Billy Talent is a band who absolutely defined my musical library whilst my younger self was starting to discover music.
As such, it was an incredible treat to have the opportunity to photograph their "secret" 102.1 The Edge show the night before the release of their latest album, 'Afraid of Heights'.
I place the word 'secret' between quotations because although the artist performing during this invite-only radio show was kept a secret, I was able to guess the artist through some rudimental sleuthwork:
1. Billy Talent was releasing a new album the next day
2. Billy Talent was in town for a press day
3. Lead singer Ben Kowalewicz used to work for The Edge
As such, though I was really happy to discover they were the evening's special guests, I was also rather pleased with my observational prowess.
I've only ever seen Billy Talent once before - at last year's CMW Indies Awards in the Sheraton Toronto. It was a bit of a strange venue for a punk show, but the unorthodox location was quickly forgotten as strangers attempted to forceably remove me from my front and center position. To this day, that remains the most violent and sweaty concert experience I've ever had.
In comparison, the evening's crowd were completely angelic. A few handbangers and fist pumpers were found amongst the ranks of the intimate crowd (of which I was definitely one), but most people seemed content filming the evening on their smartphones. Due to the secret nature of this event, it's understandable that it wouldn't draw as much of a hardcore fanbase. Nevertheless, it was a real treat having the chance to see - and photograph - one of my all time favourite bands in an intimate setting .... and without the risk of being roughed up
Full gallery from this secret show can be seen over at Aesthetic Magazine.