First off, it was extremely hot, the second straight concert I've been to where the heat was an issue. We managed though, and the fact that pop and water were on sale at The Oddfellows Hall helped! Opening last night's show were local cello/punk trio RedD Monkey, who replaced Sativa Rose as openers. Since I first saw RedD Monkey live last fall, they've really grown on me as one of my favourite non-metal local bands, and they continued that trend last night! Amidst Steve Mozarowski's numerous reminders about the benefits of water, the set was great, and I dunno if it's just me or not, but they sounded heavier than usual last night! Fast pounding punk riffs and cello playing from Steve's brother Pete that blended in really well to their musical attack! I'm still of the belief that capping a set with a rap number is anti-climactic, but they tore it up with their unique sound, and while I enjoyed the set on it's own merits, their cover of "Ace of Spades" went over really well with much of the crowd too! Solid set from RedD Monkey, I'll absolutely be back to see them next month!
Next up were one of two out of town bands, that being Halifax metal quartet Black Moor, and despite the dark sounding name, they were straight up classic metal at it's best! These guys knew how to mix a thrashier speed metal sound with influences from old school British metal, and there was some creative touches that helped make their set far from boring! Lots of longer songs too, which is always welcome! Eric Hanlin's vocals were harsh and suited the songs perfectly, while his and Evan Frizzle's guitar playing was relentless and catchy on each song! Rob Nickerson's hair seemed to fly every which way in the midst of his entertaining stage presence, but his bass playing stood out on his own, as did Kenny Myers' rapid fire drumming! I was really impressed with these guys, who put it all out there in their original songs, and the moshpits were honestly the biggest of the night during their set, though the heat may have helped lessen them in later sets. Hopefully Black Moor come back here soon, we will welcome them back with open arms!
The penultimate band last night was another Halifax speed metal band, that being Black Moor's good friends Sanktuary, and though their sounds were similar in genre, Sanktuary stood out on their own as well! Compared to Black Moor, Sanktuary's sound wasn't as varied, taking more cues from speed metal in general, so it was more straightforward, but still very relentless and entertaining! Alan Binger's vocals were really nice, ranging from a suitable heavy metal tone to some really melodic patches and even a couple falsetto notes here and there! He and Cole Hume rocked our faces off with their crushing metal sounds, and Anders Grasholm fit perfectly with his proficient drum skills! Though their originals were really entertaining and full of great old school metal, fans of Metallica were pleased to hear them cover "The Four Horsemen" and "Motorbreath" at the end of their set, which was really cool! Though I was getting worn out by this point, I recognized the talent of Sanktuary, and hopefully they come back to the Soo really soon!
And of course, your local headliners were local melodic death metal quintet The Bear Hunters, which seems odd given the presence of out of town bands, but hey, this ensures their local fans stay the whole night! Their set last night comprised of basically all of their quality originals, like "Dominate", "Succumb to Eternity", and fittingly (given the heat), "Collapse The Sun", and they tore it up to the fans who braved the humidity for the whole set! Nik Deubel's a great growler, but I couldn't hear him well, which sadly comes up a lot for their sets. He needs to be turned up! The rest of the band were on form, including great guitar work from Mitch Sirie and the ever-improving Josh Stephney, and Justin Lam's bass lines were as great as ever! Fans ate their set up, which was full of brutal death metal that was a fitting capper to the night, but hopefully fans will show up in even larger numbers tonight! I enjoyed their set, and here's hoping for more great death metal to come!
Humidity aside, it was a great show, but I wish more people had braved the heat to rock out for the whole thing! I despise summer, but metal lays down for no weather! I got photos last night, so click here to check them out or visit our official Facebook page, and while we're on the subject, have you ever wished I took photos of the crowd? Well, wait no more, as I'm starting a new album of just crowd shots called "Tag Yourself!" Why that name? Cause I want you guys to tag yourself in the photos if you're seen moshing, rocking out, or just enjoying the music! I've seen other bands do this for their shows, and I thought I'd try it on the SMS and see how it goes over. Besides, you guys wanted crowd shots, now I'm finally delivering! Check out the first photo at this location, and if you're in the picture, tag yourself! And yes, I got videos, so check out RedD Monkey covering Limp Bizkit's "Break Stuff" in their own cello rap rendition, Black Moor's song "Acid Biker", a newer Sanktuary original (I think it's called "Hail The Villain" but I'm not 100% sure), and The Bear Hunters' own "Collapse The Sun"!
That's all for now, but I will see you guys at The Roosevelt Hotel TONIGHT for Garden of Bedlam, and stay tuned for the debut of our YouTube Channel Profile Series at midnight sharp! Thanks everyone!