Thursday, January 19, 2012

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Half A Man), Sault Michigan Weekend Concert Previews, And The Latest From Rock 101!!

As promised, here's our second weekend concert preview post for this weekend's metal & hard rock shows in Sault Michigan! While there's a few shows across the river for your metal needs, including a notable local band's debut, we also have news from Rock 101 and a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for this summer as well, so here's what you need to know! (And I apologize for not being able to make the Rosie metal night tonight, we have errands to run very early tomorrow morning. I'll be at TWO shows on Saturday though, so I hope to see you guys then!)

Brimley hard rockers Half A Man have announced their first concert after a long break from the stage, and it will take place at this year's LemmaFest! Yes, the Sault Michigan concert festival in honour of the late Michael Lemma will return to the stage outside of Dondee Lanes on June 23rd, as per this Facebook event page, but full details aren't out yet. For Half A Man, this is their first announced concert since May of last year, and barring any additional dates announced in the interim, this will be their first concert since adding new singer Dillion Semasky and parting ways with guitarist Denny Breslin, so things will look and sound noticeably different from their past live run. Notably, Half A Man were tentatively lined up for the first LemmaFest last year before they opted out due to other commitments, so it'll be good to see them taking part this year! Again, full details aren't out yet, but admission last year was $10, it was an all ages event, and it went from 12:00 PM through the night last year with bands like Swayze Train, Infathom, Scofflaw, and Powerslug among the performers, so that's an indication of what could be ahead. It'll be great to finally see Half A Man back on stage after over a year away, but stay tuned for more from them and LemmaFest over the coming months at the above links, and check out Half A Man's tribute song to Michael Lemma at this location!

Now to this weekend's concert previews for the metal & hard rock concerts that I know of in the Sault Michigan area, so here's what you need to know for your concertgoing needs across the river! First, a new local band makes their concert debut TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT as local hard rock trio Trail's End will play their first concerts at The Rapids Lounge at Kewadin Casino! As you may remember, this is the new band from Splitshot/Nixxon Dixxon alumni Chris Hubbard, Kyle Beaumont, and Jake LaLonde, who'll debut their new band three weeks after Splitshot's last concerts in St. Ignace took place. We know that the guys have clear talent from their past local work, but how will Trail's End's live show do? Time will tell, so definitely consider checking them out this weekend! Note that they aren't publically advertising these shows on their Facebook page, but Kewadin Casino's entertainment page still confirms these dates, so I assume they're on as scheduled. Both tonight & tomorrow's concerts should have no cover charge, 21+ age limits, and 10:00 PM-ish start times. Check the above links for more details! It's great to see Trail's End debut, and hopefully Chris, Kyle, and Jake reach new heights with this new project! Go see them at the casino if you can, and for a preview, here's their first original song "Run"!

Also this weekend on the heavier side of things is Kinross hard rock quartet Banned's next concert, taking place on SATURDAY NIGHT at The Bird, a.k.a. Golanka's Bar! One week after their set at Yooper's Got Talent in Rudyard, this rising local band will play their first "real" public concert in three weeks when they rock The Bird with a mix of covers and originals (more on that in a second) in their first public headlining show of the new year! Note that Banned are NOT playing tonight, this is a one night engagement for this weekend. Admission is likely free, everything starts at 10:00 PM tomorrow, and you must be 21 to attend. Check the above links for more details! Banned should deliver a solid set of hard rock covers for their fans this weekend, but for a preview, here's a brand new video of their current lineup! Filmed by guitarist Alex Traynor's sister Ashley (and drummer Don Traynor's daughter), this comes from the Yooper's Got Talent event in Rudyard this past weekend, and it was uploaded to Ashley's YouTube channel yesterday. This is the first footage I've seen of Banned with new members Jim Pentland & Mike Straw, and it's of an original song also called "Yooper's Got Talent", fittingly enough!

Featuring Alex on lead vocals and guitar, and Mike on backing vocals, this is the first original I've heard Banned do, and it has sort of a bluesy/southern rock vibe. It's not bad, though it could stand to be a bit heavier, but Alex uses his vocal range and solo guitar skills well! I like the audience participation element too, nice touch! Check out the video below, and also check out Ashley Traynor's YouTube channel linked above for Alex and Don's set at what looks like the same talent show last year with a Banned predecessor outfit!

And finally for today, here's a piece of news from The Sault's Rock Station, Rock 101. On Tuesday, it was announced that our local rock radio station has reached an extension on their deal with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, that will see radio broadcasts of all our Ontario Hockey League team's regular season & playoff games continue on 101.3 FM for at least three more years, running through at least the 2014-15 season. Rock 101 originally picked up the Soo Greyhounds' broadcasting rights in 2009, when the Hounds left Sault Ontario country station Q104. The new deal doesn't mention anything about that Tuesday talk show that was hosted at Wacky Wings, but I'm not sure if it even still airs. I'm a Greyhounds fan, and I'm glad to see that they've formed a solid and successful partnership with Rock 101, but I know there's Rock 101 fans in the area who don't like the radio broadcasts cutting in to the rock music time, or would rather see a Sault Ontario team broadcasting on a Sault Ontario station. I bring it up here because we cover Rock 101 and this is on their schedule, but regardless, this is a great relationship for both parties, and hockey fans should be glad that they have an awesome partner in place to broadcast their games!

Besides, if you want rock radio on a weekday evening or a Sunday afternoon, or whenever games air, there's always WLSO and the Mackinac City-area stations to tune in to, so put them into consideration for your rock radio needs when the Hounds are on. For more on this topic, read Jeffery Ougler's Sault Star article on the new deal at this location, and go Hounds go!

That's all for tonight, but I have a logjam of news to get to tomorrow, so stay tuned for all of that, including some big stories and new videos! Thanks everyone!

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