Monday, February 23, 2015

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (VM Radio Battle of the Bands Semifinals)!!

Today, we're devoting an entire post to the complete semifinal lineup for next month's VM Radio Battle of the Bands at The Canadian Nightclub, as promoter J.D. Pearce announced the daily schedule for the first three nights (March 4th, 11th, and 18th) a little early via the Facebook event page last night! So, who's playing on what day, and which band was (re-) added last night? Read on below for complete details, though note that the lineup is subject to change!

We'll start on March 4th (one week from Wednesday), where four local bands will battle for a guaranteed spot in the finals on March 25th, and they are death metal quartet The Bear Hunters, indie/garage rock quintet Honest Job, newer hard rock band Infamous, and doom/punk trio The Revolution! Of next week's competitors, The Bear Hunters will be making their fourth local battle appearance next Wednesday, and will also begin their defense of their 2013 Viva La Battle title, but will their metal brutality carry them to the finals? The sporadically seen Honest Job will make their Canadian debut and first live appearance of the year next week as well, which will also see them debut their new lineup and new originals, but can they make a big impression of their own? The pageless Infamous will also be making their local battle debut (following the cancellation of the Rock For Dimes youth battle) and second announced concert appearance that I can tell, but can Lizzie, Damon, and company make a huge splash next week?

No word on if Damon's recent musician searches relate to Infamous or not though. And finally, The Revolution will be looking to build on recent progress and the addition of Jordan Leach on bass, but will their new lineup make a big splash in their 2015 debut? This is arguably the heaviest night of the semifinals, but there's great talent all around for many tastes, so don't miss the action next Wednesday!

Night #2 of next month's battle on Wednesday, March 11th will feature four more local bands, including all-female hard rock quartet The Danger Cats, grunge/alternative quartet Haggith, progressive rock quartet Mannapool, and newer punk quartet Stereo North! The Danger Cats will be playing their first ever battle, their first ever Canadian Nightclub set, and second gig of the year, but will their originals and high profile bring the girls to the top? Haggith (who were originally slated for next week before being switched with The Revolution) will be looking to build on their 2013 Rockstar Bar Battle run, where they finished second after a wild card finish, but can lightning strike twice for them on the 11th? Mannapool's progressive and jazz rock originals have been making many fans in the past year, but will their technical skill translate to battle success in their battle debut and first concert set of 2015?

And finally, Stereo North are arguably the biggest wild card on the 11th, especially as this will be just their second ever live concert, but can their pop punk sound put them into the finals two weeks later, and will bassist Bill Bennett's "Best Sound" winning performance with T-Rex Manning at 2012's Humane Society Battle provide some extra experience? This might be the best lineup for punk & alternative fans over the semifinals, but again, there's a little something for everyone, so don't bypass the second night!

The last semifinal on March 18th will only feature three bands, as a planned lineup of 12 bands fell just short, but there's a talented lineup ahead, including local rap/metal project The Apocalypse Afterparty, post-punk quartet Gnaeus, and classic metal quartet Project 421! The Apocalypse Afterparty were actually added late to the lineup last night after being previously removed from the bill, so it's great to see them back on! The masked bandits (featuring "songwriters" from local battle alums RedD Monkey & The Fury) have been teasing the addition of female band members in recent weeks, and possibly a temporary live drummer, but how will they look and sound on the 18th? Both Gnaeus and Project 421 will be making their second battle appearances (following next Thursday's Speak Easy Battle, results to be determined), while Gnaeus will be making their Canadian debut, and this will be Project 421's first Canadian appearance since opening for Anvil last year (more on Anvil in our next post!)

Can Gnaeus' rising post-punk and garage originals claim them first place, or might Project 421's old school metal classics do the trick? In place of a fourth competing band, promoters are teasing "a surprise special guest appearance", but who is intended? A Tidal Records-affiliated band? A band featuring event promoters or staff? A previously eliminated act? Another band entirely? We'll let you know if anything is announced! Either way, there's a nice varied mix of bands to take in on March 18th, with one of the three guaranteed to make the finals the following week, and remember, a wild card runner-up band will join each week's winner in the finals on the 25th! Remember, the winning band next month wins $1,000 in cash and much more, while there are other prizes for the best original song, most energetic act, best individual performances on different instruments, the fan favourite band, even the best fan, and more, so visit the event page linked above for all currently announced prize details!

Also, keep in mind that The Bear Hunters, Gnaeus, Project 421, and members of Haggith are all competing at next Thursday's Speak Easy Battle of the Bands, but will the fan voted results seen there be a bellwether of what's to come at The Canadian by month's end? For attendees, remember that next month's VM Radio Battle costs $5 at the door for each semifinal & $10 for the finals on March 25th, but if you buy a $15 advance ticket package through competing bands, you will save $10 off of the total cost of attending all 4 nights, so keep that deal in mind! Each night's action begins at 8:00 PM, and yes, all 4 nights are ALL AGES & licensed! Visit the above links for current details, and stay tuned there and to the SMS for more details as they come in! Thanks everyone, this is going to be a great month!

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