At the start of the summer my brother phoned me.
"Tim, my one buddy has basement shows all the time. He had the cancerbats at his place a little while ago. The next show is with the flatliners."
"Man! They're one of my my favourite bands!"
"Yea, I know, so i talked to him and it's supposed to be really dl, it'll probably be just a bunch of bands from Toronto. He said you can go though."
After hearing this I was extremely excited. I really loved these guys, and seeing them in a basement would be on of the coolest things I could think of. Ever since the first time i had seen them i had loved them. Speaking of the first time i had ever seen them...
For all of highschool i basically lived on www.4thwave.ca. On that site I saw a review for the flatliners debut, "destroy to create". I had heard the name tossed around a lot, but never got around to checking them out.
The show was Big D and The Kids Table's tour supporting the recently released "How It Goes". Opening the show were crowned king, the know how, green division, and the flatliners. At this point i really liked green division a lot and went nuts for their set. but following them was the flats, i went absolutely nuts. They were on of the greatest things i had ever heard. i checked them out every time they came around (which was very often) and just kept liking them more.
I had a revelation when i saw them open for the suicide machines. the first band had been god-awful and te flats followed them with an absolute scorcher of a set. I then realized that i had never seen them put on a bad set, every single time they were great. It was then that i thought, man these guys are something special.
Fast-forward to warped tour 2005. The flatliners started their set with a decent crowd, but it grew with every song. By the last song of the set they had a bigger crowd than some of the main stage bands had. The image of about 700 people singing the "oh-yea" ending of spill your guts is indelled into my mind.
Again fast-forward to about February 2007. I knew they had been writing a new record, but had only heard a song here and there live. They announced through a myspace bulleitin that had signed with fat wreck chords, which absolutely blew my mind. Secondly they had put up demos of two new songs. Upon hearing "...and the world files for chapter 11" and "mother theresa chokeslams the world", i was extremely happy. I don't think I've ever been as excited for a release and "the great awake", and everyone who was around me at this time can attest to this.
I went to the mall in Guelph to buy it the day it came out. I was taken aback after my first listen, they had changed their sound a lot since destroy to create, going for more straight-ahead punk sound than the ska-punk style of destroy to create. but it really grew on me. After each listen it just got better and better. The first time I saw them after this album came out was conviently in the dirtiest, smallest venue I've ever been in. Imagine shouting along the sing along choruses of that album in the shadow with no stage and you can imagine how it made me feel. After a long year of touring they came back to Toronto for a homecoming show, which i've already written about in this blog. They played a whole bunch of songs that they never do usually, showing how important their hometown is to them.
I thought that show would be the most amazing performance that they would ever turn in. But man was I wrong.
First of all finding the house where this basement show was happening a pretty huge trek for Jess and I. But everything worked out eventually and we found the place. I could hear them from the basement and rushed in. It was a very relaxed show, the band was pretty drunk and so was pretty much everyone else there. But drinking tall-boys of old-millwaukee while watching one of your favourites bands screw up their songs with shitty sound meant more to me than you can even imagine.
Afterwards we hung for a bit and the only people were pretty much the flats hostage life, and assorted other people. It was kind of surreal experince to be drinking with them.
public service announcement
i'm not invisible (rocket from the crypt cover)
sleep is for bitches
a whole bunch of new songs
spill your guts
The best part about this band is that they've never lost touch with the scene they came out of. Everyone who liked them 3 years ago still likes them now. They built up the band in the right way. They opened nearly every goddamn tour worth its salt that came through Ontario. When you see something grow and know that you were there first, it's definitely something special.