Show Review: Bat Sabbath @ Les Foufounes Electriques, Montreal

In the case of some music fans, the word ‘cover’ may elicit any one of a number of negative reactions. Well, it’s time to change all that.

If you fall into this category (and you know who you are) let me assuredly tell you that Bat Sabbath has the power to change your mind and make you a believer in the magic of covers. If you don’t fall into the above-mentioned category, let me still tell you that Bat Sabbath can make you a believer in the magic of covers.

Now, I know that cover albums and cover bands can often be simple, shoddy attempts at quick fame and recognition, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth when it comes to two time Juno-nominated Cancer Bats and their Black Sabbath cover project. These guys are overflowing with talent, charisma and unbelievable stage presence, all of which are skillfully showcased and blatantly obvious during their live shows, no matter what songs they happen to be performing. Heck, they could probably take a folk album and turn it into one worthy of head banging and sore necks nationwide.

What started out as a one-time surprise performance at the Sonisphere music festival in Bohemia earlier this year turned into an 11-date tour of Ontario and Quebec this past month.

Taking Masters of Reality into their own hands – while also taking the liberty to rename the classic, dubbing it Bastards of Reality – Bat Sabbath made it clear from their first moment on that stage why the show had been such a success in Bohemia and why it had transformed into a mini tour. (Which will hopefully spawn a second tour and maybe even some recorded material. Hmm? I’m talking to you, Bat Sabbath. Please, please, please?)

In Montreal, the band performed at infamous punk/rock/metal hotspot Les Foufounes Electriques where the utterly captivated crowd grew bigger and bigger with every song.

Taking to the stage under the cover of darkness, surrounded by a cloud of smoke, with frontman Liam Cormier wearing a black cape (Note to self: capes officially make everything more badass), Bat Sabbath played all the Black Sabbath classics in a set that lasted slightly over an hour and had only one downside: It ended way too soon. I know that might sound cliché, but too bad, it’s the truth.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a band so genuinely humbled by positive feedback and so focused on giving fans what they want. Just to prove my point, let me point out that Cormier was at the band’s merch table till the moment he had to get up on stage and was right back at it the second the set was done and he jumped off into the crowd and walked back over.

And to prove my point again, when fan after fan started getting on stage during the encore song, the band didn’t try and push ‘em off, instead choosing to embrace the mayhem unfolding around them as they continued to play. One lucky fan even had the chance to sing part of the final song as Cormier momentarily took a step back and let him do his thing.

I said it on Twitter right after the show and I’ll say it here again because even days later, I still feel the exact same excitement about this one of a kind show I was lucky enough to finish my 2011 concert season with: Bat Sabbath = a.ma.zing. Black Sabbath reunion tour 2012 should take notes and sleep with one eye open. 

For everything Cancer Bats: www.CancerBats.com