Happy Canada Day to all of our Canadian readers! Today's post is mostly focused on our review of a major metal show last night, but also read on for news on a recent radio appearance by a prominent area band and some updates to one of our special feature series, so here's what you need to know!
Let's start with my review of last night's Maximum RNR concert at The Rockstar Bar, and before we get to their set, just letting you guys know that there were no opening bands. As you may remember, The Billy Bastards dropped out for personal reasons, and though there were rumours of The Valentine's Day Massacre jumping in late, none ended up playing support, so we got a 100% dose of Maximum RNR last night. That said, they owned the stage from top to bottom with their hardcore punk assault, and much of that was thanks to frontman Brenton Ellis, a.k.a. Diamond Brent Panther, who made the stage his own in his first hometown show in over 16 months! Remembering back to the last time I saw him sing locally (Detroit's last local show in December 2009 at the old Coch's Corner), I knew he'd be full of energy, but he seemed to be a one man mosh pit yesterday, owning the floor with loads of unleashed movement and aggression, and his gast tank was still full by the end of their first set! Let's just say that if you can perform so hard that your jeans fall off during a song, then that says something! The rest of the band deserves kudos too for their fast and hard hitting performances, which may have been a bit overshadowed by Brent's stage presence, but we saw the talent there!
Keith Maurik & Keith Carman played some awesome hardcore punk riffs during their set, even with some entertaining solos, and in his first local appearance with Maximum RNR since joining the band, Curtis Faux rocked some solid bass lines for his hometown brethren! Mike Childs' drumming was on par too, and on originals like "Trust Us", "Turmoil", and "Deep Inside The Tracks", they left nothing behind to rock the Rockstar Bar crowd! I'm a sucker for bands who don't just stand there and play, and just let loose with energy, and Maximum RNR delivered that well (aside from a way too long break between sets.) Though these guys definitely fill the void that Detroit's inactivity left thanks to their common members and similar sounds, Maximum RNR are honestly a step above for overall quality & notoriety, and they delivered one of the heavier concerts I've seen at The Rockstar Bar! Great mix of fast paced old school hardcore with a punk sensibility and swagger, and now I don't have to be so bitter about missing their show at the old Foggy's last year (stupid cold.) I did get photos, so click here to check them out or visit our Facebook page! And here's my video, of Maximum RNR playing their short originals "Attack Panther" & "Cutthroat", complete with broken beer bottle action in between!
Next up, remember how Brimley metal trio Half A Man were interviewed on Rock 101 over the LemmaFest weekend? Well, the audio of the full interview is now online via frontman Erik Rintamaki's YouTube channel, so now we can all check it out! The interview was conducted on June 22nd during "Scott & Brian In The Morning", and in the interview, hosts Scott Cook & Brian Davie talked to Erik, Gary Croad, and Mikey Bishop about their involvement in LemmaFest and their relationship with & memories of Mike Lemma, the proceeds from the event and merchandise sales, how Half A Man and its members started out in both music & the band, the story of how their name was decided, details on how to attend LemmaFest, the idea of maybe having an all-star jam at the event, and even what name Monkey's Uncle have now! They also played part of Half A Man's song "Drunk" on air, and Scott & Brian made some appropriate comparisons to Black Label Society as a result. It's great to hear the guys from our local rock radio station give Half A Man & LemmaFest some due praise and attention, though I'd have liked to have heard plugs for the other bands that played last night.
Still, this is an awesome interview and I hope Rock 101 does more with local rock musicians and talent in the future! It's a solid listen (and accompanied by more random LemmaFest photos in a slideshow), so check it out below, and stay tuned for more Half A Man news and notes!
And finally for today, here's the first of some long overdue updates to one of our special feature series at the SMS, that being our Battle of the Bands Rewind Mini-Series! In our profile of the Skid Row Battle of the Bands, I edited some details on concert venues mentioned in the post, while I also replaced the now-inactive Groove Committee with new local hard rock band Skeyes of Seven in the list of newer bands with battle alumni, just to keep things more current and prominent for the listed groups. Our profile of the 2008 Case's Music Battle of the Bands was updated to both note the expiry of a source photo album related to Kyle McKey's work with many of the competing bands at Case's Music, while I also edited the alumni for the membership for two of the credited newer bands with battle alumni, those being the local death metal bands Social Suicide & March Into Regression (the former Bring The Misery.) That profile, along with those for each battle that Bring The Fallen were in, have been updated for M.I.R.'s name change and lineup additions in that section, including that their new harsh singer is definitely Josh Stephney, marking his return to vocals for the first time in over a year. There's much more updates to come, so stay tuned for more updates on our battle of the bands profiles!
That's all for today, but stay tuned for a new news post and this month's Where Are The New Albums? post tomorrow! Thanks everyone!