprisingly, when Gallows got up and started playing they sounded pretty quiet after the whole Barn Burner deal, let me tell you. Now, as has been mentioned many, many times, former lead vocalist Frank Carter is out, Wade MacNeil of Alexisonfire from Canada is in. Now, I don’t mean to bemoan the issue, but I must say I wish I’d seen Gallows when Carter was the front man. Heavily bearded MacNeil is good, I don’t want to take away from what he brings to the band, but Carter had such a unique sound and this wiry, tough look that helped the band stand out above many of their contemporaries. I know Gallows probably doesn’t want to hear crap like this though. I believe they’ve found a good replacement in their new guy, although he has more of a “traditional” hardcore voice than Carter’s, which doesn’t make them stand out quite as much as they once did.

Gallows: Winnipeg, Canada – live review

With that said however, he has still done a more than decent job of stepping in and making his mark in there. The guy has a ton of confidence, performed perfectly, had a good report with the crowd and fit in seamlessly with his British band of not so merry men. Their new stuff sounds considerably heavier, faster and angrier than their old stuff, and they do heavy, fast and angry well. Wade is sufficiently pissed off enough for the often quite pissed off lyrics of Gallows. Meanwhile, his whispery “Cheers” after tearing his vocal chords out during a song smacked of a land far, far away , with a Queen that still owns us Canadians and can crush us anytime she wants.

Now, I must apologize. For some reason people in this city just aren’t putting up enough live concert footage shot on iPhones and other smart gadgets onto YouTube, and I’m just too lazy to do it. I am forced, therefore, to offer up a live video of them in Hamilton just a few nights before I saw them. Pretty much what you see here is exactly what I saw in Winnipeg.


Gallows put on a pretty much straightforward, hard, heavy, fast set that blew by and ended abruptly at 1am with no encore. There didn’t need to be an encore. They made their statement. There was no need to carry on any further. So, regardless of my thoughts over the missing Frank Carter, Gallows can indeed put on an impressive display without him. And it was a display that I enjoyed immensely although I unfortunately have to admit that I am getting way too old for these late nights. Earlier shows please Winnipeg! And do come back anytime, Gallows!

All words by Chris Hearn, more writing by Chris on Louder Than War can be found here.

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Deep in the heart of Canada, on the north shore of frigid Lake Superior, is a town called Thunder Bay. That\'s where I am from. That\'s where I started to write. And that is where I started to discover music. Now, I\'m a married man with two boys. I still love music. I still go to shows. And I still visit Thunder Bay, even though I haven\'t lived there for many years. What will you find on my iPod? You\'ll find lot of Americana, classic country, heavy stuff, punk and plenty of “guilty pleasures”.


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