Thursday, December 3, 2015

Toystock 2015 Video Showcase!!

Before we get this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post up on the site, here's our first of two posts spotlighting videos from this year's fourth annual Toystock fundraiser concert, which took place this past Sunday at The Grand Gardens! By all accounts so far, it was a hit for music fans, supportive donors, and families alike, with $1,300 raised and numerous items donated, and you get a sense of the success in the videos posted by Sault Online's Mike Caruso over the past couple of days to his YouTube channel, as he filmed every band (and more) during the event. Kudos to him as usual, especially as I couldn't make it this year (fingers crossed for 2016!) He started his uploads with two summative videos featuring abbreviated clips of the full videos he posted afterwards (part 2 is here), but part 1 (which is embedded below) includes an interview with Toystock promoter/performer Greg Simpson and clips of the Bocturoc Academy of Music students that opened the show, though they curiously didn't get a full separate video of their own.

The video begins with the interview, where Mike asks Greg about what keeps bringing everyone back for each year, Toystock's origins, and how it's grown over the years. Nice & casual interview, if short! The second half is of the Bocturoc students' set, and rather than playing as a full band, they played separately in solo showcases. Good developing skills from the first four, but the biggest surprise is that Pixo Control frontman Michael Mikus is filmed last playing the band's original "Land of the Moles"! No word on if he has Bocturoc ties, or if he just happened to be available, but it's nice to see him back at Toystock, so give everything a look below!

The next three bands filmed by Mike were not filmed playing a hard rock or metal song, but there's a lot of talent to be had, and as usual for his videos, the quality is excellent with a nice band setup at The Grand Gardens! Note however though that the audio quality can noticeably jump at times when the camera angles change. In chronological order, these videos include local country trio The Algo Rhythms playing an apparent original song (if it's a cover, the lyrics don't match anything I found online), all-female classic rock quintet Domina covering Pat Benatar's "All Fired Up", and blues rockers Mojo covering Bo Diddley's "Before You Accuse Me", so give all of these a look above! The next hard rock video comes courtesy of classic/hard rock cover trio Mourning Wood, who covered The Black Crowes' "Hard To Handle" to open their second Toystock set, and they sound predictably good, with Terry Eaton handling vocals and lead guitar nicely!

In case you're wondering from the early footage, guitarist Steven Flint is there, he comes on stage 75 seconds in (presumably, he was working on their sound, as his & Terry's company Twin City Sound were covering that for the event.) Well done as usual, so check their video out below!

Mike's next two videos are actually not of advertised performers, with one being of a young child attendee named Keegan McAlister playing a brief drum solo in between bands. Not bad for his age, hopefully he keeps at it! That's followed by a short clip of local beatboxer Robert "Killabeatz" Drolet, who also played unadvertised last year, and among others, he does do a beatboxed version of "Jingle Bells" in his video. As fans of his will come to expect, he's quite good at what he does, it's too bad his video's not longer! Next for the heavier performances is local classic/hard rock quartet Havadder covering Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers' "You Wreck Me" in their Toystock debut, and while I prefer some of their more aggressive covers, they make this classic rock favourite look easy with their strong performance! As before, give their Toystock video a look below!

We'll close this post with the debuting local rock trio Under The Influence, featuring Turner Up/Wishbone alum Brent Royer alongside guitarist Mike Muto & bassist Ryan Bell, so what can we say now about them? It's too early to know if they'd fully fit our coverage on the SMS (especially with no online pages yet), but we have a good first sign early, as their Toystock video is a cover of The Cult's "She Sells Sanctuary"! There are some rough patches in this video, and I think Under The Influence could use a second guitarist to fill things out, but they definitely have promise, and Brent seems to handle simultaneous vocal & drum duties well! Give their video a look below also!

That's all for now, but we will touch on Bone Yard, Gnaeus, and The Rude-Offs' videos in the near future, so look for them then, plus other Toystock fallout that we come across, and stay tuned for this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post later today! Thanks everyone!

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