Dine Alone Records‘ nationwide tour came to a blistering end at Toronto’s Lee’s Palace this past weekend, with punk powerhouses The Dirty Nil and The Flatliners both delivering a pounding to the venue.
The Dirty Nil have already conquered arenas across the country this year opening for Billy Talent, and have brought that experience to the small stage. Luke Bentham and Ross Miller have stage presence in spades as drummer Kyle Fisher bashes away in the centre. The Juno Award winning Hamilton crew and their 90s college punk sound are extremely animated, especially Miller and his wild Hunter S. Thompson-esque outfit.
The sly sense of humour extends to their music, as the band takes on modern relationships and romance with a sardonic approach. “This song is called ‘Friends in the Sky’,” Bentham said while he put on his clear guitar, “but it’s for you guys, my friends on the ground”. Other catchy but heavy offerings like “Zombie Eyed” and “No Weaknesses” followed.
The Flatliners are in their fifteenth year of rocking out and show no signs of slowing down. The ferocious crew and their million-mile-an-hour songs created one of the most lively mosh pits this city has seen in a while, with crowd surfers and stage divers popping up throughout the course of the night. Having just released their brand new album Inviting Light, the GTA act had plenty of fresh tunes for the wild crowd. Kicking off the set with “Mammals”, the band burned through new material like “Hang my Head” and “Nicotine Lips”, but of course threw in fan favorites like “Resuscitation of the Year” and the hit single “Eulogy”.
Frontman Chris Cresswell was in extraordinarily high spirits despite being on the tail end of an exhausting tour, buoyed by the energy of the audience. “Jewel once asked: ‘Who will save your soul?’. The answer is rock n’ roll will save your soul,” he quipped before launching into another sonic salvo. Judging by the intensity of the crowd, he was preaching to a room of devout believers. It was a triumphant end to the tour; a blast of real punk attitude that made a lot of people’s weekend one they’ll never forget.