Over the years we’ve seen artsy, adventurous Canadian hardcore band Fucked Up at a variety of spots around town like Exit/In and Third Man Records, but when they return tonight, Nov. 13 in support of their first proper album in four years, the brand new Dose Your Dreams, it’s to headline The High Watt for the first time- a pretty inspired choice, as the band are at their best in an imitate spot, but deserve the sonic clarity of a nicer room. Adopting a new psych rock bent with their latest, Fucked Up will be joined by fellow Toronto garage punks Bad Waitress and bombastic Vancouver up and coming hardcore group Candy, making for one of the coolest punk shows you’re likely to find on Cannery row all year. Tickets are still available, but they’re not likely to last, so grab ’em here while you can, then read on for more about the show!
Since first springing out of the Toronto underground hardcore scene nearly two decades ago, prolific outfit Fucked Up have become one of the most interesting, enduring, and constantly evolving acts in the scene, managing to transcend their underground, DIY roots to become a critically celebrated band with a devoted cult following, without compromising the sound or principles they were founded on. Explosive, influential, and unabashedly punk, Fucked Up have brought their raw, unpredictable, rowdy, and in-your-face live show to Nashville a handful of times since the release of their last formal full-length, 2014’s Glass Boys. In addition to constant touring, the group have been far from creatively idle in the time since, releasing soundtrack and compilation contributions, singles, and unconventional efforts like their ongoing series inspired by the Zodiac calendar. After nabbing a new deal with Merge Records, however, the band finally dropped their proper fifth full-length, a trippy, doozy of a double album called Dose Your Dreams, early last month. Continuing the trajectory Fucked Up have adopted in recent years, the album takes a conceptual, philosophical, genre-bending, and psychedelic bent; an experimental, smart, sonic leap from their more conventional hardcore beginnings (while retaining the politics and aesthetics of hardcore, but opening up to genre exploration), and a testament to why this group transcends the scene they came up in. The High Watt is a seriously perfect place to see this band; small but acoustically sound. Don’t let their less intense new stuff fool you, this show will be wild.
Also hailing from Toronto, scrappy indie/garage punks Bad Waitress definitely fit right in with Fucked Up (their recent EP, Party Bangers: Volume 1, even coincidentally opens with a tune called “Let’s Get Fucked Up!”). Formerly known as Nude Dogs, the group, who all happen to women, find a bridge between ’80s fast, straightforward punk and hardcore and more modern, biting garage rock, adopting a sound that feels at once old school and accessible without going full retro. With singalong primed songs, a lighthearted but badass vibe, and honed by the same scene that bred Fucked Up, we’re definitely eager to see what this band are all about.
We can’t find a ton of info on openers Candy, but they appear to be a group from Vancouver, who dropped a hard-hitting EP-length “demo” last year on Slow Death Records, and have since been scooped up by Boston label Triple B, who recently released their new album Good to Feel. If you’re a fan of Fucked Up at their heaviest, and worried this show wouldn’t have enough hardcore bite, Candy should more than make up for it. This guys are fast, heavy, loud, and intense, and should have The High Watt feeling more like The End in no time.
Fucked Up, Bad Waitress, and Candy will perform tonight, Nov. 13 at The High Watt. The show is 18+, begins at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $20.