The Union’s Jingle Bell Rock took over the Shaw Conference Centre on Dec. 18, and brought with it three bands and thousands of fans, spanning a few generations and evolutions of punk.
The night kicked off with grunge-era veteran Melissa Auf Der Maur
first to hit the stage. The former Hole and Smashing Pumpkins affiliate
kept true to her bass-heavy roots, though she and her band played for a
conservative-sized crowd still trickling in.
Up next, Kentucky alt-rockers Cage the Elephant gave radio-borne
fans the chart-toppers they came for, with an attempt to offer the
discriminating harder tracks than are offered play on public airwaves.
Though punk idealists grumble the California group have gone mainstream, headliner AFI delivered with thorough intensity that has kept the group a scene staple for nearly 20 years.