by Zak Johnson
March 19, 2017
VANCOUVER – Fucked Up is a band of many faces. Initially, the band presented itself as a hardcore punk group through and through with their first LP, Hidden World, which was released in 2006. Only two years later, the band received popular acclaim with the album The Chemistry of Common Life, where the band took a step away from their pure bred hardcore punk towards a more alternative rock direction. The album received tremendous praise, but Fucked Up changed their style forever.
Eleven years after the release of Hidden World, the band announced they would complete a west coast tour featuring an entire run-through of the Hidden World album at every show. For many Fucked Up fans, this was a dream come true. Fucked Up had not played a show that exclusively exhibited their earlier style of hardcore punk in a decade.
The band Chastity from Whitby, Ontario, opened for Fucked Up. The band featured a slower melodic hardcore style that was tight and catchy. Despite the band’s talented instrumentals, Chastity had a difficult time getting a rise out of the crowd (likely due to sound difficulties on the part of the Cobalt).
After a short intermission, Fucked Up took the stage. Most of the band sported long-sleeve tees and jeans, looking like average and decent members of society. The band all looked normal, all except the phenomenally outrageous frontman, Damian Abraham. Abraham, with a personality as large as life, waltzed on stage as he waved cheerfully at the crowd. Abraham then took a water bottle and dumped most of it in his mouth during the instrumental introduction to Hidden World’s first song, “Crusades”, before he began belting out lyrics amid drinks being thrown across the crowd and adolescents stage diving. The night felt like 2007 all over again.
The entire show was an exciting experience. As promised, the band played Hidden World from front to back, all with an incredible energy that invigorated fans of all generations. The band members played every single song with the energy one would expect from an encore, putting everything they had into every chord and drum kick from “Carried Out to Sea” to “Manqueller Man”. This show was Fucked Up going back to its roots, and proved to be arguably the best hardcore punk show of 2017 thus far.Fucked Up, The Cobalt, Vancouver