Xerxes – [Photos]

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Everyone's heard the horror stories about up-and-coming bands playing under-populated shows (books like Our Band Could Be Your Life are full of them), but how many people can actually say they went to a concert where no one else showed up? One would assume that moments like that are difficult for a band to take, and Louisville, KY-based hardcore quintet Xerxes proved it certainly isn't easy when they stepped on stage at The Shops at Parts & Labour in Toronto to play before a handful of people.

There was literally a handful of people in the room that night at The Shops at Parts & Labour – staff included.

To their credit, after solid (but doomed to go unremembered) sets by Creeper and Black Faxes, Xerxes tried (initially) to make the most of a bad situation and brought their show on hard. Singer Calvin Philley seemed to try to wrap himself in fits of aggressive ecstasy to at least salvage the show with a solid performance and bassist Will Allard cut an imposing image on stage but, after just four songs, Xerxes left the stage in frustration and never returned.

This is one of those moments when it's hard to know how to feel. On one hand, that the room was empty makes one want to feel for the band (in the city of Toronto, the fact that no one showed up for a hardcore show means little more than whoever was supposed to be promoting the show was asleep at the wheel) but, on the other, that said band didn't give those few who did lay their money down to see them their best is despicable. In this case, the rules that Black Flag laid down decades ago should have applied; whether one person shows up or a thousand, you give it your all and you leave everything in you on stage. Xerxes clearly forgot that, and everyone lost at the Toronto date. From here on out, those who show up to the band's shows will just have to hope that they're the audience the band wants, or they'll end up wasting their money like those few who came out in Toronto did.



Xerxes – The Shops at Parts & Labour – Toronto, Ontario, Canada – May 27, 2012


Xerxes tour in support of Our Home Is A Deathbed continues. Click here for a list of upcoming shows.


Our Home Is A Deathbed
is out now. Buy it here on Amazon .

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