It’s amazing how no matter how cold it is outside, the inside of the Workers Club still manages to be boiling hot every time. A very sweaty and stuffy evening has resulted in a delightful celebration of music, as Pridelands embarked on their sold out EP release show, and made it a good one at that. Launching their new EP Any Colour You Desire they were joined by Windwaker, BLKLST, and Advocates, as they headlined what turned out to be a great night of music.
Advocates opened the show to a slightly small crowd, as people were still just turning up, but managed to keep the energy high throughout their set. They were very instrumentally solid, and were incredibly heavy at times. Although not many people appeared to be singing along, the crowd was still visibly enjoying the set, as they moved, danced, and started moshing at times. All members of the band were very fluid on stage, as they all moved around in perfect sync, headbanging and grooving to their music. Vocalist Detlyn mentioned how awesome it was to be there, and thanked everyone for coming out early. He requested that everyone get warmed up now so that they are ready for BLKLST and Windwaker, warning us that they are both gonna destroy the stage.
Their instrumentals gave me some The Ghost Inside vibes at times, but also upped the heavy factor above and beyond any comparisons of that. Having this as the first time I had heard them I was very impressed, and am definitely looking forward to what they have for us in the future.
BLKLST (Pronounced ‘black list’) were up next, and were very active on stage. The vocalist made an effort of getting down into the crowd and trying to raise the energy. He got into the faces of the audience, screaming the words at them and creating very intense vibes. Despite this people were still not as into it lyrically as there wasn’t much singing along, but they continued to move to the music and expressed their appreciation for it. No doubt BLKLST gained themselves a few fans through this performance.
All members of the band moved around stage a lot, particularly the bass player, whose dancing was a highlight of the set. He appeared to be having the most fun out of anyone, along with the rest of the band who were consistently smiling at each other and were clearly enjoying themselves immensely. The heavy bass and guitars riffs were incredibly enjoyable throughout the whole set, and they put together a very strong performance, instrumentally and vocally.
Windwaker got off to a great start before the set even started, with one of the guitarists wearing a backpack in the form of Yoda from Star Wars. As they were already in my favour because of this, it was very easy to enjoy them. The clean and harsh vocals from both the guitarist and main vocalist Will were immediately impressive, giving off some great vibes to start the set. The crowd was into it straight away, as they moshed, jumped, danced, and sung along in unison, all lost in the music.
The instrumentals were stellar, in particular the guitars, as they were technically very impressive to witness. Everyone was full of energy, running around the stage and dancing with each other as they belted out the anthemic at times heavy music, clearly all very happy to be there. Will continued to rally the crowd, requesting moshing, circle pits, and singalongs, and he had them in his hands from the very start. They also played an unreleased song which sounded very promising, and we await its release eagerly.
Will took a second to mention the topic of acceptance. He talked about how it can feel like you don’t matter, especially when in a room full of people like this, and how that can suck. But he made it clear that it is only because of each and every person there that this stuff can happen. He thanked them all for coming and creating this moment with them, and told everyone that they are all special. It was a nice moment, and made the rest of the set even more cool.
Coming towards the end of their set they caught me off guard with a strange Bring Me The Horizon cover mashup section, in which they went through verses and choruses from “Sleepwalking,” and “Can You Feel My Heart.” This was strange but was actually unreal. The crowd got very into it, singing along and absolutely frothing the covers of what is an iconic band in the scene. They closed out the set and thanked everyone for coming and gave it up for all the other bands. A very high energy set that impressed greatly.
As the room filled completely up it was very clear why everyone was here, to celebrate Pridelands and their achievements. This was their first sold out show, and it was going to be something special.
The lights went out and the deep intro track kicked in. The crowd started cheering and were vocally very excited. They got even louder as the band came on stage, and there was a brief second of peace before they kicked into the opening verse of “Any Colour You Desire.” It is noticeable from the first second that both vocalists have an amazing stage presence, with both Mason and Josh taking over the whole room between the two of them. The talent from both of them is also very evident, and the dual-vocalist setup is clearly one that works wonders.
The intensity from the band is there from start to finish, and the crowd is right there with them. The awesome lighting makes it that much better, and take it to another level vibe-wise. Mason and Josh are both smiling as they perform, loving it from the very start, both giving out mic grabs and working off the crowd to up the set more and more. The singalongs are big, and the breakdowns are rough, with songs like “Boys,” and “Slowly,” taking the mood down after some big heavy sections of “Black Lung,” “The Inkwell,” and “The Sulfur Inside Your Hell.” Josh seems almost speechless as he expresses his appreciation for the crowd, saying that this is incredible. Mason also says that this is truly special and thanks everyone for coming.
“Boys” in particular is clearly a very emotional track, and the chills were surely felt by everyone in the room as Josh led them through the darkness that is that song. These vibes are continued through “Slowly” as the quiet singalongs are very powerful, taking a hold of everyone in the room. The room is ridiculously hot at this point, with every member of the band dripping in sweat, and the crowd not being too far off. Almost everyone on stage has their shirts off at this point, and looking visibly exhausted. Not that this stops them at all, as Josh says this is the best night of his life. “Machina” goes off, with everyone, including myself, getting amongst it for a big singalong to close out the show.
Incredibly awesome times, as they walk off stage and are met with “One More Song” chants immediately. They come back and play their last song, and belt that out of the park. The set ends and they are all clearly stoked, yet exhausted. High fives and hugs are dealt out everywhere in appreciation for what was something special.
Pridelands were the highlight of what was a solid night of music, and are no doubt going to go above and beyond what they achieved on this night. With this very special live performance, they have come leaps and bounds since I first saw them in 2013, and I look forward to seeing how far they can go.[All images courtesy of Albert Lamontagne.]