P.O.D. Rock the 'Youth of the Nation'

Opera House
December 14, 2005
Canadian winters sometimes dissuade people from coming up to the great white north, but that didn't prevent rockers P.O.D. (aka Payable on Death) for putting on a show for Toronto fans despite the fact that their current Fall Brawl tour with Staind, Taproot and Flyleaf doesn't stop in the city.

In spite of the cold on December 14 the boys from San Diego; lead singer Sony Sandoval, guitarist Jason Truby, bassist Traa Daniels and drummer Wuv Bernardo, brought energy into the Opera House with their unique mix of hard rock, synthesized beats, hip hop, reggae and a born again Christian influence.

The band was never one to hide their faith, talking about it in the media and saying "God bless you" several timed during their performance but they aren't ones to shove it down anyone's throat either.

Songs like their hit "Youth of the Nation" don't sound like the gospel music you'd expect when you hear the words Christian attached to the name of a band. But as the band beat out the tune about the trials and tribulations youth face in the world today the young crowd yelled back the chorus "We are, we are youth of the nation" as if the words were their own. At one point the lead singer Sony Sandoval asked that the lights come onto the audience and as the crowd raised their hands in the air in unison they chanted back the words with the verve of a church choir.

Perhaps knowing the importance of fans Sony referred to the crowd several times as "family" and encouraging them to not just listen but be a part of the show he told the audience, "feel free to sing your hearts out."

Though bits of spirituality sneak its way into their music don't let it make you think that these guys don't rock hard. On tunes like "Boom" and "Wildfire" the band pumps out the hard rock sounds that are probably more appropriate for the amphitheatres they're playing on the Fall Brawl tour and did more than shake the walls of the Opera House.

The band slowed it down for tunes like, "Roots in Stereo" a song with its roots in reggae that made you want to sway to the music more than mosh. Or perhaps the crowd was quieter because they had yet to be familiar with the tune which will be on the bands upcoming album Testify that comes out January 24.

Though the band only did an hour long set, slightly shorter than average for a concert but likely cut down due to the fact that their set was made for a tour that included three other bands, they did sneak in a few "Testify" tunes, including their newest single "Goodbye For Now" mingled in with tunes from mostly their last two albums 2001's Satellite and 2003's Payable on Death.

After the show the band rejoined Staind, Taproot and Flyleaf in New York to wrap up the last few dates of the Fall Brawl tour, despite the fact that it now looks a lot like winter, before heading back to their nice warm San Diego homes.

Writer: Michelle Garcia

Photo:Michelle Garcia

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