Alright, we have a stacked news post to get to today, probably our best for news quality in a while! I say that because we have updates to this year's Coch's Corner Halloween Party, a new addition to a local band, and LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for SIX newly announced concerts, so here's what you need to know, starting in chronological order for the new shows!
Sault Michigan hard rock quintet Splitshot have announced an additional four concerts in the Sault area for their remaining 2011 schedule, all of which take place this month! Firstly, the band featuring Nixxon Dixxon alumni will return to The Rapids Lounge at Kewadin Casino next weekend for two shows! They're replacing local southern rockers The Hixx, who were previously announced for October 21st & 22nd on Kewadin's entertainment page. A reason for the switch hasn't been publicized by either band, but I know The Hixx parted ways with guitarist Gary Hatch (from Grooves Music) last month, so that could be connected. Should be good to see Splitshot back at the casino sooner than expected, so keep their shows next weekend in mind! The next weekend, Splitshot will play The Cozy Corners Tavern & Grill for the first time since forming last fall for shows on the 28th and 29th, the latter of which will be a Halloween bash, so you know that'll be worth hitting in your best costume! Nice to see some more Halloween weekend concerts on deck, and Splitshot should do great! All four new shows should have 9:30 PM-ish start times, no cover charges, and 21+ age limits. Click here for more details!
Splitshot (despite no audio or videos to preview them with yet) should have some great hard rock in store over the next two weekends, so don't miss them at Kewadin or in Barbeau if you can help it! Also in Splitshot news, according to their Facebook page's info section, the band added former Nixxon Dixxon drummer Jake LaLonde to their lineup earlier this fall, replacing Tony Hubbard. No reason was publicized for the switch, but it strikes me as odd, as I thought Jake was still attending the Musicians Institute in California? Either he only went for one year, or they changed the lineup in preparation for his local return, but I don't know either way. If this is accurate, it's great to see Jake back with his old Nixxon Dixxon bandmates Chris Hubbard and Kyle Beaumont, and you know they have chemistry, so hopefully the new lineup does well! Maybe we could see a Nixxon Dixxon reunion sooner than we'd thought now? I dunno, but it'd be cool! Best of luck to Tony too, hopefully he gets into a new band down the road! Stay tuned for more Splitshot news as I hear it!
Also for new concerts, it's the return of Half Past to the concert stage, as they'll rock The Rockstar Bar next Saturday! This will be the talented quartet's first concert since they debuted with new singer Jordan Rains in August, and just their fourth in the past 19 months (following their last Rockstar Bar show in February and their two Hempfest sets this year.) They'll also have a guest bassist for this October 22nd concert in lieu of Arthur Lacasse, but band pages have yet to publically acknowledge the guest's identity or why Arthur isn't playing. For the record, I do know who's filling in and why, but I'll wait to comment until the band announces something on their bass situation formally. This concert will have a $3 cover charge, a 19+ age limit, and it all should start at around 10:30 PM. Band merchandise will also be on sale. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Pencil me in to check out Half Past next Saturday, as I am long overdue to see a local concert of any type, let alone a Half Past one! It does conflict with this year's Zombie Walk which I hope to attend, but I think I can hit both! Stay tuned for more Half Past news as it comes in, and make note of their return to the stage on October 22nd, it will be a good one!
While we're on the subject of Rockstar Bar shows, here's possibly the biggest one of the post, and if you've missed them since their last local appearance, you'll be amped up for this concert, as Helix are coming back to Sault Ontario! The Kitchener metal legends (best known for their classic single "Rock You") will headline at The Rockstar Bar on December 3rd, almost three and a half years after they last rocked fans at The Canadian Nightclub in July 2008! This will also be their current lineup's first show here, as most of their 2008 lineup left the next year due to a reunion of Helix's classic 1980s lineup's surviving members. Full details are not out yet for this concert, but posters for it are reportedly already up at The Rockstar Bar in advance of it, and Helix also lists the show on their website's tour schedule, so that's as good of proof as any! I expect this show will be 19+ with a higher than usual cover charge, but exact specifics (including start times and possible openers) aren't known yet, unless they're on the posters at The Rockstar Bar, but I haven't seen them yet. For reference sake, Helix's 2008 show here featured Stillbroke as openers, in case that helps at all. Check the above links for the current details on this show!
I'm happy to see Helix back, and I know they went over really well their last time here, so hopefully a huge crowd turns out on December 3rd for most of their classic lineup! Definitely give them a listen, they're Canadian metal legends, and hopefully I'll be there to rock with other fans! Stay tuned for more official details on this concert as they come in!
And finally for this stacked news post, more official word on this year's Coch's Corner Halloween Party is now out, thanks to a new Facebook event page! Like every year since 2006, we know that Coch's Corner will be decked out in Halloween decorations and ambiance, and lots of people in costume will be ready for good times and great bands, but now we have mostly complete details on what to expect! For bands, we already knew Frightlight were headlining, in their first local concert with new drummer Chris FreaknStein (a.k.a. Chris Thompson from Half Past), but what other bands will join them? T. Rex Manning and The 151s, but I have no clue who they are. I assume "T. Rex Manning" is a reference to Rex Manning from the movie "Empire Records", and "The 151s" could refer to Bacardi 151, but I'd be lying if I said I knew anything about either band. I wouldn't be surprised if one had the same lineup as The Mothermakers from last year's Halloween show, but I can't say definitively. If you can identify one or both bands, let me know! As previously predicted, there will be a $5 cover (which isn't standard for Coch's Corner, but totally worth it for the Halloween experience), a 19+ age limit, and there will be a costume contest with prizes, with doors opening at 10:00 PM. Check the above links for all current details!
This is shaping up to be a great Halloween party, whether I know who the opening bands are or not, and you can guarantee I'll be at Coch's Corner with a costume in tow! If I hear anything extra on this year's Coch's Corner Halloween party, bands or otherwise, you'll hear it here, and kudos to Kevin "St. Mayhem" Powe on another quality poster!
That's all for today, but stay tuned tomorrow for more weekend previews or some videos, I'm not sure which yet. Stay tuned!