Hey guys, it's time for our first of three straight concert review posts for four concerts this week, and there's a lot to get to from last night's Nightmare After Christmas Party as it is! But first, here's a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!!
(EDIT: Thursday, 7:32 PM) The planned That's Chester concert at The Rockstar Bar last night was cancelled, as confirmed on the band's official Facebook page. No reason was given, but it should be noted that Turner Up's show there on Tuesday was also cancelled, so these could be linked to an issue at the venue itself. Just thought you guys should know!
Now, to the review of last night's Nightmare After Christmas Party! It was good to be back at Foggy Notions, which was still decorated for Christmas, including stockings for all of the staff on the wall! I should note right off the bat that the lineup changed, again, with it all resulting in just one originally announced band playing at last night's show. RedD Monkey (who replaced The Scary Uncles) became the new headlining band last night. I'm not sure why, but they are popular enough to warrant it! The previously announced WinkStinger dropped out of the show for unannounced reasons, although I heard that frontman Alan Wells had fell ill. That's just what I heard, I could be wrong. As for The Scary Uncles, we could surmise that they dropped out because of the absence of drummer Mark Mullin, but frontman Justin Langlois and bassist Andrew MacDonald played on with Frightlight guitarist Rick White on drums in an impromptu reunion of Reagle Beagle! They had only first jammed about one hour before their set, but luckily, the three musicians have chemistry! Justin & Andrew are of course in The Scary Uncles together, and Rick has histories with both, being in Fitswitch with Andrew and numerous bands with Justin, most recently The Quims.
With this being an impromptu band playing many impromptu songs, I took my critiques of their set differently from the later bands with actual preparation, but for what they were, Reagle Beagle did alright! Their set comprised of covers ranging from Nirvana and Danzig (featuring Frightlight's J.D. Pearce/Johnny Pints on guest vocals) to The Ramones and Johnny Cash to even stranger songs, like TLC and George Michael! You could tell that a lot of these songs were made up as they went, but luckily they are talented musicians, so they did a good job! After getting some Jager shots, they even covered The Scary Uncles' "Labatt 50", which was cool! I can't say Reagle Beagle were the most proficient of the bands that played last night, but if they had more preparation and time to craft a real setlist, they would definitely be something special! Plus, you never knew what you were going to get, just that it'd be punk, and luckily, they entertained!
Next was Frightlight, the only unchanged band from the original lineup, and they immediately had a surprise in store for us with their Christmas getups! All four band members were decked in Santa Claus coats and hats overtop their usual horror punk attire, though "The Count" Jeff De Rose lost his entirely not long into the set. It's the thought that counts, and Johnny Pints even went the extra mile with blood all over his Santa outfit and tears and rips in it as well! Plus, their dismembered heads had Christmas hats as well, fitting of the season! Musically, they sounded just as good as they have all year, but there seemed to be a lot of microphone issues, leading to some dead air patches and delays. We got what we came to see, and the band looked to be enjoying themselves greatly! Johnny Pints was all over the place, jumping down onto the floor to sing with great energy on some songs, ranging from their originals, to Fitswitch and Misfits covers, to a new song named "Love Bites" that sounded pretty good! I can't complain too much about the individual members' performances, they were on form last night, especially Eddie Fright, whose bass sounded especially good on each song! I can't complain, Frightlight always impress, and they're certainly a band to watch out for in 2011!
Also, I wanna add a little something on their set. Before Frightlight got ready to play "C.H.U.D.", the police actually shown up over a noise complaint. Apparently, someone nearby called the police over the loud music at Foggy Notions, so the police came and told them to turn down the music. I've heard of this happening before at jam sessions, but I've never been at a concert before where the police were called over a noise complaint. I could say the standard line of "If it's too loud, you're too old", but I give the benefit of the doubt to the person who called, as you never know why they didn't like the loud music. You can't just assume they're just rock music haters, after all. Still, I wanted to mention this, as it's new for me!
Headlining were RedD Monkey, and though they're not metal, they are fast becoming one of my favourite non-metal bands with local members! It'd still be nice to see them with Kevin Overton on drums though, I miss him from the Gates of Winter and Smeltzer days! The fact that a punk band has a cellist is still a unique sight, but I'm used to it now, and Pete Mozarowski plays it well for punk music! Call it Apunkalyptica if you must, but he makes it work! Honestly, if you only heard their live performances, you might not realize there's a cello at all, but you'll be able to sense something's different. His brother Steve (also of Smeltzer fame) shown versatility on guitar and vocals as he always does, with fast riffs and appropriate vocals, whether he's singing or rapping! Cello rap punk, who'd have thought? Joe Bumbacco of The Fury continues to be very good as their temporary drummer, I've always liked his playing! Their originals can be quite chaotic, but it's a good chaotic, and its always cool to see them covering Motorhead's "Ace of Spades"! Fun way to end the show, and RedD Monkey always bring a sound you never see anywhere else, so they're worth checking out!
Overall, this was an entertaining show, although the many lineup changes did throw off my expectations going in. The crowd wasn't too big, but the bands played well, and if you weren't there, you missed some good stuff! To close the review, here's FOUR videos! I got a Frightlight song (C.H.U.D.), as you would expect, but given that the other bands played some hard rock tunes, I got videos of them as well! I got two of Reagle Beagle because both are incomplete, with the beginnings missed, so I filmed two to make up for it. So here's Reagle Beagle's covers of Danzig's "Mother" (featuring. J.D. Pearce) and Nirvana's "Breed", Frightlight's original "C.H.U.D.", and RedD Monkey's cover of Motorhead's "Ace of Spades"!
That's all for today, but stay tuned tomorrow for my reviews of TONIGHT'S Soo Music Mash-Up show AND Lion Ride's local return! Thanks everyone!