For a second day in a row, we have a concert review at the SMS, as last night was the well anticipated all ages concert at The Moose Lodge headlined by Biipiigwan! Before we get to the actual show, here's some notes on the venue, one I've never been to for a concert before. Very plain interior (almost like a smaller Oddfellows Hall) with attendees making good use of the tables and chairs, but there was a good open area for the bands to play in, and I imagine it could get good future use for shows (especially for fans in the East End!) The cold temperature can't have helped the attendance though. Now, to the bands!
Opening last night's show was newer local duo Bad Back (replacing AlgomA), and though they've played live and had one online video posting this summer (albeit of very low audio quality), they were somewhat unknown to many fans, so how'd they sound? Really cool! Guitarist/promoter Jamie Vincent and drummer Nathan Sauve tore through a 6 song set of what I'd call "hardcore grunge", with yelling vocals, relentless riffing and drumming, and a straightforward aggressive approach that was far removed from their past Fuller work! Originals like "Breeding Weak" and "Two Tongues" got a good response and some solid moshing from the younger attendees, and given how Jamie & Nathan handled and powered through their set, there was no overt need for extra musicians to fill out their sound! If anything, Jamie should work on his stage presence a bit (he seemed somewhat quiet and reserved), but this was a solid set, and I'm very curious to hear more from Bad Back soon!
Biipiigwan (no word on why they weren't headlining), but they tore it up in their first Algoma District appearance in over 2 years! With the lights dimmed and the crowd peaked, they ripped through a bunch of their very brutal original songs with little room for breaks, crowd banter, or song introductions, and fans ate up every second! Musqwaunquot Rice's guitar work was doomy and non-stop, and Steve Vargas was a wildman on drums from start to finish, with everyone showing a good determined stage presence and aggression that I appreciated! My only problem was that I could barely hear anyone's vocals, especially when everyone was playing a heavier stretch of a song, though what I could hear from Musqwaunquot & Steve fit the material! I've heard a lot about Biipiigwan in recent years, and I can see what people were raving about after their Thessalon show, as they brutalized with a very sludgy and doom-filled set, and hopefully we'll see Biipiigwan back up north again!
The Bear Hunters (replacing Giwakwa) in their first concert appearance since winning Viva La Battle earlier this month, and they continued to ride the momentum of their victory with another dependably brutal set! Their 8 song set included fan favourite originals like "Deception" and "Transcend Judgement" (plus their Amon Amarth cover), and while there was no major surprises from their other recent four-piece sets, their talents and chemistry came through as usual! Nik Deubel's vocals were audible, but in contrast, Mitch Sirie's guitar was buried somewhat (though it did help Justin Lam's excellent bass work be heard easier!) I always enjoy The Bear Hunters' sets, and though I would have liked to see them bring back some older originals (like "Casualties of War"), you can't argue with results, and they continue to fire on all cylinders and brutalize as good as ever, so don't miss them at next month's Bam Margera concert at The Canadian!
Overall, this was a great concert to cut through the bitter northern cold, and hopefully everyone in attendance would agree! I did get photos and videos of each band, so click here to check them out or visit our Facebook page, and for the videos, here's Bad Back playing their song "Lung Bucket", Biipiigwan playing their song "Rodentia", and The Bear Hunters playing their classic "Collapse The Sun"!
That's all for today, but stay tuned for a new news post tomorrow, and yes, our large amount of updates to our past Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profiles this week! Thanks everyone!