JUNE 24th 2016 

Review by Lana Muirhead
Photos by Peter Ruttan: http://www.metaltitans.com/concertpics/tiger-army/

The plethora of rockabilly bands out there is staggering: the popularity of them even moreso. And I continue to discover more of them and their bastard offspring.

Take Tiger Army for example: I have never heard of them but that’s not terribly surprising given my certain appetite for all things heavy.  Yet they packed the Commodore on June 24, 2016, and had everyone singing along.  I didn’t catch their opening acts, The Bellfuries and the Pine Hill Haints, but hear they did their job well.

Tiger Army is only a 3-piece, but much like those of their genre, create a sound more than their parts. It has been 8 years since they were last in Vancouver and the crowd was hungry and waiting.  TA opened with their new album “Prelude: Ad Victoriam” (from the album “V•••”) along with a couple other newbies including “Knife’s Edge”, “Firefall”, and “I Am The Moth”.  For longtime fans, they also broke out “Cupid’s Victim”, “20 Flight Rock”, “Rumble”, “F.T.W.” (which is deliciously punk) and “Never Die”.  They closed with a three-song encore that had stand-up bassist Djordje Stijepovic on his back with his bass between his feet.  Lead vocalist and guitarist Nick 13 and drummer James Meza could only support the man by playing with all the fury in their arsenal.

A combination of rockabilly, punk, and good ole bluesy rock’n’roll, a style they’ve honed after almost two decades (minus the hiatus while Nick 13 pursued a solo career) of experience, Tiger Army have hit a cross section of the music world that can draw fans simply with individual songs without having a crazy-deep/wholehearted musical connection (ie. There’s something for everyone in their catalogue). And not only are the three amigos entertainers, but they are gentlemen as well. For example, 13 ended up calling out to some feuding dudes in the crowd to ‘bury the hatchet’ as there were many ladies in the crowd.  He also asked that people not light up inside, citing weed as a “hippie drug” and that Tiger Army weren’t there to chill: they were there to rock the fuck out.

If you surveyed the attendees I think you’d be hard pressed to find one disappointed with the performance. Nick 13 played to the crowd, enticing the audience with his high tempo licks and rugged vocals. Stijepovic titillated with his bass spanking and threatrics, and Meza pulled it all together with a wild drum demo akin to primal hooliganism (no one wants a sane drummer).

Overall, these were good times and good sounds. The guys like what they do and the crowd loves them for it. Tiger Army can be said to be a safe bet for a cool Friday night. But just so we’re clear: give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire every other day of the week.