Fifth post in three days already, this is a good sign for how busy this month will hopefully be in the local metal/hard rock scene! Today's post is devoted to LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, including two local hard rock bands' newest March dates (one of which is at a new venue for our coverage), and the return of heavier music to one of our local music festivals, so read on below for what you need to know!
Kinross hard/classic rock quintet Banned have announced two more regional concert dates for this month, including at a venue we've never covered on here before! First, they'll be back at one of their recent favourite venues (Todd's Tavern in Moran) this coming Saturday (March 9th), and after their previously announced Dondee Lanes gigs next weekend, they'll make their first ever appearance at The Back Door in Sault Michigan on Friday, March 22nd! That's right, The Back Door's not just a dance club anymore, as they've recently began booking "high energy" cover rock bands for Friday nights (Saturdays tend to have dance parties there.) This past Friday, they welcomed new local rock band Toast (3/5ths of Swayze Train + Powerslug drummer Bob Helsten, full genre/sound not yet clear), and now Banned will hit The Back Door themselves in two weeks time! For those unsure, it's at 313 Ashmun Street, just seconds down the road from Sault Michigan's music/lessons stores. Cover charges haven't been announced for either show, but there should be 21+ age limits at both Todd's Tavern this Saturday and at The Back Door on the 22nd, and while cover charges haven't been announced, bring cash just in case.
Now, Banned at least one show each weekend this month, so they're definitely keeping busy with their new lineup, and hopefully you guys have even more chances to check out their hard rocking and varied covers & originals all month long! Also, if you or your band are interested in playing on a future Friday night at The Back Door, click here or contact the above links for more information! Let's see Sault Michigan get another long term metal/hard rock concert venue!
Next up, Kewadin Casino's entertainment page has been updated to reflect concerts through April, and while most of the shows aren't for metal/hard rock bands (unless St. Ignace Kewadin performers Sir Charge skew that way), there are a few new to those listings, including Banned's previously announced Sault Kewadin debuts at the end of the month. That said, there's only one completely new concert weekend to us on there, as Sault Michigan hard rock trio Powerslug will return to The Rapids Lounge at the Soo Kewadin on March 22nd & 23rd for their next Kewadin dates! It's always nice to hear of their shows at any Kewadin branches, as they offer some of the few advance notice gigs of theirs (why can't they launch an online page already?), so plan a trip to the Soo Kewadin in two weeks for some hard rocking covers all weekend long! Admission should be free for these 10:00 PM-ish shows, and you must be 21 to attend. Check the above links for more details! With Clownsack, Kilacel, and River Witch alums, you know there's talent present, so make cure to chug your mug with Powerslug later this month!
Back in Sault Ontario, this year's Hempfest is scheduled for August 5th to 12th on Poplardale Road in nearby Ophir, Ontario, and it's sure to be another successful event for marijuana culture and awareness in it's 15th annual installment! Now three years into it's local return under current ownership, you may remember that the 2011 installment had a number of heavier bands among it's performer lineup, but last year's event saw a radically smaller lineup of bands, with no metal/hard rock acts in sight. However, this year's Hempfest sees a return to large lineup of bands (the largest since the relaunch), though with a caveat, as none of the full bands are local (maybe the scheduled DJs & rappers are, but I'm out of the loop for that scene.) In fact, of the 15 scheduled non-comedy/speaking performers, 8 are out of town tribute bands, and of the lineup for this year, we do have one heavier-leaning band, that being Toronto-based Aerosmith tribute band Mama Kin! Last seen in the Soo last April at The Canadian, their faithful blend of Aerosmith classics should get fans going this year at Hempfest, as they did last year! Aerosmith fans should be excited for this year's Hempfrst but when can you see Mama Kin this year?
They're actually the headlining band on the last day of performers this year (Saturday, August 11th), as they'll play two one hour sets at 7:30 & 9:00 PM that night! Their set bookends rappers (I think) Radar & J. Frost at 8:30, while Radar performs solo at 5:30 PM. The rest of the Saturday lineup includes (in descending order) a comedy act at 7:00 PM, Hamilton folk/ska quintet Blind Mule for two one hour sets at 6:00 PM & 4:30 PM, the finals of this year's Willy High Games at 4:00 PM, Newmarket punk notables The Salads (remember "Get Loose"?) at 2:15 PM, a speaker of some kind at 1:45 PM, and a Black Crowes tribute band named Remedy opening the day's music at 1:00 PM. The rest of the musical performers (Thursday-Saturday, August 8th-10th) include a widely varied selection of genres, including tributes to Santana, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Pink Floyd, Neil Young, Bob Marley, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, plus past Hempfest favourites The Killing Time Band, Lo-Fi, and DJ Slim, plus earlier day's sets from Blind Mule, Radar, and J. Frost, and speakers, comedy, and games, so click here for the full lineup for all four nights of music!
Tickets for this year are $100 for the full week package, which drop $10 a day for every missed day (i.e. Thursday-Sunday would be $70, and Saturday-Sunday would be $50), but single day tickets can be bought for $40. Leashed pets can be brought for a flat $10 fee, and there are some advance ticket deals you can check out at this location. Minors MUST have an adult guardian to attend, people with federal marijuana exemptee status get FREE admission, and tickets can be bought online via this link! It's great to see some heavier music back at Hempfest this year, and while I do miss a large amount of local bands (and don't smoke marijuana), I hope this year's event is the biggest yet! Plus, if you love tribute bands, this is a great deal to check them out all in one local place! Check the above links for all current details, and stay tuned for more news and notes shortly at the SMS! Thanks everyone!