Words: Miljan Milekić
It doesn’t happen too often to catch a show featuring three artists, that I would see alone in a heartbeat. Ever since The Flatliners’ frontman Chriss Cresswell announced his solo tour, featuring a Saskatoon date, I knew where I would be this Sunday night in late October. Add in a legend in his own right, Jon Snodgrass, along with Seth Anderson, and only a minor apocalypse could keep me away from Capitol Music Club.
Seth Anderson was the first to take the stage and kick the night off. Funnily enough, I remember the exact moment I heard his music for the first time. It was back in early 2020, and we were still based in Serbia, when among many emails we receive on a daily basis, there was one from a Canadian singer-songwriter, who was just about to release his new album ‘We Could Be.’ A couple of spins of ‘Highway Lights,’ and I was instantly hooked. Almost four years later, on the other side of the globe, we got the chance to hear the familiar tones, nested between a few other of his songs, such as ‘Drive Alone,’ ‘Take Away The Sad,’ or ’24,’ which ended his set. Hopefully, not the last one of his I will catch.
Jon Snodgrass on the other hand was a way more familiar face once he strapped on his guitar and took a stand before the microphone. The very moment he kicked off with ‘Weighting In,’ I felt like I was hit by a bus. The very first time I heard Jon’s music was with the self-titled Scorpios album in 2011. Later that same year, I saw the band play in Belgrade, the show I still remember vividly, 12 years later. I remember the old, beat-down theatre they played, the old couch, a prop from one of the shows playing at the time, which they randomly found, and brought up to the stage, and them hanging out with all of us long after the show.
It was also the last time I saw Tony Sly, a man whose music meant immensely to me growing up before he passed away in 2012. So when the first few tones of ‘Weighting In’ filled out the room, I felt it all crash down on me. Something I didn’t even know I needed. From there, it was just a rollercoaster of emotions, funny stories, and older and newer songs such as ‘1-2-3-4,’ ‘Don’t Break Her Heart,’ Tony Sly’s ‘Liver Let Die,’ or ‘Crunching The Numbers.’ For the very end, he was joined on the stage by the night’s headliner, for performances of ‘Go Baseball…,’ ‘Buddies,’ and another Scorpios’ number ‘Slicked‐Back Wig Hair.’
Chriss Cresswell took off on this tour in support of his brand-new solo album ‘The Stubbornness of the Young,’ released just over a month ago. Clearly happy with the new record, Cresswell relied heavily on it. Touring with freshly released music is always a double-edged sword, as there’s always a chance that fans are not yet familiar with new songs. And this was somewhat true for this show as well. Not every song was met with the same enthusiasm, outside of the biggest fans anchored in front of the stage, but every one of them sounded almost perfect, whether it was Cresswell alone on the stage, with acoustic or electric guitar, or together with a keyboard player. The new singles, such as ‘Roam’ and ‘Behind the Crowd,’ on the other hand, showed that fans were definitely paying attention and that it’s just a matter of time until the rest of the record fully clicks with them.
Fans of the older material were treated with ‘Meet Me in the Shade,’ which opened the set, along with ‘One Hundred’ and ‘Little Bones,’ but we also got a sprinkle of The Flatliners’ music, in a more intimate, stripped-down rendition. Both ‘Indoors’ and ‘Daggers’ were met with great responses from the crowd, but my personal favorite came in the form of ‘Souvenir,’ taken from last year’s album ‘New Ruin.’ The more I listen to it, the more it is my favorite record from the band, and this song is certainly a huge part of that. The later part of the show marked the return to ‘The Stubbornness of the Young,’ with the very end being reserved for the latest single, and obvious hit among the fans – ‘You Don’t Wanna Listen To Me.’
The time between the songs was filled with friendly banter, occasional chat and jokes with the crowd, and in general, very relaxed vibes. And that goes for all three artists. Capitol Music Club may have the word “club” in its name, but with its small stage located in the very corner, its huge bar bigger than the stage, and its massive wooden pillars scattered all around, it gives out more of a pub feel, than a classic concert venue. All three artists are rooted deeply in the punk rock scene, without a hint of a fake rock star attitude. And with them, sitting at the same bar, and the same tables with those who came to hear them, it all felt more like a night out with friends than a concert. A casual Sunday evening in late October. With lots of great music.