May 25, 2017

The Smugglers reunite after 13 years at the Commodore

the smugglers nightmair creative

The Smugglers reunite after 13 years alongside The Muffs, Chixdiggit at the Commodore
written by Emilio Angel

After 13 years without playing together, Chris Lawrence reunited with the rest of The Smugglers and played an incredible show to a packed Commodore.

I arrived at the beginning of Chixdiggit‘s set to find the Commodore filled with mostly Punk Rockers. The Calgary-based band played great Pop Punk similar to The Offspring, early Blink 182 and Bad Religion – the band’s lyrical style is mostly fun spirited teen songs about girls and random events/objects. I enjoyed the ride and they played songs off their first album Chixdiggit!, such as “I Drove The Coquihalla” and “Where’s Your Mom”. The band played a half hour show before The Muffs came on stage and set the vibe for early 90s punk rock night.

The Muffs played an hour set-list, led by the beautiful voice of Kim Shattuck performed an exciting fun show alongside bass player Ronnie Barnett- these guys have been playing for over 30 years and ended up putting an incredible performance. Kim Shattuck’s scream and slow punk-rock guitar playing had everyone at the Commodore twisting and dancing about, playing a variety of songs from all their albums.

The Smugglers are a well-known punk band from the 90s scene and they’ve toured all over the US and Canada from 1988 to 2004.

The band started the show all dressed up in suits which later changed to pink shirts they found at a thrift store (or so they announced). The hard hitting vibrating punk music throughout the entire set (nearly an hour and a half) didn’t deter the band from also performing a fun show- the audience showing its appreciation with lots of cheers and noise.  Grant Lawrence is reuniting for a one time tour, and said he wouldn’t play again unless the Commodore called, so this show was special for everyone attending. Grant recently released a new book recollecting all his life work, especially his adventures through rock and roll, and how, after nearly 20 years of touring, he called it quits and started a new life in broadcasting.

Throughout the show, Lawrence was extremely thankful for the support from the local scene and fans from Berkeley, California, and Seattle that where there supporting the band’s comeback.

The band gave their thanks to The Muffs for opening up for them, and had a friendly dance-off judged by Kim Shattuck and Grant Lawrence – the band gave the prize to one of their fans.

In all, the show was a fun time and I was glad to see them come back to live music after 13 years with a great reception from the crowd at the Commodore. The Smugglers will be playing a couple more shows in the rest of Canada before splitting up again.

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written by Emilio Angel



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