Monday, October 13, 2014

The Rad Zone 30th Anniversary Bash/Ripcordz Concert Review!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Canadian readers! After a delay partly due to some holiday weekend commitments, it's now time for our review of Saturday night's Rad Zone 30th anniversary bash, which actually took place upstairs at The Rockstar Bar rather than the advertised Algonquin Pub downstairs. If the reason for the switch was announced, I didn't hear it, but given The Rad Zone's long run as a record store (and more), the accoutrements of upstairs fit the setting better! Owner Paul "Monk" Muncaster and current Rad Zone staff were on hand to take in the festivities, which featured a number of prize giveaways, including Vans shirts, hats, wallets, shoes, and more, along with cupcakes (some branded with band and Vans logos) and a chocolate 30th birthday cake (complete with the show poster as icing) to help celebrate! Though my luck didn't follow to the draws, I did get one of the free Rad Zone records that were free to claim at show's end, and it's on the wall in my room now!

As well, congratulations to Habitat Shuffle frontman Christian Lemay on winning the door prize (a brand new Vans skateboard) at show's end! A Rad Zone banner hung above the stage as well for the show's duration, and given the season, The Rockstar Bar was decked out in Halloween decorations, which suited the late-addition opening act Shane Erickson (a.k.a. DJ Seith), who injected some seasonal music and cuts into his usual turntable mixes! This is the second time that I've seen a full DJ Seith set, and while I'm admittedly not the right person to critique such a performance, he still has a natural ease and flow when playing his mixes, and I liked hearing some familiar songs like "The Wizard" and "Intergalactic"! If I was him though, I'd have completely crafted a new all-out Halloween set with wall-to-wall seasonal music, especially having recognized some elements from his Oddfellows Hall set this summer, but it's great to have someone who loves vinyl records honouring a great store that specializes in them!

The first of three bands on Saturday night were local hardcore punk notables Destroilet, who made a surprise announcement pre-show indicating that this would be their last set with this lineup. We won't mention the change here just to spread things out to our next news post, especially given what's to come, but if you weren't at the show, I'll guarantee that it's completely positive and intriguing all at once! As for their set, the guys split time between 7 songs from their newest CD and assorted covers and newer originals like "Bamberg Witch Prison" and a brand new yet-untitled track, and if you've seen past Destroilet shows, the guys were at their usual intense level! If anything, it was surprising to see singer Mike Hull leave his shirt on for the duration, but he and the guys were on form, with John Conway & Christian Foisy's hard hitting guitar shining especially! Mike's vocals were a little quiet again, but this was a solid set, and stay tuned for more on Destroilet's lineup announcement!

Last of the openers was local punk/metal quintet Jack Spades, who kept up their recent momentum with an energetic set of their own! Along with every original song from their EP (save "X", as the original band was playing next), the guys played newer originals like "Motorwolf", "Fear Corps", and "Crossroads" for assembled fans, plus Misfits and SNFU covers, and if you've seen Jack Spades recently, you'll know they were on form! The guys had no major hiccups during their set, which featured strong melodic vocals from J.D. Pearce, excellent lead guitar from Jesse Cook, and steady and solid drumming from Johnny Belanger, all of which seemed to get a nice crowd reaction! So soon after Hardcore Homecoming, there wasn't much of a jump or change in quality, but that just screams to how consistent their live sets are, and don't miss them with Destroilet and The Rebel Spell at The Moose Lodge on the 23rd!

After an impromptu speech on The Rad Zone's impact and influence by former Lion Ride bassist Brenton Ellis, it was time for the headline act, as Montreal hardcore punk legends The Ripcordz rocked a local audience for the third time in 18 months with another intense and attitude-fueled set of their classic originals! Touring in support of their new CD "Made In Montreal", Paul Gott and company played some classic and recent hits like "Anarchy", "You Are Not Alone", "Ghosts of Griffintown", and "X" (with J.D. from Jack Spades on guest vocals), and fans ate up every minute! Even Monk jumped into the pit, which was a fun surprise! Paul, Matty, and Francois were in great spirits throughout their set, with Paul's serious intensity fitting their hardcore punk sound and presence, but it would have been nice to have seen more fans up front for their set, especially given the high attendance. Great set, and hopefully The Ripcordz roll back through here in 2015!

Closing with some kind words of thanks from Monk (who believed he had another 10 years in him at The Rad Zone, at least), this show was definitely a good time, and congratulations again to him on all he's done for local music and skateboarding in the past 3 decades! SooToday and Local2 were on hand for an article and Tuned episode, and we'll let you know when both make it online (and yes, we'll address Destroilet's announcement this week too!) As for out uploads, we posted plenty of photos and videos of all four acts at our Facebook page and at this link, plus a "Tag Yourself!" crowd shot, so visit the above links to see everything. And now, here's our videos of DJ Seith mixing "This Is Halloween" from The Nightmare Before Christmas, Destroilet playing their newer original "iBomb", Jack Spades playing their recent song "Frederick", and The Ripcordz playing "Two-Four"!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes this week! Thanks everyone!

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