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Halifax Live Music Review – Marianas Trench

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Halifax Live Music Review – Marianas Trench

Marianas Trench - Cred: Richard Lann

Marianas Trench – Cred: Richard Lann

Total Score: 8.5/10

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Who: Marianas Trench
From: Vancouver, BC
When: Sunday, March 24th, 2013
Where: Halifax Metro Centre, Halifax, NS

Crowd: A sold out Metro Centre leant its ears to the seemingly humbled Josh Ramsay and Co., who frequently voiced their pleasure that they could sell out Halifax on their first headlining arena tour of the Maritimes. The typical concert capacity is 13k, but they played the half bowl, so let’s say 7,500 was the magic number, with a 20:1 girl/guy ratio.

Style: Pop/Rock

Technicalities: Playing on a vastly open stage resembling a black desert, with two pieces jutting out (in case anyone was up for a stroll), they didn’t make the greatest use of all that space, but its nice to have options. Lead singer Josh Ramsey flew onto stage after exiting a giant Jack n’the Box, with a sparkly outfit and mic taped to his face, a la Justin Bieber. During the opening tune when this all happened, his shit kept breaking like that was its job. It certainly killed the momentum of “Ever After”. The audio set up was particularly over powering on the bass side. I could often hear the backing vocals better then lead, and Josh’s lower register was consistently lost in the noise. It certainly improved halfway through the set, as did the band. Josh’s entry and subsequent equipment malfunctions, as well as dead air between songs and zero stage banter left the first half of the show feeling flat. On the plus side, Trench rocks the harmonies like no rock band today, and they were on mark throughout the show. Their crowd interaction on obvious fan favorite “All To Myself” was stellar as well. Most notably, a white grand piano was brought on stage for the encore, which then broke before a note could be struck. Josh resorted to playing a cover that blended into “Good To You” acoustically for one of the best moments.

Memorable Song: Marianas Trench have played a lot of shows on the east coast during their short tenor as a band. I’ve personally been to every one of those shows, and been pleased every time. But no individual show, song, or moment compares to the fan dedicated “Beside You” that was played last night. It was one of those moments that those of us who have been on board since the beginning will likely cherish forever. I never thought I’d say this, but “Truth Or Dare” was phenomenally performed as well. It featured a “Drum Line” moment, with bassist Mike Ayley and guitarist Matt Webb pounding drums on each cat walk piece of stage, and usual drummer Ian Casselman sporting one of those wearable 5-piece marching band kits. Josh took to the normal kit, making for an epic drum filled song.

Memorable Moment: The show was filled with everything imaginable, and some things that weren’t. From Josh fucking up the words to “Toy Soldiers”, to opening act Down With Webster crashing the stage to sling shot shirts into the crowd, and everyone tearing their pants off to reenact the “Desperate Measures” music video, the strangest and most unexpected moment was Josh playing harmonica during “No Place Like Home”, which felt like a relentless medley to end the show. He was surprisingly good, backing up his previous statement (made after the piano broke) that he “could play other instruments”. Shortly after that, he suited up and flew through the sky again, dipping into the crowd and playing his guitar upside down

Sex Appeal/Image: Josh is always a little eccentric, with sparkly shoes, or sparkly pants, or a sparkly jacket, or all three. But he works what he’s got and image is obviously a really large part of the bands set design. Though I’ve never seen a rock band have so many wardrobe changes. Together, they look great. I have to give props to Mike though. Since he got rid of the curls, he’s been rock star stylin’. I don’t really need to comment on the sex appeal of Marianas Trench, or should I say, Josh Ramsay. I’m 100% sure every girl in that building was there for him, including those around me, who sparked a mad exodus to the adjacent section when Josh ran up it. Trench have quickly become a Canada wide fan favorite, and Josh their unexpected sex symbol. Who would have thought…

Comments: There was a lot of cool production value with a huge screen that played clips from the Ever After plot line that had been specially filmed for the tour. The clips looked like feature films and always led into a triumphant song. However, these contributed to the massive amounts of down time between songs that plagued the early part of the show. Some of this was due to technical difficulties, and some might have been working out the kinks, as this was only the second show of the tour. Trench marched on however, and they got it together, flowing in and out of every tune. There was a moment that Josh went for an audience tour, where the typical madness ensued, a local choir was brought on stage to help perform “Fallout” and “Stutter”, and someone got rushed to the hospital, probably after being raging fan girl crushed. On a slightly more negative note, I thought the flying stuff was a little much. It didn’t look particularly cool, and had an air of superiority. It certainly didn’t play into the story of the album. Josh’s constant vocal runs are also a little obnoxious. Yeah bud, we know you can sing. We know you have mad vocal range, but we don’t need to see it on every song. That is the number one reason I despise the entire R&B genre and I could have done without it. Back to the positives though; Josh literally has a different guitar for every song, but he only played for the first half of the show. The rest was gimmicks and moments of frolicking about. I thought this an interesting choice on the bands part, especially since the first half felt so flat. This was, however, the band’s first headlining arena gig in Halifax. They have previously played at the Metro Centre as an opening act for Simple Plan, so I was impressed they could sell it out.


Review by: Cody Spence
Photos by: Richard Lann


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