In our second post of the day, we have our review of last night's Striker-headlined metal concert at The Roosevelt Hotel on the site, but of course, check out our LemmaFest recap/videos post immediately below! Medium attendance at best yesterday, sad to say, but it was a Tuesday night, and I know many people have to work. As for the 1980s costume contest, the winner (as chosen by Striker themselves during their set) was April Fogal, who won a signed show poster and some extra Striker merchandise, so congratulations to April for her win! Now, let's touch on each band!
Giwakwa in their fourth local concert appearance, and they put in another solid effort with their hard hitting original sound! Their set included their original songs "Stoned To Death", "Winter's Hunger", "Endless Bummer", and "Iron Lung", and an opening instrumental, and the guys handled each well, though the abbreviated set length and lack of covers does hurt compared to other bands they share the stage with, and I think they could be helped by filling out their set. Musically, the guys sounded as solid as ever, with singer Josh Stephney's vocal brutality on full display, and Chris Page's riffs powerful as ever, but Nolan Rainville really seemed restricted in movement due to last night's stage setup. I'd still like to see some more melodic touches with Giwakwa's live show, but they have a good thing going, and hopefully despite a major imminent change (more in a second), they'll get bigger and bigger in the coming months!
Before I talk about local death metal quintet The Bear Hunters' set, I wanted to note that during it last night, singer Nik Deubel revealed that Bear Hunters rhythm guitarist/Giwakwa frontman Josh Stephney is moving out of town later this summer. While Nik announced that last night's set was their "last official show" with him, that was a premature announcement, as I'll touch on in a post tomorrow. This definitely was an "endless bummer" to hear, as Josh is a talented singer & guitarist, but hopefully Josh succeeds at whatever's next for him, and we'll cover his actual last concert with his local bands in our next post!
As for The Bear Hunters' set, it was great to see them back in familiar ground at The Rosie, and their set attracted a large crowd (compared to the other local bands) with a lot of good responses! They played seven original songs (including "Bloodthirst", "Succumb To Eternity", and "Collapse The Sun"), along with their set-opening rendition of "Teddy Bear's Picnic" and a surprise return of the crowd favourite "Squirrel Buddy", and they seemed to be on form from their most recent live gigs! Nik Deubel's growling was as brutal as ever, Mitch Sirie & Josh laid it down hard on guitar, and Justin Lam's bass work was as skilled as ever! I'd still like to see them severely cut down the end of "Render This Void" (it's way too drawn out), and I think Mitch's guitar in particular was a bit low, but The Bear Hunters were as good as ever, and stay tuned tomorrow for news on their last concert with Josh next month!
Frightlight after an 8 month concert hiatus, and it was good to see their horror punk/metal hybrid back after so long! However, their lineup looked slightly different, as Redundant/Caveman Morrison bassist James White (a.k.a. Slim Cadaver) filled in for the absent Eddie Fright (no word on where he was, though he has attended college out of town in recemt months.) Aside from his lack of backing vocals, James/Slim filled in well on bass, and don't miss him with Frightlight when they open for The Creepshow in August either! Frightlight played six originals last night along with covers of Misfits, G.G. Allin, and Fitswitch songs, and they generally haven't lost a step musically, but they weren't as lively as they were at some 2012 dates, and Johnny Pints' vocals did tire a bit later in the set. As Frightlight play more shows again, things will get back to normal, but it's just good to see them rocking the local scene again, and don't miss them at The Algonquin Pub next month!
Striker, and just to pit mildly: they were awesome! They brought a blistering traditional heavy metal assault to a very lively crowd that was go from note one, and while I'm not one to rank and rate musicians compared to one another, frontman Dan Cleary is by far one of the best singers I've ever heard at a local metal concert! Just soaring, and with great falsettos and a heavy edge, his singing was a perfect compliment to Striker's very fast and heavy sound, which saw them play original songs like "Full Speed or No Speed", "Feed My Fire", and "Can't Stop The Rush" among numerous others! Despite the lower than hoped attendance, fans ate up every song, and with awesome riffs and solos from Tim Brown and Chris Segger all night, you can see why! I would have liked maybe some more crowd interaction, but other than that, I can't complain, as Striker put in an awesome set last night that was metal to the core and back, and hopefully they'll turn up in the Soo again down the road!
Overall, this was another home run of a concert from Johnny Pints, and kudos to Bear Hunters drummer Johnny Belanger for providing great sound throughout the night! Of course, I did get a bunch of photos of each band, so click here to check them our or visit our Facebook page, and as for videos, I got one original song from each band, so here's Giwakwa playing "Endless Bummer", The Bear Hunters playing "Deception", Frightlight playing "Dead Town Anywhere", and Striker playing "Terrorizer"!
That's all for today, but stay tuned for two news posts tomorrow, including new concert announcements & Sault Ontario weekend concert previews in one, and this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile on Caste of Shadows in the other! Thanks everyone!