Reviewed by Austin Powell, Fri., Nov. 13, 2009
Fucked UpWaterloo Park, Nov. 7
If Fucked Up is the hardcore version of Extreme Championship Wrestling, then frontman Damian Abraham, better known as Pink Eyes, is its people's champion. Off his anti-anxiety meds for six days, the heavyweight took the stage with a classic homage to Sandman, crumpling a beer can against his forehead and sharing his mic from the barricade for the better part of the set. While Fucked Up aims high on album, as evidenced by the prog pretensions and eccentric flourishes on the band's Polaris Music Prize-winning 2008 LP, The Chemistry of Common Life, in this live setting the Toronto sextet struck below the belt, honing its hardcore anthems, notably the metallic sheen of "Crusades" and "No Epiphany," into one giant tour de force, with a three-guitar battering ram and a relentless rhythm section. That gave the singer plenty of room to work his mojo on Chemistry antecedent Epics in Minutes' "Police," at one point parting through the pit. He built off lead guitarist 10,000 Marbles impressively throughout, exchanging lines such as "it's hard enough being born in the first place" and "who would ever want to be born again?" in the standout "Son the Father." It was a cathartic confrontation – combat as performance.