It's time for our final concert preview post of 2011, and though the Sault Ontario side of things is surprisingly quiet for metal concerts, there's some hard rocking for you guys to take in in Sault Michigan to send out 2011 and welcome 2012 with! So that's the focus today, but there's also some lineup details for one band and a note on one ending their run outside of town this weekend, so let's kick things off with LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS!!!
Kinross hard rockers Banned will return to the Sault Michigan stage on New Year's Eve to rock Golanka's Bar (a.k.a. The Bird) and send out 2011 in style! This New Year's Eve job (as they often call their shows) will be their first since their Pickford concert over Halloween weekend, and their first since confirming their new lineup (who I'll have more on in a second), but the music should be as varied and hard rocking as ever! As far as I can tell, they won't be playing at The Bird tonight, this is a one night only deal this weekend. They'll be on at 10:00 PM tomorrow night, there's no announced cover charge, and you must be 21 to attend. For more details, check the above links! It's great to see Banned back on stage, and hopefully they rock The Bird all night long as they welcome 2012 with their fans! And as for their lineup, Banned have added singer/keyboardist Mike Straw to their lineup, and enlisted bassist Jim Pentland to replace the departed Alex Schrovenwever, officially making them a quartet. The new members were quietly added to their Facebook page's lineup at some point in the past two months.
No word on if they played with Banned at the Pickford show in October, and I'm not familiar with either Mike or Jim musically, but hopefully they complement Alex & Don Traynor well for the new lineup, and go see them all rock The Bird tomorrow night! For a preview, here's Banned covering AC/DC's "TNT" in Sugar Island in August!
Also new this weekend, local hard rockers Powerslug will return to the stage to rock Dan's Place in nearby Rudyard for New Year's Eve! No word on if they're playing tonight, I haven't definitively heard either way, so I'll assume they're only playing tomorrow. My source for this new gig, Powerslug's first since their Kewadin Casino weekend earlier this month, is guitarist Chris Gurnoe's personal Facebook page, and apologies for the short notice. As expected, nothing was posted on the old River Witch Facebook page, which was deleted from Facebook anyway earlier this month, so I've deleted it from our band links, but if Powerslug ever launch a new official band page, I'll be sure to let you guys know! This talented quartet will likely be on at around 10:00 PM tomorrow night, you must be 21 to attend, and there's no announced cover charge. Check the above links for more details, and I'd recommend calling Dan's Place to see if Powerslug are playing tonight or not before risking a drive out to Rudyard in case they are doubling up this weekend. Go check out their hard rocking sounds this weekend at Dan's Place, they'll be sure to impress, and I'll try to keep tabs on future Powerslug updates as they come in!
Now to the New Years Weekend shows we already knew about, starting with local hard rock quintet Swayze Train's debut at The Rapids Lounge at Kewadin Casino! We've seen this talented band from members of Electric Motor Fish, Clownsack, The Slackjawed Rats, and Insipid Brutality numerous times in the second half of 2011, and now they'll finally land at The Rapids Lounge tonight & tomorrow night to ring in a new year with some solid hard rock and metal covers! I wish I could show you guys how they sound or look in concert (hopefully some media will come next year), but don't sleep on Swayze Train, they're one of the more promising new bands in Sault Michigan, so don't miss them! They should also be on at around 10:00 PM tonight & tomorrow, there's no announced cover charges, and once again, you must be 21 to attend. Check the above links for more details, and definitely consider seeing this talented quintet at The Rapids Lounge this weekend for your year-end hard rocking needs!
Lastly for announced Sault Michigan-area hard rock shows this weekend is the announced return of local hard rock quintet NoXcape to The Satisfied Frog tomorrow night & Saturday night in their own New Years Weekend bash! Now, I want you guys to take these shows with a grain of salt, as I've heard extremely little from NoXcape since September regarding a real band update, and though their Reverbnation page still lists these shows, it's possible it's just scarcely updated. As far as I can tell, they're still together, and unless I hear otherwise, I'll treat these shows as on, but be wary in case there's nothing going down at The Frog from them this weekend. If NoXcape are indeed returning to the stage this weekend, they'll be on at 10:00 PM tonight & tomorrow, you must be 21 to attend, and there's no announced cover charge. Check the above links for more details! Hopefully NoXcape are playing this weekend, as their Absolute & Shift pasts indicate a solid hard hitting sound, but if I hear anything otherwise, I'll let you know. For now, consider these shows at The Frog tonight & tomorrow!
And finally today, though this is just out of our local range, I wanted to bring these up as they're the last chance you can see this local band before their breakup. Local hard rock quintet Splitshot are breaking up following the conclusion of their concert weekend at the Kewadin Casino in St. Ignace tonight & tomorrow night, as previously indicated by bassist Kyle Beaumont to me in an e-mail last month. I find it a bit odd that their last shows aren't local, but St. Ignace is only just an hour away, and if you wanna see them one last time before Splitshot parts ways, it won't be a huge drive. Of course, 3/5ths of Splitshot will begin to devote their musical focus to Trail's End next year, but Splitshot will be remembered for giving us a lot of great hard rock sets from their fall 2010 inception through the end of this year, and though the lack of posted audio or video from their sets was always a disappointment, their talents spoke for themselves live. They filled the gap between Nixxon Dixxon and Trail's End nicely, and they'll be missed locally! I'll likely be moving Splitshot into our inactive band links early in the new year, but go check them out in St. Ignace this weekend, and make sure to see most of their lineup with Trail's End next year!
That's all for today, but stay tuned for our review of Garden of Bedlam's "Everything Will Die" and our look back at 2011 below! Thanks everyone!