If there is one thing Canadian music fans can’t wait for is outdoor music festivals. And the folks at SuperCrawl in Hamilton brought us the first one for Southern Ontario last weekend with Home Field.

Held at the home field of the Hamilton Tiger Cats CFL franchise I can honestly say it was one of the biggest outdoor venues I have ever had the chance to shoot in. Not often do you get to go shoot photos on the field level of a football stadium.

Taking the Home Field stage were some local bands with Hamilton roots. Kicking the early evening off were Hamilton’s own The Rule. I read another review saying this band was all about screaming obscenities and people with kids in the crowd were likely unhappy. Well, I can say these guys plowed through their set and rocked the heck out of the “donut hole” as I heard Tim Hortons field referred to a couple of times throughout the evening. The Rule were some great hard rock and set the scene for the night. Keep your eyes peeled for these guys around the Golden Horseshoe.

Next up was iconic Hamilton punk rockers Teenage Head. These guys have been rocking the classic punk sounds from back in the late 80s. And they show no sign of letting up anytime soon. I love that old Ramones styled punk rock from days gone by. Teenage Head put on a great hour-long set and even stuck around to hang field level for the rest of the show. These guys are legends in the Hamilton area. Stay tuned as I think we will see a bit more of them in the next little bit.

Danko Jones, I have listened to them on the radio for many years. Never have I had the chance to see them tear a stage up the way they did on this night. With their hard-hitting rock they had the crowd jumping and the night was shaping up to be the typical rock show.   The crowd surfers started getting some courage and started getting going to Danko’s set. Although not from Hamilton, they mentioned some of their very first shows were in the Hamilton area and were happy to be back.  Was great to see Danko rocking the big stage on this side of the pond for a change.  They have played all the major festivals over in Europe and have a huge following over there.  The fellas put on a killer live show and set the stage perfectly for the headliner, Billy Talent.

Billy Talent doesn’t need much of an introduction. They keep gaining more and more traction in Canada and continue to blow the roof off stages wherever they play. They have some of the craziest fans I have ever seen. From endless crowd surfers coming over the barricades, to people moshing and just bringing the true rock show experience to life I can’t get enough of shooting these guys. They never disappoint.

The show turned a little somber as they took some time to acknowledge the passing of Chris Cornell, someone who all of us grew up listening too and who shaped a musical generation. With their rendition of Burden In My Hand you could feel the respect and honor they were paying to Chris Cornell and feel the emotion in the crowd as not a single soul wasn’t singing along.

There was a brief moment the band was forced off the stage as the fire alarm went off in the stadium, but they returned to the stage to complete a full set. As the night drew later it was almost time to put the wraps on a successful Home Field show for the gang at Supercrawl. The boys of Billy Talent closed the night off with Fallen Leaves, Viking Death March and giant hit Try Honesty. I don’t think this is the last rock show we will see at Tim Horton’s Field in Hamilton it was a great venue and need to thank the folks at Warner Music Canada and Supercrawl for having us out.

Check out the line up for the annual Super Crawl festival in September. You can bet, The Bus will be there!

Photos & Words – Bill Woodcock

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