May 4 at The Palomino (Calgary)
By Keeghan Rouleau
CALGARY – A highly anticipated performance, Preoccupations spring show did not disappoint the capacity crowd at The Palomino Smokehouse and Social Club on a warm Friday night, nor did their openers, Freak Heat Waves. The four shaggy kids took their place on stage just before 10pm and wasted no time launching into their set of bass dominant rock ’n’ roll. And when I say “bass dominant” I mean that even the smokers still lingering outside could feel their stomachs churning along with Freak Heat Waves’ powerful undulations.
During the break between bands, people crammed themselves as close to the stage as possible; the front row losing all sense of personal space and replacing it with pure excitement for the preparations taking place in front of them.
Wristbands shining among the raised hands of the audience, Preoccupations finally made their way to the dais. Wasting no time, with a simple “Hello!” from frontman Matt Flegel, the Calgary act ripped right into every one of the 294 eardrums in front of them. It didn’t take long for each member to become doused in sweat. Just one song in, the band’s momentum was already taking its toll, causing the beads of moisture to form upon Flegel’s forehead.
When BeatRoute spoke with Preoccupations earlier this year, they told us about the outfit’s preference for compact venues and personal shows. On the 4th and 5th of May, we saw why. Having witnessed the anguish on the vocalist’s faces, and the cramping muscles of Mike Wallace’s drumstick wielding arms, the reason both nights of this show sold out weeks in advance is anything but a mystery.