Hey guys, I'm back from last night's Soo Zombie Walk festivities, and my review is the sole topic of today's post! Mostly the afterparty concert, but I will start with a bit of a recap of the actual walk, just in case you guys weren't there and want to know what went down! So, here we go!
I won't spend too much time on the non-concert events, but here's a recap. The Zombie Walk was hosted out of The Grand Theater (nice to be back in there) where you could buy t-shirts, professional photos, makeup, zombie books and artwork, and more! There were easily over a hundred zombies there to make the rounds for brains, including me in my black metal corpse paint, designed to look like Abbath Doom Occulta from Immortal. The walk itself went from The Grand Theater on Queen Street East to East Street, then through the park area in front of the library and the boardwalk before resuming down Bay Street before turning on Dennis Street, and then all the way back down Queen to The Grand. It was really fun roaming for brains, acting evil, and fighting the zombie resistance, as they shot the zombies with Nerf guns. Nice assortment of zombies too, from your standard rotted flesh ones to more elaborate themed zombies, like Zombie Jesus and a zombie waitress, who won top prize after the walk. After prizes were awarded, a zombie film festival took place, which honestly underwhelmed me from the lack of zombie-specific films, especially early. Good work from the filmmakers, but the title was a misnomer. Check your favourite local news sources for extended coverage of the Zombie Walk itself!
The afterparty at Foggy Notions immediately left an impression from their detailed Halloween decor, and you can tell that the staff are in the spirit of the season! I was surprised by the crowd in both it's large size and from the large presence of fans not in zombie makeup. I would have thought the crowd would be mostly zombies! The opening band was Wojtek, the band I had heard nothing about going in beyond their presence at Clusterfolk. I had figured they'd be some acoustic indie band, but they actually deserve more credit than that. Though not metal by any stretch, their songs honestly had a catchiness to them, though at parts, the music seemed a bit disjointed. The bassist deserved huge props for playing despite a hurt ankle (he apparently fell down some stairs), and it's nice to see a female drummer in a local band, playing southpaw, no less! Their big problem in their set wasn't their fault, it was the amps for the vocals, as I could barely hear the bassist or the guitar/keyboard player over their instruments. They're not my thing at all, but they admittedly exceeded my expectations! Couldn't they have gotten into the zombie spirit more though?
Next were, in their debut live performance, local hardcore metal quintet WinkStinger! First, I should say that it's great seeing Soldiers of Misfortune alumni Jonas Gasperas and Jesse Cook back on stage again, even if its while Jesse wore a garbage bag, which was amusing! The band mostly got into the zombie swing of things for their appearances, but where they really shined was musically. I was telling people last night that they stole the show, and it wasn't even half over! They were brutal in the best possible way! I think the recording quality of their demos is a detriment to how tight, heavy, and technically sound they were last night! Alan Wells is a great screamer, he reminded me of Peter Dolving from The Haunted with his tone and agression! I was also really impressed by Jesse and Jonas again, and not just cause I miss their old band. Jesse's solos were awesome and creative, while Jonas was drumming like a madman! And of course, props to Jason Ladouceur and Ryan Sherman for keeping the riffs and lines heavy and moshworthy throughout, and yes, some fans did attempt to mosh for their set! Nice to see, you don't get mosh pits as much locally as you should! Their sound was heavy and relentless, and the crowd loved it! I can't wait to see WinkStinger unleash their metal assault next weekend at Coch's Corner, cause they've got loads of promise!
After them were The Fury, the local band who are known for having two bassists and no guitarists. Paul Stanghetta and Tony Briglio handled their basses well last night on each song, which aren't genre-definable, but had their own levels of catchiness! At points, you sometimes forget there's no guitar. This was the first time I've seen them play more than three songs live since last winter, and it was nice to see the crowd respond well to them, even with a bit of moshing! There was some interesting cover sections and some well written originals that went over well, even if their style remains unique locally! Not metal, but good stuff, and nice to see them in zombie gear!
Fourth at the show were local horror punk/metal band Frightlight, who already fit the zombie mold of things well from their normal stage getups, but pulled out extra stuff last night! The band littered the stage with dismembered body parts and a smoke machine to better fit the theme! It worked, and I wonder if we'll see similar things at Coch's Corner on Saturday night? Musically, they were completely on their game, except for one of Rick White's guitar strings breaking mid-song, though he managed to finish the song and get the string fixed, so it was all good! Including their great originals like "Fright Night" (which seemed sped up) and "Dead Town", we also got some covers like The Misfits' "Helena" and Fitswitch's "Rust Angel", among other songs that sounded just right! I was particularly impressed by their newest song, "World War Z", which they played at the Browbeat show earlier this month. It was super fast and heavy, and I have a feeling it will become a live favourite! This was also their first live show with former Strictly Classified drummer Jeff De Rose, and he held his own on every song, and seemed very happy to be back on stage! I have no real complaints about Frightlight's set, they sounded just as good as they ever do, and I can't wait to see them again on Saturday!
Headlining were RedD Monkey, and honestly, this was the first time I've EVER seen them live, which surprises even myself. Wasn't the full band though, drummer Kevin Overton was absent, so The Fury's Joe Bumbacco stepped in for them. Woulda been nice to see Kevin though, I miss him from the Gates of Winter days, and who knows, there could have been a Smeltzer reunion if he was there! I have to admit, RedD Monkey are becoming one of my favourite non-metal local bands! Steve Mozarowski (in his best zombie dress) had some nice riffs (though his vocals were hard to make out), while his brother Pete rocked the cello! You read that right. Honestly, if you didn't see them, you might not have noticed that there was a cello, cause it totally blended well! I especially liked their cover of Motorhead's "Ace of Spades" featuring Tony from The Fury! They're not really "metal", but RedD Monkey are very entertaining, and I hope to see them again soon, cause they're unique and have a bit of heaviness going for them!
Overall, this was a fun night of music from differing genres and styles, and the Halloween/zombie ambiance made it even more special! It was a great way to cap off the Zombie Walk, and hopefully it happens again next year! I of course got photos, click here to check them out or visit the SMS' Facebook page! And yes, I have some videos, so here's Winkstinger playing their song "Cheese Grader Face" and Frightlight playing their original "Scream"!
That's all for today, but I do have some news stories waiting for a new post, hopefully by Tuesday, so stay tuned for that and more very soon1 Thanks everyone!