Sunday, November 29, 2009

Kiss Battle Of The Bands: Night One Preview! (Plus A LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!!!

Well, despite the lack of an official lineup announcement for it, the local concert previews must go on, so it's time to preview night one of the Kiss Battle of the Bands! Here's all you need to know about it, from what I know! All show details have been gathered from Rock 101's website, event pages from involved bands, and an e-mail I obtained that bands received about battle details. Stay tuned afterwards for some assorted other news stories, including a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!!!!!!!

As you know, Kiss needs an opener for their concert on December 15th at The Essar Center! So The Canadian Nightclub and Rock 101 are holding a three night Battle of the Bands, where the winner will be suggested to Kiss as their opener for the concert! 20 spots were available for bands, with 10 each playing on Monday and Tuesday night! The top bands from each night will clash on Wednesday night in the final runoff concert! Each band each night will get 10 minutes to perform two or three songs (NONE will be covers), with 5 minutes set-up time. The nightly lineups will be determined in a random drawing before performances begin each night, so we won't know who's on first until they know.

A panel comprised of representatives from The Canadian and Rock 101 will judge the bands on their talent, entertainment, and sound, with the audience having a 25% say in the voting tallies. Ultimately however, Kiss will have final say on who wins, the winner on Wednesday will be recommended to the band, who will make a final choice. I hope Kiss accepts the winning choice for the sake of fairness, but it's up to them. The winner will open for Kiss on December 15th with a 30 minute set. They will also receive 10 tickets for the concert and get their picture taken with the band!

So what else must you, the local music lover, know about attending? Well, it's NOT all ages, sadly. The cover charge will be $4 every day, and the show is scheduled to start at 9:00 PM nightly! I recommend being there early, because The Canadian will no doubt have a larger crowd than normal! I will be there all three nights, and I will take photos, with review/recaps coming the day after each part of the battle! Now, there has been no official announcements from any of the battle organizers yet about the definite lineups, so when it comes to discussing bands, I am short two bands. We're gonna break the individual band previews down by days over the next three nights, so we're only going to discuss TOMORROW'S SHOW tonight. Sources for how I learned of these bands' involvements can be found in the post below this one, nothing is guessed or assumed. I can confirm eight of tomorrow's bands, three of which are metal or hard rock, so here they all are! Save for Stiffler's Mom, click on each band's name to check out their official pages and check the bands out! (LAST UPDATED MONDAY AT 2:48 PM)

Blues Harvest: These local blues rockers will no doubt inject a different flavour into Monday's lineup! You may recognize frontman Jake Rendell from the defunct local hard rock band Garage Inc! With a CD on the way and numerous local concerts under their belt, don't be surprised for Blues Harvest to put on a great set tomorrow night, as the whole band are great musicians! Show your support for Blues Harvest's set by joining their Facebook event page for the battle!

Caveman Morrison: A late addition to the lineup, Caveman Morrison are replacing MBM on the lineup! This will be their first live performance since August, and their first with new bassist Rick White (Frightlight, ex-Fitswitch). Though mostly known for covers, Caveman Morrison will play two songs from frontman Tym Morrison's solo album at the battle! A very talented heavy metal band to be watched out for! Show your support for Caveman Morrison's set by joining their Facebook event page for the battle!

Dirty Virgin
: The local glam/punk rockers will be playing their first official concert in over eight months, though they last played live together in July. This will be their first live set since the departure of drummer Matt Hicks, though the band haven't publicly announced who the new drummer is. Expect some solid rock n' roll that might make you want to have a drink or two! Show your support for Dirty Virgin's set by joining their Facebook event page for the battle!

Flat Stanley
: Featuring drummer Glen Thomas, a member of many local metal bands of the 80s and early 90s, Flat Stanley will show case their brand of progressive/experimental rock tomorrow night! The band have been going stong since 2000, and you may have seen them at numerous concerts and events in the Sault area! They've also recorded some studio material as well! Show your support for Flat Stanley's set by joining their Facebook event page for the battle!

Garden of Bedlam: Probably the most high profile of the four metal bands playing tomorrow, Garden of Bedlam are still riding high on the success of their debut EP, which came out in April. This will be their first local performance since the Devil's Night show at The Oddfellows Hall. Some are pegging Garden of Bedlam as early favourites to win it all, but only time will tell! Show your support for Garden of Bedlam's set by joining their Facebook event page for the battle!

Huckster: A band full of local music veterans, they are (to my knowledge) the only female fronted band competing in this event. Though not a Kiss-like band for their sound, don't count them out, they are very talented, with lots of great guitar-driven music! They also released their first album, "Designed For Real Life", earlier this year, which should do quite well! Show your support for Huckster's set by joining their Facebook event page for the battle!

Nebraska Arms: A popular local indie band, you may have seen the band in numerous local shows in recent months! Although not metal, bassist Wayne Watkins and drummer Adam Sauve were members of the inactive local metal band Renderware! Nebraska Arms recorded their first album earlier this year, and will no doubt show off their musical gifts tomorrow night! Show your support for Nebraska Arms' set by joining their Facebook event page for the battle!

Stiffler's Mom: A very successful pop-rock band, Stiffler's Mom can frequently be seen at local bars, and will now try their skills in the battle of the bands! Though not a "Kiss-like" band on the surface, all three members of Stiffler's Mom used to be in the local metal band Sin Stereo, so they do have the goods! Sadly, they don't have an official website or internet page, but they are definitely a talented and popular rock band, so keep an eye out for them!

Sykotyk Rampage: Coming off their return performance at The Outback in October, the "blue Chinese metal crash punk" rockers will no doubt provide the most unique sound of all the battle entrants! Though not the youngest of the bands, they bring loads of experience to the table! With a back catalog of 21 albums, who knows what songs they'll play? Show your support for Sykotyk Rampage's set by joining their Facebook event page for the battle!

Tiny Trebuchet: Thanks to Alli J from Rock 101 for sending me the full lineups for the battle, so I can tell you guys that a band named Tiny Trebuchet are playing tonight! But that's as far as my information goes, I've searched, and I've found absolutely nothing about this band. Not one detail. They must be local, but I'm at a loss for information. If you can tell me anything about Tiny Trebuchet, e-mail robfigures@hotmail.com A.S.A.P.!

Following tomorrow night's performances, head back to The Canadian Nightclub on Tuesday night for The Billy Bastards, Bring The Fallen, Gsis Murphy, Inside Spiral, Lion Ride, Middle of Nowhere, Nixxon Dixxon, Sense of Truth, Stillbroke, and Wishbone! And remember to go Wednesday for the finals! But tomorrow, be there by 9:00 PM, with ID and $4, and get ready for a night of some of the best bands in the Sault competing for one hell of an amazing prize!
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And finally, A LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!!! I apologize for the short notice of this, but it was just announced tonight.

THIS SATURDAY NIGHT, Garden of Bedlam will play their first ever solo concert! They'll be at Madison's Pub on Pine Street (in the Food Basics' plaza), a venue that hasn't hosted a local metal concert (to my knowledge) since Sykotyk Rampage played there in the spring! They'll play two sets of music, including songs from their EP, brand new originals, and select covers! Doors are open to Madisons' all day, but Garden of Bedlam won't take the stage until around 11:00 PM that night. There will be a cover charge of $5, but it'll be worth it to check out Garden of Bedlam! Also, Lion Ride guitarist Marco "Marc O'Lion" Pedalino will be there to provide sound! Should be a great show, if a bit smaller than typical. I'll be there for sure, I don't live far from Madisons', hopefully you can make it there too! Confirm your attendance at the official Facebook event page!

That's all for tonight, tomorrow, I'll preview night two of the Kiss Battle of the Bands AND the Battle of the Bands at The Speakeasy! And stay tuned Tuesday for a super important day! Not only will I preview the FINALS of the Kiss Battle, I'll post my review of "Woods IV: The Green Album"! Stay tuned, everyone!

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Latest Kiss Battle Lineups, Plus Some News & Updates NOT Related To It!

Well guys, I know this Kiss battle of the bands has been consuming a LOT of time on the SMS lately, but luckily, if you want different news, I have you covered! I'll also update everyone on the current lineups at the end. FYI, we're still short three confirmed bands, so if you know what day for those bands, LET ME KNOW!!!! Remember, the latest Kiss battle updates are AT THE END OF THIS POST!!!!!!!!

Let's start with the latest updates from the Battle of the Bands that you may have forgotten about! Remember, The Algoma University Students' Union are hosting a battle to see who'll open for The Inner City Surfers on December 22nd at The Speakeasy on TUESDAY! The latest updates are in, so if you're hitting this one too, here's what you need to know! The playing order has been announced, and local metal band Bring The Fallen are kicking off this battle! I expected they'd be starting this one earlier, so they'd have time to head to The Canadian Nightclub for the Kiss battle! Fellow locals The Fury are second, though I can't say if this is due to them playing the Kiss one Tuesday or not, because they have yet to release what day they're on. The Scary Uncles are third, followed by Creedon & The Animal Detectives, and Kargi are last. Other than that, I can confirm that it's ALL AGES, and that if the winners can't play on December 22nd with The Surfers, the runners up will get the honours. Remember, this is at 7:00 PM Tuesday night at The Speakeasy, $7 cover if you're an Algoma student with ID, $10 if you're not! Event page at this location!

Next up, Woods of Ypres have released some new merchandise! In the latest update to the band's merchandise thread on their official forum, they've listed all the currently available merchandise, old and new, for you to check out and possibly buy! The first part of the thread outlines the band's records, where you can buy Woods I, II, II, IV (plus the bonus Necramyth CD), their best-of album, the Allure of the Earth vinyl, as well as package deals! The second part includes general merchandise, with "levels" depending on your fandom. Level 1 includes band shirts (short & long-sleeved) and hoodies (all in sizes S-2XL!) Level 2 has Woods toques and scarves, while the new stuff lies in Level 3 ("for the ultimate fan"), which has Woods of Ypres grocery bags, coffee mugs, and posters! There's also patches and buttons if you don't have a lot of cash on you. Get full details on pricing, what items look like, sizes, details on individual items, and ordering info at this location! I might have to pick up some new Woods merchandise!

And finally for non-Kiss battle stuff that I have today, two quick news items on a pair of upcoming concerts! First, the venue has been changed for the December 11th Caveman Morrison concert...sort of. It was originally scheduled for The Rockstar Bar at The Algonquin Hotel (as was their December 12th show), but it's been moved downstairs to The Algonquin's OTHER bar! Yes, they have two, and Caveman Morrison will rock both in the same weekend! The proof's in the new Facebook event page for the December 11th show, which you can check out at this location! Meanwhile, also at The Rockstar Bar, fellow local hard rockers Half Past have cleared up details about their show there on Boxing Day! They have indeed confirmed that there is NO COVER CHARGE! (I assume this is likely at most shows there.) Their Facebook page also confirmed that sadly, it's not all ages (This is a bar, after all.) Full details at this location! I fully plan on seeing both Caveman Morrison and Half Past next month, I can't wait to finally see these bands in action after such a long wait!
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KISS BATTLE OF THE BANDS LINEUP AS OF MONDAY AT 2:49 PM: ALL BANDS ARE CONFIRMED!!!

(Note: This is in no order except for when I first heard the news. And remember, this can always be subject to change, I'm just calling it as I see it)

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30TH:

1. Garden of Bedlam (Source: Announcement on event page, link here)
2. Nebraska Arms (Source: Announcement on event page, link here)
3. Flat Stanley (Source: Announcement on event page, link here)
4. Sykotyk Rampage (Source: Facebook group e-mail from the band)
5. Dirty Virgin (Source: Band announcement on event page, link here)
6. Huckster (Source: Band announcement on event page, link here)
7. Blues Harvest (Source: Announcement on their event page, link here)
8. Stiffler's Mom (Source: Greg Simpson on a SooNet forums thread)
9. Tiny Trebuchet (Source: Lineup provided by Alli J from Rock 101)
10. Caveman Morrison (Source: Announcement on event page, link here)

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1ST:

1. Stillbroke (Source: Band announcement on event page, link here)
2. Lion Ride (Source: Band announcement on event page, link here)
3. Sense of Truth (Source: Drummer Kev Riain on our Facebook page)
4. Bring The Fallen (Source: Wall posting on their Facebook page)
5. Gsis Murphy (Source: Wall posting on their Facebook group)
6. Inside Spiral (Source: Band announcement on event page, link here)
7. The Billy Bastards (Source: Announcement on event page, link here)
8. Wishbone (Source: E-mail sent to attendees on their event page)
9. Nixxon Dixxon (Source: E-mail from guitarist's mother Cami Hubbard)
10. Middle of Nowhere (Source: E-mail from ex-drummer Tony Fabiano)

E-mail me at robfigures@hotmail.com or message Rob Figüres on Facebook if you have ANY info on the battle! If something's wrong, changed, missing, or mistyped, LET ME KNOW! I'm doing my best to keep everyone informed in the absence of official statements, so I need all the help I can get! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Kiss Battle Of The Bands Times And Details

More details have came in for the Kiss Battle of the Bands! Here's what you guys need to know, this will be updated throughout the day as I learn more!

Looks like another band dropped out, as yet another band has confirmed involvement! On a Facebook status post, Sykotyk Rampage singer/guitarist Dirk Becker announced that they're in the battle, and were looking for input on what songs to perform! This leaves another opening for a band's removal, but I'm not reasonably sure to make a guess, so I'm gonna wait and see. For the record, the 20 bands I assumed were in the lineup are in the last post, so one of them is out. Remember, I'm NOT connected with the organization of the Battle in ANY WAY! Well, it's great to see Sykotyk Rampage confirmed for the Battle, they're one of the most unique bands in the Sault, it'll be interesting to see how far they go!

Thanks to the Frigault family, Mikey Hawdon, Tony Marcello, and Glen Thomas for this additional info: The battles will have a daily cover charge of $4, and each night of the battle will start at 9:00 PM! Sadly, it is NOT all ages. Crank Sound Distribution are handling the sound for the entire battle, ensuring that everything will sound awesome! Also, the individual band order will be decided by a random drawing on each night of the battle! You won't know when you're playing until they draw your band's name! Each band gets about 5 minutes setup time too, guitarists must provide their own amps.

With that in mind, here's the bands I know to have confirmed their day for their performance! This is in no order except for when I first heard the news. And remember, this can always be subject to change, I'm just calling it as I see it: (NO LONGER UPDATING BANDS ON THIS POST, CHECK THE NEWEST SMS POST FOR UPDATED INFO!)

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30TH:

1. Garden of Bedlam (Source: Announcement on event page, link here)
2. Nebraska Arms (Source: Announcement on event page, link here)
3. Flat Stanley (Source: Drummer Glen Thomas told me on MSN)
4. Sykotyk Rampage (Source: Facebook group e-mail from the band)
5. Dirty Virgin (Source: Band announcement on event page, link here)
6. Huckster (Source: Band announcement on event page, link here)
7. Blues Harvest (Source: Keith Conway on their event page, link here)
8. Stiffler's Mom (Source: Greg Simpson on a SooNet forums thread)
9.
10.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1ST:

1. Stillbroke (Source: Band announcement on event page, link here)
2. Lion Ride (Source: Band announcement on event page, link here)
3. Sense of Truth (Source: Drummer Kev Riain on our Facebook page)
4. Bring The Fallen (Source: Wall posting on their Facebook page)
5. Gsis Murphy (Source: Wall posting on their Facebook group)
6. Inside Spiral (Source: Band announcement on event page, link here)
7. The Billy Bastards (Source: Announcement on event page, link here)
8. Wishbone (Source: E-mail sent to attendees on their event page)
9. Nixxon Dixxon (Source: E-mail from guitarist's mother Cami Hubbard)
10.

UNKNOWN DAY: (Sources come from Tym Morrison, Rick White, and a list provided by Jay Perron from The Canadian)

Caveman Morrison (21st to sign up, entry depends on a dropped band)
The Fury (No official word, but they are confirmed entrants)
Middle of Nowhere (No official word, but they are confirmed entrants)

(Note: MBM have dropped off due to inavailability of their drummer, source is from a reply on their Facebook page's wall.
Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide are likely off too due to conflicting tour dates in Southern Ontario, but if you hear different on them, let me know!)

E-mail me at robfigures@hotmail.com or message Rob Figüres on Facebook if you have ANY info on the battle! If something's wrong, changed, missing, or mistyped, LET ME KNOW! I'm doing my best to keep everyone informed in the absence of official statements, so I need all the help I can get! Thanks everyone!

The Latest Kiss Battle Of The Bands Updates!

It's still the talk of the town, and I believe we know the 20 bands confirmed for the Kiss Battle of the Bands taking place at The Canadian Nightclub from Monday thru Wednesday! Looks like a band dropped out too, I'll explain in a minute. So, here's the newest additions! (Remember, I found out about these from CREDIBLE SOURCES! Band updates, band members, or those close to bands have told me. I'm not guessing or acting on any rumours!)

Today, I have learned of four new bands on the lineup! Only one is metal, and it's a band you might not expect. Local hard rock band Nixxon Dixxon are apparently confirmed for the Battle, and just like I was optimistically hoping, a Sault Michigan band will indeed cross the border to test their talents against us Canucks! Cami Hubbard (mother of guitarist Chris Hubbard) told be this in an e-mail today, so there is my source. I'm a fan of Nixxon Dixxon's, I really like their material on their MySpace page, and it's great to see them come to this side! But I never knew they had original material either, I've only seen and heard covers on their MySpace and on live videos. No idea how their originals will sound (remember, bands HAVE to play originals in this battle), but if they're as good as their covers, we're in for something special!

Three more bands have either been announced today, or I've learned about their involvement. Local punk/country band The Billy Bastards are in! Though they haven't officially confirmed it on band sites, Matt Waples from Sonigraphix Design Solutions made up a very cool poster to promote their involvement in the battle, which you can check out to your left! It seems to imply that we're "voting" for a band, but no matter, it's proof nonetheless! Also, local blues rockers Blues Harvest have signed on, as evidenced by this Facebook event page hyping their involvement and to drum up their supporters in attending! And finally, Lion Ride frontman Mikey Hawdon told me that he'd heard that local alt-rockers Nebraska Arms will be taking part in the battle! He asked guitarist Dave Prendergast, and Dave apparently confirmed it with him. The band itself haven't promoted their involvement, but Mikey's word is good, I'd say.

So remember yesterday when I mentioned that we had 17 bands confirmed? Well 17 + today's 4 = 21 bands. And as we all know, there's only room for 20. So I did some sleuthing to see if I can figure out which band might have been mistakenly added, or since dropped. I'm thinking that, if they are sticking to 20 bands, then the dropped group is Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide. Their MySpace page has tour dates listed for December 1st and 2nd in Southern Ontario, which conflict with the last two days of the Kiss battle. Sure, they could enter Monday's part, but why enter if you can't play the finals? The band hasn't cancelled these dates either, so I take it they're out, or mistakenly signed on. Of course, if I'm wrong, let me know!

So with that in mind, here's the 20 bands left that I think will comprise the Battle of the Bands lineup (KEEP IN MIND, THIS IS NOT OFFICIALLY CONFIRMED!): The Billy Bastards, Blues Harvest, Bring The Fallen, Caveman Morrison, Dirty Virgin, Flat Stanley, The Fury, Garden of Bedlam, Gsis Murphy, Huckster, Inside Spiral, Lion Ride, MBM, Middle of Nowhere, Nebraska Arms, Nixxon Dixxon, Sense of Truth, Stiffler's Mom, Stillbroke, and Wishbone!

Remember, I'm NOT connected with The Canadian Nightclub, Rock 101, or Kiss in ANY WAY. I'm just putting my resources and knowhow to work here to help notify people, because a lot of people are really curious and interested as to who's entering, what to expect, et cetera. As soon as official word rolls in, you'll hear it from me and get links as such. All of these bands were either confirmed by Canadian Nightclub employees, bands themselves, members of the bands, or credible sources close to the bands. No rumours or guesses. But if there's ANYTHING wrong, mistyped, or missing, LET ME KNOW!

That's all for tonight, just letting you know what I know so far. This really is the talk of the local music scene, the lineup's stacked, the prize is huge, and interest is at a high! Thanks for all the visits, hits, and inquiries about all of this, I've been trying to keep everyone up to date as best I can! Hopefully we'll have an official announcement of some type soon, cause I know you guys wanna know times for the Battle and individual bands, cover charges, age limits, and such. Hopefully we'll know more in the very near future! Stay tuned, thanks again!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More Kiss Battle Of The Bands Updates, And More!

The band information continues to come in for the Kiss Battle of the Bands which is taking place from Monday-Wednesday at The Canadian Nightclub! Yesterday, I left you with 13 confirmed bands, and that number has jumped to 17 today! Here's the new bands on the lineup!

Local hard rockers Sense of Truth have confirmed that they will be participating in the battle, thanks to bassist Curtis Beauchamp for notifying us on Facebook! Always a pleasure to see live, Sense of Truth are coming off their successful Halloween show at Top Hat Billiards, and hope to make an impact, as do all the other bands! Also confirmed is the return of a local band that we haven't seen in over 3 years! Inside Spiral, the hard rock band fronted by Jonny Fabbro, will make their long awaited return at the battle as well! In the mid-2000s, Inside Spiral carved a large reputation locally, winning notable battles of the bands and songwriting contests, and playing to energetic crowds in numerous area concerts! It's great to see Inside Spiral back, I liked their studio recordings on their SoundClick page since I first found the band! Thanks to Jonny for letting me know!

Also newly joining Sense of Truth and Inside Spiral in the battle: Notable local rock band Huckster, and MBM, the latest alt-rock project from notable local producer Miguel Gauthier! These four bands will join Bring The Fallen, Caveman Morrison, Dirty Virgin, Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide, Flat Stanley, The Fury, Garden of Bedlam, Gsis Murphy, Lion Ride, Middle of Nowhere, Stiffler's Mom, Stillbroke, and Wishbone! Even with 3 openings left, this is seriously the most stacked lineup of bands I've ever seen for a concert of just locals. The only way I could see it get bigger is if Woods of Ypres or The Inner City Surfers signed on as well! That, or a Gates of Winter reunion, either way.

Other than that, not a lot in terms of "major updates", although I can confirm who the band Middle of Nowhere are! Formerly known as Bud Shamble, they're a classic/indie rock band who've released a few albums and can be seen playing in Sault Ontario and Sault Michigan frequently! Though not metal, it's great to see them participating in the battle! Also, a couple more event pages have been launched to promote specific bands' upcoming performances in this battle. Click here to join the page to promote Stillbroke's performance, and here to support local prog rockers Flat Stanley on Facebook! Oh, and for your information, I'm NOT stating any personal preferences as to who I think should win and who shouldn't. For a battle of this scope and size, I can't reliably guess who'll win, nor will I choose who I think doesn't deserve the opportunity. ALL OF THE BANDS deserve the opportunity, they've just gotta seize the moment!

Remember, there is possibly up to 3 openings available for new bands to sign on for the battle! IF YOU ARE IN A BAND AND ARE INTERESTED IN COMPETING FOR THE CHANCE TO BACKUP KISS ON DECEMBER 15TH AT THE ESSAR CENTER, GO TO http://www.rock101.net FOR FULL DETAILS TODAY BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!!!

And finally, just two quick news stories to update everyone with. Local hard rock band Quite Frankly have announced that former AtrophiA drummer Dustin Proulx has joined the band in a temporary capacity to fill in for Adam Pettenuzzo while he attends university out of town. This was updated on their Facebook page, so there's my source. Nice to see Dustin back on the local scene, I missed his drumming! Now let's hear some new Quite Frankly shows! And secondly, Tym Morrison has apparently dropped off copies of his "Solo Project" CD to Sault area guitar stores, The Rad Zone, and CD Plus! Again, if you want a source, Tym mentioned this in a Facebook status update. Nice to see it back on store shelves, it's a solid record that I want to review on the SMS next year! And though you likely won't hear these songs in his acoustic sets, expect Tym's band Caveman Morrison to play two songs off of it at the Kiss Battle of the Bands next week!

More news and updates to come very soon, including (hopefully) confirmation of the remaining three Kiss Battle participants, more information about the battle itself (i.e. times, admission prices, etc.), and anything else that comes my way! And remember, my review of "Woods IV: The Green Album" is in just SIX DAYS! I'll keep you all posted!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Tym Morrison), Updates On Both Battles Of The Bands, And More Metal From The Past!

Good morning, all! Lots of news this morning, some of which you may have caught on our Facebook page last night! Some exciting stuff to get to, and we'll begin with a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!!!

Fresh off his recent performances this past weekend, Tym Morrison will be back at The Big Cheese in Heyden on Friday, December 18th! His show will take place at 10:00 PM that night! This comes just one week after his metal band Caveman Morrison play at The Rockstar Bar for a pair of shows! Of course, Tym will crack out some great acoustic covers of metal classics and songs of many other genres as well! I reviewed his show at The Bottom's Up Lounge from this past Saturday on the SMS, check it out at this location for a further idea of what to expect! If you great music and get yourself ready for a casual good time! For more details on this concert, head to the official Facebook event page!

And now, Kiss Battle of the Bands updates! Loads of new bands have been announced for this battle, which will determine local openers for Kiss at their Essar Center show on December 15th! Since I last posted updates on the blog, NINE new bands have been announced, three of which are metal! One is local death/thrash metal band Bring The Fallen, who are also scheduled for the battle of the bands at The Speakeasy for December 1st, so my money's on them playing on night one of this battle, November 30th. Also joining them: Stillbroke, in their first local concert since their Verdi Hall show in April! They're riding high off the release of their first EP, so expect songs from it at the battle! The other new metal band is the returning Dirty Virgin, pending the confirmation of their new drummer! If confirmed, this will be the band's first live performance since July, and their first proper concert appearance since the YMCA Battle of the Bands in March!

The other new bands announced (thanks to Jay Perron for the help) include local rock band Wishbone, notable local pop rockers Gsis Murphy, the always entertaining Stiffler's Mom, and local indie rockers Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide, as well as The Fury, a band you can't classify by genre, but are still very entertaining! I figure Gsis Murphy and The Fury will play on November 30th, as Gsis Murphy's drummer and The Fury have roles in the Speakeasy Battle the next day. Another band was announced too, named "Middle of Nowhere", who I know practically nothing about (Can anyone help with some details?) These nine bands will join the previously announced Garden of Bedlam, Lion Ride, Caveman Morrison, and Flat Stanley for the battle, with 7 spots still open as of yesterday!

For the announced bands, the only real "update" I can give to involvements is that Caveman Morrison, a band typically known for covers, will be playing two songs off of frontman Tym Morrison's solo CD to meet the "all originals" requirements (thanks to Tym for announcing that!) Remember, if you're in a band and want to enter this battle of the bands to get a chance to open for Kiss, CLICK HERE!!!! THERE'S STILL TIME! Also, I can confirm one band who sadly won't be a part of the battle: Half Past can't enter because bassist Arthur Lacasse will be out of town when it happens. That sucks, but at least we'll get to see them on Boxing Day at The Rockstar Bar! I've heard rumours and interest from other local bands, but I won't spread hearsay, let's wait and see more confirmed bands trickle in. Already, this is without any shadow of a doubt the most impressive battle of the bands lineup I've EVER seen for Sault Ste. Marie! I'll keep everyone posted! Remember, it will take place November 30-December 2nd at The Canadian Nightclub!

Also, Jay Perron from The Canadian hinted that this could be for more than just opening for the band, as Gene Simmons is always on the lookout for new bands to sign. You never know!

While we're on the subject of Battles of the Bands, let's discuss the one scheduled for December 1st at The Speakeasy. I fear it's getting lost in the shuffle thanks to the Kiss battle, which is inevitable, but this one can't be ignored either! It appears that they've finalized the lineup, though with only 5 bands compared to the announced 7. As such, the song limit for each band has been raised to 4! The new band are another group I know nothing about, named "Kargi" (Can anyone help me with info on this band?!) This leaves just one metal band on the lineup, Bring The Fallen, who as I mentioned earlier, are playing at the Kiss battle too! Imagine if they won BOTH battles? It could happen! The Fury (also on the Kiss battle themselves), Creedon and the Animal Detectives (the former Good Morning Gorillas), and local punk band The Scary Uncles round out the lineup! The other new announcement is ticket prices, which will be $7 for Algoma University students with their student card, and $10 for everyone else!

I fear this may have a low turnout thanks to the second night of the Kiss battle taking place on the same night, but don't overlook this one! Crank Sound Distribution are doing sound (I can't confirm if the Kiss battles are) and it's all ages too! (I doubt the Kiss battle is) Remember, this battle is at 7:00 PM on December 1st at The Speakeasy! Aside from cash prizes, the winners open for The Inner City Surfers at The Speakeasy on December 22nd!

And finally, more awesome local metal from the past! Flat Stanley drummer Glen Thomas has been uploading more classic audio tracks from his old metal and hard rock projects onto his YouTube channel, including stuff from old bands like Scrooge, Dirty World, Genghis Khan, and J.A.B.! I'll show you guys one of them here, but please head to Glen's YouTube channel to see more, it's great to check out old classic metal and hard rock from back in the day, it's a shame I wasn't around to enjoy it! Here's an instrumental of a song from the band Thansis Colle, which is described as being "strange with odd time signatures"! Good song, check it out!



That's all I have for now, I'll of course keep you guys updated on both of the upcoming battles of the bands, along with hopefully some Sault Michigan concert announcements, and any other news and updates that come my way! Oh, and remember, my review of "Woods IV: The Green Album" takes place exactly one week from today! Stay tuned!

Monday, November 23, 2009

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Kiss Battle & Half Past), Plus More Assorted Updates!

Well guys, December's shaping up to be one of the most action packed months in recent memory for us local metalheads! We have Caveman Morrison, Detroit, a Battle of the Bands, Three Days Grace, and Kiss already confirmed for shows next month! Well, let's add a couple more to the pile! Two LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS to share, so here's what you all need to know!

Now as I'm sure you're all aware, Rock 101 and The Canadian Nightclub will be hosting a Battle of the Bands from November 30th-December 2nd, where the winner will open for Kiss at The Essar Center on December 15th! Thanks to word from local bands and band members, I can now confirm a total of four bands that will be taking part in the battle, and can officially confirm this as a local metal concert too! Local metal bands Garden of Bedlam, Lion Ride, and Caveman Morrison, and local progressive rock band Flat Stanley, have all announced their participation in the battle! My sources are mostly from Facebook statuses (thanks to Buzz, Tym Morrison, and Glen Thomas for mentioning their involvement!)

Lion Ride actually started a Facebook event page to drum up support for their performance in the battle! They've been trying to get on the show as openers since the concert was announced, so I wasn't totally surprised they'd enter the battle myself! Guitarist Mark "Marky Lion" Rand even said on The705Scene that, even though he's against battles of the bands, this is really important to them! If you wanna support Lion Ride's quest to open for Kiss, click here! It's great to see word from bands trickle in, hopefully we'll get a full band list soon! Last I heard, there were still openings for bands to enter, so send your entries in to The Canadian Nightclub today! Full details are available at Rock 101's official website! Remember, if you're going as a fan, 10 bands apiece will play on November 30th and December 1st, with the top 5 from each night playing in the finals on December 2nd! I'll see you guys next week at The Canadian for what could be the biggest Battle of the Bands in Sault-area history!

You know what'd be awesome? If a Sault Michigan band or two tried out! I know it's a longshot, but to open for Kiss, I think a couple would be up for hopping the border. Who knows, I'd love to see it at least!

In other concert news, local hard rockers Half Past will return to the stage on Boxing Day, December 26th! They will be at The Rockstar Bar (upstairs at The Algonquin Hotel on Queen Street East) at 10:00 that night to bust out some rocking tunes! I had previously mentioned this show a tiny bit, but refrained from official word until the band confirmed it, and now they have! This will be the band's first show since their big return gig at Coch's Corner with Frightlight on Halloween! No word on cover charges yet, but seeing as it is a bar, don't expect it to be all ages. You can damn well guarantee I'll be at this concert, it's been too long since I saw Half Past live, and this time, I won't have a conflicting trip! I recommend you guys go too, what better way to unwind after the Christmas holiday than with some great music?

While we're on the topic of upcoming concerts, I have some more updates on the Battle of the Bands at The Speakeasy on December 1st (Notice it conflicts with day 2 of the Kiss Battle?) First off, I can now confirm that the band known as "Creedon and the Animal Detectives" are actually the newly renamed Good Morning Gorillas! Not metal, but solid ska punk, and now featuring new singer Shawn Creedon, hence the name change! No word on additional bands yet though, so Bring The Fallen remain the only metal band on the lineup....so far. As well, this battle is definitely ALL AGES! Crank Sound Distribution will also be handling the sound, which is a great sign, everything will sound real nice! And finally, Bring The Fallen have launched their very own event page on Facebook for the battle, presumably to drum up band support. If I make it out, I'll definitely be among their many fans! Get full details on this battle as they come in at this location! I'll keep you all posted!

Drifting away from concert updates, it's time to talk Woods of Ypres! This won't affect most of us, but I found this interesting! The band are sending out deluxe promo packs of "Woods IV: The Green Album" to a select few metal journalists that have some extra goodies! Not only will they get the 2 CD limited edition copy of Woods IV with the Necramyth CD, but they'll recieve Woods IV patches and buttons, and some extra South Korean inspired goodies too (Remember, David lived in South Korea for a while and Necramyth are from there!) This includes a can of South Korean beer, a bottle of a local alcoholic drink called Soju (The art on the bottle sure looks familiar), a pack of ramen noodles, and a South Korean flag patch! David Gold even included instructions for how to best enjoy the promo pack, and lots of photos, which you can check out at this location! Too bad I don't count as a "journalist", I'd have loved to get a pack like that! Great stuff! Remember, my review of "The Green Album" comes ONE WEEK FROM TOMORROW!

And finally for tonight, I have made some new uploads onto The Sault Metal Scene's YouTube channel! I uploaded Stillbroke's 2008 studio recording, "Sick and Tired", which is a good song that I miss hearing live! And, I uploaded the full "Innocent As Hell" album from broken-up local glam metal band Amethyst! After 15 years, this album deserves to hit the masses once again, so I'm doing my part! All 11 songs are there, give them all a listen! I really want to review this album down the road, though I don't know when I'll get a chance to, my review schedule is pretty packed through the new year. Thanks to Arthur Lacasse again for hooking me up with the Amethyst CD! I'll show you guys the opening track, "You've Been Caught", but please head to our YouTube channel to hear the rest of the album! It's worth checking out, trust me!



Hopefully we're more caught up on news now! More to come tomorrow and beyond, including more updates on both of the upcoming Battles of the Bands, my "Woods IV" review, and much much more! Thanks everyone for your continued readership and support!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tym Morrison Concert Review!!!

Morning everyone! Last night, I hit The Bottom's Up Lounge to check out Tym Morrison's acoustic solo show! Here's my review!

Well, to start, it was great seeing Tym live again, it's been years since I last saw Caveman Morrison, too long in fact! I got in a touch late, but he made up for it by playing close to 3 hours, which was cool! Tym played a wide variety of songs, which were equal parts metal classics and equal parts generally known songs of other genres! He played songs from bands like Metallica, Living Colour, The Stone Temple Pilots, Kiss, Tesla, Night Ranger, and Bon Jovi, but he also did stuff you might not expect, like Johnny Cash, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Van Morrison, The Who, and Simon and Garfunkel, among many others! Tym pulled off each song really well, even the ones that could have been slightly compromised by a cold he said he was fighting. Aside from some scattered coughing and his use of a spray, it wasn't visible at all!

His guitar work was awesome, he was doing some impressive stuff on the acoustic guitar, I just missed the solos on certain songs. I found that, cold or no cold, Tym's a better singer now than he was on his solo CD! He admitted to us that he may have trouble on songs like "Love Song" by Tesla, but he pulled it off, never sounding strained! Also, remember how he was hyping his new pedal that would let him do three part vocal harmony? It works really well, if you weren't looking, you'd assume there were three guys singing! I've always been a fan of Tym musically, and even though I prefer his heavy metal plugged in stuff, I liked seeing Tym play a more intimate set. Plus, he came and talked to me and my friend Mike for a good portion of his first break, which was awesome! Very nice and humble, take the time to say hi to him if you see him live!

Overall, it was a fun way to spend an evening, even if it wasn't as "heavy" as a Caveman Morrison show typically is. For what this was, all I could ask for different was more metal songs and a more interested crowd. Very few people were there specifically to see Tym Morrison, though it was fun seeing some girls from a drinking get-together dance up front while he played "Brown Eyed Girl"! I recommend seeing Tym Morrison live if you wanna check out some good music and have a drink or two! Good singing, good guitar, it is what it is, and it's well worth attending! Hopefully you'll all hit the Caveman Morrison show on December 11th! And check out my photos from the concert at The Sault Metal Scene's Facebook page!

And finally for now, a HUGE thanks to Half Past bassist Arthur Lacasse for hooking me up with a copy of "Innocent As Hell" from Amethyst! And it's autographed by the band, no less! That's way too nice of him, thanks to Arthur again! I'll add this to the review schedule for 2010 or 2011, and I'll likely post the album on YouTube at some point as well! Gotta spread these songs to the world, they've been unheard by the masses for too long! On first listen, I like what I hear! So there's another local CD off my want list...does anyone have "Kill The Music, Save The Children" by As It Stands?!!?! That's all for now, news and updates shall return soon!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Bring The Fallen), Amethyst Updates, And Do You Want To Open For KISS?!

Hey guys, back to news today, and there's some exciting stuff to get to! Let's begin with a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!!!

I can now officially confirm that there will be metal representation at the Battle of the Bands at The Speakeasy on December 1st! Local death/thrash metal band Bring The Fallen will be among the competitors, and will be looking to win their second straight Battle of the Bands, following their victorious performance at the YMCA battle in March! Other already confirmed bands joining them include notable local band The Fury, and punk rockers The Scary Uncles! The other confirmed band so far is a group called "Creedon and the Animal Detectives" (can anyone give me more info on these guys?) The remaining three bands are to be announced. The only other new update is that a representative from The United Way will be among the judging panel! But now that we have a metal band confirmed, I can confirm this as an upcoming metal concert! Not sure if I'll be able to get there, but hopefully you can, so you can show Bring The Fallen the support they deserve! Get full details on the battle at this location! As I hear more, I'll let everyone know!

In other Bring The Fallen news, the band have officially launched their very own Facebook page! Become a fan at this location! Support local metal and become a fan today!

While we're on the subject, here's an idea that has to be exciting: Would you or your band like to open for KISS?! Well, here's your chance! Rock 101, in association with The Canadian Nightclub, are holding a 3 night Battle of the Bands to find an opener for Kiss when they play at The Essar Center on December 15th! So how can you enter? Well, your band must be locally based, not signed to a label, and have enough ORIGINAL material (no covers) to cover a 30 minute set. To sign your band up, head to The Canadian Nightclub on Pim Street with a $25 entry fee to cover the PA system, as well as this information: A bio on your band, your band's performance history with references, a CD of some type with two original songs (NO COVERS), and band contact info (at least one name, address, phone, cell phone and email address.) The first 20 bands that give all of this to The Canadian will be entered into The Battle!

So when is the Battle? Well, 10 bands each will perform at least 2 songs each on one of two nights: Monday, November 30th, and Tuesday, December 1st! Each band will get 10 minutes to wow the crowd! The top bands from the Monday and Tuesday battles will meet in the finals on Wednesday, December 2nd at The Canadian! A winner will be chosen following the Wednesday performances, and Kiss themselves will have final say on who wins. Whoever wins the battle will get to open for Kiss with a 30 minute opening performance, as well as getting 10 tickets to the concert, and a picture with Kiss themselves! Get full details on this very special Battle of the Bands at Rock 101's official website! As I find out more about the performers, I'll update everyone on what metal bands to expect over these three nights! ENTER TODAY! Head to The Canadian A.S.A.P. to get a chance to open for Kiss!!!

And finally for tonight, remember yesterday when I shared a video from an old local hair metal band named Amethyst? Well, I've found out more information about them! It turns out that there's a lot more about them online than I knew, and all I had to do was eliminate Sault Ste. Marie from searches, oddly. As it turns out, their album was called "Innocent As Hell" (album cover on the left), and it featured 11 tracks! (Curiously, "Waste of Time" from the video I shown yesterday wasn't on it.) I can also now confirm the rest of the band members, though they all went under stage names: Rick "Rick Widow" Dellavedova on vocals, Jose "Jose Wales" Temporao on guitar "Mike Haas" on guitar and keyboards, "Chipp Robb" on bass, and Phil "Phily S. Tempo" Temporao on drums!

There's even torrent files floating around of it, but no one's seeding it, sadly. Online sites (almost all foreign) are selling it, ranging from $30 on cassette to $150 on CD, which is insane! I wanna track down the album even still though, they have some great stuff! I have another Amethyst video to share with you guys, thanks again to Glen Thomas for sending this song! I posted this on YouTube to share with the world, hope you like it! Here's "Guilty By Suspicion", from "Innocent As Hell!"



That's all for tonight, I'll see you guys at The Bottoms' Up Lounge tonight for Tym Morrison's show! Review tomorrow!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Even More Local Metal Videos From The Past!

It's time to dig back into the depths of YouTube, as I've found some more interesting videos of local metal bands from back in the day! It's amazing what you can find when you look hard enough, and here's four more videos worth sharing with the world once again! Remember to check out these, and all the local metal related videos I've uploaded or favourited, at The Sault Metal Scene's YouTube channel!

First, here's a true relic. It's an actual MUSIC VIDEO from a broken up local hair metal band! They were known as Amethyst, and thanks to me asking a notable source, I know that this band actually released an album in the early 90s! They recorded it in Sudbury, but it wasn't a success locally, and the band eventually broke up. The band included guitarist Jose Temporao, his brother Phil on drums, and singer Rick Dellavedova, among others! Video is not really great quality (it was ripped from VHS), but it's a solid hair metal song! I'll wanna hear it with clearer audio, but I like what I heard! Also, gotta love the band playing on the giant chairs and table outside the Art Gallery near the end of the video! Check out Amethyst's video for the song "Waste of Time" right here! All credit to Mark Allemang for the upload, and to Glen Thomas for extra info on the band!



Next up, can you picture Woods of Ypres without David Gold singing? You probably know how it sounds already, as "Against The Seasons" featured Brian McManus & Aaron Palmer on vocals. But for a time in 2003, Woods of Ypres actually had a singer in the band that DIDN'T play an existing instrument! His name is Robin Cross, and you may have seen him in the CBC News report on black metal that featured Woods of Ypres! A few videos of Woods of Ypres with Robin Cross are available to check out on David Gold's YouTube channel, and it's definitely interesting! While David's vocals to me are part of what makes the band special, Robin Cross wasn't a bad black metal singer himself! Here's a clip of this brief Woods lineup performing the songs "Shams of Optimism" and "Crossing the 45th Parallel" from The Northern Lights Festival in 2003!



Alright, now here's a clip of a band you may remember from the mid-2000s! Does the name Redefined ring a bell? They were a local hard rock band who played a bunch of shows back then! The band included ex-Driving Dave Home/Fingerbone frontman John Barber, guitarist Matt Sibilo, bassist Josh St. Amour, and drummer Dan O'Shea! The band won $5,000 worth of prizes at an "Extreme Band Slam" in North Bay once! At one point, there were going to release an album entitled "Risk and Uncertainty", but I have no idea if it ever came out. Their PureVolume page is still online, with two songs! Good stuff, solid radio friendly hard rock! John Barber's a good singer, hopefully he gets with a new band one of these days! John uploaded three studio-quality Redefined songs onto YouTube, with accompanying videos, check out this one, for the song "Vertigo Centre"!



And finally, here's something that's not really that "old", but still worth mentioning, as it's a notable local band's first show EVER! Sault natives Lion Ride played their first ever show at Foggy Notions on July 7th, 2007 (or in other words, 07/07/07!) As it was their first concert, bassist Nathan "Lionel Itchy" Sauve and drummer Marc "The Italian Stallion" Muto are still in the band! Video's well filmed, everything looks nice! My only real gripe is the audio. The band synced their original studio demos over the videos from this concert, so I can't hear how they sounded in their debut. No matter, the demos sound good, it's no huge deal! Get a glimpse into Lion Ride's beginnings below, with their performance/studio demo of "Cocaine Crazy"! Check out more from this show (and more) at Nathan Sauve's YouTube channel!



Check out these, and more videos from local metal bands, concerts, and musicians, at The Sault Metal Scene's YouTube channel! If you have a YouTube account, feel free to add us as a friend or subscribe to us! That's all for today, more news will be coming very soon! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Local Concert Previews For This Weekend, And Let's Help A Kiss Fan Out!

Greetings once again! The weekend's approaching, and there are four local metal concerts this weekend to discuss! So here are your local concert previews for this weekend! Stay tuned for info on a devoted local Kiss fan who'd love our help in meeting the band!

Two shows each in Sault Ontario and Sault Michigan, let's start in Sault Ontario, where Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison returns for two more solo acoustic shows! Tomorrow night, he will be at The Big Cheese in Heyden, which is a popular restaurant/bar that, though not in Sault Ste. Marie itself, is close enough to get to from here! Then on Saturday night, he'll be back at The Bottoms' Up Lounge on Queen Street East! Both shows take place at 10:00 PM, neither have an announced cover charge. Tym's promising the debut of his new pedal that allows him to sing three part vocal harmonies, which should be interesting! For more details on both shows, and to confirm your attendance, visit the official Facebook event pages, this one for Friday's concert, and this one for Saturday's!

He'll be playing a wide range of metal and hard rock covers in an intimate acoustic setting, and I know from experience that he's a great musician! His solo album is really good (Review of that likely in the future), and I've been a fan of Caveman Morrison's since before Tym's move to Calgary, so I of course think highly of his solo material as well! I highly recommend at least checking Tym's solo show out, you'll have fun! I will try and make the Saturday concert, and if I do, there will be a review posted here on Sunday! In the meantime, cause I can't find embeddable video, check out lots of songs and video from Tym & Caveman Morrison at his official website!

Meanwhile, Sault Michigan hard rockers Riot! By Night are back for two shows tomorrow night and Saturday night at The Satisfied Frog! Like the Tym Morrison concerts, both are at 10:00 PM, and with no announced cover charges. Riot! By Night sound very promising, but with no posted audio or video yet, all I can recommend is for you guys to check out Absolute, a local band that shares the same lineup with Riot! By Night, save for the singers. Absolute are a good band, so Riot! By Night be at least as good too! Should be good concerts, I'd likely go to Friday's if I was old enough! Check out more from Riot! By Night at their official MySpace page!

And finally for today, a local Kiss fan is looking for your help in his dream to meet the band! If you've followed the various Kiss articles on SooToday this year, you might have seen a couple mentions of local taxi driver Robert McIntomney, who might just be the biggest Kiss fan in Sault Ste. Marie! He has been collecting Kiss memorabilia and merchandise since he was 8, including everything from board games to condoms and toilet paper! He has a whole room dedicated to Kiss at his home, and wears something with Kiss on it every day! He's even dressed up like Gene Simmons while driving his taxi to promote the Kiss fan-routed tour voting and for Halloween!

It's been Robert's dream for years to meet Kiss, and friends of his have started an online campaign to help drum up support to hopefully get Robert a chance to meet Gene Simmons and company when they come for their Sault Ste. Marie concert on December 15th! His dream is to pick Kiss up at the Sault airport in his taxi, which would be cool! If you want to join the movement to help Robert meet Kiss, click here to visit the Facebook group where you can see photos of Robert's Kiss devotion and post messages of support! The group was started November 3rd, and there's already 193 members! It's picked up so much steam that even the local CTV News did a video report on Robert, which you can check out below! It features interviews with Robert and friends of his! Good luck Robert, I'm pulling for you!



That's all for today, more news and updates to come this weekend, as well as a possible review of Saturday's Tym Morrison show! Stay tuned, thanks everyone!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

This Month's SMS Poll, More Ace Frehley Updates, And Woods Of Ypres Tour Info!

Well, it's the 18th of the month once again, so it's time to recap the results of last month's poll, and introduce this month's! As you may remember, last month's poll was "What is your favourite metal concert venue in Sault Ontario?" The results were quite clear, and luckily, there were more votes cast than last time (23)! So here are the results of the poll, and stay tuned after the poll stuff for more updates from the Ace Frehley concert and Woods of Ypres!

Tied for last place were The Bottom's Up Lounge, Madison's Pub, The Outback, The Speakeasy, The Verdi Hall, and "other", none of which received any votes. Most don't surprise me, due mostly to metal inactivity, but I would have assumed The Speakeasy would have gotten at least one vote, they've put on some great concerts in the past year! 5th place went to The Essar Center, which got 13% of the votes. It is nicely set up and has lots of huge concerts (metal or not), but it doesn't have the same appeal that a bar or theater would have for band interaction and more personal stuff. The Oddfellows Hall came in 4th, with 17% of the total. It's got the underground quality to it, and just about anything can happen there in terms of shows, but it's not as nicely set up or as frequent for bookings as some of the top voted venues.

In a tie for second place, with about 22% of the votes each, are The Canadian Nightclub and Coch's Corner, two of the more popular local watering holes, both of which put on some great concerts! I'm honestly surprised The Canadian got the votes it did, as shows aren't as frequent there as at Coch's Corner, and the renovations put a standstill on activity there, but The Canadian is great for shows, I'm happy it got votes too! Coch's Corner, totally agree, I've been a fan of it since my first attended concert there! And in first place, with 26% of the vote, is the The Lock City Grand Theater! Though metal shows there lately haven't been too numerous, The Grand is a beautifully set up venue with alcohol licensing, great sound, and the capacity for some decent name bands! Well deserved #1 choice, here's hoping they'll get to booking more metal real soon!

So there's the results for last month, and now, it's time to discuss this month's poll! And with Three Days Grace returning there next month, as well as some show with some band named Kiss, I figure now is the perfect time to run a poll about The Essar Center, and more specifically, shows that have happened there. Since it's opening in 2006, The Essar Center has played host to numerous major concerts, including four that no doubt qualify as "metal" (and all of which I attended!) So I pose this question to you guys: What was your favourite major metal concert at The Essar Center so far? Here are your choices!

Motley Crue on December 6, 2006: This was actually the very first major concert of any genre at the then-Steelback Center, and what a way to break in concerts at the new arena! I was in attendance, and
I had a lot of fun! Motley Crue had a great stage show with pyro, fireworks, video screens, and even strippers dancing in cages (Oh come on, some of you wouldn't mind.) The band sounded as good as they've ever sounded, and the house was full or damn close to it! Would you say the new arena's first show was the best?

Heaven & Hell, Megadeth, and Down on March 20, 2007: It was a glorious spring day when what is essentially the "Mob Rules" lineup of Black Sabbath came to Sault Ontario for one hell of a concert! Ronnie James Dio sounded amazing for a 60-something man, and the rest of the band? Perfection. But that's just my opinion, you may not agree. Thrash legends Megadeth played support, and damn near stole the show themselves! Sludge metal supergroup Down also had a solid opening set, only hampered by Phil Anselmo's voice being shot from a recent illness. Definitely my favourite show there so far, but I ain't voting, you are. What did you guys think?

Three Days Grace, Seether, and Econoline Crush on January 24, 2008: You can debate the "metalness" of Three Days Grace if you choose, but I had fun at this show as well, even if I was a bit lost among a crowd full of teenage girls. Three Days Grace had a very solid set, as did Seether, a band I've only really started listening to since this show! Also gotta love the duets that members of the two bands did together, very nice stuff! Canada's own Econoline Crush opened with their brand of industrial hard rock, which wasn't bad either! I had fun at this show, though it admittedly isn't for everyone. But did you like it?

Jackyl, Slaughter, and The Inner City Surfers on May 24, 2008: This was one hell of a good time, if underattended and overpriced. The $60 tickets scared off a lot of people, but at least we got to move to the floor from the stands because of it! Jackyl were damn entertaining, especially when Jesse James Dupree broke out the chainsaw for "The Lumberjack" and chopped up a stool! Slaughter thoroughly surprised me, they're not just a generic hair metal band, and The Inner City Surfers returned home and played some great punk rock as well! Only some mic issues and a pitifully small crowd affected one of the most fun shows I saw in 2008. What do you think?

So there's your choices, let's see what your favourite show was at The Essar Center so far! The poll's on the left of the page, VOTE TODAY!!! Now, to more news and updates!

Five days after the concert, and things continue to leak in from the Ace Frehley concert at Kewadin Casino! Now, remember when I said that I didn't think there was an opener for Ace's show? How wrong I was, but don't blame me, no local promotion for the concert mentioned an opener. I actually found out about this from YouTube, where user scub115 uploaded 8 video clips from the concert, two of which feature a band called 16 Second Stare. Some added research, and I found out that indeed, 16 Second Stare were Ace Frehley's openers on this tour, but mention of them bypassed local news and radio, and myself too. On my first listen of these guys on MySpace, I'm impressed, hard hitting melodic heavy metal! I wish I would have known about them before now, I feel kinda dumb to miss them! Oh well, I'll show you guys one of scub115's clips of 16 Second Stare from Friday night! Check them out on MySpace too for good quality originals, don't judge your opinion on this video!



And finally for today, it appears as if Woods of Ypres are planning a new tour! According to a new topic on their official forum, Woods frontman David Gold is planning to run the band's first ever American tour in the summer of 2010, as well as returning to some favourite Canadian locations too (Hopefully Sault Ontario is among them!) Gold says that all confirmed dates will appear in that topic, where you can also find info on how to book Woods of Ypres for a concert! Here's hoping they'll be back to this burial ground very soon, Woods of Ypres always impress! And remember to pick up their new album online (with a bonus Necramyth CD) from Century Media Records, or from The End Records for about $15! Well worth the money! My review of it is now just 13 days away!

That is all for today, tomorrow will be a preview post of this weekend's concerts, including two shows each by Tym Morrison and Riot! By Night! And of course, any more news and updates I may have as well will come tomorrow too! Stay tuned for more, thanks everyone!