The big question was: would the band miss their now departed ginger nutjob Frank Carter. The answer was no.

Date: October 11, 2012

Venue: Rock City Basement

This tour is something of a road test for Gallows as it’s their first major tour without their talismanic front man Frank Carter who, for some, was the emblematic image of the band, with his heavily-inked upper body and flaming red hair.

So those ardent devotees who have remained loyal to the band as a group are eager to see new front man and former Alexisonfire howler Wade MacNeil in this new incarnation.

And they weren’t disappointed. If Carter’s boots were big to fill, Canadian MacNeil’s feet are inch perfect.

His caustic howls and acerbic yelps continue the Gallows philosophy, but he’s also witty, articulate and responsive, engaging with the throng continually throughout.

As gnarled, twisted metallic shards of hardcore noise pierce the sweaty atmosphere, and as heavy bass tumbles and unravels itself into a frothing circle pit, Wade strides along the bar, confidently, as if it’s an extension of the stage built solely for him.

While this is a new chapter for the band, old favourites aren’t ignored. ‘In the Belly of a Shark’, perhaps their biggest success, is epic, while set closer ‘Orchestra of Wolves’ knits together a sweaty tapestry of band and audience in the moshpit; the band and crowd surfing on a sea of arms in unison.

Wade returns shirtless, having been stripped almost bare by the baying mob. He’s answered the question of whether or not this band can progress without thier icon. The only question left unanswered is: who’s Frank Carter?


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