Off With Their Heads @ Black Cat Tavern, Saskatoon, Canada

Words: Miljan Milekić

There is something special about anniversary tours. All the way through the show, there is a certain sense of familiarity where everybody knows exactly what is going on, and everyone is on board with it. It’s like watching ‘Back To The Future’ for the 28th time – you know every scene, every dialog. At any given moment you know what is coming next, and yet, you still enjoy it, you still like every second of it, and you want to do it all again. And again.

Enter Off With Their Heads with a tour celebrating the 10th anniversary of their record ‘Home.’ When it came out in 2013, the record felt like being hit by a train. In a typical Off With Their Heads fashion, singer and songwriter Ryan Young spilled his guts all over these 12 songs, talking about his feelings, and frustrations. His personal struggles and battles. It was never a huge album, and it saw little mainstream success, but for the fans of the band, it was an instant classic, and ten years later, it definitely stood the test of time.

Off With Their Heads @ Black Cat Tavern, Saskatoon / Photo: Miljan Milekić

And that familiar feeling I mentioned before, it didn’t take long for it to kick in. A few screaming guitar sounds, a couple of drum beats, and the well-known words – “There are no words to describe, the awful feeling I have inside so I shut down!” And there was no looking back from there. Front to back, ‘Home’ is a great record, but the opening sequence of ‘Start Walking,’ ‘Shirts,’ and ‘Nightlife,’ probably the band’s biggest song, is something every band would love to have. Song after song, the band was slowly cruising through the record, with one of my personal favorites, ‘Don’t Make Me Go,
’ sounding especially emotional.

While the last few tones of ‘Take Me Out’ were dying out, we knew we got what we came for, but the band took it one step further, closing the show with two more masterpieces – ‘Dissaper,’ taken from the band’s most recent, 2019’s album ‘Be Good,’ and ‘Clear The Air’ from 2010’s ‘In Desolation,’ in my books, one of the best song ever written. And yes, I know I’m subjective, but I don’t care.

This night might have been about Off With Their Heads, but they weren’t the only ones to take the stage. Edmonton’s Vargouille kicked the evening off with their blend of punk and hardcore. We only caught the tail end of their show, but they will definitely have a few more spins from Saskatoon on their Bandcamp. The main support on the whole tour comes from London, Ontario’s Single Mothers. Their brand of punk rock, rooted in garage and indie rock sounds is not something I am a big fan of, but they delivered a fun set, filled out with interesting stories, and especially fun banter about Regina, the city I’ve never been to, and after this night, I might think twice before visiting. All in all, both bands did a solid part in making this a fun Tuesday night.

Single Mothers @ Black Cat Tavern, Saskatoon / Photo: Tamara Samardžić

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