“Weed is like science” singer Damien Abraham, Pink Eyes, informed us about his new favourite drug. Despite the straight edge fans that opening acts Terror, Power Trip, and teenaged punks Code Orange Kids encourage, there was no heckling of past Polaris Prize winners Fucked Up in their first Vancouver show of this year. In fact, Abraham most often heckles himself, spouting such nonsense as, “The only thing I can do well is grow body hair.”

What their singer lacked in confidence, Fucked Up made up for in prowess, gunning out anxious headbangers like “I Hate Summer,” “Police,” “Dying on the Inside” and the mosh-pit igniting “Circle Game”. “If anyone gives you a hard time, I’ll personally throw them out. I’d love to,” Abraham promised the crowd about six songs in. He appeared everywhere in the room, moving between frenzied mosh pits and massive stage risers, channelling hardcore icons Iggy Pop and Darby Crash, while somehow accruing a questionable spot on the crotch of his sweatpants.

Bizarre forces at work in the Rickshaw kept Fucked Up’s hardcore machine churning. Whether it was a brave stage hand’s hectic mic line tossing as Abraham crossed the room, or the sound tech frantically moving gear to clear space for Abraham’s theatrics on the board tables, the staff were dramatically involved in Fucked Up’s performance.

Despite threatening late period Rolling Stones covers, Fucked Up extended their set with an encore of the heavily requested “Two Snakes” and an explosive finale. When lead guitarist Mike Haliechuk’s chords died out it was as if smoke cleared a battleground. Even the tired security guards were applauding furiously. Don’t let anyone think Fucked Up will give you a hard time, or that they would let anyone else do it either.

By Mathieu Youdan
Photo by Tiina Liimu 

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