Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Roosevelt Hotel Metal Nights: A Look Back

Three years ago on Monday was the premiere of the most successful regular metal concert series of recent memory in Sault Ontario, as former local concert promoter Rich Moreland launched the Roosevelt Hotel Thursday metal night series on November 11th, 2010! The series made it to 47 brutal and entertaining installments under three different promoters before quietly falling inactive after it's last installment in July 2012, and though it's faded out, it's still fondly remembered for giving metalheads a regularly scheduled outlet to see live metal, hard rock, and punk bands on a local stage! Coinciding with an increased push into more active concert bookings and renovations, The Roosevelt Hotel soon became a must-attend location for metal concerts in the area, helping promote and give rise to our current wave of death metal bands, and serving as the backdrop for a number of notable concerts, from Woods of Ypres' last local show to the long awaited return of The Dayglo Abortions. Though the last 10 installments were more spread out and not as prominent as during the series' 2011 peak, many fans still miss the metal nights at The Rosie, and I'm among them!

Sure, Thursdays were an adjustment compared to the weekend, but this series made Thursdays the most metal night of the week for 20 months, and I always enjoyed going to The Roosevelt Hotel to see the bands in action! I'd never given The Rosie much thought before Rich began booking concerts at The Rosie, but look at it now, and he deserves a lot of credit for his role in creating and promoting this series' during it's longest and biggest era! That's why today, on the first Thursday after the third anniversary, I thought I'd spotlight some facts, numbers, videos, and memories from the series' run, starting with a listing of all 47 official shows in the series, and note that the lineup order of each show is not guaranteed to be accurate: (Updated at 2:15 PM)
Rich Moreland/Dismembertainment period (November 2010-October 2011)

November 11th, 2010 (1): Breaking The Fourth Wall (Montreal), As It Stands, Bring The Fallen, and Winkstinger
December 9th, 2010 (2): As It Stands, Bring The Fallen, and State of Misery
December 23rd, 2010 (3): The Bear Hunters, Sativa Rose, Shit Liver, and State of Misery
January 6th, 2011 (4): As It Stands, The Bear Hunters, and Bring The Fallen
January 20th, 2011 (5): Shit Liver, Winkstinger, and State of Misery
February 3rd, 2011 (6): As It Stands, The Bear Hunters, and State of Misery
February 17th, 2011 (7): The Bear Hunters, Shit Liver, and Changing Waves
March 3rd, 2011 (8): As It Stands, For All That Is Lost, and Changing Waves
March 10th, 2011 (9): Woods of Ypres, The Bear Hunters, and State of Misery
March 31st, 2011 (10): As It Stands, Shit Liver, and Skull After Betrayl
April 14th, 2011 (11): Bring The Fallen, For All That Is Lost, and State of Misery
April 21st, 2011 (12): As It Stands, The Bear Hunters, and Shit Liver
April 28th, 2011 (13): Late & Loud, Sativa Rose, and Changing Waves
May 5th, 2011 (14): The Bear Hunters, Sativa Rose, and For All That Is Lost
May 12th, 2011 (15): No Bragging Rights (California), Hallows Die (Toronto), Farewell To Freeway (Guelph), and As It Stands
May 19th, 2011 (16): Shit Liver, Sativa Rose, and Changing Waves
May 26th, 2011 (17): As It Stands, For All That Is Lost, and Changing Waves
June 2nd, 2011 (18): The Bear Hunters, Sykotyk Rampage, and Bring The Misery (later March Into Regression)
June 9th, 2011 (19): The Bear Hunters & Shit Liver
June 16th, 2011 (20): The Dayglo Abortions (Victoria), Frightlight, Shit Liver, Sativa Rose, and Skull After Betrayl
June 23rd, 2011 (21): The Bear Hunters, Shit Liver, Winkstinger, and Bring The Misery (later March Into Regression)
June 30th, 2011 (22): As It Stands & Sativa Rose
July 7th, 2011 (23): As It Stands, For All That Is Lost, and Changing Waves
July 14th, 2011 (24): RedD Monkey & Changing Waves
July 21st, 2011 (25): Garden of Bedlam, The Bear Hunters, and Winkstinger
July 28th, 2011 (26): As It Stands & Redundant
August 4th, 2011 (27): The Bear Hunters & Changing Waves
August 11th, 2011 (28): Black Moor (Halifax), Sanktuary (Halifax), The Bear Hunters, and Shit Liver
August 18th, 2011 (29): Abriosis (Vancouver), Method (Winnipeg), For All That Is Lost, and Changing Waves
August 25th, 2011 (30): Annex Theory (Winnipeg), Laika (Winnipeg), Thekillingfield (North Bay), and Shit Liver
September 1st, 2011 (31): Tribune (Vancouver), Redundant, and Changing Waves
September 8th, 2011 (32): Late and Loud & Shit Liver
September 15th, 2011 (33): Thekillingfield (North Bay), The Bear Hunters, and Shit Liver
September 22nd, 2011 (34): Empyrean Plague (North Bay), The Bear Hunters, and Shit Liver
September 29th, 2011 (35): La Promesse (Rimouski) & Late and Loud
October 6th, 2011 (36): The Nailheads (Montreal), Fifth Column (Espanola), and Redundant
October 13th, 2011 (37): The Dead Peasants Revolt (St. John's) & Shit Liver
Stephane Vincent period (November 2011-March 2012)

November 10th, 2011 (38): The Bear Hunters, Shit Liver, and Redundant
November 24th, 2011 (39): Late & Loud, For All That Is Lost, and View To A Kill (later The Valentine's Day Massacre)
December 8th, 2011 (40): The Bear Hunters, Shit Liver, and General Striker
January 19th, 2012 (41): As It Stands, The Bear Hunters, and Changing Waves
February 16th, 2012 (42): For All That Is Lost, Winkstinger, and The Valentine's Day Massacre
March 15th, 2012 (43): Waster (Winnipeg), Farewell To Freeway (Guelph), and As It Stands
Mitch Sirie period (April-July 2012)

May 31st, 2012 (44): As It Stands, The Bear Hunters, and Shit Liver
June 7th, 2012 (45): Winkstinger, Changing Waves, and Borderline Divine
June 21st, 2012 (46): The Bear Hunters, Shit Liver, and Inhuman Methods
July 5th, 2012 (47): The Valentine's Day Massacre, Changing Waves, and March Into Regression
Rosie Metal Night Trivia, Facts, And Other Notes

By The Numbers: 22 different local bands played at Rosie metal nights, with The Bear Hunters playing a record 20 times, followed by Shit Liver (19), As It Stands (15), Changing Waves (13), and For All That Is Lost (8). Bear Hunters guitarist Mitch Sirie holds the solo appearance record, playing at 21 metal nights as an official band member (the 20 Bear Hunters sets, plus once with Borderline Divine), making him extra fitting to be the series' final promoter! The Bear Hunters & Shit Liver shared the stage at Rosie metal nights 12 times, more than any other combination, none of which occurred more than 5 times. Aside from members of the above bands, local death metal singer Steve Rhodes fronted bands at 11 metal nights, including 6 with State of Misery, 3 with The Valentine's Day Massacre, and 2 with Bring The Misery. Shit Liver were arguably the iron men of the series, playing 3 straight metal nights twice in June & September 2011. Somewhat surprisingly, despite playing at a combined 27 metal nights, none ever took place featuring Shit Liver and For All That Is Lost on the same night.

Firsts & Lasts: Five local bands made their live concert debuts at a Thursday Rosie metal night, including The Bear Hunters & Skull After Betrayl (both then featuring guitarist Mike Vincent), State of Misery & Bring the Misery (each featuring Steve Rhodes & Ray Cowan at the time), and the one-off classic metal band General Striker, who were essentially Late & Loud minus singer/guitarist Brendan Christie, as they didn't want to play under the Late & Loud name without a full lineup present. General Striker aside, bands that played their last concert ever at a Rosie metal night included Changing Waves, Inhuman Methods, and March Into Regression, notably all during the Mitch Sirie era. As well, Woods of Ypres' last local show was in this series (preceding a number of out of town gigs), and Bring The Fallen's last gig during their active run was a Rosie metal night (though they returned for a one-off farewell concert in July 2013.)

Promoter Changes: An active promoter in the Sault area since the mid-2000s, Rich Moreland launched Dismembertainment in March 2012 to fully focus on regional metal & punk concert promoting. His exit from the metal nights and promotion at The Rosie was at least partly due to his purchase of Foggy Notions (renamed Feedback under his tenure) in the fall of 2011, though the series outlived Feedback, which is now the current location of Coch's Corner. Rich continued to promote concerts under the Dismembertainment banner at Feedback and The Canadian through May 2012 (including the Ypres Metal Fest that April) before moving to Alberta, though he hasn't closed the door on promoting shows there. The Rosie's then-kitchen manager Stephane Vincent took over the series in November 2011, running 6 installments through the spring of 2012 before handing the series over to Bear Hunters guitarist Mitch Sirie that April in advance of his move to Toronto. Mitch's four Rosie metal nights joined a slate of other early-mid 2012 concerts that he promoted, but he stopped actively promoting concerts (including this series) in late 2012 so he could focus on his music projects.

Out Of Town Bands: In both size (5 bands) and scope, the 20th Rosie metal night on June 16th, 2011 was arguably the biggest, thanks in large part to the short notice return of The Dayglo Abortions to Sault Ontario, attracting close to 200 raucus fans, and instant talk of a return engagement, though they didn't return until October 2013. 9 of the last 10 Dismembertainment-promoted metal nights featured one or more out of town headlining bands, after having only 3 shows with out of town headliners in the preceding months. By contrast, only 1 of the last 10 metal nights had out of town bands (Stephane Vincent's last one on March 15th, 2012, which was also the only metal night to experiment with an all ages model.) In all, 19 out of town bands (not counting the regional For All That Is Lost & Inhuman Methods) played at official Rosie metal nights, including such local favourites as Thekillingfield, Empyrean Plague, and Hallows Die, though you could arguably include Woods of Ypres too given their mostly non-local membership at the time of their appearance.

Press Coverage: The 21st Rosie metal night on June 23rd, 2011 was spotlighted by ex-Free Beer singer Christian Lemay in a news piece for Shaw TV Sault Ste. Marie, featuring interview segments with two attendees & then-promoter Rich Moreland on the event, venue, future plans, and his concert promoting in general. The full video (which aired on TV for a week that summer) features clips of Winkstinger & Bring The Misery from that night, including the only known footage of Bring The Misery with Daeson Lesage on rhythm guitar before their hiatus & lineup/name changes. The November 10th, 2011 relaunch of the series was covered in two separate Sault Star articles by Jeffery Ougler (links here & here), complete with a video from the event, though the articles incorrectly noted the length of the series' hiatus, and generalized some aspects of the series' past promotion & bands. The video features clips of The Bear Hunters & Shit Liver's sets & interview clips with Stephane Vincent & Bear Hunters members Justin Lam & Johnny Belanger.

Rosie Punk Nights: The Roosevelt Hotel tried a punk night series alternating with the metal nights for 5 installments from February 10th to April 7th, 2011, as promoted by Typhoid Meaghan. Regular performers included RedD Monkey (4 times), Sykotyk Rampage and Shit Liver (twice each), along with attracting one out of town band (Skepsis) for the March 17th installment. However, the series failed to take off at the same success level, with some fans noticing that the punk nights usually had at least one band who couldn't be classified as punk (like The Bear Hunters.) After the punk nights ended, Dismembertainment started running the metal nights weekly in their place in April, and slowly began adding some punk-influenced bands to the metal nights that summer (including Redundant, Frightlight, RedD Monkey, and select out of town bands) until they cut ties with the series that fall. Under later promoters, Redundant played the return show on November 10th, 2011, but no full punk bands followed before the series' demise.

Spiritual Successor:  Following his role in securing The Dayglo Abortions as headliners for the 20th metal night, local metal/punk singer and concert promoter J.D. Pearce has booked occasional metal & punk concerts on Thursday at The Rosie since May 17th, 2012 under his "Johnny Pints Presents" banner, among other shows on other days at this and other venues. All of his Thursday shows featured out of town bands on their originally announced lineups, though they're not part of a distinct revival of the metal night series. 7 have been held since, with regular bands in his Thursday night shows including Sykotyk Rampage (4 times), Redundant (3 times), Frightlight, and Haggith (twice each.) The February 21st, 2013 show (a.k.a. Axed Theory Night) was promoted as the return of the Rosie metal nights on their Facebook page, but it was likely an in-name return only due to their last promoter Mitch Sirie's performing involvement with The Bear Hunters, and their page has not been used to market future Thursday shows at The Rosie. Keep an eye out via the above links for the next Johnny Pints Presents concerts, as he's got a lot of great stuff in the works!
Sample Videos From The Series


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