Album Review – Alexisonfire – ‘Live At Copps’ (Hardcore/Rock/Indie)

alexisonfireliveatcoppsBy Dustin Griffin – 4.5/5 Dragons
From March 2016 Vandala Magazine 

So in 2001, Alexisonfire formed in southern Ontario. In ten years and change, they were no more. Two important members had left the band, including Dallas Green, who had found fame and fortune in his side project City and Colour. In 2012, following a farewell tour, the band played their last show at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario. The sold out gig covered their whole career and was, at the time, the last anyone thought they would hear from the band.

Of course, we now know that the band has occasionally reunited for special gigs and whatnot, but that’s ok. No band stays broken up these days.

“Live At Copps” is the recorded document of that farewell gig and is now available for all to hear. I have to say that the timing here is a little strange. Why not release the show following their departure, rather than almost four years later, after they’ve reunited? I’m not complaining though. It’s nice to have it. Better late than never and all that.

The record stretches over a whopping 24 songs and a full two hours in length. I wasn’t at the show in Hamilton and don’t have a setlist from the show, but it looks as though this was it, beginning to end. Which is great for fans.

As far as the sound quality goes, it’s very impressive. Live recordings like these can be hit or miss affairs, depending on who was behind the sound console when the show was recorded, but this one is clear and sharp and consistent.

As far as the performance is concerned, for fans, it’s amazing. I must admit I was never the biggest Alexisonfire fan when they were in full swing. I’m not into screamo and was one of the those people who felt the band would’ve been way better without George Pettit screaming his lungs out in it. But there are even more people who think that heaviness Pettit brought to the songs was the perfect counterpoint to the prettiness Green brought. And those are the people this record is for and those are the people who are going to be thoroughly impressed with the performance here.

It’s always nice when you can hear the audience interaction on a live album and there aren’t many songs that go by on “Live At Copps” where you can’t hear the entire coliseum singing their very hearts out. It’s pretty moving even for casual fans like myself.

Alexisonfire were a great band and brought a lot of energy and an impressive platter of albums to the Canadian music scene when they were in their original run. Even if I wasn’t on the bandwagon myself, I can see why they did as well as they did and this album is a great document of just about the most important show this band ever played. For fans of this band or of Canadian rock music in general, “Live At Copps” is a must hear album.


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