I count myself one of the fortunate non-Canadians who’ve seen Constantines several times, starting with a Sub Pop showcase at CMJ in October 2003 on a bill with The Thermals and The Shins. Always a high energy affair, the Cons attacked the stage with such velocity and conviction that it left me rattled. The Shins might’ve been riding high on the newly released Chutes Too Narrow, but the Cons played like condemned men.
This was all at a time when Canadian bands were starting to outshine their North American counterparts, which included bands like Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Hot Hot Heat and The Stills, but out of all of them, Constantines really stood on their own. They were just average working class guys railing against the day. There was nothing marketable or radio friendly about them. They won people over by sheer force of will.
The band went on a permanent hiatus in 2009 while other members worked on solo projects but they reunited for shows in 2014 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their break-through album, Shine A Light. From the looks of things, they’re still playing the odd high profile date in Canada, including this beautifully filmed show at Massey Hall in Toronto recorded on May 27, 2015. Cons vocalist Bry Webb also has his own set recorded at Massey Hall last year which you can check out here.