Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sleep When You're Dead & Locals Concert Review!!

In our second post of the day, we have my review of last night's Sleep When You're Dead-headlined metal concert at The Oddfellows Hall, but of course, check out this morning's post below this one for a band's reunion, new videos, and new Sault Michigan-area concert announcements. Last night's show wasn't highly attended (I'll blame that partly on it being a Wednesday nighter), with only a few dozen paid attendees, but luckily, fans who were there did start some pits, and none of the bands mailed it in due to the crowd levels! Now, how were each band? Read on below to find out!

Opening last night's show was local punk trio (and late lineup additions) Redundant in their first Oddfellows Hall gig of the year, and despite being the arguable outliers on this otherwise metal show, they put in a fun & well received set that the early fans definitely enjoyed! Their set included a mix of originals like "Miles Apart" and covers of everyone from Rancid and NOFX (I think) to even some old local bands like Proposition 86 and The Scary Uncles, and though there wasn't a lot of banter between the guys, the crowd was involved and into each song, with even some light song requests and guest singers like The Bear Hunters' Nik Deubel and Winkstinger's Jason Bourcier! Musically, Redundant were on form from past shows, though Justin Langlois was a bit hard to hear vocally at times, but with an active crowd, some close interactions, and even a pit, things worked out well! Overall, Justin and the White brothers put in another fun set of punk rock songs, and hopefully they'll be back at it soon!

Next up was new-ish local sludge/death metal quartet Giwakwa in their third local concert (and first all ages one), and now that I've had the chance to see them without the pretext of judging them for a battle of the bands, I can be more in-depth with my public thoughts! Their set wasn't overly long, mostly comprising of originals like "Iron Lung", "Stoned To Death", and "Endless Bummer", and fans seemed to enjoy their brutality! Soundwise, they definitely remind me of a slowed down Bring The Fallen with no guitar solos, and though I've been told the lack of solos is intentional, I'd like to see Chris Page throw some in (if they can fit the tone and messages of the songs.) Their brutality was down pat, and Josh Stephney's growling is always fun to hear again, while Nolan Rainville's headbanging and clear bass skills helped immensely! Giwakwa will be a key addition to the local scene before long if they keep at this pace, and hopefully their next shows have longer sets and perhaps even some covers? Time will tell, but I'm curious to hear more!

Co-headlining last night's show was returning local extreme metal band Winkstinger in both their first concert in 10 months and in the debut of their new quartet lineup! It's been forever since we last saw them, but despite the wait, changes, and singer Alan Wells' apparent illness, the guys sounded as good as I expected, reeling off plenty of their amusingly titled originals for the gathered fans! Note that the covers that they played last summer didn't return, but new bassist Jason Bourcier did add something new to their sound last night: backing vocals! His work with Time of Ruin and so on should be a clue that he has solid metal vocals, and they added an extra something on many tracks, so hopefully he keeps that up in future gigs! Jesse Cook & Jonas Gasperas were up to their old tricks last night and were as impressive as usual, and Al's screaming overcame any impairment, but like last June, Winkstinger's sound does take a hit when there's only one guitarist, as it doesn't sound as full and melodic. It's great to have them back though, and hopefully the best is yet to come!

Headlining last night was Oshawa metalcore quintet Sleep When You're Dead in their first ever local concert appearance, and they put in a fun and energetic set that got the local crowd's attention despite a number of attendees remaining outside for much of it, but they didn't mail it in as a result! In their sound, appearance, and even pre-set rituals, they reminded me of As It Stands, so if you miss them, this might have had a level of familiarity to it! Originals like "Bust At The Chino" and "Hoop Dreamz" populated an energetic set full of crowd interaction, with Alex Leech particularly being a firecracker to get the crowd going and encourage clapping and responses to their set! Matt Szigeti & Jake Stauffer's guitar work also shined on this material, and I hope the guys made some new local fans in the process, but it's just a shame there wasn't more people, as hardcore and metalcore fans would have been right at home with S.W.Y.D. last night!

Overall, this was a fun and action packed concert, and it was good to see an out-of-town band headlining an Oddfellows Hall show again, but the attendance really hurt the atmosphere, though being on a Wednesday, it could have been a lot worse. Kudos to Jamie Vincent for putting this show on, and I know everyone there had a good time! I got a bunch of photos, so click here or visit the SMS on Facebook to check them out, as for videos, I got ones of the metal bands, so here's Giwakwa playing their lengthy original "Winter's Hunger", Winkstinger playing "Where'd We Go Wrong", and Sleep When You're Dead playing "Hoop Dreamz"!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews and more news TOMORROW, including at least one late notice show announcement! Thanks everyone!

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