Monday, July 18, 2016

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

(Updated on August 1st) It's now time to close down last month's poll, and launch our newest poll! Last month, we posed this question to you guys: "Should local bands and musicians take part in the Bored Youth Sault movement?" Despite the poll's timely nature, we only recieved three votes, but 2 of those voters did pick "Yes, they can add a lot to the city's youth culture", so in this miniscule sample size, there are SMS readers who feel bands should get involved! The other vote was for "I'm not Bored, and like the Soo as it is", which speaks for itself, while no one said "Only if it can make a difference", "No, musicians should stay out of it", and "Indifferent/no opinion". While the Bored movement hasn't been as visible in news media in recent weeks, it is still alive and making their voice heard online and through events, and hopefully they can continue to affect positive change where needed, whether local musicians are involved or not. Thanks to the three of you for voting!

As for this month's poll, we're posing this question to you guys once again: What was your favourite local metal, hard rock, or punk concert in the first half of 2016? As is an annual occurrence at the SMS, we've selected 20 concerts (and "Other") that took place between January 1st and June 30th, in order to see what readers find was their favourite show in this early stretch of the year! Like in our past instances of this poll, the top voted shows in this poll will join your favourite shows in a second half of the year poll early next year in one final ultimate showdown in 2017, so keep that in mind too! Note that once again, our choices do not include concerts whose lineup mostly comprised of bands that aren't metal, hard rock, or punk, hence the absence of notable events like The Sky's The Limit fundraiser and the Like A Pisces tribute show. Also, as the cut-off date is June 30th, no July concerts are included in the poll (among them, July 1st's Hedley show), but look for July events in next year's second half poll! Now, here are your choices!

Bands: Stereo North, (Mike Haggith &) The Din, and The Elements
Venue: The Rednecks Saloon
Date: January 23rd
Info: One of a series of late 2015/early 2016 local concerts featuring Stereo North playing with Haggith alumni on the same bill, this well received show at Rednecks united pop punk quartet Stereo North with alternative hard rockers The Din (in one of their last shows before shortening their name), and funk rock action from The Elements. Was this specific show your favourite?

Bands: The Pixo Control & Aldous
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: February 12th
Info: This show marked a rare appearance at The Rockstar Bar for both bands, but The Pixo Control's grunge-influenced alternative originals and indie/jazz rock outfit Aldous rocked out well for fans at The Algonquin Hotel's upstairs venue in February, with the buzz from the "Probably Not" CD release still in the air! Did you like this show more than any other in this poll?

Bands: Eclipse, The Din, Stereo North, and Shit Creek Survivor
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: February 13th
Info: A spiritual sequel to a Rockstar Bar show from January 9th (albeit with The Din having advance notice regarding their set), this Valentine's Day-themed event was also well received by fans despite being postponed a day, with newer Project 421 spinoff Eclipse delivering a strong headlining set, and Jacob Quarrell's solo project kicking things off as openers! Was this your top choice?

Bands: The Din, Stereo North, and Morgan Steele
Venue: The Gore Street Cafe
Date: March 4th
Info: This special acoustic concert was a featured event during The Gore Street Cafe's Fishbowl Festival from February-March, and notably was the source of The Din's debut live CD "The Din Does Laundry". Fans got a mellower take on their and Stereo North's originals, plus a late notice opening set by country pop musician Morgan Steele, but was this show up your alley?

Bands: K.I.C.K., The Din, Eclipse, Stereo North, Heavy Head, and Jack Spades
Venue: The Canadian Nightclub
Date: March 9th-23rd
Info: Despite a drop in band applications from 2015, five talented local bands competed in the second annual VM Radio Battle of the Bands at The Canadian in March, with indie rock quartet K.I.C.K. edging The Din to win their first ever battle! Notably featuring the second ever live gig from Heavy Head, and a guest set from punk/metal favourites Jack Spades, did you like the battle the most so far this year?

Bands: Jesse Merineau with Caroline Divine, The Din, Eclipse, Aldous, Bryan Brown, Jack Spades, and Pillory
Venue: The Speak Easy
Date: March 10th
Info: Taking place just a day after night #1 of the VM Radio Battle, the second annual Speak Easy Battle of the Bands saw another well received night of fan-voted action, with relocated local indie musician Jesse Merineau (with help from Caroline Divine) picking up 1st place! Notably featuring Pillory's first show in two years and a Shaw TV-filmed Jack Spades set, was this battle #1 to you?

Bands: Lucky 13, The Elements, Caveman Morrison, The Band Camp Rejects, The Din, Shit Creek Survivor, and Mikey Thomas
Venue: The Rednecks Saloon
Date: April 2nd
Info: To coincide with recent renovations at the former Nicolet Tavern (including the removal of the wooden fenced off area on stage), a formal relaunch party was held at Rednecks in April, which notably featured Caveman Morrison's return after a 2+ year hiatus, the debut of the (one-off?) Band Camp Rejects, and a rare multi-band concert set by Lucky 13! Did the relaunch win you over?

Bands: Black Tremor & AlgomA
Venue: The New American Pub
Date: April 6th
Info: This installment of Six, Two, Oh.'s punk rock bingo series at The New A was the first to feature an out of town headline act, as Saskatchewan doom/classical trio Black Tremor made their local concert debut with a devastating set of instrumental originals! Also doubling as the de facto release party for AlgomA's split vinyl EP with Chronobot, did you have your dabbers out for this one?

Bands: Pillory, Kaepora Gaebora, Twistory, Crucify the Whore, and Rotopsy
Venue: 124 Anna Street
Date: April 14th
Info: After this residence held a pair of well received house party concerts in 2015, local metal guitarist Josh Amendola hosted the first of two "Metal Massacre" house party concerts in mid-April, with young and newer metal faces taking the stage, including the live debuts of both Kaepora Gaebora & Twistory, plus Pillory's post-battle debut! Did you like the first Metal Massacre the most?

Bands: Gorod, Bookakee, Jack Spades, and Them
Venue: The Oddfellows Hall
Date: April 15th
Info: Word of mouth from last year's Bookakee show, so when the Montreal theatrical metal band returned in April 2016 with a different French headlining act (Gorod) in tow, there was quite a response! Despite microphone issues and Winkstinger's dropout, this was an extremely fun show that had to be seen to be believed, particularly on Bookakee's part, but was it your favourite choice?

Bands: Id Iota, The Pixo Control, and Gnaeus
Venue: LopLops Lounge
Date: April 21st
Info: Capping off their tour of Ontario with Tidal Records, these local alternative hard rock bands returned home for this concert in April, which Id Iota headlined in their first local concert appearance in almost a year, launching their "Maudlin Fair" EP in the process! Also seeing the local debuts of Id Iota bassist Dan Linklater & Gnaeus drummer Alex Proulx, would you vote for this show?

Bands: The Din, The Elements, Eclipse, Redundant, and Heavy Head
Venue: The Rednecks Saloon
Date: April 23rd
Info: This spiritual sequel to The Rednecks Saloon's relaunch party from that same month, the first of two Redneck Rock Bashes this year united 5 local bands, including 3/5ths of the VM Radio Battle lineup, and the long awaited return of local punk trio Redundant to the local stage after a few months' hiatus. This was a stacked and talented concert, but would you vote for it over the rest?

Bands: The Motherfuckers, Jack Spades, Shit Liver, Winkstinger, and Rotopsy
Venue: The Oddfellows Hall
Date: April 30th
Info: Just over two weeks removed from the Gorod concert, Calgary hardcore punk veterans The Motherfuckers headlined to a strong crowd at The Oddfellows Hall at the end of April, with a boisterous opening lineup that featured local grindcore trio Shit Liver's most recent homecoming and the debut of Winkstinger's new lineup after almost 3 years! Would you vote for this show in the poll?

Bands: Bon Jovi Forever
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: May 6th
Info: Joining the Like A Pisces show from the spring among the early-2016 hard rock tribute shows in Sault Ontario, Oshawa-based Bon Jovi tribute Bon Jovi Forever brought their faithful looking and sounding tribute to the hair metal legends to The Rockstar Bar stage in May, with many fans turning out in the process! Was this tribute concert your favourite in the first 6 months of the year?

Bands: Project 421, Eclipse, and Shit Creek Survivor
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: May 13th
Info: After taking four months off from the stage due to a family emergency and other personal matters, classic metal quintet Project 421 returned to the scene for this Friday the 13th show, and picked up right where they left off alongside their sister band Eclipse! Notably joined the next day by a late notice fill-in gig from both bands (albeit with Curtis McKenzie opening instead), did you like this/both show(s) the most in the poll?

Bands: Eclipse, K.I.C.K., Stereo North, and Heavy Head
Venue: The Rednecks Saloon
Date: May 20th
Info: This stacked Victoria Day-weekend concert saw all competitors from the VM Radio Battle of the Bands (save The Din) join forces for an encore at The Rednecks Saloon, with Eclipse making a rare headlining appearance as promoters alongside their friends and recent competitors, including the most recent live set from Stereo North. Did this show win your vote?

Bands: The Bear Hunters, Winkstinger, Jack Spades, Kaepora Gaebora, Eclipse, and Heavy Head
Venue: The Oddfellows Hall
Date: May 20th
Info: In honour of his 27th birthday, prolific local punk/metal drummer Johnny Belanger hosted his own "#Litfam Birthday Sheezy" at The Oddfellows Hall on May 20th, featuring three of his live bands, most notably the first Bear Hunters show of the year, and with relocated rhythm guitarist Josh Stephney back in the fold for the first time in a year & a half! Was this your top 2016 concert so far?

Bands: Project 421, The Leash Kids, and Mourning Wood
Venue: The Rednecks Saloon
Date: June 4th
Info: The second Redneck Rock Bash concert went down early last month, with a completely different and smaller lineup this time around, partly due to the late dropouts of Redundant and Shit Creek Survivor. Notably featuring the debut of the short lived experimental duo The Leash Kids, and a rare multi-band concert from Mourning Wood, was Redneck Rock Bash 2 your favourite concert in the first half of the year?

Bands: Foam, Twistory, and Kaepora Gaebora
Venue: The New American Pub
Date: June 19th
Info: This recent metal show from Six, Two, Oh. saw London sludge/punk trio Foam make their local concert debut last month at The New A, with newer death metal duo Twistory and quartet Kaepora Gaebora taking the stage in their most recent concert sets. Attending fans spoke highly of this extreme metal show, but would you vote for it over all of the others?

Bands: Jack Spades, Gnaeus, DJ Seith, The Din, K.I.C.K., and Conika
Venue: Queen Elizabeth Park
Date: June 21st
Info: The fourth straight local installment of Go Skateboarding Day (but second with live bands) saw an almost entire overhaul from last year's lineup, with only DJ Seith returning, but this diverse lineup of punk, alternative, and hip hop (including both VM Battle winning bands) delivered a fun soundtrack to the day's skateboarding events and showcases! Was this outdoor show your favourite?

Other: Did we miss the show you'd prefer to vote for? For reference, hard rock and punk bands that played in Sault Ontario this year (up to June 30th) in shows not listed include The 3 Day Millionaires, Blessed, Curtis McKenzie, Grave Party, Griphook, Havadder, Like A Pisces, Lost Love, Northwest, Reanimator, Stiffler's Mom, Telephone & Address, and Tym Morrison, while there are other concerts featuring the above bands that didn't make the cut too. Was one of them your intended choice, or perhaps a show in Sault Michigan, or one that had no hard rock or punk acts? If, for any your reason, your preferred show isn't listed above, vote for "Other"!

VOTE TODAY!! You guys have until August 18th to cast your votes (of which I hope more than 3 people vote), as it's always interesting to see what shows you guys liked the most in the given period! That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news this week! Thanks everyone!

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