Filter puts the heat in Snow Jam
By Megan O'Toole
Snow in the summertime? You'd better believe it.
This past weekend, Toronto's Exhibition Place saw Snow Jam 2002 come and go amidst a flurry of skateboarders, snowflakes and rockin' sounds.
Snow Jam is best known for showcasing the talents of some of North America's finest freeskiers, snowboarders, skateboarders, BMX riders and in-line skaters. In between gravity-defying demonstrations by extreme athletes, a variety of musical acts hit the bandstand to provide an energetic, booming soundtrack for the events.
As the athletes compete for awards, the bands compete for audience attention and what a truly interesting competition this proved to be, with such diverse acts as Tuuli, Swollen Members, Danko Jones and numerous smaller Canadian bands hitting the stage in rapid succession on Saturday.
Headliners Filter followed an awards presentation, during which Snow Jam's top athletes were recognized for their achievements. Filter's set was by far the most memorable part of the festivities.
True showman and lead vocalist Richard Patrick gave it his all throughout the concert, engaging the audience with his high-watt energy and innate charisma. He made the stage his own, while at the same time, creating an atmosphere which included the audience and brought them into his world.
Lead guitarist Geno Lenardo gave a stand-out performance as his raw, yet polished, guitar work charged the atmosphere with pure electricity.
Interspersed with new material off of the band's latest disc
Amalgamut, Filter also delivered some classics, including "Where Do We Go From Here," "Take A Picture," "Welcome to the Fold" and the hugely successful "Hey Man, Nice Shot."
The crowd got wilder as the set progressed, with kids thrashing and jumping around in time to the pounding riffs. It was a cult of youth: kids voluntarily enslaved by the sound and ecstatically trapped in the throws of the music.
As the set neared its end and the band started to leave for their pre-encore break, Patrick brought them back with a call: "Where's my band? We're not going anywhere!" The band responded by playing their full encore before saying goodbye to Toronto for the night.
Just as the final strains of feedback died from the bandstand, the rain began, proving that even the weather would bow down to Filter. The uncanny timing of this unexpected storm brought the added bonus of clearing out the park in a quick and efficient manner.
Snow Jam ended in rain and darkness, but through their top-notch performance, Filter earned a place in the sun.