As you guys may remember, I spent my first concert-going hours that day at the Frightlight concert at Foggy Notions, so I didn't get to the Second Stage until right before The Born Ruffians' set. I'd previously never seen the Second Stage live, so I came into the setup and environment without preconceptions of what to expect. I found it odd compared to most concerts I see that there were chairs set up for the fans, but I reminded myself that the vast majority of Second Stage bands weren't moshable. The stage was actually set up right outside of The Grand Theater, where they served refreshments from inside! Also lined up along the sidewalk were tents and a merchandise table with shirts, photos, and albums from select bands, including (to my amusement) Big Wheel & The Spokes yo-yos and frisbees! Props for originality there! The Born Ruffians were the second-last band on the lineup that night, and I'll say it flat out: They weren't my thing at all. A friend compared to their sound to The Ataris combined with The Beatles, and that made sense, but they were much too mellow and soft for my liking. Good musicians though, very friendly, and they got the crowd moving pretty well!
Garden of Bedlam hit the stage for their headlining slot at roughly 20 minutes after 10:00 PM, and they were fucking awesome! Judging by the genres of the other bands, The Second Stage certainly ended with a bang last week! And what is a first (at least for their shows that I've seen), Garden of Bedlam played just original songs without a cover in sight! They played originals like "New Rain", "Your Disgrace", and "Torment" among others, as well as a brand new original named "Around The Bend" which explores ballad territory for the first time in the band's original catalog, though it does end heavily! If one thing surprised me about their setlist besides the lack of covers, it was the fact that they only played one song from their original E.P. ("Shallow"), though in all fairness, with a new album coming out soon, they obviously want to focus on the songs from that even more than the older tunes. Also, they only played eight songs, which felt short, but they only had an hour alotted that got shortened thanks to earlier delays, so it wasn't their fault. But for the 42 minutes of metal we got, we were damn well satisfied!
Musically, Garden of Bedlam really sounded good, though after two months without playing live, there was a bit of rust to shake off. Buzz in particular sounded rough around the edges at points vocally, but for the most part, he was hitting the notes effectively, and he sounded very happy and appreciative of the fans in attendance! Josh Belleau continues to impress on guitar, his riffs were clear and very heavy, and his solos? Top notch, and he looked like he was really enjoying himself! Evan Belleau was great on bass, and especially from where I was, his playing stood out clearly moreso than at other shows I've seen! And Derek Turner laid waste to the drumkit as well, he was going non-stop! Drummers deserve more credit, and he deserved it after the performance he put in! As an ensemble, I'm impressed how tight they've gotten since I first saw them, and their originals just get better and heavier! The band did have a couple rough spots here and there, but on the whole, they were awesome, and come time for the Kiss show on Auguat 10th, they will definitely be at the top of their game!
Overall, Garden of Bedlam were great once again, and the crowd sure agreed! We all had a good time, enjoying music heavy enough to headbang to, but melodic enough for people to notice their skill! Though it was a relatively quick set, it was a fun one, and a great way to cap off Rotaryfest and a night full of great music! Local news sources agree, including SooToday's Donna Hopper, who gave the band a nice review in her recap/photo album on SooToday, which you can read at this location! Note that the photos are NOT in performance order, they're randomly sorted, so the Garden of Bedlam photos there are numbers 8, 18, 36, and 45. SooNews.ca didn't cover the Second Stage extensively, they focused their attention on the talent-rich First Stage, so if you want to see videos and coverage of the bands and happenings there, head to SooNews.ca! The Sault Star didn't have any extensive coverage of either stage that I know of, they stuck mostly to general Rotaryfest stories over the music.
And now, here's my surprise reason as to why I didn't take any Garden of Bedlam photos: I RECORDED THEIR WHOLE SET ON VIDEO!! This was the "third surprise" I planned to give you guys from the SMS' 3rd Anniversary, so at Rotaryfest, I hit the record button on my camera and didn't let go for 42 minutes! All eight songs in full, plus mid-song chatter! The reason why it was late was because my computer (in it's infinite wisdom) won't transfer huge files off of cameras if they're too big, like my video, which came in at over 1.3 GB. I had to borrow my uncle's SD card reader to rip the videos off of my camera's SD card, and I spent spare moments today breaking the video apart to separate each song, and now they're all uploaded on The Sault Metal Scene's YouTube channel! And I'm embedding the whole concert below for you guys to check out as well! So here's Garden of Bedlam's entire set, including the songs "Against The Grain", "Three Days", "Torment", "Everything Will Die", "New Rain", "Your Disgrace", "Shallow", and "Around The Bend"! I'll leave you guys with the videos for today, I'll be back home tomorrow with Kewadin Festival fallout and more!