Billy Talent @ Budapest Park, Budapest, Hungary

Words: Miljan Milekić

“When I say Buda, you say Pest!” I have no idea how many times we have heard those words from Billy Talent‘s Benjamin Kowalewicz, who happily admitted near the end of the show how much he likes saying it. And every single time, the crowd accepted the game. It was all in the good fun. And that little detail can probably sum up the whole evening at Budapest Park.

Being political and socially aware as they always are, the band didn’t miss the chance to address many of the problems the world is currently experiencing, including the war in neighboring Ukraine, but most of the show, it was all about fun. In an obviously great mood, the band was firing on all cylinders, dripping bangers such as ‘Devil in a Midnight Mass,’ ‘This Suffering,’ ‘Rusted From the Rain,’ or ‘Surprise Surprise,’ combined with new songs such as ‘I Beg to Differ (This Will Get Better)’ or ‘End of Me.’ Every single song was followed by a massive singalong, and quite a few mosh pits, while Kowalewicz commanded the crowd like it was the easiest thing in the world. Of course, the support from the rest of the band was immense, especially from Ian D’Sa who elevated the band to new heights with his flawless guitar work and back vocals.

Even the slower songs like ‘Try Honesty’ brought an amazing reaction from the fans, with this was, in particular, going down as one of my personal favorites of the show. The band started to slowly move to an end with a double injection of new songs – ‘Forgiveness I,’ and ‘Reckless Paradise,’ with the latter already becoming a staple in the band’s shows, before kicking off a massive ‘Devil on My Shoulder,’ which ignited a huge call-and-response between the band and the crowd. During the whole show, the band was simply unstoppable. And if by the end of the encore, there was anyone in the crowd that wasn’t soaking in sweat and having a sore throat, the band had taken care of it by delivering ‘Viking Death March,’ ‘Fallen Leaves’ and ‘Red Flag,’ finishing off in style.

However, Billy Talent weren’t the only ones on the stage this evening, as they were joined by fellow Canadians in Silverstein, and British goth punks Creeper. It was the Southampton five-piece that opened the show, and despite a relatively early slot, and not too many people in the crowd, albeit a strong core of their own fans, the band showed why they are considered one of the most exciting bands in the punk rock scene at the moment. They quickly had the crowd on their side, delivering the set of fan favorites including ‘Cyanide,’ ‘Thorns of Love,’ ‘Down Below,’ ‘Suzanne,’ or ‘Annabel,’ before wrapping it up with ‘Midnight.’ Having a significant number of people in front of them by the end of their set, and picking up quite a few new fans in the process they left the stage to the post-hardcore legends in Silverstein.

The Toronto five-piece spared no time, kicking it off with ‘Bad Habit,’ and quickly establishing the connection with the crowd. They are not new to the Budapest fans, being there on a few occasions, and that bond could easily be seen. Tailoring a set somewhere a festival and support slot, Silverstein delivered a combination of old and new, with a focus being slightly more on the latter. ‘Bankrupt,’ ‘Ultraviolent’ and ‘The Afterglow’ on one, and ‘My Heroine’ and ‘Smashed Into Pieces’ on the other side, created a dynamic combination that crown knew how to appreciate. The additional balance between melodic and heavy only made their set even more appropriate for a sunny summer afternoon. As a matter of fact, the band was obviously having fun on the stage, maybe best seen in a wholehearted high-five between singer Shane Told and guitarist Paul Marc Rousseau as they nailed the ending of ‘It’s Over.’

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