Monday, April 4, 2016

The Rednecks Saloon Relaunch Party Review!!

For the first time since the Fuck The Facts concert in September (due to personal family health matters), we finally have a full new concert review post at The Sault Metal Scene! Thanks to everyone for being so patient in the long term, and (due to the long video upload time) in the short term, it won't be 6+ months for the next review! As you may remember, Saturday night played host to The Rednecks Saloon's relaunch party, and while the former Nicolet Tavern only re-opened in 2013 after their name change, Saturday's event was at least partially to coincide with recent renovations inside the bar, including new brick paneling and artificial fireplace along the band area's walls, the removal of the Christmas lights on the walls (though they survive on the ceiling), and in a move that many musicians will welcome, the removal of the wooden fenced-off area in the far left corner of the stage, giving the stage some well needed extra room! More renovations are apparently to come in the dining/bar area in the back, but so far so good for Rednecks' new look!

The first two sets on Saturday were from solo performers, starting with Blood Shed Productions rapper Mikey Thomas (or Mikey T), in the first time I've seen him since getting his short haircut. He's a strong rapper with a good flow, but he often seemed nervous on stage, rarely introduced any songs by name, and had a few awkward pauses, but the crowd warmed to him by set's end. It's a tough spot when you're such an outlier from the other bands, but Mikey performed to his best, and look for him at future rap events! He was followed by local folk rock solo artist Jacob Quarrell, a.k.a. Shit Creek Survivor, who I was seeing for the first time the other night. Getting a good sound out of his small guitar, Jacob covered acts like Walk the Moon, Ed Sheeran, and City & Colour along with playing his own originals like "1,075", "Starry Nights", and "The Neighbourhood". With a punk-esque vocal tone, Jacob had an ease on stage, is a talented songwriter, and definitely has a good thing going, so keep tabs on Shit Creek Survivor to see where he's headed!

Local alternative/hard rock trio The Din played next in their first set since the VM Radio Battle of the Bands finals, and they delivered a fun set featuring familiar originals like "In Search of the Perfect Moment" and "Flux" with covers of the likes of The Barenaked Ladies, though a bass string break during their version of "Times Like These" led to self-deprecating jokes and Mike Haggith borrowing a 5 string bass to finish the set. Unveiling a new song named "Differences" on Saturday as well, the set served as the launch for their debut live CD "The Din Does Laundry" (which we outlined in this morning's post), and the bass mishap aside, everyone was on form musically! Mike's voice was loud and melodic, Tammy Hill continues to prove that she was an excellent find on guitar, and Brandan Glew kept pace on drums throughout their set! The Din are proving to be a fun and reliable band locally, and it should be interesting to hear what's next from them!

The middle set belonged to the debuting Band Camp Rejects, so who are they, and what do they play? Basically, they're the successors to the short-lived Under the Influence, whose first & last show was at last year's Toystock, with guitarist Mike Muto (ex-Issues) & bassist Ryan Bell returning from that band. In this new project, they've joined forces with recent Havadder guitarist Jamie July and Mourning Wood guitarist/concert co-promoter Steven Flint reprising his old Silver Dream role as The Band Camp Rejects drummer. As for their set proper, they definitely do fit our coverage based on the songs they played, all covers which ranged from acts John Mellencamp to Alter Bridge to Green Day to Poison. Featuring Jamie on lead vocals (though Steven took over for 3 songs), The Band Camp Rejects have the talent and crowd response to go far, but they only rarely bantered between or introduced any songs. This was a solid debut though, so stay tuned for more from The Band Camp Rejects when announced!

They were followed by the reunited metal cover trio Caveman Morrison, who were making their first live concert appearance since December 2013 on Saturday night! The band's 2012-2013 lineup was back in full force, with frontman Tym Morrison joined by bassist James White and drummer Johnny Belanger once again, and despite a delay in getting going, they entertained fans with a 6 song set with covers of the likes of Megadeth, Iron Maiden, and Ozzy Osbourne. Tym was oddly reserved on stage, leaving most of the between-song banter to Johnny, but everyone sounded strong musically, with Tym's electric guitar solos a welcome sight after over 2 years, and James (who was under the weather) didn't seem off during their set! Tym's vocals were quiet in the mix, especially early in their set, but it was great to see Caveman Morrison back, and hopefully they have more in store for 2016!

James stuck around for the co-headlining set with his funk/hard rock quartet The Elements, though with drummer Alex Hagerman unable to play again on Saturday, the band enlisted guitarist Jesse Cook's Winkstinger bandmate Jonas Gasperas to fill in. Jonas was a strong fill-in, and has ready-made chemistry with Jesse already, so fans had nothing to worry about there! Sadly, The Elements didn't play any originals from their forthcoming debut EP, but they entertained fans with covers of everyone from Sublime and Primus to Van Halen and Metallica, getting a strong fan response in the process! Rob Speers' vocals aren't rangy enough for some of their choices, but he was in firm control of the stage, and save for a guitar mishap on "Suck My Kiss", Jesse was on fire with his riffs and solos as you'd expect! It was fun seeing The Elements again, and hopefully their originals return for their next show!

The Rednecks relaunch party closed with local classic/hard rock cover quartet Lucky 13 in a rare set at a multi-band, non-Toystock concert, but they left fans on a high note with their varied and entertaining covers! Making his second appearance with the band since replacing Jeremey Salatuk, new guitarist Robin "Bones" Lee showed his guitar and non-country chops well during renditions of Royal Blood and Refreshments songs, while frontman Ed Vowels has definitely upped his frontman game, singing "Figure It Out" sans guitar with a complete ease and swagger that I wasn't expecting! A fan favourite moment was their hybrid of Metallica's "Enter Sandman" with the lyrics from Journey's "Don't Stop Believing", and while I couldn't stay through set's end, Lucky 13 showed why they're a favourite live band, and hopefully Lucky 13's new lineup keeps at it in the coming months!

Overall, this was a fun concert, and it was great to be a photographer, filmer, and critic for a full concert again! Thanks to Terry & Steven at Twin City Sound for putting this on, and to all of the bands and staff at Rednecks for a solid night, and I'll be back out before you know it! You can check out all of our photos from the concert at this link or at our Facebook page, and as for our videos, here's Mikey Thomas rapping his songs "Sloppy Seconds" & "Belly of the Beast", Shit Creek Survivor covering Atlas Genius' "If So". The Din playing "Out Of My League", The Band Camp Rejects covering The Foo Fighters' "Everlong", Caveman Morrison covering Metallica's "The Four Hoursemen", The Elements covering The Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Suck My Kiss", and Lucky 13 covering The Refreshments' "Banditos"!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for a new news post in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

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