No Fun City strikes again. Though I usually disagree with the idea that Vancouver is a city with no fun (try living in rural Alberta), it was a massive bummer at 333 on November 9 when local punk-metal ragers Erosion got cut from their headlining set. Thankfully the show wasn’t a total bust, as the attendees managed to see killer sets from Regina’s Molten Lava, as well as local lads Dead Again and Waingro.
It was my first experience at 333 and the mysterious venue had an appropriately low-key vibe with a single lamp shining against a wall and one smaller red lamp behind a table with cocktails for sale a small merch table beside it. Waingro — who are a relatively new band formed by members of Rotting Hills and Inhaler — got started around 10 p.m. to a decently sized crowd who obligingly banged their heads to the trio’s bluesy metal jams. The drumming was a bit reminiscent of Reed Mullin which matched the rest of the groups C.O.C. style and did not go unappreciated by the black-clad beer-swillers in attendance.
Dead Again was up next and shifted the tone to a more aggressive sound, dominated by doom-laden riffs alternating with grind blast beats and carried along by guttural growls. As the number of people in the room increased, the four-piece shrank together on the floor with the
vocalist periodically running into the crowd and thrashing around, sending beer spilling and hair flying.
By the time Molten Lava set up their gear, the room was packed to the gills. People gathered on the stage behind the drumkit for a better view, essentially surrounding the Saskatchewan-based duo. They kicked things off with a cover of the Melvins’ “A History of Bad Men,” which served as a perfect introduction to what this band is about. Having also made a shout out to Nomeansno during their set, they basically explained two pillars of their sound; progressive punk/metal/rock, which is both a great time to listen to and awesome to watch.
The crowd fully reciprocated this energy but unfortunately, as their set was wrapping up and prior to Erosion’s set, one of the promoters grabbed the microphone and said the police were outside and had shut down the show on a fire-code violation. He apologized, asked everyone to please leave quietly, and that was that. Molten Lava quickly announced a 2:30 a.m. gig at Iron Road and then it was all over.
Hopefully the people involved with the show didn’t get too much flak from the cops and 333 isn’t lost already because judging by the mob of people in attendance, there is a clear interest in venues like it in our city.