Saturday, July 18, 2015

Last Month's Poll Results & Our Newest Poll!!

Before we head downtown for Rotaryfest, here's the results of last month's poll and the launch of our newest poll! As you may remember, we posed this question to you guys last month: What is your opinion on the Sault Downtown Association debate and the future of outdoor Queen Street concerts & festivals? Regrettably, we only picked up 5 votes, but the tally does ring true to the recent consensus that I've heard, so here's the final results!

I like what they do, but there's room for a compromise (2 votes, 40%)
Abolish it, we don't get enough for what it's worth (2 votes, 40%)
Keep the Downtown Association alive! (1 vote, 20%)
I'd rather see outdoor shows in a different/larger location (0 votes)
Indifferent/no opinion (0 votes)

What do you guys think? Sadly, we only got 5 votes, so it's not enough to really get a full representative sample of what readers think, but the "winners" were tied between "I like what they do, but there's room for a compromise" and "Abolish it, we don't get enough for what it's worth", which do point to how divisive this issue has been in recent local news media. While there has been a lot of support for the Sault Ste. Marie Downtown Association and the work they do, there have also been a lot of people who don't find that it's effective, either because of the tax money funding it, or how it's used to book events that may not necesarily be up their alley. This debate isn't over yet, but I definitely hope there's a compromise reached to that the S.D.A. can continue what they're doing in a way that helps local business owners more and still attracts people downtown for outdoor events, maybe so that we can get Rotaryfest's Second Stage, The Emergency Festival, and more back on Queen Street as planned. Thanks to everyone for voting!

As for this month's poll, seeing as it's July, it's now time for an annual poll focusing on major events of the last 6 months, so once again, we're posing this question: "What was your favourite local metal, hard rock, or punk concert in the first half of 2015?" This year has once again brought us a number of notable concerts, and while the early months were quieter, things really started picking up in May and June, so there's no shortage of notable Sault Ontario concerts to choose from! Like in past installments, I've selected 20 concerts from between January 31st and June 30th to vote on in this month's poll, but if the show you liked the most isn't included, "Other" is back to pick from as an alternative. As is usually the case, the poll does not include shows from July 2015 (this month isn't in the first half of the year) or 2014 (we covered shows then already), and included concerts must have at least a 50% count of metal, hard rock, or punk bands on the lineup.

This excludes events like The Bon Soo Marquee, The Boot Hill Crooners' CD release show, Passport To Unity, and Lopstock II, but you can vote for "Other" if you need to! Now, here's what you should know on the choices as you decide your favourite concerts in the first half of 2015!
I like what they do, but there's room for a compromise - See more at:

Bands: Project 421, Haggith, and The Danger Cats
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: January 23rd
Info: One of the first major hard rock shows of 2015 saw three high profile bands join forces, including classic metal quartet Project 421, one of Haggith's last shows with then-guitarist Daniel Horton, and the now-defunct all female punk/alternative quartet The Danger Cats, who were featured on a Tuned episode from this show! Was this early show your favourite of 2015?

Bands: Treble Charger, Frank Deresti & The Lake Effect, and The Pixo Control
Venue: The Machine Shop
Date: February 6th
Info: The first major event to kick off the Mill Square venue's grand opening saw Juno nominated local/Toronto indie/punk quartet Treble Charger play their highest profile local concert in recent memory, with Frank Deresti and The Pixo Control sliding in well as local openers! The show was a huge hit and helped kick things off nicely for this promising venue, but would you agree?

Bands: The Cover Up, Northwest, and The Pixo Control
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: February 20th
Info: This winter-time union of Tidal Records and Mission Control Studio-tied artists saw rising local punk/alternative bands Northwest and The Pixo Control join forces with pageless cover punk band and Wing Its successors The Cover Up to a positive reception among attendees at The Rockstar Bar! Were you at this show to vote it as your favourite of the past 6 months?

Bands: Gnaeus, The Bear Hunters, Mannapool, The Apocalypse Afterparty, The Danger Cats, Haggith, Honest Job, Infamous, Mike Haggith & The Din, Project 421, Stereo North, and The Pixo Control
Venue: The Canadian Nightclub
Date: March 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th
Info: The Tidal Records-sponsored VM Radio Battle of the Bands brought the biggest multi-night battle of recent memory to The Canadian on each Wednesday in March, where Gnaeus edged out The Bear Hunters by two points for their second battle victory of the month! Also featuring a memorable debut by the four-piece Apocalypse Afterparty, a teddy bear slaughter, and a well recieved guest appearance by The Pixo Control, was this huge battle your favourite concert of early 2015?

Bands: Gnaeus, Long Shot, The Bear Hunters, Infinity Grinder, Jesse Merineau, Mike Haggith & The Din, and Project 421
Venue: The Speak Easy
Date: March 5th
Info: Just one day after the VM Radio Battle of the Bands began, Algoma University hosted The Speak Easy Battle of the Bands, with the aforementioned Gnaeus winning the fan vote over 6 other acts (including 3 fellow VM Battle competitors) to win their first of two top prizes that month! Also featuring the debut of Infinity Grinder and the last pre-move set from solo artist Jesse Merineau, did you prefer this battle to all other events?

Bands: Benighted, Bookakee, The Bear Hunters, Bad Back, Mike Haggith & The Din, Rotopsy, Crucify The Whore, and Them
Venue: The Oddfellows Hall
Date: March 7th
Info: Heavy North Entertainment's only major Oddfellows Hall concert of early 2015 saw French grindcore band Benighted & Montreal theatrical metal favourites Bookakee headline a stacked lineup of Blood Shed Productions favourites and other notable heavier talent, including one of the first non-house party appearances by Them, and some Bookakee displays that had to be seen to be believed! Was this your favourite gig in this time period?

Bands: Anvil, Jack Spades, and Project 421
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: April 1st
Info: This was no April Fools joke, as Toronto metal legends Anvil rocked The Rockstar Bar on April 1st, with their new lineup complimented well by local punk/metal standouts Jack Spades and classic metal quartet Project 421's own attack! Though more intimate than Anvil's past Canadian Nightclub shows, their pounders responded well, but were you among them?

Bands: Shit Liver, The Bear Hunters, Jack Spades, Mike Haggith & The Din, and Johnny Belanger & Jesse Cook
Venue: The Rednecks Saloon
Date: April 28th
Info: During their brief homeswing, local/St. Catharine's grindcore trio Shit Liver headlined a well recieved concert at The Rednecks Saloon in late April with a strong opening slate of local talent, including their good friends in The Bear Hunters, the aforementioned Jack Spades, and a rare acoustic set by Johnny Belanger & Jesse Cook! Was this your #1 early 2015 concert?

Bands: Biipiigwan, AlgomA, and The Pixo Control
Venue: 180 Projects
Date: April 30th
Info: Though this show was hit late by the drop out of Horse Lung, fans at this popular Gore Street venue still got a quality show on April 30th, including Ottawa death metal favourites Biipigwan and the first local concert from AlgomA since the release of their debut CD! 180 Projects was put to good use again for this springtime concert, but was it your favourite of the year so far?

Bands: Gnaeus, Sykotyk Rampage, Skeyes of Seven, Faceityoureametalband, Northwest, The Bear Hunters, Haggith, Brutally Fatal, Infinity Grinder, and open mic performers
Venue: The Canadian Nightclub
Date: May 9th
Info: The 5th annual Swampstravaganza moved to The Canadian Nightclub for it's 2015 installment, and once again united an eclectic group of performers, including the debut of Faceityoureametalband, an increasingly rare set from Sykotyk Rampage, Skeyes of Seven's first show in two years, and one of Haggith's last concerts. Were you there to vouch for this concert?

Bands: Caym, Jack Spades, and The Bear Hunters
Venue: The Algonquin Pub
Date: May 15th
Info: Tidal Record & J.D. Pearce's debut installment of this year's Gonqshow concert series saw Toronto extreme metal band Caym make their return to the Soo for a headlining concert at The Algonquin Pub, with familiar faces in Jack Spades & The Bear Hunters opening things with their own aggressive originals! Was the Gonqshow's premiere your favourite of this time period?

Bands: Destroyer & Griphook
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: May 29th
Info: Kiss fans had a lot to like to end May with, as Toronto-based Kiss tribute band Destroyer made their third (or greater?) appearance in the Soo with a nicely attended show at The Rockstar Bar! Also featuring the return of local hard rock cover quartet Griphook after a couple of months off, this show delivered the goods for Kiss Army members, but are you among them?

Bands: Jack Spades, Destroilet, and The Pixo Control
Venue: The Algonquin Pub
Date: May 30th
Info: As a fundraiser for their forthcoming split CD with The Ripcordz, Jack Spades and Destroilet headlined this concert to help raise money for it this Gonqshow event at the end of May with their friends in The Pixo Control opening! Notably featuring the second show from Destroilet as a six-piece band with two singers, was this spring-ending show your favourite in the poll?

Bands: The Archaics, The Pixo Control, Gnaeus, and The Danger Cats
Venue: The New American Pub
Date: June 1st
Info: The first of two local concerts from Edmonton garage/blues rock quartet The Archaics last month saw Six Two Oh stack the deck with a quality local opening lineup with The Pixo Control, Gnaeus, and the last regular concert appearance by The Danger Cats to compliment The Archaics' own entertaining alt-originals! Was this your top concert of early 2015?

Bands: Id Iota, Skeyes of Seven, and Caroline Divine
Venue: The Algonquin Pub
Date: June 5th
Info: This installment of the Gonqshow series saw the local concert debuts of Habitat Shuffle-successors Id Iota and Frasiers-successors Caroline Divine, delivering their own alternative/hard rock styles to the stage to help ring in the summer alongside the recently reemerged Skeyes of Seven in their own Algonquin Pub debut! Was this group of new & familiar bands enough to win your vote among all the rest?

Bands: The Pixo Control & Caroline Divine
Venue: The Garden River Community Centre
Date: June 12th
Info: Entitled "Pixo Plays For Food", this fundraiser concert in Garden River served to help local alternative/grunge trio The Pixo Control raise funds to complete their forthcoming debut CD and their tour run in Southern Ontario this month, and by all accounts, this show did it's job! Also featuring an early set by their friends in Caroline Divine, is this your favourite in the poll?

Bands: Havadder with special guests
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: June 20th
Info: After drummer Scott McLurg's sudden heart attack in May, his local classic/hard rock band Havadder held a well received and well attended fundraiser concert last month to raise over $1,000 for him and his family during his recovery. Featuring fill-in drummer Glen Thomas and numerous special guests, this was an emotional night to help the McLurgs, but was it your top event?

Bands: Garden of Bedlam, DJ Seith, The Pixo Control, and Caroline Divine
Venue: The Sault Ste. Marie Skatepark at Queen Elizabeth Park
Date: June 21st
Info: For the first time, Tidal Records hosted a local event in honour of Go Skateboarding Day on June 21st, with a nicely varied lineup of entertainment, including the first non-stag & doe concert from Garden of Bedlam since 2013! Also featuring numerous skateboarding demonstations, contests, and vendors, this free event was a nice change of pace, but was it your #1 hard rock show in the poll?

Bands: Long Shot, Project 421, Stereo North, and Caroline Divine
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: June 26th
Info: The Rockstar Bar hosted this multi-band concert (entitled their "Summer Bash") at the end of last month, featuring four newer and rising local punk and hard rock bands, including Speak Easy battle runner-ups Long Shot (with guest drummer Brendan Garlick), the debut of Project 421's new drummer Chris Thompson, and more! Did you take to this show more than others here?

Bands: Gatgas, Destroilet, and Jack Spades
Venue: The Algonquin Pub
Date: June 27th
Info: The first half of 2015 ended with a bang for this Gonqshow event on June 27th, which was headlined by London hardcore punk favourites Gatgas (featuring the Soo's own Bob Bromley Jr. & Garry Ingram), with their friends in Destroilet & Jack Spades in tow! Also featuring a fan-favourite union of Garry and Destroilet for a mini-Fistmagnet reunion, did this sneak in to win your vote over all of the others?

Other: Did we miss your preferred concert from January-June? For reference, hard rock, metal, and punk bands like Beaumont Avenue, Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide, The Elements, Exes For Eyes, IRN, Late Shift, Lucky 13, Mourning Wood, One Bad Son, Redundant, The River Jacks, RPM, Sandman, Saturn Alien, Stiffler's Mom, Teethmarks, Telephone & Address, Tym Morrison, The Wild, and Zaum all played public local concerts in this six month stretch, alongside shows featuring bands already included in the chosen concerts. Maybe you'd rather vote for a private or house party show, a concert with less than 50% metal/punk bands, one from Sault Michigan, or maybe one with no SMS-covered bands at all? If your preferred show isn't in any of the above choices, "Other" is for you!

VOTE TODAY!! You guys have until August 18th to cast your votes in this poll, so be sure to do so in the red voting field on the page's right, and hopefully we'll get more than 5 this month! That's all for today in all likelihood, but we'll see you guys later today at Rotaryfest, both stages! Thanks everyone!

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