Sunday, August 16, 2015

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Northern Vibe Festival) And The Ballot Burner Concert Preview!!

Before we look at Emergency Festival fallout and more recent news, let's dive right into a big LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for two weeks from now that we've missed to cover on here for way too long, but there's also a Monday night concert preview at post's end to look at! Here's what you need to know!

Local punk/country quintet The Billy Bastards will make their long awaited return to the concert stage on Saturday, August 29th when they perform at the first annual Northern Vibe Festival on Poplardale Road in nearby Ophir, Ontario! Yes, that is the former site of Hempfest when it was held in the Soo, as the guys over at Planetary Pride are trying to jump back into the summer concert festival game for the first time since their last of 11 Hempfests in 2009. Encouraging to see, we can use more summer festivals in the area, but what should you know about this one?  Hyped as an end-of-summer bash over two separate stages, one will be the "Beach Stage" for DJs and club musicians (locally based and out of town alike, click here for the full lineup there), while the main "Forest Stage" will feature live bands and solo musicians. A full listing of set times is not out yet, and the band orders on the official poster and the above links are very different, but Burlington reggae rockers (and past Hempfest favourites) The Killin' Time Band will headline this new festival.

The other out of town band is Kitchener folk quartet Drew Leith & The Foundation, while the extended local roster (featuring many Second Stage alumni) will include, in no guaranteed order, local/Toronto folk musician Cody McMillan and his band The Soft Shoe Shufflers, local roots rock collective Frank Deresti & The Lake Effect, the aforementioned Billy Bastards, local alt-folk favourites The Boot Hill Crooners, blues rock veterans Al Wood & The Woodsmen, and veteran local soul/funk sextet The Hustle Brothers. As well, the festival website lists veteran jazz/folk singer Britta Wolfert, local/Wawa keyboardist & busker Spider Fingerz, and local cover rock quartet Changing Lanes as performing also, but note that they're not on the poster (we'll treat them as on the lineup unless said otherwise.) The only full punk band on the lineup (with their blast of outlaw country blended in for good measure), this will be The Billy Bastards' first public concert since December 2013, so if you've missed The Billys, keep their return in mind at month's end!

Also, note that The Billys will be playing as a quintet for the first time in a long while (guitarist Paul Michael Stos lives out of town and doesn't play at some shows as a result), so if you've missed the full lineup, here you go! Might some of the band's long-teased new material be unveiled as well? Now, there are still some questions about the schedule, as the festival will take place from Friday, August 28th through Sunday the 30th, but festival organizers have yet to post a full itinerary or set times for bands, so keep posted to online pages for details on that front! In any event, tickets for the full weekend are $125 for the full weekend, including camping, so come prepared, as there does not appear to be single day rates for the Northern Vibe Festival. Tickets can be bought locally at Planetary Pride on Queen Street East or online at this link, and it is a 19+ event, but under special, absolutely necessary circumstances, kids and pets can come with an adult attendee if you follow the protocols at this link (which includes full info on what you can and can't do at the event.)

And yes, there will be food and drink vendors on site, plus art installations, yoga, and hula hoop and fire spinners, and keep in mind that this isn't explicitly a marijuana culture event like Hempfest, it's more about the music, so make of that what you will. For full current details, visit the above links! I apologize for this being later on here than it should have been, but it's great to see the original Hempfest minds back for another summer festival in Ophir, and while tickets are expensive, you've gotta start somewhere. Keep it in mind for month's end, whether you missed the Billys or want one last summer party with plenty of talented bands!

Finally for today, here's a preview of a special Monday night concert going down TOMORROW NIGHT at The New American Pub, as Regina crust punk trio Ballot Burner will make their local concert debut as headliners! Possessing a grimy, intense, and attitude-fueled blend of originals, Ballot Burner sound like what would happen if Destroilet and Shit Liver were blended together, and it'll be very interesting to see them on the local stage tomorrow night! A pair of local two-man bands will open the proceedings, including grunge/hardcore duo Bad Back (in their first show since their quiet album recording sessions concluded) and newer local alternative hard rock duo Infinity Grinder (in their third local concert and first at The New A), so come early for the heavy duo action! The latest concert from Six Two Oh, there is a 19+ age limit and $5 cover charge in effect, while the doors will open at 9:00 PM. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page!

Sounds like an explosive night of punk and alternative music that fans of the included genres won't want to miss, especially for a double shot of the recent influx of duo bands in the area, so be at The New A TOMORROW NIGHT for all of the action, and here's Ballot Burner live last month!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for lots of news and updates this week! Thanks everyone!


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