Hey guys, here's a special auto-post while I'm rocking out at the Ypres Metal Fest, and it's 100% devoted to the Sault Michigan metal scene! Tomorrow, I'll work hard to get videos of all 12 bands from tonight's show online with a review going up likely early Monday, but for now, you Yoopers should enjoy the news we've got tonight, including LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for Kewadin Casino over the next few months, a local band's breakup, a bassist departure, and Half A Man's latest updates, so here's what you need to know!
According to Kewadin Casino's Facebook page, Detroit hard rock standouts Fifth Way will return to Sault Michigan on April 27th! Though we had heard about their planned concert weekend with Brimley metallers Half A Man that same weekend (more on them in a bit), this show doesn't appear to be directly linked to those plans, as Fifth Way will open for platinum selling Arizona pop rock band The Gin Blossoms that night at The Dreammaker's Theater! Best known for hits like "Hey Jealousy" & "Follow You Down", they're not really a hard rock band, but they have lots of well known songs, and they're worth a listen! As you may remember, Fifth Way feature Rudyard native & LSSU grad Zak Stelmaszek on guitar, and this show will be their first local concert appearance since the Kewadin Casino 25th Anniversary Festival in July 2010, so this is a long time coming! Also, it'll mark their current lineup's first local gig, as Mike McMann & Chris Castro replaced Nicholas Cole-Klaes & Dave Reingardt on bass & drums respectively last year. Fifth Way will be sure to deliver a great set of original material, including songs from their upcoming new album "Sacrifice", so keep their local return in mind later this month!
Tickets are $32.50 for this concert, and you can buy them at 1-800-KEWADIN, this location, or the Kewadin box office. The show starts at 7:00 PM, it's all ages presumably, and there are still tickets in the second row and back available, so act now if you wanna go! I'm aware that this show is probably better suited to Gin Blossoms fans, and Fifth Way may be too heavy as openers, but they'll leave their mark for sure at this show, as they did in 2010 opening for Tesla and Three Doors Down at Kewadin! Stay tuned for more on Fifth Way's next local shows as they come in!
The other new shows come courtesy of new additions to the schedule at The Rapids Lounge at Kewadin Casino, as per Kewadin's entertainment page! One was for a planned Swayze Train concert weekend in July, but that's likely off now (more on that in a second), and they also confirmed that Trail's End will ONLY be playing there on Friday, April 20th due to a planned screening of UFC 145 in The Rapids Lounge on the 21st. Disappointing, but they'll be back for much more, and the Jones/Evans fight should be good! However, one new metal concert weekend was added to the Rapids Lounge schedule, as Charlevoix metal trio Peril will return to Sault Michigan on July 20th and 21st! Almost four months after their latest local stops last weekend, they'll be sure to deliver a solid weekend of metal and hard rock covers and originals this summer, so keep these shows in mind this July! They're both likely 21+ events, there's no announced cover charge, and 10:00 PM start times are likely. Check the above links for more details! Peril are always a fun time with some great covers in store, so don't miss them this summer! Stay tuned for much more in new Sault Michigan concerts as they roll in!
Thirdly for today, here's some surprising news, as Sault Michigan hard rock quintet Swayze Train have disbanded. The news was broken Thursday evening on the band's official Facebook page, where they said that they were "at an end" and thanked everyone for the support during their run. A reason for the band's demise has not been publically made, but the tone of what I've read doesn't indicate an acrimonious split. As a result, the band's scheduled Rapids Lounge concerts through July are likely cancelled, barring a new band with common members picking them up in the interim. Swayze Train had been active since succeeding members Melissa Strand & Tony Rogers' earlier acoustic band Electric Motor Fish at the first annual LemmaFest last June, and have since rocked the Sault Michigan and St. Ignace areas over the past 9 months to solid reviews, despite never posting video footage that I've seen. I'm honestly really surprised to see Swayze Train break up, as they had a very talented lineup and I'd heard almost universally positive things from their live shows, but this is likely the best internal option for right now for them. Best of luck to Melissa, Mike, Scott, Tony, and Tyler in the future, and hopefully they stay active in local music in the near future (or at least post some old Swayze Train videos finally!)
While we're on the subject of ends for bands featuring bassist Tony Rogers, I'll note that when he confirmed Swayze Train's end on his personal Facebook page Thursday afternoon, he also announced that he'd left Clownsack, the popular local funk/hard rock band where he'd performed as Slappy since their inception. In referring to leaving both bands, he said he was just "clearing the slate", and later added that Clownsack were still around, "just not funny anymore", so read into that however you want. Clownsack have not officially confirmed Tony/Slappy's departure, but note that they haven't updated their online pages since August, so imminent confirmation of the news isn't a guarantee. It's really disappointing to see Tony leave the Clownsack ranks, as his considerable bass skills helped define Clownsack's sound, especially on "Rotten Candy", but hopefully he gets into a new band at some point in the near future. He'd definitely be an asset, that's for sure! As for Clownsack themselves, there's big clown shoes to fill, but hopefully they return to activity soon in general! It's been too long since their last concert and the "Funny Farm" release, so fingers crossed that we see them back at it in 2012! Stay tuned for more as I hear of it!
And finally for this all Sault Michigan post, here's the latest news from Brimley metal quartet Half A Man! No, we haven't heard concrete details about their planned concert weekend with Fifth Way on April 27th & 28th yet, but the Gin Blossoms gig for Fifth Way doesn't necessarily mean that they're off. If I hear anything definitive, I'll let you guys know! The rest of the band's recent updates have related to Half A Man's long delayed debut demo release, which they revealed some big news on last month on their Facebook page. It has a planned May release, it will feature their songs "Drunk", "Die In Disgrace", "Cripple", "Bad Way", and a newer track named "Release Me", and it will not feature new singer Dillion Semasky, instead having guitarist Erik Rintamaki handling lead vocals as he originally did with Half A Man. A reason for that wasn't publically disclosed to my knowledge, though they hinted at a new recording location, so that could be linked. I'm still curious to hear Dillion sing on Half A Man's originals, but Erik singing will at least be familiar to their earlier incarnations! Stay tuned for more from Half A Man at the above links, and even if the April shows don't go down, they'll be at LemmaFest this summer, so Half A Man will be back in full force before you know it!
That's all for today, but keep an eye out tomorrow for photos & videos from the Ypres Metal Fest, with my review to follow it! Thanks everyone!