Canadian Rock Icons Default Reunite And Prove That Rock Is Alive And Well

Dallas Smith and the boys of Default said farewell twelve years ago but rocked the house in Ottawa on Monday night as if they had never said goodbye.

Rock always seems to go through its ups and downs and the current trend is up. From the opening notes of Sick and Tired to the closing monster of a hit Deny, Default raised the rock flag high, loud and proud. Front man Dallas Smith’s confidence is through the roof these days and this show was no different. The band really has not lost a step since it’s heyday in the mid 2000’s when they were part of Canada’s rock royalty, having had eleven top ten singles and sold over four million albums worldwide. For the most part when you watch a band, the lead singer is the focal point. This doesn’t completely apply to Default, however, as the whole band is a blast to watch. Guitarist Jeremy Hora and drummer Danny Craig were just as solid as they’ve ever been. The show was almost stolen by bass player Dave Benedict, largely recognized as a very active showman onstage, and he did not disappoint the near sold out crowd at the Algonquin Commons Theatre.

You tend to forget the amount of great songs a band has after they’ve stopped putting out new music and stopped touring.  The hit songs just kept coming and the venue was full of obvious fans of the band, as the sing alongs happened for almost every tune the band threw their way.

The overall show itself was great as well. Algonquin Commons Theatre was a great venue for the band, the sound was crystal clear and loud, the way a rock show should be. The kick drum shook your body as you would hope a kick drum would and Dallas’ voice was top notch. The band is also touring with guitar player Darren Savard, a member of Dallas’ solo country project. It was a great addition as the songs sounded much more full and rich than previous Default show’s I’ve seen, not to mention Darren brought his own energy to an already energetic band.

It’s always exciting when a great band gets back together and the memories it brings back are wonderful. To me though, this wasn’t about memories or looking back. It was about looking ahead and looking forward to new rock music on the horizon. Rock built the foundation for most popular music of today and it’s on it’s way to the forefront of music again. For Default, it may not have been about creating something new, but judging by how much fun they were having on stage with each other and the crowd, it was worth it for everyone in the building.

Default finishes up its tour over the next week, final dates are below.

  • Nov 15 – Laval, QC @ Place Bell*
  • Nov 16 – Moncton, NB @ Casino New Brunswick*
  • Nov 17 – Fredericton, NB @ Fredericton Boyce Farmers Market+
  • Nov 19 – Halifax, NB @ Casino Nova Scotia+

*with Stone Temple Pilots & Seether
+Default only