Saturday, July 22, 2017

Local Hard Rock Video Showcase!!

Before we begin this all-video post, here's a late lineup update for TONIGHT'S Project 421 concert at The Canadian Nightclub, courtesy of it's Facebook event page, as local rapper and Live705 newcomer Mike Reed-Lecuyer (a.k.a. Reeder) has replaced blues/hard rock trio Electric Church on the lineup. A reason for Electric Church's withdrawal wasn't publically announced, but hopefully nothing bad happened! You may recognize Reeder from last summer's Grave Party concert at The New A, and hopefully he adds solid rhymes to the proceedings tonight! Now, let's begin this all-video post, including recent major concert footage and in-studio clips!

We'll start today with a belated concert video from the Lita Ford outdoor concert at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino last month, courtesy of YouTube user spiritinthesky blue's channel on Thursday! With her Great White videos already uploaded, she finally posted this clip of Lita Ford playing her original song "Gotta Let Go" to open her headlining set, and while the audio's not bad, this was filmed from backstage (remember this user's backstage and meet & greet clips?) Lita is visible in the center, but the dark lighting from behind the stage isn't optimal. Unique view all the same, so give this new Lita Ford video a look below, and hopefully more videos are out there!

Next up, here's a new video from last Sunday's Tea Party concert at The Roberta Bondar Pavilion, shared by the Ontario Government's Facebook page onto the ONTour concert series stop's Facebook event page on Thursday! A summative recap video, this features shots of the Soo and the road trip here for the concert for the first minute or so, before transitioning to the concert proper, including footage of The Tea Party, U.S.S., Andrew Hyatt, and McLean's sets, the crowd, and even some slow motion shots. All audio is disappointingly replaced by a techno/pop instrumental, but the filmers got some great angles of the bands and fans throughout the day's lineup, so give this one a look below as well!

Also today, here's some new videos from local alternative/hard rock trio The Din's Facebook page on Wednesday, specifically relating to demo recording now being underway for their second studio album! As far as I can tell, these are not the final recordings, and are strictly demos in advance of formal recording sessions later this year, but it's great to see that things have commenced towards CD #2! One video features frontman Mike Haggith tracking a song on bass while guitarist Tammy Hill mans the computer, while the other videos are of Mike recording vocal tracks, and between these two, there is 35 minutes of footage to check out from the sessions! The video below features Mike tracking their songs "35's The Limit" (fittingly enough) and "High Park", while part 2 features a slower and possibly newer song that I don't recognize, as well as "Up In The Air" and "Suburban Dream". Both feature assorted banter from Mike & Tammy between songs as well, helping fill out the time in the videos.

As both a sneak preview into five Din originals from their upccoming CD (albeit pre-session demos) and as an informal look at the band's recording sessions and often funny interactions therein, these are all worth checking out for fans of The Din! That said, prepare yourself for the length, and the sideways camera angles are unfortunate, but give in to The Din's new studio videos above and below!

Finally, here's a new cover performance from Theatre of Night keyboardist Craig Harrison, courtesy of the Sault Michigan classical metal project's YouTube channel on Tuesday! A cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah", and as filmed in one take with a cell phone camera, the view from Craig's right side isn't optimal, but the black and white filter adds to the mood, and he puts the requisite passion into this cover! Give Craig's cover a look/listen below! (Disclaimer: this video was posted prior to Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington's tragic passing on Thursday, and we had slotted it for a weekend post prior to hearing the news, but the coincidental timing can't be ignored.)

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

Thursday, July 20, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (The Alien Boys, Rudyard Musicians Festival, And Project 906!!)

With a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT hitting the wire this afternoon, here's a surprise second news post for your Thursday night! That is also joined by two more new concerts taking place over the same weekend in just under a month's time, so read on below for what you should know, and check out other weekend concert previews and more in the post below this one from this morning!

Sault Michigan hard rock quartet Project 906 will return to Moloney's Alley for one night only TOMORROW NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, the band only announced this show via their Facebook page earlier today. Still a largely unfamiliar venue for our coverage, the 227 West Portage Avenue bar played host to a private Project 906 show last month for Sault Area High School's class of 1997 reunion, but as far as I can tell, TOMORROW'S show is a regular, publically attendable show. Last seen at the King's Club Casino in Brimley two weeks ago, Project 906 are no strangers to branching out to atypical concert venues in the E.U.P., and hopefully things go well at Moloney's Alley TOMORROW! No word however on if the show will be outdoors again or indoors, but the picture they used to promote the event was from their outdoor set at the aforementioned reunion. Expect a 9:00 PM start time, no announced cover charge, and a 21+ age limit, so check the above links for more details, and here's Project 906 live last month!

Next up, here's some more new concerts with more than a day's public notice, starting with another new show from Sault Ontario promoters Six, Two, Oh.! Unusually taking place at The Rockstar Bar rather than their usual New A stomping grounds, this event on Friday, August 18th will be headlined by the local debut of Vancouver hardcore punk quintet The Alien Boys, but despite their name, they're actually an all-female group featuring former Rebel Spell guitarist Erin McGillicuddy. This will be nothing new for fans who saw Beaver Slap locally last month, but The Alien Boys' solid and energetic brand of punk rock should gain them their own audience locally, so don't miss them on the 18th! Local support (both in their Rockstar Bar debut) will include death metal duo Twistory's second live set of the year, as well as the second concert appearance period from Vol., the new indie/hard rock trio from Pixo Control and Aldous alumni. Nice diverse lineup, so don't miss out next month!

A $5 cover charge is in effect for this 19+ concert, and a 9:00 PM start time is in effect. Check the official Facebook event page for more details, and don't miss out on what should be a fun night of varying kinds of alternative music action! And yes, we are aware of a major concert event announced by Six, Two, Oh. for this fall, but we are waiting on confirmation on the venue and if it technically has a public address before we get ahead of ourselves on here. Stay tuned though, as this will be a big event!

Finally for tonight's post, the full lineup for this year's second annual Rudyard Musicians Festival in nearby Rudyard, Michigan was finally announced on Tuesday, so who all is rocking Rudyard Township Park on Saturday, August 19th? Mostly the same bands as last year, with only Stoned Ape Evolution, Second Offense, and The Gaskins not returning, so if you liked the inaugural Musicians Fest lineup, here you go! Despite previously indicating that there would be "NO METAL" this year, hard rock acts do populate two of the three top slots, with the aforementioned Project 906 headlining at 11:00 PM, as preceded by classic rockers/event promoters Steelhead (with guest performer Jimmy Bishop) at 10:00 PM, and sporadically seen experimental hard rock group The Karstens as one of this year's new bands at 9:00 PM. Good to see them back on stage! Fellow newcomers The Whole Shabang will tackle their own classic rock covers as well at 8:00 PM, while remaining performers are mostly in the online page-less country or bluegrass realm unless otherwise stated.

Other acts will include The North Country Band at 7:00 PM, The Wednesday Night Headliners at 6:00 PM, Robert & Bob Malaski at 5:00 PM, Jimmy Williams at 4:00 PM, pop artist Hayley Malaska at 3:30 PM, festival newcomer Kevin Blakeney at 3:00 PM, Crossroads alum Denny Verrett at 2:00 PM, Traverse City experimental outfit The Neighbourhood Dogs at 1:00 PM, and The (New?) Jazz Trio opening at 12:00 PM. Lots of talent on hand this year, so keep them all in mind! As well, organizers have confirmed that Friday the 18th will play host to an open mic night, as all of their equipment will be set up already, so "we might just as well use it" for a "Friday night free for all." You never know what you'll get with an open mic night, so if you're in the neighbourhood, this might be worth checking out! Free rustic camping will be available on sight for that weekend, while there will be a pig roast and other concessions for good measure. Admission is $5 a person, but kids 10 years old or under get in FREE, and like last year, all proceeds go to Rudyard Area Schools' music and band programs, which is always a worthy cause!

Despite promoters' earlier claim of no metal this year (no word on if that's specifically why Stoned Ape Evolution aren't back), it's nice to see some music on the heavier spectrum again this year, so if you're a fan of country or some more rocking music, you have options in this sophomore event, which is for a great cause and definitely looks to be a friendly event for fans of all ages! Visit the above links for complete details on this year's Rudyard Musicians Fest, and stay tuned for more news and notes on the SMS in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Tym Morrison), Weekend Concert Previews, And More!!

Before we begin this post, just a belated acknowledgement of a band switch on a recent concert, as local death metal trio Pillory replaced alt-hard rockers Bizotic (more on them in a bit) as an opening act during Monday night's Darsombra show at The New American Pub. A reason for the switch wasn't publically announced, but Bizotic never publically plugged the show that I ever saw. Hopefully Pillory filled in nicely in their return from the studio, and look for more from them in the coming months! Now, this post features a new video, weekend concert previews, and leading off, a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!

Prolific local hard rock singer/guitarist Tym Morrison will return to The Barrelhouse Wine & Whiskey on Queen Street East for a solo headlining concert THIS SATURDAY NIGHT, joining his regular weekly gigs at Gliss Steak & Seafood TONIGHT, TOMORROW, and SATURDAY! Apologies for the short notice on the Barrelhouse show, it was only announced via it's official Facebook event page yesterday. Last seen at the popular downtown tapas restaurant for a regular scheduled concert on June 10th, this continues Tym's semi-regular run of nighttime shows at this venue, and he should have more unplugged hard rock classics in store for fans at The Barrelhouse on SATURDAY NIGHT, so don't miss out! Of course, Tym's regular matinees at Gliss will continue on this week for his third straight week with the return of a Thursday nighter for the season, while he will be back there on Saturday after skipping that night last week while in Toronto seeing Iron Maiden.

Double the chances to see Tym live this weekend, so keep all of these in mind for your weekend plans! SATURDAY NIGHT'S Barrelhouse show is at 10:00 PM with no announced cover charge and a presumed 19+ age limit, while his trifecta at The Quality Inn's house restaurant are all at 6:00 PM with no announced cover or age limit. Click here and here for the Facebook event pages at each venue, and for a preview, here's Tym live!

Next up, we'll move to entirely previously announced concerts this weekend, starting with a Gore Street Cafe concert TOMORROW NIGHT that will be opened (or closed) by local hard/alternative/indie rock quartet Bizotic! Last seen opening acoustically for The Din at LopLops, this show will see Bizotic play alongside two Victoria, British Columbia touring bands, namely "lazy pop" quintet Bridal Party and shoegaze/alternative group Bright Boy. Neither band are heavy in sound, but both should be exciting for fans of laid back pop rock, including Bridal Party's indie tinged originals and Bright Boy's more ambient material, so keep them in mind if you're into such genres! Bizotic should add a harder edged flavour (complete with requisite keytar and trumpet) to the proceedings in their laundromat debut tomorrow, though I admittedly don't know if they're opening or closing. They're listed higher than the touring bands on the poster, for what it's worth.

Tomorrow's concert is a "pay what you can" event, in the usual Gore Street Cafe tradition, and this is an ALL AGES concert with doors opening at 7:00 PM. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and for a preview, here's Bizotic live earlier this year!

Lastly for currently announced hard rock concerts on this return to normal following Rotaryfest weekend, THIS SATURDAY NIGHT will see the return of classic metal quartet Project 421 to the local stage for the first time in almost nine months when they headline at The Canadian Nightclub! Also making their Live705 debut this weekend, this will be a great way to welcome this nostalgia mindtrip back to the local stage, complete with guitarist Blair Burch on lead vocals again for the first time since 2015, so don't miss their long awaited return on Saturday! A reversion to an all-local lineup after Live705's recent shows with touring headliners, a stacked opening roster this weekend will include alt-hard rock trio The Din as co-headliners, as well as jazz rock trio The Peach Thieves (featuring members of Pillory and Pointless), blues/hard rock trio Electric Church, funk/hard rock quartet The Elements, and in a late lineup switch, Live705's own A Dire Setback in place of indie rock trio The Autumn Roots due to "circumstances beyond our control", as per the Facebook event page.

Hopefully nothing bad happened with The Autumn Roots, but it's great to see A Dire Setback filling in, especially as it was very weird to see a Live705 show without them on the lineup! Another licensed ALL AGES show from them, tickets are $10 at the door unless you have a $2-off voucher attained from one of the performers. A Dire Setback will kick things off at 7:05 PM on Saturday, and for more details, visit the above links! With Project 421's resurgence, two more Live705 debutantes, and a stacked lineup of local entertainment, fans won't want to miss out on the action, so keep this show in mind for Saturday night, and here's Project 421 live!

Finally for today, here's a new video from the aforementioned Din's Facebook page on Monday! There's newer and very significant videos of theirs to touch on as well, but this is a surprisingly rare video from this year's Rotaryfest, with The Din playing 11 seconds of an instrumental section at Stage 2 last week. The video is geared towards demonstrating a custom Snapchat filter that The Din made up in advance of their Second Stage return, and it fits well with the portrait orientated clip, so check it out below, and stay tuned for more videos from them soon!

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

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Soundcheck) & Tea Party Concert Fallout!!

Before our weekend concert previews go on the site (not to mention some recently announced new concerts coming up in August), we have lots of fallout from a recent major concert to get to at last, but first, here's a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for next month!

Local classic/hard rock cover quartet Soundcheck will make their Canadian Nightclub debut with a solo concert there on Friday, August 4th! Apparently a rare solo concert from a local cover band at The Canadian (is the venue getting back into booking weekend cover acts again?), this won't be entirely new territory for the guys, as predecessors Mourning Wood played a Toystock fundraiser there, but this will be a first for the former Nameus. No word yet on if we'll see Soundcheck out there in the interim (remember, shows that they announce are often on short notice), but fresh off of their Rotaryfest debut, hopefully Soundcheck deliver a fun night of 1980s themed covers and select country numbers in two weeks time! A $4 cover charge is in effect for this 19+ concert, which is listed to start at 9:30 PM, and aside from food/drink specials that night, I can't confirm if there's any extra frills related to the booking. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and stay tuned for updates!

Next up, here's some fallout and videos from Sunday night's free Tea Party concert at The Roberta Bondar Pavilion! SooToday's Donna Hopper was on hand for the ONTour concert series stop, snapping 39 colour photos from the event for this article that also briefly summarized the event. Donna's excellent (but scrambled-in-order) pictures include 8 of The Tea Party's headlining set, 9 of Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker, 5 of Andrew Hyatt, 2 of McLean, and 15 of fans and attendees. That does seem like a lot, but it's clear from the happy fan response and ONTour paraphernalia that everyone had a good time with the free downtown entertainment on Sunday! SaultOnline's Lynne Brown was also in attendance for her own article on the concert, and she took 11 photos herself, including 5 of The Tea Party, 4 of U.S.S., and 2 of fans (including a well-timed shot of fans waving their arms in sync.) Give all of these photos and show summaries a look above for more on Sunday's action!

In terms of videos from the show, we'll start with a nine minute video of The Tea Party's set, courtesy of YouTube user Mike Deresti's channel right after the show. Mike's footage includes the Windsor hard rock veterans playing their biggest hit song "Heaven Coming Down" (as preceded by frontman Jeff Martin's anecdote about filming it's music video), and yes, they did inject U2's "With Or Without You" into the rendition! The video looks and sounds great, with a nice angle of the stage and video wall(!), and The Tea Party still sound like how they did at their peak, so give Mike's video a look below!

Today's other known videos come from the aforementioned local news websites, including multiple videos from a SaultOnline-affiliated YouTube channel named "ShadesofNorth CanUsa". If you glanced at or didn't read the above article, four abbreviated videos were linked there, including two of U.S.S.' opening set (which definitely got younger attendees moving up front) and two of The Tea Party's set. Their videos include clips of their songs "Psychopomp" and, as embedded below, one of their heavier hits, "Temptation". The side stage videos have some audio distortion, but a nice and unique angle of the band, so give them a look above and below as well!

Finally, SooToday also filmed the last two bands for their own YouTube channel, though in their case, it's a summative 69 second clip with no specific focus  on either band. Confirming that there was an on-stage MC to introduce acts, the video features some great quality, but all-too-short clips, including The Tea Party playing their song "The Bazaar" at video's end, and U.S.S. interacting with the crowd on the floor, which had to have been a thrill for fans! I wish there was more to this video, but give it a look below for more solid footage from Sunday's ONTour event!

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

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

This Month's Poll On Your Favourite Shows Of The First Half Of 2017!!

We are past the halfway point of the year, so let's bring back our monthly polls by posing this question to you guys: What was your favourite local metal, hard rock, or punk concert in the first half of 2017? As usual, there were many eventful and notable concerts to start the year with, and it's always interesting to see what you guys liked the most out of them, so I have once again chosen 20 concerts (plus "Other") for your delectation! To be included in the poll, a given concert must have taken place between January 1st and June 30th, 2017 (so nothing held in July is included, such as Rotaryfest or the Canada Day Rockstar Bar event.) Included concerts must also have been held at a public venue (as such, the Fishbowl Festival garage show and any Mellow D's Underground events aren't listed), and they must have had at least 50% of their lineup comprised of metal, hard rock, and/or punk bands, so events like NLFB Meltdown and The Sky's The Limit are not included either.

Of course, if you want to vote for any of these shows, "Other" is available if you are so inclined! I hope I picked a good range of shows for this poll, so without any further adieu, here are your 20 choices!

Bands: Gnaeus, A Dire Setback, The Din, Stegadeth, Sleepwellcity, and The Autumn Roots
Venue: The Canadian Nightclub
Date: January 21st
In their second promoted concert and first at The Canadian, then-new local promoters Live705 hosted the January Jam with a six band lineup of talented local artists, including one of Gnaeus' final concert sets, lots of punk/alternative action, The Autumn Roots' first gig with new guitarist Chase Wigmore, and the local debut of former local punk bassist Nathan Bouliane's Ottawa-based electronic project Sleepwellcity. Was the January Jam your favourite concert of early 2017?

Bands: Gnaeus, The Din, and K.I.C.K.
Venue: Searchmont Resort
Date: February 4th
A midquel of sorts between promoters Tidal Records' annual Go Skateboarding Day events, the Searchmont Skateapalooza brought skateboarding demonstrations and live alternative and indie music to the local ski resort to kick off the month of February! In hindsight, the concert half of the Skateapalooza is most notable now for being the final local concert appearance from Gnaeus before the post-punk quartet's breakup, but would this event be your top choice in this poll?

Bands: Gianni Gagoots, Bizotic, and Handsome Sandwich
Venue: LopLops Lounge
Date: February 18th
What started as the first headlining showcase for creative instrumental jam/hard rock project Gianni Gagoots soon evolved into a special showcase for them and two new local bands, including the second live set from alt-hard rock quartet Bizotic and the debut live appearance from punk/alt/no genre trio Handsome Sandwich. With three extremely original bands on hand, including the headlining sauce masters, it's easy to see why it was well received, but would you concur?

Bands: Garbageface, Pseudo, A Dire Setback, and Mikey Thomas
Venue: The New American Pub
Date: February 21st
Though not promoted by Live705, this concert served as an inspiration for that agency's later punk/rap hybrid events, with both out of town acts even returning to the Soo for another joint concert in October. With Toronto's Pseudo and locals A Dire Setback uniting with fan favourite Peterborough doom rapper Garbageface and the Soo's own Mikey Thomas, this well received concert helped set future hybrid shows in motion, but was it your favourite of the year prior to July?

Bands: K-Man & The 45s, Stegadeth, and Bizotic
Venue: The New American Pub
Date: March 5th
After 4 years of annual fall concerts in Sault Ste. Marie, a wrench was thrown into the pattern when Montreal ska-punk quintet K-Man & The 45s hit The New A in March, unusually soon after their 2016 concert here. Fans of their rousing originals and "Skamones" covers were out in full force once again for The 45s return, complete with high energy opening sets by Stegadeth and Bizotic (with new drummer Travis St. Amour in tow), but would you vote for this concert?

Bands: The Din & Andrew Pucci
Venue: The Gore Street Cafe
Date: March 10th
The only public hard rock-featured concert in the sophomore run of The Gore Street Cafe's Fishbowl Festival in February and March, this acoustic event saw The Din return from their live CD recording event the previous year for another well received headlining concert at the laundromat. Notably opened by former Stereo North frontman Andrew Pucci as he continued his solo rise in the area, did this Fishbowl Festival event earn your vote here?

Bands: A Dire Setback, The Din, Electric Church, Pillory, Bizotic, and DJ Seith
Venue: The Canadian Nightclub
Date: March 11th
The second Live705 concert of the year (and first to experiment with vouchers in lieu of advance tickets) saw 6 more acts join forces at The Canadian for their March Mash-Up, including a solid showcase from young blues/hard rock trio Electric Church, brutal death metal action from Pillory, and spotlight headlining sets from A Dire Setback and The Din. Another high quality concert from Live705, but was it good enough to earn your vote?

Bands: AlgomA, Pillory, and Chase Wigmore
Venue: The New American Pub
Date: March 30th
Serving as both the kick-off show for their European tour in April, and as the de facto release concert for their vinyl split single with Hooded Menace, local doom metal trio AlgomA hit the stage for the first time in 2017 with this headlining show at The New A, which delivered more crushing brutality to fans to end March with! Also opened by the aforementioned Pillory and a rare solo set by Chase Wigmore on short notice, did this show win you over more than the rest?

Bands: Who Made Who
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: April 7th
Arguably the most familiar touring hard rock tribute band to come to Sault Ontario in the past decade, Toronto-based AC/DC tribute band Who Made Who returned to The Rockstar Bar in April for their first local appearance in two and a half years, giving local fans another round of high voltage rock 'n roll! Who Made Who's faithful sounding and looking experience is always worth checking out when they come north, but did this show beat out the rest in early 2017?

Bands: Electric Church, The Noochin' Lanterns, A Dire Setback, K.I.C.K., Stegadeth, Shit Creek Survivor, and DJ Seith
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: April 15th
Live705's only Rockstar Bar show to date, this Easter Bash was laden with giveaways and solid music from the assembled punk, alternative, and hard rock acts on hand! Despite late scheduling delays and post-show discussion therein, the show was very well received thanks to featured bands like A Dire Setback and Electric Church, and notably saw The Noochin' Lanterns' public concert debut as well. Was this Easter weekend show your favourite of this year so far?

Bands: The Hazytones, Eclipse, and Gianni Gagoots
Venue: The New American Pub
Date: April 23rd
Montreal stoner rock trio The Hazytones returned to the Soo for their second headlining concert back in April, and like last summer, hard rock quartet Eclipse opened for them. This time around though, Eclipse's set was extra notable as it marked their first show back after a four month long breakup, and it was great to see the guys back after their contentious breakup last fall! They and Gianni Gagoots brought some hard rocking action to this one, but would you vote for it?

Bands: Bone Yard, Justin Langlois, and The 3 Day Millionaires
Venue: The Canadian Nightclub
Date: May 6th
A fundraiser concert to help kick off this year's Algoma Ride for Autism and help buy sensory equipment for the Algoma Autism Foundation's Sensory Lending Library, May 6th's Rock For Autism was a well attended and recieved event for a great cause, with country veterans Bone Yard and classic/hard rock cover quartet The 3 Day Millionaires sandwiching a solo set by Redundant frontman Justin Langlois. Kudos to everyone for their support, but was this your #1 choice?

Bands: Id Iota, The Din, A Dire Setback, DJ Seith, Pointless, Bizotic, Andrew Pucci, and Soo York City rappers
Venue: The Canadian Nightclub
Date: May 12th
Another creative Live705 event (not to mention their biggest one yet) took place on May 12th, when they hosted Soo Art Rocks!, a concert combined with a local art exhibition, with artists and photographers on hand to showcase and sell their wares. This show featured such sights as Id Iota's Live705 debut (with cellist Pete Mozarowski in tow), the public debut of Bill Priddle's new band Pointless, and three S.Y.C. rappers joining forces to open things, but did you find that Soo Art Rocked?

Bands: Northwest & Greg Callaghan
Venue: LopLops Lounge
Date: May 27th
After a 9 month hiatus from the local stage, indie/punk quintet Northwest re-emerged from the studio with a headlining set at LopLops two months ago, reintroducing themselves to fans with their up-tempo originals that punk and indie rock fans can each appreciate! Opened in a solo set by guitarist Greg Callaghan's solo project, this concert received a solid reception, and surely gave fans a preview of their upcoming second EP, but can you vouch for it in this poll?

Bands: Ruptured Birth, Thekillingfield, The Bear Hunters, and Twistory
Venue: The Oddfellows Hall
Date: June 4th
It was a night of returns when these four metal bands hit the stage on June 4th, as touring Northern Ontario extreme metal bands Ruptured Birth and Thekillingfield hadn't played here in 5 and 2 years respectively, while The Bear Hunters were ending a 7 month stage hiatus, and death metal duo Twistory hadn't been seen in a year themselves. Assembled fans got a nice throwback night of metal brutality as a result, but was this all ages Oddfellows show your pick here?

Bands: CKY, The Wild, Jack Spades, and A Dire Setback
Venue: The Canadian Nightclub
Date: June 8th
Despite the late drop-out by the reunited As It Stands, fans flocked to The Canadian on June 8th for this highly anticipated concert, with Pennsylvania alt-metal trio CKY hitting the Soo for the first time with a set full of classic and new originals alike! Joined by Victoria, B.C. hard rock standouts The Wild, the new-look Jack Spades' first show since the fall, and a rousing opener from A Dire Setback, this concert won many fans over, but would you vote for it in this poll?

Bands: Handsome Sandwich, The Din, and Eclipse
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: June 10th
With the summer season underway and their patio re-opening for the season, The Rockstar Bar welcomed Handsome Sandwich, The Din, and Eclipse (notably all featuring Haggith alumni) for their kick-off show for the summer, and all three delivered fun sets of original material and select covers for assembled fans! All three bands have solid fanbases locally, but were you among them to label this as your favourite concert of this year's first 6 months?

Bands: Electric Church, Speaker, A Dire Setback, Stegadeth, The Autumn Roots, Eclipse, and Soo York City rappers
Venue: The Canadian Nightclub
Date: June 18th
Live705's first promoted concert with a touring out-of-town band, this Father's Day concert was the only multi-band hard rock event rocking the border on Father's Day this year, with Toronto hardcore band Speaker joining a stacked local roster including another Electric Church closing set, more punk action from A Dire Setback and Stegadeth, and a new group of S.Y.C. artists for good measure. Was this Father's Day show your favourite?

Bands: The Din, A Dire Setback, and Electric Church
Venue: Queen Elizabeth Park
Date: June 21st
A free and all ages concert returned for a third straight year for Tidal Records' annual Go Skateboarding Day event at the John Rhodes Center's skatepark, with The Din returning from 2016 for another vibrant set of original hard rock action, as joined by recent live favourites A Dire Setback and Electric Church in rare outdoor appearances. All three bands rocked the top of the ramp while local skaters demonstrated their skills, but was this concert your favourite of the year so far?

Bands: Beaver Slap, AlgomA, and Jack Spades
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: June 24th
This late June concert united Barrie all-female hardcore punk quartet Beaver Slap with Jack Spades' new lineup (including outgoing bassist Steve Shaw) and doom metal trio AlgomA's first post-tour local set, and fans on hand spoke highly of this union of punk and metal intensity at The Rockstar Bar! The headliners made many new fans, and the locals held up their end of the bargain, but did this show impress you more than any before it this year?

Other: Did we miss a show that you'd prefer to vote for, perhaps one with few or no metal, hard rock, or punk bands? Maybe one in Sault Michigan, or one we just forgot to include entirely? For reference, acts like The Band Camp Rejects, Curtis McKenzie, The Elements, The Gutter Demons, Mourning Wood, The Old Wives, Return For Refund, The River Jacks, Soundcheck, Stiffler's Mom, Telephone & Address, Tym Morrison, and Worst Days Down all played shows this year not otherwise included in the poll, not to mention shows only featuring bands who played in shows listed in the poll. If, for whatever reason, we missed your preferred choice, "Other" is for you!

VOTE TODAY!! You guys have until August 18th to cast your votes on this month's poll, and as always, it will be very interesting to see what show(s) come out on top! Cast your votes A.S.A.P., and stay tuned for more news and previews soon! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (If I Look Strong, You Look Strong), A New Local Band, And More!!

Here's another new news post for your Sunday afternoon, as we continue to get caught up following one extremely busy weekend of concerts! Today's post features some assorted recent updates, a new solo cover video, and a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for next month, but leading off, here's initial details on a debuting local band playing that very concert!

We have a new local band to add to our active band links, and they are Vol. (pronounced "volume"), so what should you know on them? Self-describing themseles as an "indie rock" band, they cite Alexisonfire, Queens of the Stone Age, City & Colour, and Dinosaur Jr. as influences, so I would assume that a high volume noise/hard-alt sound would not come amiss when media turns up. Specifically, Vol. indicated on their Facebook page that their sound has "high energy, crispy tones, (and) crunchy distortion", so read into that however you will. Their lineup features original Pixo Control bassist Steve Edwards on vocals & guitar alongside their mid-2015 drummer Matthew Thibert, with their ranks filled out by former Aldous guitarist Shane Storozuk. Solid lineup, and it's great to see that Steve and Matt stuck together following their abrupt Pixo departure! Vol. quietly launched last year, but when can you see them live and on stage for the first time?

On Tuesday, August 8th, for a newly announced New American Pub concert from Six, Two, Oh., that's where! Vol. will debut as local openers for a trifecta of out of town metal duos, including headliners If I Look Strong, You Look Strong (yes, that's their name), an experimental noise rock duo from Calgary. Very creative and progressive sound with punk and hardcore tinges, so definitely give them a listen in advance of this show! Moncton, New Brunswick "Middle Eastern mantra doom" duo Zaum will play the Soo for the first time since their Rednecks headliner in May 2015 as this show's co-headliners, and their blend of dark metal and chanting vocals should appeal to genre fans once again, so don't bypass Zaum next month either! The other touring two man band is Ottawa/Pembroke hardcore punk outfit Flying Fortress, whose sound is arguably the most accessible of the the three groups, but still heavy and relentless, so don't be late for their fast-paced originals either!

A 19+ concert, this show has a $7 cover charge and a 9:00 PM start time. While one would assume that Rotopsy, Them, or Twistory as openers would have fit the two-man-band lineup better, Vol. have a solid showcase ahead for their debut, surprisingly as the night's largest band, so definitely keep this rare Tuesday nighter in mind for August 8th, and visit the official Facebook event page for more details!

Next up, here's a new solo cover video from ex-Elipzis bassist Ryan Harrison's YouTube channel on Wednesday, surprisingly his first upload there this year! A cover of "Drown" by the Texas-based modern rock band Fighting Gemini, the well-bearded Ryan sticks to vocals in this cover, and he showcases a solid voice (as old Riot! By Night fans can attest), and it's nice to see him tackle a song that uses more vocal range with such ease! That said, the black and white colouring and the raindrop filter effect can be distracting. Give Ryan's newest solo cover a look below, and hopefully more comes soon!

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

  • Following a positive reception for their YouTube video for their song "Straus", local progressive metal project Kraken Mara have announced that all of the songs on their upcoming self-titled debut EP will have a music video made for them, and are fielding fan suggestions for locations to shoot them at. Sounds like a good plan to me, so message Brendan and/or Jacob at the band's Facebook page to suggest filming spots!
  • Just as a house-cleaning note, I've replaced the link for local subscription crate company Ma Lady Menace from their website (which is currently blank) to their Facebook page. This company was supposed to promote the ambitious CureCon concert/convention next month, but haven't issued any updates on venue, lineup, or specific details since May when indicating website maintenance, and it's not clear if the company are still actively operating. Ma Lady Menace had promising ideas, and hopefully more comes out!
  • If you're wondering why we didn't cover this year's Ride For Sight motorcycle rally and attached concerts on the site, it's because the musical lineup didn't feature a hard rock band for the first time since the local arm of the rally began in 2012. This year's musical entertainment featured country quartet Bone Yard and their acoustic side project The Bearded Lounge, alongside 1960s-themed classic rock band The Peace Vibe playing out at Stokely Creek Lodge over the July 7th weekend. Hopefully everything went well, it's a great event for a great cause!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates this week on the site! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Pseudo & Bay Mills Bands Together), Darsombra Concert Preview, And New Videos!!

For the first time in almost a week, we have a news post on the site that isn't primarily focused on concert previews or inactive bands, though there is one concert preview to note for a rare Monday night concert in a couple of days. Alongside that, we have some recent tour videos from a prominent local band, and to lead off, LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for this fall, so here's what you should know on this Saturday evening!

The third Bay Mills Bands Together fundraiser concert in nearby Brimley, Michigan has been announced for Saturday, September 2nd with a special Labour Day event that's unlike any that the non-profit organization has held yet! This benefit event will be in honour of recent Brimley High School graduate Brandon Mills, who was diagnosed with leukemia earlier this year and has been undergoing treatments in Detroit. You can find out more about Brandon's fight at this link, and while there have been fundraisers already this summer for him and his family, this has to be the first one that's a joint concert and softball tournament! Instead of Pickles, this event is to be held at the Bay Mills Ballfield (roughly across from the Police Department building on West Lakeshore Drive) in order to facilitate the "Labour Day Rock & Jock Softball Tournament", and for full details on that aspect of the fundraiser, visit the official Facebook event page or the event poster on your right.

The only confirmed band at the moment is hard rock quartet Project 906 as headliners, returning from the last two B.M.B.T. concerts, with remaining sets intended for acoustic performers, including an afternoon open mic block. If you're interested in playing either, contact organizers via the above links! Timeslots aren't out yet, but the event will begin at 8:00 AM, with softball ending at 10:00 PM and Project 906 playing into the night. Food, a bat raffle, and a 50/50 draw will also be on hand for this FREE (competitors aside) & ALL AGES benefit, though donations will surely be accepted. It's great to see another huge fundraiser like this for Brandon and his family, so stay tuned for updates when they roll in!

Next up, here's one of three new Halloween weekend concerts that was recently announced (the other two are coming, but they lack a public venue at press time), as Live705 will host their first ever Halloween event on Saturday, October 28th at The Canadian Nightclub! As of this writing, the show only has out of town headliners confirmed to perform, but if you saw the February 21st Six, Two, Oh. concert at The New A, consider this a sequel eight months later, as Toronto punk trio Pseudo and Peterborough doom rapper Garbageface will return to the Soo for this event! Evidently, the two acts left a huge impression earlier this year to get re-booked together, and Garbageface similarly made many fans at the Vaultry show earlier this month, so prepare for another night of punk and rap action on October 28th!  Local opening acts have not been announced yet, but for reference sake, both A Dire Setback and Mikey Thomas opened the aforementioned shows in February and this month, alongside other acts in the latter case.

Given the Halloween weekend timing, expect a costume contest, drink specials, and giveaways during this concert, which has an advertised 8:00 PM start time, though ticket prices, voucher or advance ticket availability, and a prospective age limit (or lack thereof) are not public knowledge yet. There are a lot of unanswered questions as of yet, but Live705 have delivered regularly with their local concerts so far, and hopefully they can conjure up a scary good time on October 28th, so visit the official Facebook event page for current details, and stay tuned for updates!

Also today, here's our preview of a special concert taking place THIS MONDAY NIGHT, as Baltimore, Maryland psychedelic hard rock duo Darsombra will make their local concert debut with a headlining set at The New American Pub! An exceedingly creative and unique instrumental duo, don't expect singing or drumming from Darsombra, whose guitar/synth attack lends itself very well to their audiovisual stage show, replete with 10 minute+ extended jams that can be heavy, psychedelic, or droning at any given moment, so be sure to watch some Darsombra videos to see what's in store! Do not just listen, trust me! Local openers will include alt-hard rock quartet Bizotic alongside new local drone/noise trio Pointless (featuring Treble Charger's Bill Priddle alongside The Peach Thieves' Jordan Leach & David Peredun), so don't be late for their own unique original material! Promoted by Six, Two, Oh., this concert has a 19+ age limit, $7 cover charge, and 9:00 PM start time.

This rare Monday nighter should deliver a very intriguing and diverse blend of genres at The New A, and Darsombra need to be seen to be fully understood, so visit the official Facebook event page for more details on this night of trans-apocalyptic galaxy rock, and here's Darsombra live!

Finally for today, here's some overdue videos from local alternative punk quartet A Dire Setback's Facebook page last week, as they filmed some pre- and post-show videos from their Timmins road trip when they played there on July 8th! Apologies for the delay in these making the site, this busy concert weekend took up a lot of time. Three videos are considered parts of a series called "The Road to Timmins", with part #1 (embedded below) features an interview of sorts where bassist Matt Quinn asks guitarist Chris Nielsen about the show and trip while he drives one of their tour vehicles. Part #2 is about "the search" for frontman Larry Babic and drummer Nick Kainula during a stop, and without giving anything away, the search doesn't take very long! Part #3 features an amusing exploration of trees along the highways, and discussions about what a cockle is, while an epilogue video features Matt talking directly to the camera about how the show went, what the guys dodged on the road, and their trip home.

As well, a video posted by Chris' wife Heather onto her personal Facebook account was shared by A Dire Setback publically , and it features Chris & Matt singing a song about a little black crow on the side of the road. Nice to see some light and fun videos from A.D.S.' successful road trip, which I hope is repeated on future runs, so definitely give them a look above & below, and I wonder if anyone got any footage at the concert proper?

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates in the coming days as we continue getting caught up post-Rotaryfest! Thanks everyone!