OCTOBER 21st 2018
Review by Metallic Barbie

A 5 year hiatus.  Two Junos under their belt.  And almost six years without a live performance together.  You’d think that would be a recipe for disaster for any band.  Not for Canada’s own Default.  After announcing a reunion tour in support of 14 years in the business and the 2018 release of Re-Cuts EP, original members Dallas Smith (vocals, occasional rhythm guitar), Jeremy Hora (lead guitar), Dave Benedict (bass), Danny Craig (drums, percussion) and new addition Darren Savard (2nd guitar) rocked the Commodore on Sunday, October 21st.

Preceded by the energetic local act The Vidos, Default opened with “Sick and Tired” and slipped right back into performance mode.  Though slightly older but no less enthusiastic, Smith and the band rocked the house with “Taking My Life Away”, “It Only Hurts”, “Live A Lie” and “Count On Me” before closing the regular set with “Wasting My Time”. They took a quick breather and came back with an homage to the late Chris Cornell, performing a cover of Soundgarden’s “Outshine”.  They closed the night with the song that got them their first record deal back in 2001, “Deny”.

Smith, with his tattoos and cut, appeared more ready to scrap than serenade, but the trademark frontman’s voice crooned with the melodic rock/borderline pop country sound the band earned international respect for in the early 2000s.  Without a barrier, he freely grabbed fans’ phones and took selfies and videos to many swooning ladies’ delight. Despite the hooks and relatively simplistic musical formula designed for radio success, the whole band poured their heart into the set and not a-one of the dudes dropped their smiles the whole show.  Maybe that’s because despite my thinking the girlfriends all dragged their boyfriends to the show, every bloody person in the room was singing every word, damned who bought the tickets.

Default is one of those bands that you forget you know 90% of their songs until you end up at a show, years in the making, and find yourself a part of the chorus-singing herd.  Realization quickly sets in and it’s impossible not to recognize that Canadian rock is still very much alive and well.