Review By Bailey Gallinger 2.23.19.
Photos by Constance Delisle: https://www.galaxy-mag.com/asitis-velvet
As It Is-The Great Depression Tour: Velvet Underground in Toronto, ON on February 11, 2019
It's a frigid day in Toronto. I just got to the venue after 5 hours of traveling that day. I arrive at Velvet Underground around 2pm, just in time for my 4pm VIP check-in. Benjamin Langford-Biss, guitarist of As It Is has just brought out coffee for the fans waiting outside in the cold. Surprisingly, not many people are waiting and don't show up until the check-in time. Once inside the venue, As It Is begin their soundcheck/Q and A session. Followed by the meet and greet, which was not rushed at all as you were allowed to take as long as you wanted to talk to the band. 6:30pm. The show begins. Point North, the newest pop-punk band in the scene take the stage. With such good stage presence and interacting with the fans in the crowd, even if you were like me and didn't listen to Point North before the show you couldn't help but not jump around and have a good time during their set. I can gladly say that I am a huge Point North fan after seeing them and will definitely attend another one of their shows in the future. Next was the more chill, but still entertaining Hold Close. With lead vocalist Braxton Smiley taking over the keyboard during a few songs. I also would recommend checking them out as they too are another amazing band I wish I listened to prior to this show. The final opener was the more loud, "scary", definitely not pop punk band Sharptooth. With lead singer Lauren telling her story and struggles she went through in life, to providing resources for audience members to look into if they needed help, to overall just wanting to make a safe place for everyone. Sharptooth wasn't my type of music, but the message they convey is so important in today's world. If you are into more heavier music, definitely give Sharptooth a listen. Finally, it was time for the moment I waited months for. As It Is, my favorite band since before they were a band and my first time seeing them headline (I've only seen them on Warped and as openers in the past). As their song 'The Reaper' begins to play, the crowd gets more and more hyped up until, "I'm staring death in his eyes!" The entire time As It Is are on stage it's as if you are in a trance, you can't take your eyes off of them. From Patty's extreme microphone swings to Ronnie getting right in your face, to Ben ripping at his guitar, As It Is really are a band that has so much fun while on stage. Taking a more serious tone before 'The Question, The Answer', Patty reminds the audience of the importance of talking about mental health and how we need to break the stigma surrounding it. He also tells all of us that he wants to make this show a place where you can escape all the troubles that you suffer outside of the venue whether it is your personal life, friendship/relationship issues, anything. At an As It Is show you are welcomed, safe, and will have the time of your life. Once the show came to a close it wasn't long before Ronnie was out meeting fans, jumping the barricade just so he could get closer to us. Everyone who works on this tour, including all the bands, crew, tour managers, everyone was so nice and made the whole experience 10 times better. I recommend going to an As It Is show at least once in your life because they really do put on a show like no other. You will more than likely catch me at the next As It Is tour because I owe my life to this band and I'm so thankful for them. I cannot wait for them to come back so I can have the time of my life once again!