Updated: Dec 20, 2022
The nice and hot temperature of 32 degrees celsius on July 12th wasn’t stopping all the pop-punk fans from coming down to The Good Will Social Club to see the full Canadian lineup of talent. The night featured the local greats in Bleed American, the Ottawa up-and-comers Bearings, the Vancouver veterans in Living With Lions, and the pop-punk powerhouse from Oakville, Ontario, that is Seaway. I walked into The Good Will fairly past the start time of 8:00 pm, preceded to hand both my ID and $25 to the man at the door to acquire my entry for the night. Although I did inadvertently almost miss out on all of Bleed American's set because of a Winnipeg Transit fare box needing repair in the middle of my bus ride, it didn't stop me from at least getting the last three songs of their set in. The three songs I was able to take in from their set were all hard-hitting pop-punk songs that would get any room in front of the band moving on their feet.
Photos by Samuel Stevens Photography.
The second band on the stage was the Ottawa-based pop-punk band Bearings. Bearings are no strangers to Winnipeg being in the city once before, a little bit ago on September 20, 2017, opening for State Champs, Homesafe, and Sleep On It. Since the last time the band has been to Winnipeg, I and others have most likely listened to their songs off their debut EP Nothing Here Is Permanent a handful of times. For myself, I was looking and hoping for the band to perform their songs, "Petrichor" and "Letters Home," with which the band flawlessly opened their set. Although I was looking forward to those two songs being performed, a good portion of the Bearings fans in the venue were looking forward to it as well. The people in attendance who’ve never heard of the band before the night and the older fans were both wowed when the band performed their song "North Hanson," a song about losing someone close to you. Bearings also performed some new material during their time on stage, so be on the lookout for some new music from Bearings sooner than later. Going eleven years as a band, I guess you could call Living With Lions a veteran Pop Punk band that has toured the country countless times. I’d also like to say Living With Lions unintentionally throughout their time as a band has become a supergroup of sorts since the formation of the band. Although not in the band full-time anymore, on bass and backing vocals, you have Stu Ross, who is very busy and performs different duties in many other bands, that include: Comeback Kid, Misery Signals, Lowtalker, and Youth Decay. Drummer Loren Legare is also in Comeback Kid and Youth Decay with Stu. Lastly, guitarist Craig Spelliscy was formerly in the now-defunct Edmonton pop-punk band Ten Second Epic. The band primarily gave the rowdy but good-natured audience all the fan favourites, but they had to sneak in a couple of newbies in the setlist because the band is releasing their third full-length album, Island, on September 21, 2018. Living With Lions performed the forthcoming album's lead single, "Tidal Wave," live in Winnipeg for the very first time. It shouldn't be very long before the band makes their way back to Winnipeg for another raucous show. Finally, the headliner of the tour, Seaway hit the stage just shy of 11:00 pm. Seaway is currently on tour for their third full-length album, Vacation, and touring it for a few weeks across Canada. Seaway is currently up there as one of my top three pop-punk bands. I’ve now honestly lost count of how many times Seaway has toured and played Winnipeg, either opening or headlining, but they are one of the few rare bands that try to never skip the city when they go on their Canadian headline tours. The last time Seaway made their way through Winnipeg was November 7, 2017, opening for Silverstein on the Dead Reflection Tour. Vocalist Ryan Locke mentioned at the previous Winnipeg show that they’d be back in early 2018, and sure enough, they came and delivered for all the fans who made it out to The Good Will. The band performed a solid fifteen-song set, opening with one of my favourite songs off Vacation, "Neurotic." Which features the line, "I've been everywhere, man, Winnipeg to Amsterdam," in the second verse. As a big fan of Seaway, it was one of those cool moments that only you can fully understand to want to experience in person. The band went on to play a few more songs off Vacation before getting to the fan-favourite, "Best Mistake."
Being the first day of the tour there was bound to be a live debut somewhere on the setlist, which came six songs in with the band performing, "Day Player." Vocalist Ryan Locke joked afterward that they made it through the song without screwing up, before a few fans slightly heckled the band to play, "Sabrina the Teenage Bitch." Ryan jokingly responded back to the crowd, "No requests please!"
Ultimately, by the end of the night, Seaway didn’t play "Sabrina…," but that’s okay as I got to hear my favourite song from the new album, "Scatter My Ashes Along the Coast, or Don't" during the band's encore. Uncertain they were even going to perform it, mainly because Beartooth vocalist Caleb Shomo who is featured on the song, clearly wasn't there to perform it with Seaway, I left with my heart full of joy and my night made!