Like other Canadian bands, it’s hard to realize just how popular Billy Talent is until you look at the numbers. The Canadian alt-punk quartet – vocalist Benjamin Kowalewicz, guitarist Ian D’Sa, bassist Jon Gallant and drummer Aaron Solowoniuk – has sold 3 million records worldwide. The quartet’s self-titled album went three times platinum in their home country, too.
But it’s not national patriotism that drives record sales. The band has an energy in its music – it’s frenetic, energetic and highly infectious. Aggressive, yet supremely catchy. It’s got a conviction behind it that the band is ready to bring to town for a show at 7 p.m. Sept. 9 in the Rapids Theatre (1711 Main St., Niagara Falls) that will most likely draw a rowdy and rambunctious crowd from both sides of the border.
This year marks the release of the band’s newest album, “Afraid of Heights,” a title that seems a bit humorously ironic considering the band has really pushed past quite a big hurdle. Solowoniuk was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis who announced earlier in the year he is taking a hiatus from the band to focus on his health. Jordan Hastings (Alexisonfire) has taken over drumming on the new album and live duties. But if the band is truly afraid of heights, then it certainly has been paying attention to its career since its new record has sold more than 53,000 copies already. My advice to Billy Talent: Don’t look down now.
Tickets are $25 (ticketfly.com)
– Kris Kielich