Friday, March 7, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Swampstravaganza & Griphook) And A New Essar Centre Concert Video!!

After a stretch of uncertainty for the weekend's heavier concert schedule, we've received a good amount in the last few days (albeit with minimal notice), and that includes a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for TONIGHT! That leads off today's post, but stay tuned afterwards for another new show announcement (as bands are now confirmed for it) and a new video from a major concert almost 7 years ago! Read on below to get caught up!

Local hard rock cover quartet Griphook will be rocking The Rockstar Bar TONIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, the band just announced this show yesterday. Last seen at this venue over seven months ago, this will be their first Rockstar Bar appearance with new frontman Joel Syrette, so if you've missed their diverse and often heavy covers earlier this year at The Rosie, be downtown for this one TONIGHT! Note that this is a one-nighter due to the previously announced That's Chester show tomorrow night, and it does take the place of the briefly advertised Late & Loud show that was either incorrect or very premature. Admission should be around $5 tonight, you must be 19 to attend, and there is a 10:30 PM start time in effect. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Despite the short notice, I imagine Griphook's new lineup should entertain in their return to The Algonquin Hotel tonight, so keep it in mind for your weekend concert plans, and for a preview, here's Griphook covering AC/DC in 2012!

Next up, the first bands have been named for this year's fourth annual Sewer Swampstravaganza at The Oddfellows Hall on May 3rd! Yes, the name has reverted back from the previously announced Swampfest, as per the Facebook event page. Possibly most surprising in terms of the lineup is that local/Toronto hardcore punk trio RedD Monkey will not be playing this year, as they're apparently on "an indefinite hiatus", as per frontman/promoter Steve Mozarowski on the event page linked above. He didn't give a public reason for the hiatus through there, but RedD Monkey's Facebook page has not been updated this year, and their scheduled set at the Tim Day show at The Algonquin in December was retracted into a solo acoustic set from Steve, which may have been related. This breaks their streak of playing each year's Swampstravaganza, but Steve is tentatively listed as playing a solo set this year, albeit oddly credited as "faceityoureametalband" with no spaces. Hopefully he does play to keep at least one tie to past installments (especially if The Bear Hunters don't play), but we'll keep you guys posted!

Steve's possible solo set aside, two bands are now confirmed, including local alternative hard rock/blues quartet Sykotyk Rampage in their first announced show of 2014! I believe this will be their first Oddfellows Hall appearance since last year's Swampstravaganza, making them just one of four bands to play the event more than once (joining RedD Monkey, The Bear Hunters, and Winkstinger), and their creative crash music should fit in nicely after a four month break, so don't miss them! Also advertised is Sudbury hard rock trio Aggressive Acoustic (fronted by ex-Sykotyk Rampage bassist Brian Cattapan) in their second local stop and first since the Zombie Walk afterparty in October, and it should be awesome to see Brian back in town with his current band, so check them out above! The search is on to fill out the lineup (presumably to get it to around 10 acts again), and while Steve is looking for younger performers, message the event page above if your band is interested in playing this year's event on May 3rd!

This ALL AGES marathon concert event goes down on May 3rd at 2:00 PM with a $5 entry fee, and schedule details will come out when the lineup is complete. Check the above links for more details! Despite RedD Monkey's hiatus (hopefully it isn't permanent, they're too good!), this concert should be as varied and entertaining as it has been since 2011, so stay tuned for updates as they roll in, and if you or your band wants to play, click here to show your interest!

Finally for today, here's a surprise new video posting from one of the first major metal shows at The Essar Centre, that being Heaven & Hell's headlining concert from March 20th, 2007! Remember, they were the supergroup made up of Black Sabbath's early 1980s/1990s lineup. Courtesy of Wawa author Duane Roy's YouTube channel on Wednesday, he filmed this video at the then-Steelback Centre during the first few songs of their set, starting during their set-opener "After All (The Dead)", before continuing with "The Mob Rules", and closing with "Children of the Sea", so click each link to hear each specific song! Filmed at a far angle on the left of the arena, the video is fairly blurry, and heads do get in the way at times, but it's great to see a new video from this show! On a musical basis, this was my absolute favourite concert to take place at the Essar Centre since it opened (seeing Megadeth live didn't hurt either), and kudos to Duane for uploading this finally, so check it out below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes shortly, including perhaps a movie review or two? Thanks everyone!

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