Tuesday, September 19, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Bret Michaels), Plus Diamond Head Concert Videos!!

Here's another new post for your Tuesday, and while it's mostly devoted to some long awaited video footage from a big recent concert, we're leading off with a huge LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for later this year, so without any further adieu, here's what you need to know!

Poison frontman Bret Michaels will return to The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino for another headlining concert on Saturday, November 25th in what the venue is calling their "Thanksgiving Weekend Mega Party" during his The Party Starts Now World Tour! Make this concert Bret's seventh (at least) in the Twin Saults, having previously rocked The Eastgate Hotel in 2005 and the Soo Kewadin in 2008, 2010, 2011, 2014 and last November, which is a clear sign of how well his local concerts go and are received! Falling over the American Thanksgiving long weekend, hopefully fans' turkey hangovers are gone in time for a night of hair metal classics from Poison like "Every Rose Has It's Thorn" & "Unskinny Bop", plus selections from Bret's solo career, so keep this huge show in mind for later this fall! As of this writing, there are no announced opening bands, though none were advertised last year either.

Tickets go on sale this Friday at the in-person box office, online at this link, and at 1-800-KEWADIN, and while tickets start at $48.50, expect higher prices depending on seating location and announced VIP packages. Expect this one to be another 7:00 PM event with no announced age limits. It's great to see Bret return to Sault Michigan for his sixth show here in the past decade, and if he keeps coming back, something is obviously clicking, so for all you Hair Scare fans, don't miss out on this one over the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend, and tickets go on sale FRIDAY!

Next up, here's some long awaited videos from the Diamond Head concert at The Rockstar Bar in Sault Ontario from earlier this month, courtesy of Christopher Paci's awesome YouTube channel once again! Uploaded yesterday despite a two week wait for his footage, Chris filmed 13 videos on September 2nd, including seven of the headlining British NWOBHM pioneers, including their songs "Streets of Gold", "It's Electric", "Set My Soul On Fire", "Diamonds", "Wild on the Streets", and of course, "Am I Evil?", complete with a mishap near the end where Chris says he "got decked". Hopefully he was OK! Given that song's local familiarity from 421 sets, I'll instead embed Diamond Head's rendition of "Helpless" below. While Diamond Head only retains guitarist Brian Tatler from their classic era, the current lineup sounds good from what I've heard, and singer Rasmus Bom Andersen is a solid fit, though the bass doesn't come through well in the videos, and earlier clips are shot at a worse angle from further away. Check our more from Diamond Head's local set above & below!

As for Chris' other videos, he got three each of the two local opening bands, including punk/metal quintet Jack Spades playing their songs "Rise", "To The Left", and as embedded below, "Motorwolf". These are their first public online videos with Rob Speers on bass, but from what I can tell, the band was also playing as a four-piece with no sign of guitarist Anthony Orazietti. No word on why he missed their set, but we'll let you know if anything else is afoot! Yes, J.D. Pearce was there, he's just singing in the crowd once again. The guys sound good as usual, and Rob fits in well, but he could show more of the energy he uses when fronting The Elements. Check these out above & below!

Finally, here's footage of classic metal quartet Project 421's opening set, as they tackled covers of Iron Maiden's "Running Free" & "Powerslave" and as embedded below, Saxon's "Denim & Leather". This isn't an optimal view of the band, with guitarist Frank McGillivray often out of camera range, but it captures 421's sound well, and for a band that covers Diamond Head so regularly, you know they were firing on all cylinders for this one! Give their videos a look above & below, and kudos to Chris again for his hard work filming all of this footage, it's much appreciated!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates this week on The Sault Metal Scene! Thanks everyone!

Monday, September 18, 2017

New Facebook Video Postings, Plus More Recent News & Updates!!

After taking the weekend off while seeing family out of town, I'm back with a new news post on this Monday morning, including some assorted recent updates, but first, here's some new Facebook videos, starting with one from local blues/hard rock trio Electric Church! Filmed by an uncredited attendee during their set at Odeno at Sault College for their reunion events on Friday, this video is of their cover of Gary Clark Jr.'s "When My Train Pulls In", and while incomplete and containing no vocals, it captures Spencer, Elijah, and Beau in fine form on this more modern selection! Give their newest video a look below, and stay tuned for more on their upcoming EP!

Next up, here's some interesting "new" videos of local author George Case (Led Zeppelin FAQ, Whole Lotta Zeppelin, etc.) from his Facebook page on Friday, courtesy of the launch party of his book "Arcadia Borealis: Childhood and Youth in Northern Ontario" at LopLops Lounge back in early 2008! That evening, George picked up his guitar to play some songs, including an original named "The Bartender Is My Friend", while he was also joined by future Turner Up guitarist and then-Rad Zone mainstay Len Ward for some covers, like Jimi Hendrix's "Stone Free" and, as embedded below, Kiss' "Hard Luck Woman". These aren't bad, and I like the laid back feel for the book launch, complete with a LopLops stage that's nigh unrecognizable compared to it's state nine years later! It's nice to see Len performing here, and while George's singing voice isn't the rangiest in the world, he makes it work on these performances. Give them a look above & below, and see above for details on his bibliography and how to purchase his books!

Finally for today, here's six assorted shorter news items from the last while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist, event, or venue name:

  • After a six month hiatus, local black metal solo project Abhorrent Forest re-emerged with a new single on their Bandcamp page yesterday, entitled "Thorn of Torment". Wyrn says that this won't be on any albums "since I haven't been home in months", and it's been "collecting mildew" while other songs were cut. The song delivers more brutal instrumental death metal action, despite being somewhat repetitive, so give it a listen at the above links!
  • I have removed Brian Tremblay Photography from our links of local concert and musician photographers due to the closure of his website, the last remaining substantive link to his work in this field. Brian had indicated prior to December 2016 that he'd left photography to move on to another career, but we left him in our links as he still had an active website at the time. Best of luck to Brian in his current endeavours!
  • I've also deleted Joe's Bar & Grill in Rudyard from our listings of Sault Michigan-area concert venues, due to the deletion of it's Facebook (and only online) page at some point earlier this year. As it turns out, Joe's was bought by new owners, and after a period of renovations, it re-opened in June as Huck's Pub & Grill, with concerts booked so far appearing to lean towards country acts. Hopefully Huck's finds continued success, and we'll be sure to cover hard rock and/or metal shows if we hear that they're booked there!
  • Former Bear Hunters guitarist & Skull After Betrayl frontman Mike Vincent has revived his solo project (again!) After over a year's hiatus for personal reasons, the Sault Ontario mainstay posted a new instrumental song on his Bandcamp page on Saturday named "Filters of Fire", and while the recording quality isn't perfect, the song isn't bad, and it has a good bite to it, with elements of groove metal with some doomier stretches! Give it a listen above as well, and Mike's back in our active band links!
  • Ride For Sight Northern Ontario planning committee chairman Dave Ostrowski-Gallant and his wife Nicole have announced that they are stepping down from organizing the annual blindness motorcycle rally (and related concert), as per the event's Facebook page on Friday. Dave cited their personal lives getting busier and heading "down a different path of good change" for their reasons, but he thanked everyone for helping put on the rally for the past 6 years, and to message him on Facebook if you're interested in taking over as chairman next year. Good luck to Dave & Nicole in their next projects, and hopefully the rally continues on!
  • Room 21 co-owner Billy Blackula is looking for artists to play weekends at the new nightclub above Low & Slow on Albert Street West, though he's specifically looking for trios and smaller (possibly due to space concerns or sound limitations.) Best known to our coverage from recent Tym Morrison shows, it'd be nice to see Room 21 expand further with a wide array of artists, but message Billy at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from Wednesday if you're interested in playing there!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates as this week continues! Thanks everyone!

Friday, September 15, 2017

A New Local Solo Project, New Video Finds, And More Assorted News & Notes!!

As we continue our busy stretch of posts this week, here's another new post for your Friday morning, which includes some assorted recent updates, a pair of new video discoveries, and leading off, here's a new local solo project!

We have a new local solo artist to add to our active band links, and he is Mike McCleary, who you may see performing live TODAY at Sault College's reunion concert! Though I was unfamiliar with Mike until yesterday, he has a lot to talk about, so what should you know? First posting audio material onto his Soundcloud page in May, Mike launched his Facebook page last month, and has already hyped plans to release a solo EP and a music video for his song "The Working Poor", so how's that for a fast start? Actually, Mike's been a self-taught musician since he was 15, as noted in his extensive Facebook biography, where he indicated that he played in some bands while in high school, but he took a break from music for a while due to "the responsibilities of adult life" and starting his family, though he credits music for inspiring him during that time. With his wife's encouragement, Mike has restarted his music career, but how does Mike sound so far?

Inspired by everything from political punk bands to hard rock/metal acts, and even some roots and blues rock, Mike is a talented musician who seems adept at handling multiple genres, whether it's the hard rock bite of "Fire & Fury", the funkier "Weight of the Truth", or emotional ballad "Aylan", and many more (including some early covers), and while his singing voice fits more rock-based material better, I like where he's going! Mike says that he wants to write thought provoking songs that "evoke a response", and you get a sense of that lyrically in many originals. Solid work so far, so check out Mike McCleary at the above links!

Next up, here's one more archival That's Chester video that I came across on YouTube, courtesy of user Robin Joanisse's channel, as filmed when the inactive local classic/hard rock cover quintet took a road trip out to Hawk Junction (15 minutes east of Wawa) to play at the community's homecoming reunion event in August 2008! Robin was a co-organizer of the reunion, and also uploaded this video of a remembrance ceremony there that same month. In terms of That's Chester videos on YouTube, this will be extra notable as it may be the only one publically viewable one featuring then-singer Jim O'Leary, who also brought the other band he fronted at the time (Flat Stanley) to Hawk Junction for the festivities, as cited here. The video features That's Chester and a guest harmonica player covering Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" with some occasional lyric changes to suit the locale, and while it's a solid cover, loud cymbals can get in the road, and much of the song was cut from the final copy.

Also, you get a long stretch of Gabe Tessaro talking to the crowd before the song proper begins, but overall, this is some fun and light action from That's Chester Mark II's run in the late 2000s, and I wish that there were more videos of this lineup online! Jim was a good fit, as we later saw with Griphook, and he can adapt his voice to many genres well! Unfortunately, the video was uploaded with settings blocking it from being embedded on external websites, but definitely give it a look at the above links!

Also today, here's a new video of Sault Michigan classical metal project Theatre of Night's rehearsals for their upcoming Christmas tour, this time courtesy of their YouTube channel on Tuesday! This exclusive video features guitarist Steve Giles rehearsing numerous familiar carols for the tour in quick cuts, like "The Little Drummer Boy", "Carol of the Bells", and "What Child Is This?", among others. Featuring pre-recorded tracking audio with recently added performers, this is a solid sample of what's to come, despite the vertical camera angle, and again, nothing too substantial is being given away pre-tour! Check it out below, and stay tuned for more from Theatre of Night!

Finally for today, here's three assorted shorter news items from the last week or so, and as usual, these stories are in alphabetical order by artist, station, or event name:

  • Sault Ontario doom metal trio AlgomA have unfortunately pulled out of their upcoming split release tour with Shit Liver due to "some unforeseen medical circumstances", as per the band's Facebook page yesterday. This may be related to the same medical occurrence that scuttled their Toronto show in April, but the band hasn't elaborated other than to say that "it's (not) in our best interest" to do the tour, but will be back "in no time." Shit Liver will still headline the tour in full and sell the "Trading Faces" tapes, and while there has been no direct confirmation or denial yet, we'll let you know if AlgomA can still play the local stop at The New A!
  • Classic Rock: The Bear (which gets fringe reception here at WCHY 97.7 FM in Cheboygan) has officially dropped the syndicated Bob & Tom Show in favour of a new local morning drive show from former KLT hosts Steve “Omelette” Normandin & Rick Coates. Music & branding aside, this cuts the last tie to what aired on The Bear's 2002-2010 local affiliate in Newberry (WIHC 97.9 FM), with Bob & Tom having been a constant on The Bear's network since the late 1990s. It's great to see Omelette & Friends back on the radio, but hopefully Bob & Tom return to a regional FM dial elsewhere!
  • Sault Ontario promoters Choose Maxx announced on their Facebook page yesterday that the annual Toystock fundraiser concert will return for it's sixth installment (and third at the Northern Grand Gardens) on Sunday, November 26th, and to private message them if you or your band are interested in playing! No word yet on who might be playing Toystock VI, but remember that this Christmas Cheer event features 10 (typically covers-centric) bands in 10 hours, and lineups largely don't stay the same year to year, with only Bone Yard and the inactive Lucky 13 playing Toystock three times to date. Stay tuned for updates as they come in!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes on the Sault Metal Scene in the near future! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (A Dire Setback), An Inactive Band Note, And New Videos!!

Here's a surprise second post for your Thursday evening, so what lies beyond with this one? A couple of new videos (actual new ones posted this week), and a note on a band that was recently moved to our inactive band links, but first, here's a unique SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for TOMORROW!

Local alt-punk quartet A Dire Setback, blues/hard rock trio Electric Church, and punk/hard rock solo musician Mike McCleary will join forces for a concert at Sault College's campus lounge Odeno TOMORROW in honour of Sault College's reunion fesitivies! Apologies for the short notice, A Dire Setback only announced their involvement via their Facebook page this afternoon, with a share of the post by Andrew Pucci noting the other acts, though Mike had plugged the show on his Facebook page last month. While not acknowledged as such by the two announced bands, this is a day-long event celebrating the 50th anniversary of Ontario's college system, with students, alumni, and past & present faculty encouraged to come to the the Northern Avenue East college for special events, speeches, tours, an hors d'oeuvres social, an alumni vs. varsity basketball game, and yes, music, so visit the official Facebook event page for full non-musical details!

It's great to see everyone involved with sets TOMORROW, especially Electric Church after taking much of the summer off from gigs, and as for Mike McCleary... we'll have more on him in an upcoming post, so stay tuned, but he'll be worth seeing for sure! There are no cover charges or advertised age limits for TOMORROW'S reunion, which starts at 1:00 PM with bands beginning at 4:00 PM at Odeno (which replaced The Outback), though be mindful of the reunion aspect if you're not a prior student. See above for more details, and here's A Dire Setback live!

Next up, I have reluctantly moved Sault Michigan metal trio Tantrym Tyme to our inactive band links. This is partially due to a year's public inactivity (last posting on their Facebook page with a video share in August 2016), but with their online updates always being somewhat sporadic, I was hesitant until learning that drummer Ethan Twardy currently lives out of state, which can't help their status. Active since 2010 under early names like Aux, Abstract, and Tantrum, the guys initially attracted attention as late-period graduates of the Guitar Studio rock camp, with members being around 11 years old when they first started making waves. Though gigs weren't always advertised well online, Tantrym Tyme played numerous concerts, community events, and fundraisers through last summer, and their development and improvement as musicians was always great to see as they got older! Hopefully the guys get back on stage down the road, but best of luck to Jacob, Mike, Ethan, and other former members in the future!

Also today, here's our first video look at new Sault Ontario based Foo Fighters tribute band The Soo Fighters! A side project from members of Cherry Crush (more on an upcoming benefit event for their singer in the coming days), The Soo Fighters are featured in this video shared by guitarist John Amendola to their Facebook page on Tuesday, where the band (sans guitarist Jeremey Salatuk) jam the Foos classic "All My Life". The softer verses are a little shaky, and Jules Cote's singing can be hard to hear, but this is a good preview that the guys can hopefully polish up in time for their debut at The Algonquin Pub for their first of two Halloween weekend parties, and give their first cover video a look below!

Finally for today, here's one more new video from local recording studio Mission Control Studios' Facebook page on Tuesday, and it's of Electric Church frontman Spencer Pine playing a guitar solo! Performed alongside presumed material from their forthcoming debut CD (recorded at Mission Control), this is a quality solo that will come as no surprise to diehard Electric Church fans, even while sitting down, so give it a look below as well!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates this weekend! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Tym Morrison & The Elements) And This Weekend's Concert Previews!!

Now, let's dive into another weekend's worth of hard rock concert previews in a somewhat quiet stretch of concerts, but we do have some SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, so here's what you need to know!

Local funk/ska/hard rock quartet The Elements will once again open for indie rock quartet K.I.C.K. for a show at LopLops Lounge TOMORROW NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, this show was first announced on K.I.C.K.'s Facebook page one week ago, but we couldn't fit it into a post before it got too soon to cover here in full twice. Last seen together at The Canadian last month, this will be a makeup date of sorts for the two bands, who were slated to play together at LopLops three weeks ago, but a scheduling mix-up and the Keep It Cool Kids' commitments at the Northern Vibe Festival scuttled plans as originally announced. The Elements played on that weekend alongside touring headliners The Chicken-Like Birds, but if you wanted to see these bands together at this popular downtown venue, TOMORROW is your new chance! Remember, The Elements are riding high off of their Oh!No Festival set last week, while K.I.C.K. are still preparing for their debut album's release and will play songs from it in their headlining set.

A $5 cover charge is likely for this 19+ concert, which has a 9:00 PM start time TOMORROW. With some heavy ska-influenced originals and covers to compliment K.I.C.K.'s blues/indie sound, this should be another fun contrast of styles, so visit the official Facebook event page for full details, and here's The Elements live a few years back!

Next up, prolific local hard rock singer/guitarist Tym Morrison is slated to return to Gliss Steak & Seafood for matinee headlining concerts TONIGHT, TOMORROW, and SATURDAY, but he will also rock Room 21 above Low & Slow on Albert Street West with two more regular nighttime shows TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Again, apologies for the short notice regarding the Room 21 shows, they were only announced via their Facebook event page yesterday. Playing five shows across the two venues for the second straight week, Tym's Gliss shows remain a reliable presence at The Quality Inn's house restaurant, while his third weekend at Room 21 should be another fun opportunity to see his skilled acoustic hard rock covers at this new nightclub, especially now that their logo unveiling last week was a hit, so keep those newly announced gigs in mind for TOMORROW & SATURDAY!

As usual, Tym's regular weekly Gliss shows tonight, tomorrow, and Saturday are at 6:00 PM with no announced cover charges or age limits (but mind the location), while TOMORROW & SATURDAY'S Room 21 shows are 19+ events with no announced cover and 10:00 PM start times. Visit the official Facebook event pages linked here & here for more details, and here's Tym live!

Moving to entirely previously announced concerts, outgoing local alt-hard rock trio The Din are apparently opening for Lindsay, Ontario indie/pop rock quartet The Kents TONIGHT at Sault College's campus lounge Odeno! Before I get ahead of myself, just a disclaimer that the headliners have not acknowledged any local support publically, and The Din have not promoted the show since announcing their final concert calendar listing last week. If The Din confirm that they're not playing, we will edit this post! Perhaps an opportunity for frontman Mike Haggith (a recent aviation graduate at Sault College) to say goodbye and thank his alma mater before his likely move out of town, this will be a rare hard rock-featured show at The Outback's successor lounge, and assuming The Din are playing, consider a trip to Odeno tonight before it's too late! The Kents are bringing their adult alternative sound to Sault College late in their Eastern Canada tour, which features a number of college campus gigs, so if you're a regular WLSO listener, they'll be up your alley!

As promoted in Brian Kelly's Sault Star interview with Kents frontman Warren Frank last week, tickets for this 7:00 PM show are available online at this link, at the Sault College Students' Union office and Health & Wellness building for $10 each (the door price jumps to $15), and while the Sault Star article implies that non-students will not be allowed entry unless guests of a current student, that isn't stated in advertising elsewhere. Check the above links for more details on tonight's concert, and here's The Din live!

Finally for this weekend's currently announced hard rock concerts, we'll head to The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino, where Traverse City classic metal trio Peril will return for solo headlining concerts TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Continuing their regular recent run of shows at regional Kewadin branches, this will be Peril's first weekend in the E.U.P. since rocking St. Ignace last month, and their first in the Soo since June. This talented veteran group continue to be fan favourite sights at the two nearby Kewadin lounges, and this weekend's shows should be no different, so consider a trip to The Rapids Lounge for more hard hitting cover action tomorrow and/or Saturday night! As usual for Peril's northern trips, expect 9:00 PM start times both nights, these shows both have 21+ age limits, and there are no announced cover charges. Visit the above links for more details, and for a preview, here's Peril live a few years back!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Oh!No 2017 Music Festival Fallout, Plus More New Video Finds!!

Here's another new post for your Wednesday morning, featuring a few familiar recent subjects for regular readers! This one is another video-heavy post, this time featuring a solo cover, a studio sample, and a concert performance from last year, but first, here's some of the first fallout from a major debuting festival earlier this month!

We'll start today with some of the first fallout from Saturday's Oh!No 2017 Music Festival in nearby Leeburn, and while we still wait for promoters Six, Two, Oh.'s teased footage of every band, the Facebook event page has became a hub of sorts for media from the concert, including a fair amount of photos showcasing Robbie's Church, the scenery around the venue, and many familiar faces either performing or attending. Fellow promoters Live705 were also on hand to do sound for the event, given that A Dire Setback were already playing that afternoon. Aside from two videos from Bear Hunters singer Nik Deubel focusing on Jack Spades' guitarist Daniel Horton's adventures with a canoe near the venue (which are amusing!), the only videos on the event page come from attendee Janette Wallace, including this video featuring the camping area and scenery around the church, and as embedded below, a video of funk/hard rock quartet The Elements' set from early in the day!

Filmed at a nice overhead angle (I like when venues are formatted with that option), I believe this is 24 seconds of an Elements original, but the video was uploaded in intentionally inverted colours as part of a contest, where the first person on Facebook to guess the band would win two tickets for the rest of the Oh!No Fest (congratulations to Abbey Lynn Ridley by way of Martin for winning!) Friendly tip, paste a screenshot of Janette's photos & video into Windows Paint and press Ctrl+Shift+I to see everything in proper colour, but The Elements sound good from what we hear, so give this video a look below, and see more from Oh!No 2017 above!

Next up, here's the third and final video of inactive local classic/hard rock cover quintet That's Chester from guitarist Gabe Tessaro's YouTube channel, this time from their farewell set at Rotaryfest last year! This clip is of their rendition of April Wine's "Roller", though the band will look slightly different than you may be used to, as original singer Richard Fullerton came back home for their set & handled solo vocals here, while Dan Belanger took over second guitar for their set in place of the late Eugene Orlando. Regular frontman Greg Simpson & fellow guest vocalist Jeannine Jefferson sat this particular cover out, but Greg rejoined the band at song's end to give a shoutout to Rich and Dan, and the two singers did share the stage during the set. This is a fun cover of the classic April Wine number, and Richard's back in his element with his old band, plus I like the visual of the filmer walking down the aisle between the seats to begin the footage, which you can see below!

Also today, here's a video that we missed back in July for acknowledgement on the SMS (apologies for that), and it's a preview video of a studio track from The Bear Hunters forthcoming second studio album "The Dead Testament"! Filmed at Mission Control Studios by producer Dustin Jones and shared to the studio's Facebook page, this is a 45 second sample of the studio version of "Servitude", via filming the tracking computer with cameos of the band (minus Josh) at the end, and they seem happy with the results! Of course, this isn't an optimal look at "Servitude" in audio quality or length, but it's great to see that work is progressing, so give it a look below!

Finally for today, here's another new video from Sault Michigan classical metal band Theatre of Night's Facebook page back in August that we hadn't previously shared here, though this one predates their public unveiling of any Christmas tour plans. This is a solo vocal cover by keyboardist Craig Harrison of "Come As You Are" by the Christian folk artist Crowder, as filmed with a vertical camera angle in monochrome. This is another solo cover of Craig's where he holds the camera out himself and definitely looks like he's in the groove once again, and while I'm not familiar with the original song, Craig's singing's is on point and has emotion to it, so give this one a look as well!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for this weekend's concert previews next! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Lots Of Theatre Of Night Updates, A New Video Find, And More Recent Updates!!

Here's another new post for your Tuesday morning, so what can we find out today? Alongside some shorter recent stories, we have another recent video find that hadn't previously been shared here, and leading off, some long overdue news on a local metal band's surprising resurgence of activity, so here's what you should know!

We'll start today with some intriguing news from Sault Michigan classical metal project Theatre of Night, who are teasing a Christmas tour run to take place at some point over the winter! When you consider that this band's only public concert (that I'm aware of) took place back on Memorial Day 2013, this revelation four & a half years later is even more surprising! Keyboardist Craig Harrison has been teasing the planned tour in Facebook page posts since last month, with specific updates slowly making their way online in the ensuing weeks, and while a potential local date isn't confirmed yet, one comment reply implied shows would take place in the Grand Rapids area. Craig & guitarist Steve Giles have enlisted five extra musicians to join them on tour, and they include singers Jordan Flesch & Stacie McCarthy, former Elipzis guitarist Chris Webster (great to see him working with a local band again!), and bassist Scott Andringa of the Holland blues rock band Shame on Susan.

Finally, the lineup is rounded out by prolific Grand Rapids-area rock drummer Erik Sales (replacing the long-departed Greg Giles), who has performed with Stacie in some recent ventures there. How's that for a massive lineup? No word on if they're all official band members now or if they're just touring performers, or if Germany's Gaby Koss will still perform on studio material with Theatre of Night, but this all sounds very encouraging! There are precious few details on the tour proper at press time, but there are a decent amount of preview videos uploaded or shared to Theatre of Night's Facebook page of tour preparations, so here's what you should know on those! All comprised of Christmas carols in a symphonic metal style (remember their "Christmas Night" CD?), the videos include a preview of a studio version of "O Holy Night" with vocals, Craig playing "Silent Night" on the keyboard, and Jordan singing "Away In A Manger" in two videos (linked here & here). All are abbreviated previews, but you get a skilled sampling of what's to come!

The other two videos are of the full septet rehearsing in Holland, though "Away In A Manger" also serves as the preview carol in both. One video is a montage of Snapchat-style clips of rehearsals & preparation therein, but embedded below is a fuller video showing the band in action, though Craig and Chris don't play at this point, and Stacie is obscured from view. There is more to share from Theatre of Night unrelated to the tour, but for now, this is all very interesting to hear, and this will spice up the holiday season with some partially local T.S.O.-style action! Stay tuned for updates on the band & tour as they roll in, and give all of these videos a look above & below!

Next up, here's another new find from Obsession guitarist Gabe Tessaro's YouTube channel, this time from his old classic/hard rock quintet That's Chester's involvement in the local stage production of The Who's Tommy at The Machine Shop in Sault Ontario back in November 2015! Poignantly uploaded the day of bandmate Eugene Orlando's passing (three weeks after Tommy wrapped it's local run), this is of the early numbers "Captain Walker" & "It's A Boy", and while not heavy songs by any stretch, the guys handle things well on these softer numbers, and Gabe & Eugene have a nice moment where they take center stage to perform together! For reference, there's no sign of frontman Greg Simpson here, who's not visibly performing with the ensemble at this point in the production, but he did play Cousin Kevin and front other songs later on. The video has a nice camera angle from the balcony to show the whole stage, and it's worth a watch for The Who & That's Chester fans, so give it a look below!

Finally for today, here's three assorted shorter news items from the last while, and as usual, these stories are in alphabetical order by event, station, or venue name:

  • I have changed the link for Lake Superior State University's campus radio station The 46th Parallel Radio (WLSO, 90.1 FM) from their website to their Facebook page, as the former was taken down during LSSU website upgrading earlier this year. Though still broadcasting, the Sault Michigan station hasn't had an active online presence this year, had been off air when I scanned it over the summer, and have not visibly commenced their previously stated plans to move all station operations to internet streaming. Hopefully things pick up, but click here for details on the station and/or student volunteering with WLSO!
  • As documented in a SooToday article by David Helwig on Friday, Essar Center events manager Robert Santa Maria proposed a new system to create an event development fund so that the Sault Ontario arena can bring in more major touring events and concerts in which up to $1 from every ticket sold be put aside towards bringing more things here, capping at $50,000. Most responses seem to be positive, but will City Council approve the idea? Time will tell, but it'd be nice to have more concerts there beyond Dokken!
  • The ninth annual Soo Zombie Walk will return to The Canadian Bushplane Heritage Center on Saturday, October 21st for a fifth straight year, and music will return with it pre-walk once again! Performers have not been announced yet, but for reference sake, dormant blues/crash rock quartet Sykotyk Rampage and Northwest guitarist Greg Callaghan have each played the walk in the past 6 and 4 years respectively. Visit the official Facebook event page for current details on the walk, and stay tuned in case punk or metal music returns next month!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates in the coming days! Thanks everyone!