Helming an evening of intense progressive metal, Whitby shredders, Protest the Hero dazzled a packed  crowd of fans at Maxwell’s Concerts and Events last Friday, September 29.

The first concert of their “And The Quest for More Treats” mini-tour, the bombastic show also featured a trio of the hottest up-and-coming Toronto progressive bands.

After Waterloo, a small jaunt through southern Ontario will feature shows in St. Catharines, Hamilton, and Sarnia.

This was Protest’s first tour date in Waterloo since the release of their most recent album Pacific Myth, which was first serialized to subscribers on music streaming and purchasing website Bandcamp in late 2015 and early 2016.

However, it wasn’t Protest’s first venture into alternative music distribution; they crowdfunded their 2013 album Volition through Indiegogo.

Progressive metal band The Frame Defect started off the show and were followed up by the instrumental band Earth’s Yellow Sun, who featured two amazing saxophonists and a synth in place of vocals.

The final opener was Red Handed Denial, whose stage presence energized the crowd and raised the anticipation of Protest the Hero taking the stage.

All three supporting acts were unquestionably talented and definitely raised the bar for my expectations of opening bands in the future.

Protest the Hero started their set with the classic “Sex Tapes” from Scurrilous, and then played a variety of songs from throughout their discography.

Unfortunately, I was disappointed to find they played only one from their 2005 concept album Kezia, a favourite of mine.

This was balanced out by the intense and out-of-this-world rendition of “C’est La Vie”, their masterpiece about suicide and self-determination, which assuaged all my doubts. They seemed to end with fan-favourite, “Bloodmeat”, but after the typical band trope of stage abandonment and re-ascension after crowd demand, they played Volition closer “Skies” as an appropriate encore.

Throughout the night, Protest the Hero vocalist Rody Walker took the opportunity to speak between songs on a variety of topics, such as the difference between Kitchener and Waterloo (audience members disagreed) and his views on nationalism (not a fan).

He joked about his band’s enduring popularity by pointing out the promising opening acts and how as the headliner Protest must be successful. I can’t say I disagree!