On the first Saturday in November, fans were lined up down Dundas in front of the Hard Luck in anticipation for Toronto native’s Like Pacific’s hometown show. Excitement could be felt all over this small bar venue, with this being their first headlining tour, after having previously opened for Neck Deep in February of this year, and securing a spot on the 2016 Vans Warped Tour this past summer. As with all pop punk tours, they came with quite the posse of opening bands. From as close to home as Rarity, and Bearings, out of Hamilton and Ottawa, ON, respectively; to Broadside from Virginia, USA and as far east as Boston Manor’s hometown of Blackpool, UK.
Bearings opened the night to a smaller yet enthusiastic crowd. The Ottawa pop punkers played songs from their recently released EP ‘Home Is…’ and were a great choice to start the show. As it was my first time seeing this band, I wasn’t able to sing along as I usually would; but if I had to compare them to anyone, I feel that they’re a mix of Seaway and The Story So Far. Just the right mix of fast paced choruses, and angst filled lyrics. Although their crowd wasn’t the biggest, they still brought a great energy to the stage, which is admirable for a smaller local band. I really enjoyed their set, and I’ll definitely grab tickets to see them again next time they’re in town.
The next Canadian band to take the stage was Hamilton’s own, Rarity. Flying high on the release of their debut album ‘I Couldn’t Be Weaker’, the boys opened with Realm, off their aforementioned album. Rarity have risen to quick popularity since the last time I saw them, opening for fellow southern Ontarian’s Seaway, back in July. This was my second time seeing Rarity, and they did not disappoint. It was love at first listen for me, as it was for many other fans. While most of their set consisted of newer songs, they broke out an old favourite, Fifteen Stories, much to the crowd’s admiration. Leading into another fan favourite, Stranger, vocalist Loeden Learn took the time to talk about his personal battle with mental illness, and the importance of realizing your worth and telling people how you’re feeling, and seeking help and support from others. It’s times like this that I’m reminded of how tight knit and inclusive our scene really is. I admire the open discussion and freedom of expression that bands often promote to their fans, as well as the reminder that, as cheesy as it may sound, you’re not alone. Rarity ended their set with Orchid, but not before reminding fans to check them out at Toronto’s Stay Warm Fest, in December.
Finally, Toronto native’s Like Pacific took the stage, eager to preform in their hometown on their first headline tour. Opening with my personal favourite, Worthless Case, off their debut album, ‘Distant Like You Asked’. The crowd was full of energy, which is something that continues to surprise me to this day within the pop punk scene. You would think that after four rambunctious sets that a crowd of teens and 20-somethings would be tired, but not this bunch! Not only did Like Pacific play songs from their new album, they also threw it back to some older favourites from their 2015 self-titled EP, such as Clarity, and Sigh of Relief. The last time I saw Like Pacific, they were opening for Neck Deep, so it’s really great to see a local band go from opening for a internationally acclaimed pop punk band to headlining their own tour not even a year later. Like Pacific finished off the night with Distant, a great song to sing along to, if I do say so myself.
All in all, it was a great show, with a lot of amazing local Ontario talent. There are so many great bands coming out of Ontario these days, and I can’t wait to see what more’s to come from these bands within the next year!