July 12, 2015

By Connor Young

The first weekend of Toronto’s Panamania was off to a roaring start. As BadBadNotGood was finishing up their set on the left stage a huge crowd was gathering in front of the main stage. Chants of “DFA!” showed how enthusiastic this crowd was to see the local legends, Death From Above 1979, play a homecoming show.

The band took to the stage and pummeled the crowd with nonstop energy. Opener Turn It On erupted into a massive mosh pit that did not stop the entire show. They brought their classic sound of ultra-distorted bass, pounding drums and intense vocals. The set was mainly material off of their latest album, 2014’s The Physical World, but with a good mix of You’re A Woman, I’m a Machine.

Seven songs into the set, they slowed it down for a moment with White Is Red. Of course, this song slowly transformed from almost a ballad into a heavily distorted rocker. The album version does not even compare to seeing White Is Red live. The crowd was hugely enthusiastic the entire show with constant chants of “DFA!” - they even screamed “Turn it up!” repeatedly, as the show wasn't nearly as loud as a usual Death From Above concert. Immediately after a circle mosh erupted as the band launched into Dead Womb.

The highlight of the night was the penultimate song Romantic Rights. The extended version performed at the show got the crowd extremely hyped. There must have been at least ten people in the air crowd surfing as the song built up to the final chorus. Singer Sebastian Grainger screamed the chorus as Bassist Jesse Keeler blasted the heavy bass hook through his amps.

I’m not sure if the city of Toronto was prepared for such an intense show to start off Panamania but everyone in the crowd seemed to walk away very happy as the band left the stage and fireworks erupted over Nathan Phillips Square. This show proved that a Death From Above 1979 concert is not a show to be missed.