Unleash the Archers are coming to Toronto. Meh. Supporting them are Edmonton’s Striker. Now that I’m in for. A longtime fan, I’ve never seen Striker in concert as yet. Throw in local support Lutharo, who my friend Jamie O’Toole has been telling me I need to see since forever. I’ve traveled further and paid more just to see supports and openers! So, I find myself at Velvet Underground on Queen Street Toronto on a Monday night for Striker/Lutharo.
LUTHARO – (Striker/Lutharo Concert Review)
Lutharo took the stage a few minutes after their posted set start time. Not even hearing a song sample before this moment, I was a clean slate of expectations. They came out hard and heavy, meaty riffs pummeling the crowd. First thing of note was hair. It was flying everywhere and we’re only into the opening track! Long hair and beards adorned the band, well minus the facial hair for frontwoman Krista Shipperbottom. With a banging head, I was probably quite visibly taken back when the small-statured Shipperbottom opened her mouth. How could such a tiny frame issue such a powerful deep guttural growl was surprising.
As the set crashed forward at top speed, the obvious focus should have been Shipperbottom. But I found myself more entranced with the two guitar players (Victor Bucur / John Raposo) and bassman (Ruslan Lypovsky). It started as I noticed the comical “bass face” expressions on Lypovsky. At more than a few points, I actually laughed at his goofy wide-eyed looks. Then I picked up on the interactions between all three. It seems that these guys have played/practiced a lot together and the chemistry between them shines through. Playing mostly songs from the recently issued Unleash the Beast EP, Lutharo were a fun band to witness. One thing is for sure and that’s Lutharo are larger than life on stage!
STRIKER – (Striker/Lutharo Concert Review)
Striker took the relatively small stage at Velvet Underground with force. I’ve been listening to this band for some years now and was thrilled for this first live experience! The set encompassed mostly selections from their six release back catalog with only one (“Heart of Lies”) from the forthcoming Play to Win album. Which by the way is a stellar album, my promo copy seeing lots of action this past week! The 2016 issued Stand in the Fire saw the heaviest representation with four cuts in the setlist.
Delivering their brand of speed metal, Striker seemed to genuinely enjoy themselves on stage. The visual look was simply old school metal. Leather jackets and long hair. Vocalist Dan Cleary was sporting a Triumph shirt and I chuckled a little as I picked off bassist William Wallace‘s resemblance to a young Russ Dwarf of KiLLeR DWaRfS. But that also may have been in my head. Awesome set. And so is the new album. Buy it through the link below.
SETLIST: “Phoenix Lights”, “Born to Lose”, “Heart of Lies”, “Lethal Force”, “Crossroads”, “Former Glory”, “Too Late”, “Out for Blood”, “Pass Me By”, “Locked In”, “Full Speed or No Speed”, “The White Knight”, “Fight for Your Life”.