Saturday, July 21, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Project 906), Tym Morrison Concert Preview, And More!!

On this Saturday morning, let's finally wrap up this weekend's hard rock concert previews (and a related missed show apology), while also tackling a recent concert video, some assorted recent updates, and leading off, some LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for next month in the E.U.P.!

Sault Michigan hard/blues rock quartet Project 906 have a busy month ahead, so where can you see them live in August? After a couple of weeks off (a private event this weekend aside), this fan favourite band will make their debut appearance at nearby Pickford's annual Hay Days festival on Friday, August 3rd on an outdoor stage on Main Street, as part of the varied festivities and events on the festival's fourth of six days in operation. Other "local talent" is hyped as part of the day's program, but aren't outright stated by name. In any event, 906's set is slated to begin at 7:30 PM, and this is a FREE & ALL AGES event. Click here for full festival details on the 3rd and elsewhere! Next, Project 906 will play a solo concert at The Superior Cafe in Sault Ste. Marie on Friday, August 10th, in a rare headlining appearance in their hometown, so look for more hard rocking hits from them there! This show will be an 8:00 PM evening affair with no announced cover charges or age limits.

These join another new show in Paradise on Saturday, August 18th as part of their annual Wild Blueberry Festival, but Paradise is just outside of our coverage range (1 hour's drive time from Sault Ste. Marie.) That said, if you're not near Rudyard for that afternoon's Musicians Festival set, this is another valid option! Project 906 have a lot of fun family concerts lined up for August 2018, so visit the above links and their Facebook page for complete details on these and other previously announced dates!

Next up, here's one more concert preview for this weekend, as former Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison will play a belated birthday concert at Room 21 in Sault Ontario TONIGHT! Originally scheduled for last night on his birthday proper, this concert was postponed to (Sangria) Saturday due to yesterday's concert from Toronto guitarist Harley Card, which hopefully was a hit! This is Tym's second straight appearance there as the Sangria Saturday headliner, and for the occasion, there will be drink specials and half-price drinks when bought for Tym, so keep those angles in mind, and we do wish Tym a happy birthday as well! This may seem like a quiet weekend for Tym, especially in week one of his Gliss Steak & Seafood hiatus while that venue relocates, but not really, as he actually played an acoustic set on Thursday evening during the Downtown Street Party, playing outside of Tamar's Trends & Flower Shop. Unfortunately, we didn't hear of that set until it was too late to cover here.

I profusely apologize for missing that, but hopefully Tym had a great outdoor set, and we'd have covered it here had it Tym announced earlier than Thursday afternoon! As well, while he's never played Rotaryfest as a solo artist, he will be performing there today as part of the one-off classic rock band The Sun Dogs that's on Stage 1 at 3:00 PM, so look for him at Clergue Park too! As for tonight's Room 21 show, that has no cover charge, a 19+ age limit, and a late 11:00 PM start time, presumably to avoid conflicting with The Stampeders' featured Rotaryfest set. Visit the official Facebook event page and the above links for more details, and here's Tym live!

Also today, here's a video of Reading, Pennsylvania technical death metal band Rivers of Nihil from their headlining set at The Rockstar Bar two weeks ago, as live streamed onto promoters Live705's Facebook page! Apologies for the delay in this making the site. While unfortunately filmed on a vertical camera angle, the audio quality is solid, and you do get 25 minutes of the headliners' set to enjoy! Don't let appearances deceive you either, the video's only filmed so distantly for the first 4½ minutes, before the filmer moves to the corner of the stage, which gives a nice angle of Jake's interaction with the front row fans in particular. Give this video a look below!

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

  • It looks like reunited local funk/hard rock/improv collective Gianni Gagoots did indeed drop out of the Road Waves concert at LopLops Lounge last Friday, as per their quiet removal from the Facebook event page's description, with no replacement opener stated. This, combined with the second deletion of their Facebook page, does not paint a good picture for their active status, though for what it's worth, they are still listed for the Northern Vibe Festival next month in Ophir (date unclear.) At this rate, I doubt they're playing that event, but stay tuned in case something is said either way!
  • Before rocking Spiderfest in Meyersburg once again last week, local punk/metal quintet Jack Spades and their sister band Stegadeth played a concert at The Atria in Oshawa the previous day. Hopefully that concert was a blast, and look for both bands on a local stage near you in the coming weeks!
  • As part of this article from The Other Side Reviews featuring performers on the final Vans Warped Tour, an unidentified member of local punk trio Redundant was interviewed briefly about their Warped Tour memories and 2018 plans. Short but sweet promotion! Aside from teasing a possible fall tour, there wasn't anything new to report there. Redundant's one-off Warped Tour date in Toronto took place on Tuesday when they co-headlined the Full Sail Stage to a positive reception, and while copies of their debut EP were reportedly on hand (source here), we have seen no reference to their contents or local availability yet. Stay tuned!

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

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Rotaryfest Stage 2 & Dinunion Concert Previews!!

Today's second weekend concert preview post is here, but before we get into that, just a clarification that the Sault Music News Letter Facebook page is advertising 3 Day Millionaires shows at Reggie's West this weekend despite their recent break-up. I assume those were once official bookings before The Millionaires decided to call it quits, but word didn't reach that page beforehand. SooToday's entertainment page lists The Peace Vibe & Algo Rhythms in their place, so hopefully this clears up some loose ends!

Now, let's begin the second half of our Rotaryfest weekend concert previews with Stage 2 at Clergue Park, which takes place across 3 days for the first time in it's history under any curator! Presented this year by SooToday, musical acts (largely of the original folk, indie, and alternative vein) will take to the "re-directed" stage beside the Art Gallery of Algoma for the most ambitious Second Stage lineup yet, so who all can you expect to see for the 13th installment of Stage 2? Unlike with Stage 1's "Rewind" theme, there is not a theme around band reunions and comebacks here, but there's still a lot of talent to be had! Things start today for the first Stage 2 lineup on a Thursday since 2006, though like with Stage 1, today's roster is hard rock and punk-free, instead harbouring a folk focus. M.D. Dunn (in his third Stage 2 set as a lead performer) and his new backing band The Innocent Weapon Ensemble will headline tonight at 9:00 PM, with remaining acts all being solo performers making their Second Stage debuts.

Those performers include Ears & Eyes promoter Jackson Reed's solo project at 8:00 PM, Hannah Lindsay at 7:30 PM, Shae Tull at 7:00 PM, and Jeremy Hannah's now-solo project The Autumn Roots at 6:00 PM. Though not the optimal lineup for hard rock fans, there's a lot of talent and creativity to be had tonight, so keep these performers in mind! TOMORROW will mark the first Friday night lineup on Stage 2 in five years, and it's been equally as long to see a featured out of town band with no local membership, as Toronto electro-pop trio Parallels will bring their up-tempo hybrid stylings to the local stage at 8:30 PM! The condensed Friday lineup will only see three local opening acts, namely hard/alt-rock quartet Id Iota (just the third act to play Stage 2 in three straight years) at 7:30 PM, alt-punk trio A Dire Setback's second straight appearance at 6:30 PM, and Christian rapper Tristan "Bold Noize" Goslow's Rotaryfest debut at 5:30 PM.

Tomorrow's Stage 2 bill is arguably of the most interest to punk fans, if not metalheads, and while the four band roster seems short, Parallels should wrap up in time for you guys to head to Stage 1 for Treble Charger at 10:00 PM, and then to LopLops for the aforementioned Id Iota's afterparty! As usual for Rotaryfest's stage lineups, tomorrow's (and tonight's) entertainment is FREE & ALL AGES, so visit the above links for more details, and here's Id Iota live at Rotaryfest 2016!

As for SATURDAY, that's the longest lineup of all, and it will be headlined by local/Toronto indie rock standout Jesse Merineau and his solo band at 8:30 PM, in their second straight set on the Second Stage, which will also be a preview of his CD release concert at The Machine Shop next week. Soft/prog rock notables The Wild Iris will play Rotaryfest for the fifth time (and third on Stage 2) at 7:30 PM, while online page-less noise/drone/indie trio Pointless will make their festival debut at 6:30 PM. Progressive rock veterans Machines Dream will tie Porter's record for Stage 2 appearances with their 5th set there at 4:30 PM, while three Stage 2 newcomers will open the proceedings on Saturday. These include reunited indie rock band Great Chamberlain (replacing All Us Others as per this link) at 3:30 PM, country/blues band The Barn Board Trio at 2:30 PM, and funk/hard rock quartet The Elements and guest saxophonist Josh Norling at 1:30 PM, notably making them the only heavier band on this lineup.

No word on what happened to All Us Others, though note that they never acknowledged this year's Rotaryfest on their Facebook page. Hopefully all's well, and that Great Chamberlain have a solid debut set! There's lots of local talent to take in on Stage 2 on Saturday, and with a nice progressive and indie bent to the proceedings with a heavy appetizer, things should operate smoothly for music fans of all stripes that day! Like preceding nights, Saturday's entertainment is FREE & ALL AGES, so visit the above links for complete details on this year's lineups, and here's The Elements live!

Finally for this weekend's stacked lineup of hard rock concert previews, as we'll head back to LopLops Lounge for their second Rotaryfest afterparty (even if the headliners aren't playing this year), as local alt-hard rock trio The Din will reunite for one night only THIS SATURDAY NIGHT! As hyped in this amusing teaser video, frontman Mike Haggith is coming back to Ontario for this one-off "Dinunion", marking the band's first local concert appearance since the Suburban Sendoff at the same venue nine months ago. If you missed that concert, or want one more chance to see The Din's high energy original attack on a local stage, you won't want to miss out on Saturday! After all, who knows if The Din will ever be back? The aforementioned A Dire Setback will open the proceedings in their second show in as many nights, and they're a fine pick with their own blast of familiar original action, so don't be late for them either! This 19+ concert has a $5 cover charge and  9:30 PM start time in effect.

It's great to see Mike, Tammy, and Brandan back together for one more night of Dintastic action, and if you recall their entertaining, proficient, and amusing stage shows from their mid-2010s heyday, you won't want to bypass their "Dinunion" on Saturday! Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here's The Din live at LopLops!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for our Tym Morrison concert preview and more next! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Id Iota) & Rotaryfest Stage 1 Concert Previews!!

The biggest local concert weekend of the year (holidays excepted) is upon us, so here is the first of our weekend concert preview posts! We're largely focusing on half of a major annual festival today, but let's start with a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!

Local indie/hard rock quartet Id Iota will headline one of two post-Rotaryfest afterparties at LopLops Lounge TOMORROW NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, this show was only announced this past Friday. After co-headlining Stage 2 at 7:30 PM (more on that later today), this fan favourite band will head to LopLops to continue that venue's "re-directed"-era run of post-Rotaryfest concerts with Stage 2 performers, and they should be in fine form with their high energy originals TOMORROW! An opening act is teased, but not announced yet, though if past years are any indication, they'd likely be a Second Stage performer this year as well. We'll let you know if one is announced! TOMORROW'S 19+ concert has a $5 cover charge, and a special late start time of 11:00 PM to not conflict with Treble Charger's headlining Stage 1 set at 10:00 PM (more on that later in this post.)

The late scheduling makes sense, as punk and indie fans now don't have to pick and choose who to see on Friday, especially if you couldn't see Id Iota on the Second Stage that evening, and hopefully they deliver a knock-out set in both of their concerts TOMORROW NIGHT! Stay tuned for more on the opener if announced, and for our Stage 2 previews in our next post, but don't miss out on tomorrow night's action, and here's Id Iota live!

Next up, let's move to Clergue Park, where Rotaryfest's two stages are returning, and the covers-centric Stage 1 is taking things back with the "Rotaryfest Rewind" theme, in honour of the local Rotary Club's 100th anniversary! For the 20th modern Rotaryfest, stage director Shaun Antler and organizers have largely dropped their regular performer lineup in favour of hosting one-off reunions of defunct local bands of all stripes, with only five bands this year having played Rotaryfest at all since 2006, so if you've complained about the samey lineups of past main stage lineups, you'll want to pay attention! Given the roster of bands, I expect the covers-only rule won't be enforced as stringently either. Today's opening night lineup is hard rock free, as usual for Stage 1, but there are still many familiar faces scheduled! In descending order, today's bands are 1970s-1980s country band George Pinder & Patches at 10:00 PM, ...

...1960s classic rock outfit The Dark Side at 9:00 PM, 1960s-1970s classic rock quartet The Polisi Basson at 8:00 PM, 1980s jazz/blues rock quartet Zak's All-Stars at 7:00 PM, and 2000s Rotaryfest mainstays The Northern Jazz Ensemble kicking things off at 6:00 PM. No heavier bands to speak of, but expect a great lineup of local entertainment for FREE at Clergue Park today, especially if you were around for these bands' original runs!

TOMORROW'S lineup will be headlined by local indie/punk veterans Treble Charger at 10:00 PM in their first recorded Rotaryfest appearance and first local show in almost a year, so if you want a free & high profile set from them, here's quite the opportunity! A special tribute set will take place at 9:20 PM to honour past local musicians and bands, now to be hosted by Mac Headrick instead of Adrian Vilaca, and it'll be interesting to see what form this takes, especially with the involvement of Ric Datson from the Sault Ste. Marie Museum! Classic rock veterans Mustang Heart will play a special Bon Jovi & Journey tribute set at 8:30 PM to continue their current iron band streak at the festival. Early 2010s classic/hard rock cover band Turner Up will play their first Rotaryfest set since 2011 (as Full Circle) at 7:30 PM, featuring a five-piece composite lineup from across their run, while 1980s country/bluegrass quartet Road Fever will precede them with a reunion set at 6:30 PM.

Friday's openers are local hard rock/funk trio Tripod the Dog, who will bring their swing and ska-influenced sound back for the first time in over a decade at 5:30 PM. This may be the best package of hard rock and punk-per-pound at this year's Rotaryfest on any stage, so don't miss the FREE & ALL AGES action tomorrow night, and it's great to have these bands back at it! For a preview, here's Treble Charger live last year!

As for SATURDAY's extended lineup, that will closed by local classic/hard rock cover favourites That's Chester in their first show since Rotaryfest 2016, with guest guitarist Dan Belanger in tow, plus a special appearance by original singer Richard Fullerton, so look for more hard rocking hits at 10:30 PM! The nominal headliners are Juno-winning Calgary classic rock trio The Stampeders (of "Sweet City Woman" fame) at 8:30 PM, making them the first non-tribute/cover headliners at Rotaryfest in nine years, while another short tribute set to past local musicians will precede them at 7:50 PM. Local Celtic punk quartet Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide (with Chris Johns on drums) will make their Rotaryfest debut at 7:00 PM, while Chicago-influenced 1970s soft rock collective Pegasus will return at 6:00 PM, and 2010s hard rock quartet The Suicide Kings (featuring guest drummer Johnny Belanger) will play their fourth Stage 1 set at 5:00 PM, in their return to their original name.

Sporadically seen jam rock favourites Odd Man Out are on at 4:00 PM, while one-off pop rock tribute The Sun Dogs will host a "summer beach party" at 3:00 PM featuring covers of 1960s and 1970s summer and beach-themed songs. Wailing Aztecs alumni will perform folk & pop covers under their own names as McGillivray, Martinelli and Roy at 2:00 PM, while members of Korah Collegiate's school band Mustang Sally will kick things off under the name The Kids From Sally at 1:00 PM. Quite a stacked lineup of local favourites and special attractions on Saturday, let alone for FREE & ALL AGES, so see above for more details, and here's That's Chester live!

We're just getting started with our weekend concert previews, so look for our previews of the Second Stage and Saturday night's LopLops afterparty (a.k.a. The Dinunion) next on the SMS later today, with more yet to come on this stacked local concert weekend! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

This Month's Poll On Your Favourite Concerts Of Early 2018!!

Before we get into weekend concert previews, here's our newest poll on the SMS, where we're posing this question to you guys: What was your favourite metal, hard rock, or punk concert in the first half of 2018? The early half of this year has been somewhat quieter than usual, but we have seen some strong and notable concerts between January 1st and June 30th, and it'll be interesting to see what you guys thought was your favourite in 2018 so far! As usual, the concerts who receive votes will face off with the vote-getters in our second half of 2018 poll early next year to determine your favourite concert of 2018. To make this poll, concerts must have taken place in Sault Ontario in the above date range, and must have had a lineup at least half comprised of metal, hard rock, or punk acts, so if you want to vote for such events as The Sky's The Limit, the Algoma Ride For Autism afterparty, the Whoop-Szo concert, or Id Iota's March 30th LopLops show, you'll want to go with "Other", which is back as an option as usual.

That said, I am contracting the number of shows in this poll (and our second-half poll to match) from 20 to 15, for two reasons. One is that this has been a slow stretch, and if I forced 20, I'd have to include covers-heavy, single band shows without a major theme to them, which some may consider to be filler. The other is, with low vote totals on our recent polls already, maybe shrinking the options will help readers have an easier time picking a preferred concert. Time will tell, but here's your final 15 options for this month!

Bands: Redundant, A Dire Setback, and Stegadeth
Venue: The Canadian Nightclub
Date: January 13th
The biggest punk/heavier concert of January saw three local punk trios join forces at The Canadian to raise funds and support for local resident Joni Radford during her second battle with breast cancer. All three bands helped kick off 2018 with a bang on this night, including the second live appearances by A.D.S. and Stegadeth's new lineups, and I know this was emotional and positive night to help Joni and her family out through tough times, but is it our preferred show here?

Bands: Big Wreck & Attica Riots
Venue: The Machine Shop
Date: February 13th
Over 16 years after last rocking Sault Ste. Marie, Juno Award-winning Toronto/Boston hard rock band Big Wreck returned for a well attended and received headlining show at The Machine Shop in February, with Winnipeg alt-rockers Attica Riots along for the ride! The Ian Thornley-lead group brought fans back to the 1990s by playing their entire "In Loving Memory Of..." album on this winter night, and fan response was very positive, but can you vouch for this concert?

Bands: Redundant, The Cover-Up, and The Bananas Guerrillas
Venue: LopLops Lounge
Date: March 3rd
Though better known for indie, folk, and alternative music, LopLops Lounge became home to Punk Covers Night on March 3rd, with Redundant, the reunited Cover-Up, and The Bananas Guerrillas (née Enema of the State) joining forces for a night of fan favourite punk renditions! With plenty of familiar faces brought together by Tidal Records to deliver their own takes on punk classics, this show spawned a Redundant-less sequel in June, but would you vote for the original?

Bands: Archelon, Jack Spades, Doors & Fours, and Re:Born
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
March 10th
The first promoted concert of the year from J.D. Pearce saw Sudbury metal quartet Archelon  play their first local set in over 3 years, alongside Hamilton grunge/punk trio Doors & Fours, and the 2018 debuts of local punk/metal favourites Jack Spades and Project 421-successors Re:Born, who impressed early fans with their power rock covers and originals. Despite medium attendance, fans at The Rockstar Bar responded well to this four pack, but would you pick it in this poll?

Bands: Jesse Merineau and Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide
Venue: The Speak Easy
Date: March 22nd
In advance of his highly promoted CD release concert at The Machine Shop on July 26th, local indie rock musician Jesse Merineau and his solo band (including 2/3rds of Caroline Divine and Electric Church's Spencer Pine) returned to the site of Jesse's 2016 battle of the bands victory for this high profile concert. Bolstered by the return of Celtic punk veterans Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide for their first local concert since 2016, was this your show your preferred option here?

Bands: Shit Liver, Stegadeth, and Id Iota
Venue: The Rednecks Saloon
Date: April 6th
After being forced to move this concert from both The Algonquin Pub and Speak Easy, a same-day move to The Rednecks Saloon didn't temper the enthusiasm, as Shit Liver played the local stop of their "Hitting the Fan" album release tour in April to a strong audience of crust and grind fans, with many vinyl copies finding happy customers! Also featuring a diverse, growl-free openers lineup via Stegadeth and Id Iota, would you vote for this show above all others here?

Bands: Who Made Who
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: April 6th
Definitely no strangers to the local stage and AC/DC fans in the Soo, Toronto tribute quintet Who Made Who returned to The Rockstar Bar in April to deliver another night of high voltage rock n' roll for assembled fans! Their faithful looking and sounding tribute to AC/DC was fully intact as ever, as fans of their many prior local stops will attest, but would this concert earn your vote over others chosen in this poll?

Bands: I Mother Earth, Finger Eleven, and J.J. Thompson
Venue: The Machine Shop
Date: April 18th
Just when you thought the Big Wreck concert was a big deal, The Machine Shop played host to I Mother Earth and Finger Eleven on April 18th for a massive night of hits from these Juno-winning hard rock standouts! Alongside their own sets, fans were also treated to two joint sets from the headliners, including a V.I.P. acoustic pre-show and a plugged-in encore, ensuring that fans got their money's worth from this major package! Would you vote for this concert?

Bands: The Steves, A Dire Setback, and Mik & Steve
Venue: LopLops Lounge
Date: May 2nd
If you like musicians with members named Steve, you were in good company on this night!
Regina pop punk quartet The Steves made their local concert debut here with a lo-fi but upbeat set of punk rock originals, with local favourites A Dire Setback and new local alt-acoustic duo (and Vol. successors) Mik & Steve opening the proceedings. This was a solid package of punk and alternative music provided by Six, Two, Oh., but was it your favourite concert here?

Bands: Id Iota & Pointless
Venue: LopLops Lounge
Date: May 19th
Hyped as the "Indie Spring", this concert was supposed to be headlined by Sudbury garage rock headliners The Almighty Rhombus, before their bassist suffered a finger injury. The show went on, however, as Id Iota's new lineup continued the lead-up to their upcoming second CD release with an extended headlining set, with guitarist Dustin Goodall pulling double duty with his drone rock trio Pointless to kick things off. Did the summoning of "Father Spring" help earn this your vote?

Bands: All The Wasted Years, A Dire Setback, Stegadeth, and Re:Born
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: June 1st
Helping kick off the summer in style, Timmins punk quartet All The Wasted Years made their local concert debut last month, in their first of a home and home series where openers A Dire Setback joined them in Timmins the next night. This well received show featured a solid lineup of current punk standouts, plus the second live appearance of Re:Born for a metal kick. This was a fun concert with another positive response in Live 705's return, but was it your favourite show here?

Bands: Jesse Stewart, Jack Spades, and Handsome Sandwich
Venue: Low & Slow
Date: June 8th
A concert that proved to be too big to be held upstairs at Room 21, the popular Albert Street West barbecue restaurant instead played host to British Columbia alternative folk musician and viral favourite Jesse Stewart in his local debut, with Jack Spades and the returning Handsome Sandwich playing support at this unique genre-hybrid event. Jesse's music and live show was optimally expereinced by many fans, and the punk action preceding doesn't hurt, but would you agree?

Bands: The Cover-Up & The Bananas Guerrillas
Venue: LopLops Lounge
Date: June 15th
A sequel to March's Punk Covers Night at LopLops (albeit sans Redundant), this union of online page-less punk acts brought their familiar brand of punk renditions back to the same venue, and with alumni of The Rising Tide, Lion Ride, K.I.C.K., Stereo North, Long Shot, and Gnaeus all under one roof, you know there was a lot of talent on hand for patrons! If you were there, would you choose this as your favourite metal or punk concert here?

Bands: The Elements & A Dire Setback
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: June 16th
Playing their first full plugged-in concert since the fall of 2017, this was a rare headlining showcase for The Elements, whose funk and hard rock covers and originals have proven to be a reliable live attraction since the mid-2010s! Featuring a short notice opening set from A Dire Setback, this was a nice return to their roots following the inception of The Wyld Stallyns late last year, but would this concert have won your vote in the poll?

Bands: The Cover-Up, Northwest, Handsome Sandwich, and Id Iota
Venue: Queen Elizabeth Park
Date: June 21st
For a fourth straight year, Tidal Records hosted a live concert atop the big ramp at the local skatepark as part of their Go Skateboarding Day festivities, and fans were treated to a nice selection of indie and punk rock action, including no returning bands from past years! The all ages event featured promoter Dustin Jones' musical performing debut on Go Skate Day, and things went well fr fans at this unique outdoor locale, but did this concert get your vote here?

Other: Did we miss your preferred concert in early 2018? For reference, artists like Electric Church, Fluid 5ive, Soundcheck, The 3 Day Millionaires, Tym Morrison, and Whoop-Szo all played public local concerts between January 1st and June 30th, not to mention solo shows not included involving some of the above acts otherwise in the poll. Maybe you preferred a Sault Michigan show instead? If your #1 local metal/hard rock/punk concert of early 2018 isn't above, vote for "Other"!

VOTE TODAY!! You guys have until August 18th to cast your votes, and it'll be interesting to see who wins out in this half-year poll, so do so at the poll on the upper right of the page! That's all for today, but stay tuned for lots of weekend concert previews next! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Sugar Island Music Festival) & New Videos!!

With the exception of tomorrow's poll, this will be our last post on the SMS before we dive head first into the busiest concert weekend of the year (holidays excepted), so what's in store for today? A couple of new videos from each side of the border, but we will start with LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS concerning a returning concert festival, so here's what you should know!

Kinross, Michigan classic/hard rock trio Banned will return to nearby Sugar Island for the 18th annual Sugar Island Music Festival on Friday, August 10th and Saturday, August 11th! Though Banned haven't acknowledged the dates on their Facebook page at press time, the festival website confirms their involvement. Since debuting, Banned have never missed the Sugar Island Fest, with this year being their eighth straight year playing at least one day. As it turns out, they're headlining both of the above nights at 9:30 PM, so make sure to stay late for their hard rocking covers! Like in recent years, the lineup for this year is largely comprised of online page-less festival regulars, none visibly being hard rock, and many playing multiple nights. Friday will feature The Schutz Boys, Hillsdale jam band All Arms, 2 Cents, Davey MacLeod, and artists to be announced, with all playing on Saturday as well, and The Schutz Boys will headline the Banned-free lineup that Sunday.

Saturday will feature those same exact artists alongside 2½ Men, Joel Choate, Gentleman George Snider and friends, Chicago folk duo February Sky (with special guests Moose River), and an open mic block, while Sunday's lineup is largely comprised of prior performers except for the two collaborative sets from Lise White and friends, and Rollie Mayer, John Price and friends. For full timeslots, click here! Once again, the Sugar Island Festival will unite regional music with camping, food and craft vendors, kids activities, and even a beanbag toss tournament, for what should be another entertaining weekend, so make sure to head up to Sugar Island next month for all of the excitement! As usual, admission for this year is via purchase of a $10 souvenir button that will get you in all 3 days (there's no reduced 1-2 day rate), but accompanied kids under 12 remain FREE. Camping rates are $15 for the weekend, and see above for vendor rates.

General admission buttons are available at Ed's Bayview Store, The Hilltop Bar & Grill, or the Westshore Convenience Store in Sugar Island, and presumably Crooked Music in Sault Ste. Marie as well, but the site still credits it as Grooves Music. Music begins at 5:00 PM on Friday and 11:00 AM on Saturday and Sunday, so don't be late for the varied musical entertainment on Sugar Island next month, with Banned ending nights #1 & 2 with a bang! See the above links for current details on The Sugar Island Festival XVIII!

Next up, here's a new video of from Sault Ste. Marie hard/blues rock quartet Project 906, as filmed at their Strongs Tavern concert on Saturday! Shared on their Facebook page the next day via attendee Ellen Grigsby's personal Facebook page, the near-2 minute video is of Project 906 covering AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long", and it sounds good and lively! The crowd clearly enjoys it, though I will admit, the pool table's placement isn't fantastic considering where the band is. Give 906's new video a look below, and don't miss them at the Rudyard Musicians' Festival next month!

Finally for today, we'll close in Sault Ontario for a video that I'm surprised we forgot to acknowledge when this concert was originally announced, as defunct local hard rock trio The Din posted this video onto their Facebook page two weeks ago as a teaser for their reunion concert at LopLops Lounge on Saturday! The humorous video features drummer Brandan Glew calling frontman Mike Haggith to ask if he'd be interested in coming home a reunion show on July 21st (Mike was "conveniently off" that week already), later calling guitarist Tammy Hill to see if she'd be available. The whole thing has a suitably humorous tone (even with Top Gun and Airplane! references), and it's a fun way to build excitement for the "Dinunion"! Give it a look below, and stay tuned for our full preview amist our weekend concert previews later this week!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for our busiest concert preview weekend coverage of the year in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Rudyard Musicians Festival), New Video Finds, And Rotaryfest Updates!!

After a busy weekend of personal commitments, we are back on this Sunday morning with a new news post, largely covering the Sault Michigan area via some new/old videos and a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for next month! To round things out, we do have some lineup updates for a major Sault Ontario festival to round things out, so here's what you should know!

The third annual Rudyard Musicians Festival will go down at Rudyard Township Park (18725 South Mackinac Trail) on Saturday, August 18th! This late-summer concert event is back for a third go-around, with all proceeds going to Rudyard Area Schools' music and band programs once again, which remains a great cause! E.U.P. music lovers can take in a pig roast dinner, concessions, and camping before and after the festival, among other fun stuff, so visit the official Facebook page for full non-musical details! Promoters are again sticking to returning bands, with only 3 acts not back from 2017 (The Karstens, The Neighborhood Dogs, and Denny Verrett), and only two acts are debuting, so if you liked past years, expect a familiar day of entertainment! This year's only verifiable "hard rock" band is Project 906, and while it's great to see them back for year #3, note that they're on much earlier this time, namely at 3:00 PM. Local classic rockers and festival organizers Steelhead will headline this year's installment at 11:00 PM.

Classic rock favourites The Whole Shabang are back at 10:00 PM, while 2016 performers Second Offense will return to this event at 9:00 PM. Most remaining bands are (once again) country or bluegrass-centric unless otherwise known & stated, including Robert & Bob Malaski at 8:00 PM, The North Country Band at 7:00 PM, and The Wednesday Night Headliners (featuring Brian Harrison) at 6:00 PM. This year's debuting acts are new local country/western trio Rusted Spurs at 5:00 PM and St. Ignace country/folk artist Patrick Springsteen (of The Springsteen Brothers) at 4:00 PM, while the pre-Project 906 acts are Kevin Blakeney at 2:00 PM, pop singer Hayley Malaska at 1:00 PM, Jimmy Williams at 12:00 PM, and Traverse City's New Jazz Trio leading off at 11:00 AM. Musicians Fest III is once again an ALL AGES event with $5 admission at the door, save for kids 10 and under, who remain FREE. It's great to see another stacked lineup of regional musicians back for an excellent & relevant cause next month!

After two successful installments (even with the "NO METAL" disclaimer for last year's band search), this has proven to be a reliable and positive event to help the area school band programs, and hopefully this year's meets the same goals while entertaining large crowds at the same time! Visit the above links for current details on this year's Rudyard Musicians Festival!

Next up, here's a surprise video discovery of a local singer/guitarist covering some heavier music at two Sault Michigan concerts seven years ago! The performer here is Jude Reed, who I am not familiar with from our E.U.P. coverage, but he was the opening act for defunct local metal band Hammerspace for at least two of their early-2011 concerts, and shared a video from each onto his YouTube channel at the time. The latter video comes from their St. Patrick's Day concert at Zim's, where Jude covered The Cure's "Just Like Heaven" & The Foo Fighters' "Best of You", as part of a longer set that Jude lampshaded as being "shameful" aside from these songs. I more dislike the audio quality of the camera, as Jude seems to have a good grasp on these covers! The longer first video is embedded below, from the February 20th concert at The Merchant's Bar, and it features Jude covering Nirvana's "About A Girl", The Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", Elvis Costello's "So Like Candy", ...

...Leadbelly's "Where Did You Sleep Last Night", Nirvana's "Pennyroyal Tea", David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold The World", and The Animals' "House of the Rising Sun", so click each link to go to that song. Clearly a fan of Nirvana's MTV Unplugged album, Jude was honest about making mistakes during this concert (especially the solo during "So Like Candy"), but he is a good guitarist with a melodic yet gritty singing voice! Again, the camera's audio is the Achilles heel of these videos, not to mention the usually dark lighting, but if you can get past that, there's good qualities here, and hopefully Jude's kept at his music! Give his videos a look above & below!

Finally for today, here's three assorted shorter news items, all being lineup clarifications for hard rock bands playing at Rotaryfest's main stage on SATURDAY NIGHT! As usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist name, and all are cited from the Sault Ontario summer festival's official program:

  • If the program is to be believed, Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide have not enlisted Gianni Gagoots guitarist Liam Seymour as a fifth band member, as was the case in prior online advertising. No word on if a guest spot is planned, but don't miss the four piece Tide at 7:00 PM on Stage 1, and/or Liam with The Barn Board Trio on Stage 2!
  • Prolific local metal/punk drummer Johnny Belanger will play guest drums with the reunited Suicide Kings for their one-off set on Stage 1 at 5:00 PM, in place of Ben Boudreau. A reason for Ben's absence hasn't been publically stated, but hopefully nothing bad happened internally, and that we see him on stage again down the line! Johnny filled in with the former Beaumont Avenue late in their run, and has played with band members in The Bear Hunters and Heavy Head, so he should be a fine fit on Saturday!
  • North Bay guitarist and sound engineer Dan Belanger will play guitar for That's Chester's one-off festival-closing set at Stage 1 at 10:30 PM on Saturday. Dan worked with That's Chester on their Tommy musical production in 2015, and after guitarist Eugene Orlando's sudden death a few weeks later, Dan filled in at their farewell/tribute set at Rotaryfest 2016, a role he'll reprise this weekend. Very solid and familiar choice, and hopefully the guys deliver another home run!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes on the site this week, especially with Rotaryfest looming large! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Project 906), This Weekend's Concert Previews, And More!!

Here's our last weekend concert preview post before Rotaryfest next week, and while things are surely quieter than they will be, there's a fair amount of hard rock events this weekend, including a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT and a farewell to a concert venue as we currently know it. There's also a new video to cap things off, but here's what you should know for this weekend's concert previews!

Sault Michigan hard/blues rock quartet Project 906 will return to The Strongs Tavern in nearby Eckerman for one night only THIS SATURDAY NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, this show was only announced via it's official Facebook event page yesterday. After taking last week off, 906 are back for another concert at one of their favourite venues on SATURDAY, having last played the Strongs Tavern at last month's Brenda Holmes benefit. This show has no direct theme, though for what it's worth, Project 906 were plugging the softball tournament taking place through the Strongs Tavern in event advertising, and the team search therein, so if there's a reference to softball or an appearance by teams, that's why. SATURDAY NIGHT's concert has a 21+ age limit, a 9:00 PM start time, and no announced cover charge. Don't miss Project 906's hard rocking covers this weekend out west, here they are live, and stay tuned for more on a big festival they're playing again in August!

Next up, we'll move back to previews of concerts that had advance notice, starting with another busy weekend from Sault Ontario hard rock singer/guitarist Tym Morrison, as he has five concerts going down this weekend, including his final Gliss Steak & Seafood concerts at it's current location TONIGHT, TOMORROW, and SATURDAY, plus traditional nighttime gigs at The Road House Bar & Grill TOMORROW and at Room 21 on (Sangria) SATURDAY! With Gliss leaving The Quality Inn later this month and relocating, this weekend's triple-header will be Tym's final bookings at 180 Bay Street as we know it, so come on down to Gliss to help send off Tym and the venue before the big move! For what it's worth, a new restaurant is opening at The Quality Inn in it's place, and a job fair was held yesterday towards hiring new staff, as noted in this SooToday article. Note that one commenter believes that Gliss is moving into the old Cesira's building on Spring Street, though nothing has been confirmed publically, so take that with a grain of salt.

That all said, The Road House and Room 21 aren't going anywhere, so if you're in the east end or downtown, you have some nighttime options to take in Tym's unplugged classic hits tomorrow and Saturday! Tym's Gliss shows are 6:00 PM matinees with no announced age limits, while the Road House and Room 21 shows are 10:00 PM engagements with 19+ age limits, and none of these five shows have an announced cover charge. Visit the official Facebook event pages linked here, here, and here for more details, stay tuned for more on Gliss' future, and for a preview, here's Tym live!

Lastly for known hard rock concerts this weekend, we'll head to LopLops Lounge TOMORROW NIGHT, where local funk/improv/hard rock band Gianni Gagoots are scheduled to play their first concert of the year as openers for Niagara Falls experimental prog rock quartet The Road Waves! Before I get too deep into this, just a warning that Gianni Gagoots' Facebook page was quietly taken down again for unannounced reasons in recent weeks, which typically isn't a good sign for a band's active status, but event advertising is still promoting this concert with them opening, so I am cautiously still including it in this weekend's previews in case the page's deletion was accidental. Either way, with no other online pages, I had to delete from our active band links, though they'll return if their Facebook page resurfaces. This is (was?) scheduled to be the Gagoots' first show since originally disbanding last fall, and is a relocated sequel to their Like Ten Promotions-held New A show in June 2017.

While not a hard rock band, The Road Waves' creative soundscape will be a nice fit at LopLops tomorrow, and they should deliver another fan favourite set, even if Gianni Gagoots disbanded again! This 19+ show has a 10:00 PM start time, and contrary to initial advertising, there will in fact be a $6 cover charge. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and for a preview (assuming that they're playing), here's Gianni Gagoots live!

We'll close today with a new video from local grindcore solo project Crucify The Whore's Facebook page from May 26th, with project leader Tyler Gibson asking which of his fans would be attending his "future appearances". As it turns out, C.T.W. did play some level of a live concert set at The New American Pub on June 3rd which completely flew under the radar, to the point that I can't find any reference to it outside of the band's and Tyler's personal Facebook pages. Apologies for missing that, hopefully the show went well! The 67 second clip features a facemask-clad Tyler playing an instrumental, and it sounds good for what it is, so check it out below!

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