Friday, June 20, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Banned) & The LemmaFest 2014 Concert Preview!!

We'll close up this weekend's metal & hard rock concert previews with a well anticipated annual event in Sault Michigan today, including some extra info on some of the "mystery" bands, but first, here's a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for this August, with a related apology for a missed show from them!

Kinross hard rock trio Banned will return to The Runway Bar in nearby Hessel, Michigan for a one-night-only gig on Saturday, August 9th! Announced on the band's Facebook page on May 27th, this will be their first Hessel appearance in 6 months, and their first non-Kewadin bar gig within our coverage range since drummer Don Traynor's surgery in the spring, so it's great to see the guys playing more like normal again! In fact, this was one of numerous new events confirmed last month, including shows outside of our coverage range this summer in Gould City & Engadine and a handful of private gigs, though we regrettably did miss one local public gig announced then, as Banned headlined a community dance in Pickford this past Saturday as part of S.P.E.A.K.S. Education's Summer Festival. Not sure how that slipped by our radar, but our deepest apologies for missing it! Hopefully it was a great event, it sounded like it was for an awesome cause! As for Banned's Hessel show on August 9th, that has no announced cover charge, a 9:00 PM start time, and a 21+ age limit. Check the above links for more details, and stay tuned for more from Banned!

Next up, here's our extended preview of the fourth annual LemmaFest, as the annual Sault Michigan concert festival will return for another highly anticipated installment outside of Dondee Lanes TOMORROW! The first year that LemmaFest falls on the third weekend of June rather than the fourth,  this year's event will honour both the late Mike Lemma as usual, but also fellow Sault resident Jon Hackworth (a.k.a. Hot Tub Johnny), who suddenly passed away in January, and festival proceeds will go towards his family & related expenses, which is an awesome gesture! Like previous years, there will be a pig roast, prize and cash draws, drink & bowling specials, and t-shirt & mug sales, while local filmmaker Wayne Kozeyah will be distributing final copies of his LemmaFest documentary short that he made at Lake Superior State over the past year, and hopefully an online copy turns up online soon as well! The band lineup this year features just 8 acts, with only 3 or 4 bands returning from past years, and with regular bands like Half A Man and 3 time LemmaFest veterans Scofflaw not back this year, but there's still some known faces!

A full timeslot schedule hasn't been announced, but the descending order on the above poster looks reasonable for when bands are playing, so we'll go up from the bottom! If accurate, this year's headliners are Munising metal quartet Infathom (featuring area resident Dillion Semasky on vocals) in their third LemmaFest appearance, and their modern metal attack should be welcomed once again tomorrow night! A new (and maybe one-off?) band named Nightmare Grin are scheduled right before them, and while I can't confirm their sound yet, their lineup does include former I.S.O.M. drummer Bart Rennels and RedStone Riot/ex-Elipzis bassist Ryan Harrison, so they have some solid talent that we haven't seen in the Soo in way too long! Newer local rock quartet Division of Sanity (who have teased metal material in online postings) are also scheduled for around 7:00 PM in what should be their biggest local concert yet, so we'll have to see how they sound live, as they have talent on the acoustic demos that I've heard!

The fourth-last band will be local alternative hard rock trio Plastic (who debuted at last year's LemmaFest) in their first show of the year and first live set with new drummer Aaron DePalma (replacing the departed Paul Burns), so look for them at around 5:30 PM! 2012 LemmaFest performer Caitlin LeBlanc will play a set of acoustic pop/folk songs right before them tomorrow, while a band named Mr. Fister are advertised for the third slot tomorrow, so who exactly are they? It looks like they're essentially the current version of the band previously known as Bucksaw and Dirtbag In A Dress that played at each of the last 3 LemmaFests, though it's unclear whether they're a renamed version or a separate successor band. According to personal Facebook posts, their lineup includes Bucksaw alumni Bill Ogston on guitar, Barney Gravelle (also of Scofflaw) on bass, and Jason VanLuven (returning to replace Mikey Bishop) on drums, with singer/guitarist Ryan Franklin not recently mentioned. Though there's some uncertainties on Mr. Fister's (current?) form, it's nice to see lots of ties to all of the past three LemmaFests via their involvement!

The opening two performers will be new local hard rock quartet The Bottom Line (featuring Highest of Fives bandmates Mitch Goetz and Jack Slater), while a local solo musician named Mike Kowalski (genre unknown) will kick off the day's events at noon or shortly after. This ALL AGES event goes down tomorrow from 12:00 PM until the evening, with a $10 admission, so visit the Facebook event page and the above links for more details! This should be another great installment of LemmaFest, and hopefully the Lemma and Hackworth families are given lots of rememberances and financial help respectively at this great annual event! LemmaFest is one of the most notable annual concert festivals across the river, so don't miss out TOMORROW at the Dondee, and for a preview, here's Infathom covering Papa Roach live last year!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news this weekend, plus this month's YouTube Channel Profile! Thanks everyone!

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