Concert Review: Wayfarer, May 17, The Garrison

With five years having passed since Wayfarer were last in Toronto, vocalist/guitarist Shane McCarthy took a moment near the beginning of their set to comment on how great it felt to be back in the city again before adding, “Let’s do some cowboy shit.”

Touring behind their latest, 2023’s American Gothic (which made #3 on Decibel Magazine’s Top 40 albums of last year), the Denver-based four-piece took to the stage at The Garrison on Friday night alongside tourmates Sonja and Valdrin. And the aforementioned “cowboy shit” was on display on this evening in both the band’s visual aesthetic (bassist/vocalist Jamie Hansen was sporting a bolo tie) and in their music, a mix of black metal and Western/Americana influences – the band has cited fellow Denver bands 16 Horsepower and Slim Cessna’s Auto Club as a couple of the non-metal acts who’ve inspired them. Live, the band’s performance is suitably epic, as sprawling black metal meets slide guitar and moody, cinematic passages.

After playing for roughly one hour, the band ended off their set with “False Constellation,” the closing track on American Gothic and, to my ears, the absolute highlight of the album. Lyrically, it’s an examination of American history and culture with lines like “You’ve got a shadow on your grave” and “A beaten tattered flag/Raised in honor of a dream/A memory/Of what had never came to pass” delving into the dark side of the American dream.

Real cowboy shit indeed.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts