The Headstones spent the ’90s as Canada’s pre-eminent punk rock band, releasing a string of hit albums, touring their own country consistently, and forging a devout cult audience in border towns like Buffalo.
Anyone who caught the band during a sweaty, boozy and high-octane live gig during that period probably wasn’t all that surprised when the Headstones called it quits in 2003. As leader Hugh Dillon recently told the Ottawa Citizen, there were two reasons for the band’s dissolution – “drugs and alcohol.” According to Dillon, serious partying had calcified into hard living, and breaking up the band was a way of avoiding ending up six feet under.
Dillon went on to forge an acting career, most notably starring in the popular Canadian TV series “Flashpoint.” Now gleefully reunited with band mates Trent Carr, Tim White and Dale Harrison, Dillon is back on top of his game. “Love & Fury,” released earlier this year, made plain the fact that sobriety has done nothing to dim the Headstones’ primal punk blaze.
The band now tours only when it feels like it, enjoying its ability to avoid the grind that wore it down. Happily, the Headstones feel like playing for their border buddies for the first time in a good while. Fans are invited to spend New Year’s Eve with Dillon and Co. beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Rapids Theatre (1711 Main St., Niagara Falls). TimeGiant will open. Tickets are $50 (box office, www.ticketfly.com).
– Jeff Miers