Hey guys, I'm very sorry for this being so late, but after the Anvil show, I got bogged down with personal commitments, failed video uploads and conversions, and computer errors, hence why our review is only now up on the site. All of that also caused me to miss the Skynet/Chronobot show, but I heard it was wild, and hopefully I'll get another chance to see last night's performers! Now, Saturday night's show had a very solid attendance at The Canadian Nightclub, but how about the bands?
Project 421 in their fourth ever show and Canadian Nightclub debut, albeit the first time I've seen them with new singer Curtis McKenzie, so how'd he fit in? Pretty well, his vocal range works well on these sorts of songs (sounding a bit like Tym Morrison at times), but he did take a while to really loosen up and engage the crowd, which might be partially blamed on the restricted stage area from Anvil's drum setup. Their set featured 7 covers (including everyone from Black Sabbath & Dokken to Iron Maiden & Kiss), along with a new original (named "No One Rides With You"), and the guys' veteran skills and experience rubbed off on the fans, including really solid bass work from Daniel Horton! There were a couple flubs here and there, but with guitarist Blair Burch celebrating his birthday, I'd write off some of them. Solid set, here's hoping we get a lot more from Project 421 this year!
The Suicide Kings (replacing Pillory), who powered through an all-original set that also got a solid reception from attendees! Songs played on Saturday night included older favourites like "Into The Fray" and "King of the World" along with newer tracks like "Jesus Concubines" and "Two More Jag", and they played with a lot of enthusiasm, with singer Mike Gaetano even making use of the floor level for one song! His vocals were on point, Ben Bourdreau's drumming was with a purpose, and it was nice seeing Mitch Sirie again after his recent ear infection knocked him out of the band's last show, he didn't seem too hampered! The Suicide Kings brought another entertaining set on Saturday, and fingers crossed they stay busy and get their EP out soon!
Jack Spades, who also impressed with their ever expanding slate of original songs, and though their EP didn't come out on Saturday, the band was taking pre-orders! In fact, only two covers of The Ripcordz and SNFU made their set, with originals like "Breakneck Speed", "Frederick", and the debuting "Crossroads" driving things, and the guys got a good reception! Already riding a wave of momentum from opening for Anvil and Caym in Sudbury, everyone was in full form, from Jesse Cook's blistering lead guitar work to J.D. Pearce's aggressive lead vocals, and there was a solid amount of crowd engagement and energy all around! It was a little weird seeing one of J.D.'s bands play live without a Misfits cover, but I enjoyed Jack Spades on Saturday, and hopefully their North Bay show was just as successful!
Co-headlining the show was Toronto hardcore metal quartet Caym in their second local stop in under a year, and while one could argue they were outliers as the only "extreme" metal band on the lineup, fans didn't mind, and Caym brutalized with their set of intense original material! Their set included every song from last year's full length album "From Red To Black" along with older favourites "Jukai" & "Tighter Than Your Dad's Boots" and an extended mid-set solo section, and they definitely captured our attention with brutal jams and catchy hooks throughout! This also marked the first time that we saw new members Cory Manahan and Chris Friesen since they replaced Gord Laferla & Julian Bartucci earlier this year, and both more than held their own on Saturday, with Cory's skilled lead guitar work on excellent display, and of course, established members Jay Sarrazin and Tyler Reiner did their things as well as expected! Here's hoping we see the guys back in the Soo soon!
Anvil, and after a successful local return in 2012, they picked up right where they left off with another old school onslaught of their own classic and newer material! Drawing solely again from their first three albums and post-2006 output, songs like "Swing Shift", "School Love", and (of course) "Metal on Metal" kept a packed floor moving, and all of the Anvil trademarks were there, from Steve "Lips" Kudlow's sense of humour and marital aid-assisted guitar solo to joining the fans for their set-opener "March of the Crabs", and the chemistry between him, bassist Sal Italiano, and drummer Robb Reiner was clear as day as usual! I'm stll struck by the genuine happiness that Anvil still have to play for and meet their fans, and while it would be cool to hear more of their 1990s output live, Anvil still know how to win a crowd over and put on a great metal show, and hopefully they come back to smash the north again soon!
Overall, this was an excellent show, and kudos to J.D. from Jack Spades for putting it on, Crank Sound Distribution for the awesome sound, and to the guys who asked how I was after I fell on the ice leaving The Canadian! I was definitely sore the next day, but nothing unmanageable. Photos and videos (including a "Tag Yourself!" crowd shot) can be seen at this link & our Facebook event page, and as for videos, here's Project 421 covering Diamond Head's "Am I Evil?", The Suicide Kings playing their original "Take Me Away", Jack Spades playing their song "Motorwolf", Caym playing their newer song "Fire Water", and Anvil playing some "Badass Rock 'N Roll"!
That's all for today, but stay tuned for two posts tomorrow: A long overdue news post, and the closure of last month's poll and launch of this month's poll! Thanks everyone!