Ten Years of Hail Destroyer at Lee's Palace

At 1:30 in the afternoon on April 20th I was confirmed to shoot the first night of Cancer Bats' Ten Years of Hail Destroyer Tour in Toronto. I was thrilled! But I also had a lot still to get through that day, and a four hour drive to Toronto (during rush hour, no less) for a show that started at 9 pm. So was it a hectic day? of course. But was it worth it? Hell yeah.

It felt like ages since I'd been to a proper punk show. Lately I've been dealing with a lot of heavily-produced acts in higher-end venues. It's been a while since I was attempting to capture a band from the edge of a mosh pit. And I've gotta say, it was fantastic.

This was the feeling that got me hooked on live music as a kid. While these days I might have more concerns over my body and gear than I used to have, I was still able to fully enjoy the experience. Kicked in the head, covered in other people's sweat, and screaming myself hoarse - that's what it's all about. There's also an amazing feeling of camaraderie that comes from shows like this. I had made the trek to Toronto on my own, and was in no way bothered by catching a show solo (I've certainly done that enough over the years). But through out the night I struck up conversations with other photographers about gear and lighting, and sympathized with other showgoers about the trials of getting older (Remember when we'd do this every weekend?!). By the time I got back to the car to head home to Windsor I was more than wired enough to make the drive. I was sweaty and slightly bruised, with a card full of photos that I prayed turned out. But even if they didn't, the night was worth it.

Cancer Bats

Total x War

Olde

The night featured music from doom outfit Olde, straight-edge hardcore group Total x War, and of course, the legendary Cancer Bats. You can read more details about the show on Metal Nation, and should also check out this awesome interview with Bats' frontman Liam Cormier.

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© 2015 Lauren Hedges