Well, I promised I'd make it up to you for missing the Rosie metal night on Thursday by hitting a Saturday nighter, and that's exactly what I did! For the first time ever, I went to Docks to check out That's Chester, so my review of that show will lead off this post! We'll cap it with previews of two metal shows taking place tonight and tomorrow night, so stay tuned for those! Now, on to the review!
Firstly, here's some of my initial impressions on Docks Riverfront Grill, a concert spot I'd never previously been inside. Very fancy and higher end than I expected, with lots of fancy lighting and TVs. Fairly big too, but the stage area isn't as big as I expected it would be. I should note that there WAS a cover last night, $4, which I assume is standard for Docks most nights (this is why I said there was no ANNOUNCED cover charge), and believe it or not, you had to get a bracelet before getting in! I'm not used to that for a bar. The environment seemed a bit "high level" at first, but once That's Chester kicked into gear, things relaxed quickly. One thing that caught my eye really heavily was the contrast between the concert stage and everywhere else in the bar. The stage area's woodgrain and rather small apart from a dance floor area, and with a classic hard rock band playing on it, things flowed well in that area. However, the rest of the bar's very high end and attracts a largely different looking crowd than you think That's Chester would typically get. It felt like they were playing to the wrong audience, or they were at the wrong bar. If you would have seen guys in suits and well dressed ladies dancing to the music, you'd see what I mean. Still, it's a very nice bar, and I'm not opposed to returning!
When I got to Docks, That's Chester had regretfully already begun, but I didn't miss very much, I was there just a shade after 11:00 PM! For my first live impressions of them in action, I can gladly say they were as good as I figured they would be! Their setlist comprised of a large assortment of classic and hard rock songs, everything from AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, Led Zeppelin, and Velvet Revolver to Wings, Pink Floyd, Bryan Adams, and The Tragically Hip! Nice to see them throwing some Canadian content in their sets, that's always welcome! Muscially, I can't complain too much, all five members of That's Chester are very talented musicians and there was no major flubs of the included songs! Greg Simpson (of Stiffler's Mom & Bone Yard fame) proves to be a very good frontman when he emerges from the drumkit, with lots of energy and enthusiasm, even jumping into the crowd to mingle with fans mid-song! His range isn't up to the task of some of their songs, but his tone and melodies were spot on for most of the night! Of the rest of the band, Ric Datson's drumming was awesome all night, and the chimes were a nice touch! Aubrey Falls is a very good bassist (though he was mixed a bit high in the first set), I love how Gabe Tessaro incorporated an Angus Young skip into their "Jailbreak" cover, and his and Eugene Orlando's guitar work were very impressive!
It's the little things that add up in a concert like this, and That's Chester delivered those! Their on-stage banter was amusing, and they included some fun moments throughout the night! Remember, when That's Chester cover ZZ Top's "La Grange", it's tequila time, for example! There was even a birthday song for an attendee that was "off colour", to state it mildly. It was odd seeing well dressed fans dancing to classic hard rock, but they were having a good time, and you can't ask for much more than that! I like how they didn't group songs into sets either, they played a mix of everything throughout the night, giving everyone a little something throughout the night! It was nice to finally see That's Chester live, their tequila fueled brand of hard rock was basically what I expected, and I hope to see them live again! I did get pictures, but excuse the quality, I had to take them on a picture stabilization setting with no flash because of the windows behind the stage, which made normal photos look too dark. Click here to check them out! And yes, I got a video, so here's That's Chester covering Led Zeppelin's "Good Times, Bad Times"!
Now to a pair of concert previews for shows taking place over the next two days, as we make one last push for you guys to make it out and rock out in style! Firstly, there's a big metal show TONIGHT at The Vibe Lounge on Goulais Avenue (nice to see more shows there), so here's who's playing tonight! Headlining is Fredericton, New Brunswick progressive metal outfit We, The Undersigned, who'll look to devastate the local fans with their brand of extreme hard hitting metal in this stop on their "Tonight, We Dine..." tour! The vocals are unique for their style, and they sound ripe for a moshpit, check them out at this location! Two local openers are primed for this show as well, including grimecore trio Shit Liver in their first of two concerts on consecutive days (more in a second) and extreme metal quintet WinkStinger, who are 100% confirmed to open now! They'll fit well as openers, especially WinkStinger, so don't miss the local content to start tonight's show! There is NO cover tonight, you must be 19 to attend, and everything starts after 9:00 PM! For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Sounds like a great concert, but I'll sadly have to skip it, as it's a school night, and I have a lot of homework to get done tonight to boot. Rock out for me though, it'll be worth your time to go! Three hard hitting extreme metal bands for free? Sounds good to me! Check the above links for more, and for a preview, here's We, The Undersigned's video for "Burning Bodies (In The Distance)"!
Finally, here's Shit Liver's second show in a two day span, as they back up a prominent Canadian punk band in their local return! The band is Vancouver's own The Rebel Spell, who are no strangers to Sault Ste. Marie! I remember seeing them on Halloween night five years ago, and they were awesome then, so I imagine little will change! Hard hitting punk rock with lots of attitude, you should enjoy them! Of course, Shit Liver are opening with their grimy and crusty brand of death metal, but local ska punk rockers Free Beer are also opening, in a rare concert appearance of their own! If you've been a fan of Free Beer's since their 2007 inception, then you'll wanna see them for sure tomorrow night! There will be a $5 cover for this show, you must be 19 to attend, and it all starts at 9:00 PM or later! Sounds like a fun show itself, though I do have a night class tomorrow, so making this one could be tight. Check the above links for more, hopefully a big crowd of punk fans shows up! And for a preview, here's Shit Liver playing their original "Survival Of The Shittiest" at The Rosie!
That's all for now, but I have some big news to share either tonight or tomorrow, so stay tuned1 Thanks everyone!