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Concert Reviews: Default

photo of Default copyright Janet Reid.Default: Concert Review
St. Andrew's Hall, Detroit, MI
November 26, 2003
By: Matt Boltz

Default rolled into Detroit on November 26, 2003, in support of their most recent album, Elocation, which was released a day earlier. A large and enthusiastic crowd filled St. Andrew's Hall on the night before Thanksgiving to show their enthusiasm for the Canadian quartet's music. Default's stage setup was more elaborate than that of most bands playing at St. Andrew's, featuring an elevated drum riser and a gold backdrop. Though on the fancy side for a St. Andrew's show, the stage setup complemented Default's stage presence nicely and added to their set without becoming a distraction.

photo of Default bassist Dave Benedict copyright Janet ReidAll four band members displayed an impressive amount of energy and enthusiasm while having every bit as much fun as the several hundred fans in attendance. Vocalist Dallas Smith overcame the low vocal mix and displayed his outstanding vocal range and ability throughout the 14-song set of songs from both Elocation and their 2001 debut, The Fallout. Smith exhibited a high level of enthusiasm for the duration of the set by smiling often, moving around the stage frequently, and feeding off of and returning the fans' energy. Smith wasn't the only member of Default having fun; bassist Dave Benedict was constantly moving to the beat of the music, his long braids often obscuring his face as he held the rhythm with drummer Danny Craig. Craig was also noticeably energetic throughout the set while keeping time from his perch several feet above his band mates. Guitarist Jeremy Hora had a unique opportunity to display his considerable guitar talents with a several minute guitar solo during which the rest of the band left the stage. With the spotlight to himself, Hora captured the audience's attention and admiration with an impressive combination of effects, picking speed, and overall talent. Hora was very energetic throughout the show and made no secret of his appreciation for the praise the fans gave him, especially during his solo. In Seize the Day, the song following Hora's solo, he had another chance to display his guitar proficiency by breaking into the riffs from the Led Zeppelin classics Heartbreaker and Bring it on Home.

photo of Default vocalist Dallas Smith copyright Janet ReidAfter plowing through a mix of old and new songs, Default ended their fast-paced and energetic set with Wasting My Time, a radio staple and fan favorite from The Fallout. The audience expressed loudly and passionately that they wanted more; as expected, Default returned to the stage for an encore, playing a cover of Jeff Buckley's Cruel, which also appears on Elocation, and Deny, another one of their hit singles from The Fallout. Although the opening bands Blue Epic, Blue October, and Socialburn performed well and received a good response from the crowd, it was clear that the vast majority of the fans were at the show specifically to see Default. They were not disappointed, as Default put on a very good set that showed the experience the four-year-old band gained while touring extensively in support of The Fallout. The band expertly combined enthusiasm, interaction with the crowd, and excellent musicianship to put on a show that should have left nobody in the crowd unsatisfied.
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Photos by Janet Reid