Words by Paige Kochanski
Down With Webster – Winnipeg, MB at the Garrick Center February 3
When you go to a Down With Webster show, the title of their latest single “Party For Your Life” definitely applies. I’ll be the first to admit that there isn’t anything utterly genius about the Toronto natives. Down With Webster aren’t trying to do that, though. All they want is to have a good time and make sure that their fans do the same, which is exactly what you get at their show.
From the minute that the six-piece jumped on stage and into their single “One In A Million”, the crowd didn’t stop. The next two hours were packed with a blend of their three ‘Time To Win’ volumes. The rappers of the group, Bucky and Camm Hunter moved around the stage constantly, interacting with the fans, and throwing out their signature red cups. Pat Gillett is the rock of the group, with an absolutely phenomenal voice that gives the band an edge to others. Though everyone together sounds great, the few songs that Pat does solo with just an acoustic guitar show how stunning his vocals are and the immense talent that he has. As usual in shows, drummer Marty has a solo mid-set while he jokes with fans and even plays a Justin Timberlake song. Diggy and Tyler Armes prefer to stay in the back but it seems to work out in the band’s favour by not overpowering the already busy stage. Down With Webster are a delicate balance of each member individually, and though some songs feel very mainstream, as a whole they’re stronger than each part. It creates a powerful group that’s different than everything on the market right now.
Opener SonReal came out with a great message of following your dreams but as the set went on, the fact that he wasn’t sober came through and he had problems with slurring his words and forgetting a few. For the most part, he still got the audience moving and having fun, but near the end fell off the stage onto a girl’s head. Moral of the story is, if you’re gonna drink before a show, at least be able to stand and perform.
D Pryde was the second opener and put on a fantastic set. He always had a smile on his face throughout the set and it was obvious that he was having the time of his life on the tour, which was refreshing to see.
If you didn’t grow up in Canada, listening to Down With Webster for the first time might make them sound like some mainstream garbage. But they are a completely different story live. Each song comes alive and it really is a time to “party for your life”. They put on one of the funniest shows of any band and an experience that is impossible not to love. Anyone checking them out should go to live videos first, rather than the studio versions and I completely recommend seeing them next time the band comes through your city.
For remaining tour dates, check out Down With Webster on Facebook.