Suicidal Tendencies Union Hall, Edmonton AB, July 19

Suicidal Tendencies Union Hall, Edmonton AB, July 19
Photo: Dana Zuk
Suicidal Tendencies have become a household name over the past three decades. Surrounded by years of controversy over their past members and music, the California group are now synonymous with thrash metal, hardcore punk and for being at the forefront of crossover thrash.
Frontman and founding member Mike Muir led the charge for the group's stop in Edmonton, and kept energy levels rising to a new high for Union Hall, hoping to leave the group's insignia on those in attendance by throwing down an intense performance, and also sharing the messages that inspired each song, encouraging everyone to live their best lives.
Suicidal Tendencies took their time entering the stage, and built up anticipation by drawing out the intro to "You Can't Bring Me Down." Lengthening the song as well, Muir seemed to be sizing up the audience to see what kind of carnage he could conjure up. After measuring up his guests for the evening and dawning a massive smile, the group broke into "I Shot Reagan."
Larger than life and so entertaining, Muir showed zero fatigue for the length of the show. Despite being provided a smaller stage to work with, not an inch of said stage was left unexplored. Darting back and forth while his head rapidly bobbed to the beat of the Dave Lombardo's drums, there wasn't a moment throughout the performance where his feet stood still.
Muir addressed the crowd multiple times between songs, and spoke about perseverance through the many challenges of life, and the importance of standing up for what is right. Muir also took time to express his views on individuality and how important it is for everyone to live their lives by no one else's rules. "The most beautiful thing on Earth, is when someone becomes themselves."
The set list was a strong collection of the most notable songs over the years, and flowed together seamlessly. Smashing out banger after banger, including "Subliminal," "I Saw Your Mommy" and "Cyco Vision," each musician held their own, and despite multiple stage crashers, carried on without interruption and maintained the relentless, fast-as-hell speed they're known for.
Perhaps most notable onstage, other than Muir, was touring guitarist Benjamin Weinman, who gave the show some flair as he wielded his guitar around his body and largely explored the stage throughout the set. The Dillinger Escape Plan guitarist took to the sky multiple times with some on stage acrobatics — climbing to the top of his amplifier cabs and jumping off while adding some mid-air kicks before landing and launching across the platform.
As the evening came to a close, "Pledge Your Allegiance" was the group's finale. Before starting,  Weinman walked across the venue sound board on a narrow railing to begin the song in the midst of the crowd. Finishing their set, Muir invited audience members to pack the stage and help sing out the final verses of the song, while wrapping up the evening with chants of "S-T!" before disappearing off stage and into the crowd.

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