Oakville’s pop-punk outfit Seaway made a triumphant return to Montreal last night at La Vitrola. Unlike the shy guys described in their debut album Hoser, the band succeeded at commanding the crowd’s attention. The minute they emerged onstage to set up their instruments, attendees were on their feet. Certainly, vocalist Ryan Locke’s presence was felt. Several times throughout the show he thanked fans for showing up and was proud to remind them of the band’s humble beginnings in the city (i.e. Pouzzafest 2013).
Long time fans need not feel left out as Seaway made the most of their headliner status by putting together a set with old and new songs alike. An excellent addition was “Alberta” from their 2014 EP All In My Head. Throughout the performance, bassist Adam Shoji and guitarist Patrick Carleton kept things interactive by urging fans to clap to the beat.
A surprising moment during the show occurred only two songs in. Following the performance of “Airhead” from the band’s sophomore album Colourblind, an eager crowd-surfer (seemingly out of nowhere) plunged into the audience, which caused an unlucky concertgoer’s glasses to break. Nevertheless, the assault on his eyewear didn’t prevent him or anyone else from having a good time. I can now attest that for enthusiastic Seaway fans, “everything is [indeed] cool man”.
Locke’s infectious energy was undeniable as he acknowledged the room’s heat but encouraged everyone to “sweat it out together”. More impressively, Seaway fans are nothing if not devoted. The room was a sauna well before opening act Heavy Hearts had finished playing. Still, they were jumping and singing along to each song without any shortage of headbanging. The crowd really belted out the words for the band’s most pop single yet “Best Mistake”.
The takeaway: regardless of whether you heard of the band before or not, a Seaway show is definitely entertaining.
This was the band’s third stop on their North American headline tour. You can catch Seaway tonight in Kingston at Overtime Sports Bar and on July 8 in London, Ontario at Rum Runners.
For insight on Seaway’s writing process, their modest beginnings and the band’s summer movie recommendations, check back Friday for our conversation with bassist Adam Shoji and drummer Ken Taylor.