Tuesday, May 23, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Uncle Ray & Gianni Gagoots), And Still More Alter Bridge Concert Videos!!

After a quiet Monday, we are back with a new news post this morning featuring more recent concert videos to check out, and leading off, a pair of LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for later this year, so here's what you need to know!

Windsor grindcore quartet Uncle Ray will make their local concert debut on Sunday, July 9th when they headline at The New American Pub! Specializing in ferocious yet short original songs, Uncle Ray's brand of "grinding power violence" has left a good impression on Southern Ontario fans, and hopefully they bring the same intensity to The New A later this summer, so give them a listen! Local support will include local doom metal trio AlgomA in their second local show since the end of their European tour run. With a very intriguing new album in the works from AlgomA with another notable band (more on that shortly), the second half of 2016 should be very eventful for them, so stay tuned! The other opening act will be local death metal duo Them, in their first publically announced concert of the year, not having played live publically since opening for Dumpster Mummy last fall (apologies for missing that show in previous references to their stage hiatus.)

Solid choice, and hopefully Tyler and Anthony can pick up where the left off in seven weeks' time when they open for Uncle Ray at The New A! Promoted by Six, Two, Oh., this concert has a $7 cover charge, 19+ age limit, and 9:00 PM start time. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and stay tuned for potential updates as they roll in!

Next up, local funk/improv/hard rock quintet Gianni Gagoots' second show under their Like Ten Productions promotional banner will take place on Saturday, September 2nd when they open for Montreal jazz/rap/funk trio The OM Sound at The New American Pub once again! Fans may remember seeing the Gagoots open for this band at The New A back on December 30th during Six, Two, Oh.'s Holiday Funk Show, and it's clear that The OM Sound left an impression on attendees with their "hip-hop/electro/jazz funk" stylings, so if you like said genres and want another sampling, here's your Labour Day weekend booking, with some harder edged instrumental jams from the local openers to kick things off! More details may be forthcoming (the show isn't for over 3 months, after all), but expect a $5 cover charge, 19+ age limit, and 9:00 PM start time. Check the above links for more details in the interim!

Finally for today, we actually have a few more videos from last week's Alter Bridge concert at The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino to acknowledge on here! Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in! Five come from Infathom manager Michael Cole's YouTube channel, as he belatedly followed Wednesday's "My Champion" video with five more clips uploaded yesterday. Five day delay or not, it's great to see these! Michael's new videos are of the Orlando hard rock quartet playing their songs "The Writing On The Wall", "Come To Life", "Farther Than The Sun", "Addicted To Pain", and as embedded below, "Ghost Of Days Gone By". Filmed at a similar angle and quality as seen previously from Michael, these videos have a great angle of the band, but slightly muffled audio. Check them out above & below, and if more videos turn up on YouTube, we'll try to acknowledge them!

Lastly, promoters Allstar Promotions's Facebook page shared two videos from owner Dave Atkinson's personal Facebook page last week that feature Alter Bridge doing their soundcheck before the show proper began! The sub-2 minute clips (one linked here) feature instrumental performances before doors officially opened, though gathered onlookers do applaud and cheer after songs wrapped up.  This is a very unique way to view this concert, especially when you combine the empty seats and lack of vocals, and diehard fans will definitely want to check these out above & below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates as the month rolls along! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Even More Alter Bridge/In Flames Concert Videos!!

As previously teased, here's our third and presumably final showcase of videos from Tuesday night's Alter Bridge/In Flames concert at The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino! Kudos once again to everyone who was filming at this concert, we were beyond spoiled! We'll start with a frequent sight for concert video postings around here, namely Christopher Paci, who shot sixteen videos at this concert, including ten of Alter Bridge's set, so what should you know? Uploaded on Friday, Chris filmed the Orlando hard rockers playing their songs "The Writing On The Wall", "Ghost Of Days Gone By", "Cry of Achilles", "My Champion", Myles Kennedy's acoustic renditions of "Wonderful Life" & "Watch Over You" in the same clip, "Open Your Eyes", "Metalingus", "Show Me A Leader", "Rise Today", and as embedded below, "Blackbird". The camera can be a little jittery at times, and heads can get in the way, but he had a solid angle of the band, and the audio's usually solid! Give his Alter Bridge clips a look above & below!

Chris also posted six videos of opening Swedish metal standouts In Flames from Tuesday, including their songs "Where The Dead Ships Dwell", "Moonshield", "Before I Fall", "Cloud Connected", "Take This Life", and as embedded below, their opening track "Wallflower". Similar quality to the Alter Bridge videos (naturally) though with not quite as much zoom, these capture In Flames' set nicely, and you can see them above & below as well!

Next up, fellow attendee Jeff Hagan (a prior filmer from this year's Pop Evil show) uploaded sixteen videos of his own from Alter Bridge's set to his own YouTube channel on Friday! Sadly, Jeff did not post anything of In Flames, but he did get most (if not all) of Alter Bridge's songs from Tuesday in at least partial form, including "The Writing on the Wall", "Come to Life", "Ghost Of Days Gone By", "Cry of Achilles", "Addicted to Pain", "Metalingus", "Open Your Eyes", "My Champion", "Crows on a Wire", "Waters Rising", "Blackbird", "Slip to the Void", "Watch Over You", "Wonderful Life", and as embedded below, "Rise Today". Filmed from a higher and further angle than the rest of the videos I've seen from the concert, Jeff got some solid videos all the same with a clear view of the band, though the audio can be a little muffled, "Blackbird" is regrettably filmed on the vertical camera angle, and "Open Your Eyes" was accidentally posted twice. See more from Jeff above and below!

Finally, we have two more clips from YouTube user Kathleen Hardy, who followed up her "My Champion" video from Wednesday with two additional videos on Thursday, those being of Alter Bridge's songs "Slip To The Void" and, as embedded below, "Waters Rising", notable for featuring guitarist Mark Tremonti on lead vocals rather than Myles. Filmed at her excellent angle from before with awesome audio and video quality, these are a nice way to cap off our Alter Bridge video showcases, so give these a look as well!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates as the week rolls along! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Deathsticks, Gianni Gagoots, And Tym Morrison), And A New Music Video!!

I was intending today's post to be a video-only feature from Tuesday's Alter Bridge show (yes, we have enough for at least one more), but with a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for TONIGHT (plus two more new concerts), I couldn't put this off. Now, alongside a new music video posting, here's what you should know on this Saturday evening!

Former Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison will play a headlining concert at The Barrelhouse Wine & Whiskey TONIGHT! Profuse apologies for the short notice, Tym only announced this show via it's official Facebook event page earlier this afternoon, and non-Gliss shows are not listed on his website's calendar. Fresh off of his matinee at Gliss Steak & Seafood TONIGHT, Tym will hit the Queen Street tapas restaurant for (at least) the seventh time with this late notice gig, his first announced there in two weeks, and fans of Tym's unplugged hard rock covers should take to TONIGHT's action, so keep this one in mind just in case! Presumably a 19+ event with no announced cover charge, everything starts at 10:30 PM, so visit the above links for more details, here's Tym live, and apologies again for the late notice, we'd have plugged it sooner had we known about it!

Next up, here's some upcoming shows with advance notice, starting with the next concert from local funk/hard rock jam quintet Gianni Gagoots, who will open for Niagara Falls experimental prog rock quartet The Road Waves in that band's local debut at The New American Pub on Friday, June 23rd! Though not quite crossing over into hard rock or punk territory, The Road Waves will be a nice compliment in the improvised jam arena to Gianni Gagoots, who will be playing their first announced concert since opening for The Hazytones last month. Of note, this is the first show from the sauce masters since announcing that they're now self-promoting concerts under the name Like Ten Productions, though they had previously booked gigs internally without a company name. I'm unsure of the meaning behind "Like Ten", but hopefully they can attain similar heights as contemporary number-named agencies Six, Two, Oh. and Live705!

Doors open at 9:00 PM for this 19+ concert, which has a $5 cover charge. This should be a fun time at The New A for fans of improvised and experimental rock & roll, so visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and stay tuned for more on Like Ten Productions' next announced show in the fall!

Today's other new show comes from the aforementioned Six, Two, Oh., as Whitby, Ontario garage/noise rock duo Deathsticks will finally make their local concert debut when they headline at The New American Pub themselves on Thursday, June 29th! Fans may remember hearing about this band's intended local concerts at The New A in October and at The Gore Street Cafe last month, with the former cancelled due to the work commitments and the latter (promoted through the laundromat) quietly called off without public word, so third time should be the charm next month! Promoters played with Deathsticks during AlgomA's summer touring last year, and they thought highly of Deathsticks' unique brand of "power slop", so don't bypass them! Local alt-hard rock quartet Bizotic will return to the site of their live debut as local openers next month, while an additional opening act may be added too.

As a thank you and show of appreciation for fans who have attended Six, Two, Oh. shows over the last couple of years, this will be a FREE CONCERT, while it is still a 19+ event with a 9:00 PM start time. Hopefully this show goes off without a hitch, as I know the hype Deathsticks have received since last fall, and fingers crossed all goes well for this FREE show at the end of June, so see the above links for updates!

Finally for today, here's a brand new solo music video from Skeyes of Seven frontman Cory Murchison's YouTube channel! Unlike his past solo dalliances (which were primarily acoustic for live sets), this is a fully electric song named "Asleep At The Wheel", which has a definite Alice In Chains vibe, and wouldn't be out of place with Skeyes of Seven proper! For the record, we haven't heard a public update from them in four months, and no word on if this solo video means anything regarding the band's status, but the description notes that the song "represents an awakening" and "remembering who you used to be." The light hearted video features Cory playing in and performing a silly walk in a cemetery, as mixed in with clips of him playing with (and alongside) his baby daughter, and while the camera angle changes can be a little jarring, this is a fun video overall that shows off Cory's soft side while maintaining a dark grungy edge! Give it a look below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates on the site in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCEERT ALERTS (Vaultry, The Din, And Electric Church), Plus More Recent Updates!!

Before we dive back into Alter Bridge concert videos (yes, there's enough for another post on them!), we have a post full of news to touch on for this Saturday morning! Along with some assorted shorter items, we're leading off with three big LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for the summer featuring some varied lineups, so here's what you should know!

Live705 have announced their next two promoted concerts, and both will mark their first stabs at promoting out of town touring acts! First up from them is a Father's Day concert on Sunday, June 18th at The Canadian Nightclub, and that show's featured touring act is Toronto hardcore quartet Speaker, whose hard hitting punk-influenced fury will be welcomed by local fans for the first time next month, so keep them in mind! Presumably due to their touring commitments, Speaker are not the advertised headliners on the 18th, with local blues/hard rock trio Electric Church reprising their Easter Bash role as the night's closing act. Solid choice, and if you've seen them lately, you'll know the talent these guys bring to the table! A high quality and suitably varied opening lineup continues with Live705's own punk quartet A Dire Setback, rising punk trio Stegadeth, reunited hard rock quartet Eclipse (in their Live705 debut), folk/indie trio The Autumn Roots, and unidentified Soo York City hip hop performers once again.

Curiously listed as an 18+ show on the poster (not by accident, 19+ attendees will have wristbands), this show starts at 7:05 PM on Father's Day, and admission is $10 with Live705's recent requisite $2-off vouchers available from performers in lieu of a cheaper advance ticket price. Also, as this is on Father's Day, dads get in for just $5 (no word on if a voucher applies before or after that discount, but keep it in mind!) This sounds like a fun and varied concert to take in next month, though note that it will be the same night as the Rock the Border Music Fest, so plan accordingly. Stay tuned to the Facebook event page for continued updates!

Next up, here's another Canadian Nightclub show to announce before we get to Live705's July show, as new local promotion agency The SaultMusicScene (no relation to this site or the 2000s website) will host their first concert there on Friday, June 30th to help kick off Canada Day! Headlining at the end of next month are local/Toronto indie rock musician Jesse Merineau in a rare headlining appearance, while the band he edged out in last year's Speak Easy Battle (local alternative hard rock trio The Din) will also return to the stage fresh off of their Rock The Border Music Fest set as co-headliners! Supporting bands will include two returning acts from Live705's Father's Day show, namely the aforementioned Autumn Roots (fronted by promoter Jeremy Hannah) and Eclipse, while alternative hard rock quartet Bizotic are currently listed as tentative openers on June 30th. If they are confirmed or have to drop out of this concert, we'll let you know!

The lineup may still see an addition, so message Jeremy at the above links or the Facebook event page if your band wants in on this show or planned future events from The SaultMusicScene! This 19+ concert has $10 door admission, $5 advance tickets (details forthcoming), and an 8:00 PM start time, while there will reportedly be two door prize draws, though we await word on what they'll be for. It's been a long time to see Jeremy promoting again after a few false starts under old names, and hopefully this show is a huge hit to spur along more from him in the coming months! See above for current and upcoming details as they roll in!

Lastly for today's new show announcements, we have a true hybrid event on Friday, July 7th when Live705 return to The Canadian Nightclub once again with not one, but two out of town headline attractions! Victoria, British Columbia alternative/punk quintet Vaultry will headline this show in their local debut as they wrap up their This Is Our Eulogy Canadian tour, and their melodic brand of alternative originals should be a nice match this summer! Peterborough doom rapper Garbageface (who headlined at The New A in February) will return to the Soo as co-headliners for another punk/rap fusion event on July 7th, and his dark and unique rhymes should appeal to genre fans that night as well! Local openers will include the aforementioned A Dire Setback (who opened at the previous Garbageface show here), Soo York City rapper Rick E in a solo set, and two more acts to be announced.

Might the new acts maintain the punk/rap hybridization? Time will tell! Like with the Father's Day show, expect a 7:05 PM start time, and there will again be $2-off vouchers from local openers to knock $2 off of the $12 door admission fee. As for the age limit, this is also listed as being 18+ with wristbands for older attendees, in the second show where they're experimenting with allowing in attendees a year younger. Is this a first step towards Live705 all ages shows at The Canadian, or just a bonus for those a little too young to come? Stay tuned, but for more details on this intriguing mash-up show, visit the official Facebook event page!

Finally for today, here's three assorted shorter news items from the last while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist or business name:

  • Sault Michigan music store Grooves Music has changed ownership and name, with Gary Hatch retiring and selling the Ashmun Street business to former Half Stupid frontman Zac Crook and his wife Christy, and the store will fittingly be known as Crooked Music upon it's re-opening in June. The store's Grooves-era services (lessons, gear, local albums) will still be maintained, but the Crooks plan to sell band t-shirts and vinyl records there as well. It's great to see that 540 Ashmun is remaining a music store to serve the E.U.P., so keep tabs above for details on the upcoming relaunch, and we've updated it's link on the site and relegated Grooves' page!
  • Local/St. Catharine's death metal trio Shit Liver have quietly dropped out of Oddzfest II at The Oddfellows Hall on Saturday, June 17th, as per their removal from the lineup on the Facebook event page. A reason for their withdrawal wasn't announced, but remember that the guys do live in Southern Ontario now, and one or more of them may not be able to make the trip home that weekend. Promoter Josh Stephney is looking for a replacement co-headliner and an extra opening band to boost this show to six acts, so message him at the above links if you or someone you know are interested in playing next month! 
  • I have replaced the link inactive Sault Ontario concert promotion agency Spotlight Canada in our "Other Local Metal Links" due to it's domain name expiring, so it now links to their Facebook page. A short lived attempt at a promotion agency in 2015 with national ambitions for touring and promoter networking, this was the aforementioned Jeremy Hannah's last stab at promoting concerts before returning to that avenue with the new SaultMusicScene this month. There's not much to speak of left of Spotlight Canada themselves, who never held a concert proper, but I thought I'd acknowledge the link update!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates this weekend! Thanks everyone!

Friday, May 19, 2017

More Alter Bridge/In Flames Concert Videos!!

For this Friday afternoon post, we're tackling yet more videos from Tuesday night's Alter Bridge/In Flames concert at The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino! A lot of people filmed a lot of footage for YouTube at this concert, and there's more yet to be featured on the site, so thanks to everyone who filmed on Tuesday! We'll start today with the filmer we closed with on Wednesday, namely Anne McIntosh, who uploaded eleven more videos to her YouTube channel yesterday to join her prior two Alter Bridge clips! Despite the wait in between, kudos to her for putting up even more! Eight were of Alter Bridge's headlining set, filming the Orlando hard rockers playing their songs "Rise Today" (their closer, preceded by dueling guitar solos from Myles & Mark), "Slip to the Void", "Waters Rising", "Crows on a Wire", "Ties That Bind", "Cry of Achilles", "The Writing on the Wall", and as embedded below, "Show Me a Leader". Why this song? Beforehand, there was an on-stage marriage proposal!

You don't see this every day, let alone in the Soo, and while I won't spoil the details, would we share it here if she said "No"? Nice moment for sure, and as for the videos proper, Anne's new videos are even better than before, with a nice and close angle to the stage, a horizontal camera orientation, and strong performances throughout, so check everything out at the above links and below!

Anne also filmed three videos of In Flames, marking our best footage yet of the Swedish metal notables from Tuesday night, and she filmed them playing their songs "Moonshield", "All For Me", and as embedded below, "Deliver Us", one of only four songs not captured in James Jones' videos of the concert. Again, these have similar qualities and angles to Anne's Alter Bridge clips, and you get a good sense of In Flames' set and command of the crowd, regardless of band era, and as I stated the other day, their newer material sounds better live! See more above & below!

Next up, here's a pair of new uploads from Alter Bridge's set, including this one from the YouTube channel of Michael Cole (manager of Munising metal band and prior local headliners Infathom), and he filmed their song "My Champion". More of a higher side-stage angle on this clip, and while the video is clear and nicely framed the location, the audio is muffled. Not bad though, so give this perspective a look below as well!

Finally, we have a video of Alter Bridge playing "Open Your Eyes" on Tuesday night, courtesy of YouTube user Mitch MacDonald! Though there's nothing in the title or description confirming it was from the Soo show (all of his videos are titled "Mitchy" with numbers following), the stage setup and clothing match other videos I have seen. At a quick glance, you'd assume this was one of Anne McIntosh's videos given the angle and quality, which is a positive sign, as this is a very solid video of one of Alter Bridge's early hits, though the audio is a little crackly. Check it out below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates this weekend! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

This Weekend's Hard Rock Concert Previews!!

Before we begin today's weekend concert preview post, just a clarification note in case anyone's confused. A new local country band named Full Circle is playing at The Royal Canadian Legion on Saturday night, but they are related in name only to the 2011 classic/hard rock cover band named Full Circle, who were previously far better known as Turner Up. At this stage, I don't think there'd be much of a mix-up, but I thought I'd mention it! Now, let's tackle this weekend's currently known weekend concert previews, starting in rough chronological order!

We'll start at Gliss Steak & Seafood, where prolific local singer/guitarist Tym Morrison will continue his long-term weekly concert arrangement with unplugged shows TOMORROW & SATURDAY! On this Victoria Day weekend, there's no breaking news to clarify, just another solid weekend of acoustic hard rock classics from this veteran local frontman, and whether you're familiar with Tym's lengthy run at The Quality Inn's house restaurant or not, you can expect lots of solid tunes at these next two matinees, so don't miss out! As usual for Tym's weekly Gliss gigs, these are 6:00 PM affairs with no announced cover charges or age limits, but remember that this is a formal restaurant, not a typical nightclub. For more details on this weekend's pair of shows, visit the official Facebook event page, and for a preview, here's Tym Morrison live!

Next up, we'll take a detour to Sault Michigan for the next concerts from local hard rock quartet Project 906, who will rock The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Kewadin Casino branch TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! After a month off from the public stage, these will be Project 906's first shows at The Rapids Lounge since April Fools Day, and these should be great chances for fans to check out Billy, Joe, Dustin, and Will in action, so keep them in mind if you're in the E.U.P. and crave some hard rocking covers! Note that these are currently Project 906's last advertised concerts of the year at either Kewadin location, and while there is no word on if more are in the pipeline yet, there are open weekends on the schedules for both. We'll of course keep you posted! As usual for Project 906's Kewadin stops, expect 9:00 PM start times, no announced cover charges, and 21+ age limits. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here's Project 906 live!

Heading back to Sault Ontario, local classic/hard rock cover quartet Soundcheck will officially play for the first time at The Esquire Club with shows TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! In all but name, you've seen these guys play there before, when Mourning Wood played their farewell gigs at this venue three weeks ago with this exact lineup, but with the two bands merging under the Soundcheck name, it's only their debut there on a technicality. Fresh off of their late notice Reggie's Place debuts last week, Soundcheck should have another solid weekend of 1980s-centric covers in store for fans this weekend, so keep them in mind if you're in the west end! Note that Soundcheck have yet to publically confirm these shows at press time (much like the Reggie's gigs), but the venue announced them as being for Mourning Wood in this earlier concert calendar, and SooToday's events calendar confirms that Soundcheck are now scheduled.

Soundcheck have visibly taken over Mourning Wood and Jukebox Junkies gigs post-merger, so this does make sense, and if any venue concert calendars come out listing those bands, expect Soundcheck to play them unless otherwise stated. As for this weekend, expect 10:00 PM start times, 19+ age limits, and no announced cover charges. See above for more details, and we'll let you know when public video footage turns up!

Finally for this weekend (barring a late notice announcement), local alternative/hard rock trio The Din will return to LopLops Lounge for a headlining concert THIS SATURDAY NIGHT! Last seen at this venue during last month's NLFB Meltdown, The Din will continue to ride their recent momentum with another high energy set of familiar and new originals alike, so don't miss out on their return to the downtown gallery & lounge on Saturday! Local indie rock trio The Autumn Roots will open themselves, who are also returning from the Meltdown, and they're a fine genre fit for the venue, so look for their folksy acoustic originals to set the tone well! Note that this is also their first announced show since frontman Jeremy Hannah launched his new "SaultMusicScene" promotion agency, no word on if he'll acknowledge any future plans for them during their set. A 9:00 PM start time, $5 cover charge, and 19+ age limit are all in effect for Saturday, so visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here's The Din live at LopLops last year!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes in the coming days, plus recent concert videos! Thanks everyone!

Last Month's Poll Results & Our Final Poll On Your Favourite 2016 Concerts!!

Here's our poll results from last month on the SMS, plus the launch of our final poll on last year's events in the local scene! We posed this question to you guys last month: What was your favourite local metal, hard rock, or punk concert in the second half of 2016? Sadly, this poll received only 10 votes, which isn't great, but there is a clear and deserving winner, and we did have a comparable number of votes from our first half of 2016 poll. Thanks to everyone who did vote, and here are the final results!

Guy Thiffault tribute at The Rockstar Bar on December 27th (3 votes, 30%)
Live705 Show at The Oddfellows Hall on November 19th (2 votes, 20%)
The Ripcordz at The Canadian Nightclub on August 13th (1 vote, 10%)
The Din & Gnaeus at The Tech on August 12th (1 vote, 10%)
Iskra, Pillory, and Rotopsy at The Oddfellows Hall on July 14th (1 vote, 10%)
Cocaine Moustache at The New American Pub on July 12th (1 vote, 10%)
Hedley and The Rising Tide at The Yard on July 1st (1 vote, 10%)
Gnaeus & The Din at The Rockstar Bar on August 5th (0 votes)
SNFU & Jack Spades at The Rockstar Bar on September 1st (0 votes)
K-Man & The 45s at The New A on September 17th (0 votes)
The Gnar-BQ at Queen Elizabeth Park on September 24th (0 votes)
Castle & AlgomA at 180 Projects on September 28th (0 votes)
Moon Tan & The Din at The New American Pub on October 6th (0 votes)
Norilsk & AlgomA at The Oddfellows Hall on October 28th (0 votes)
Halloween Party at The Algonquin Pub on October 29th (0 votes)
Punk Rock Bingo at The New A on October 30th (0 votes)
Eclipse at The Rednecks Saloon on October 31st (0 votes)
Toystock V at Grand Gardens North on November 20th (0 votes)
Mike Mikus & Id Iota at LopLops on November 26th (0 votes)
Gnaeus & The Din at LopLops Lounge on December 26th (0 votes)
Other (0 votes)

What do you guys think? Well, given the lack of votes, I can't be too surprised by the amount of shows with zero votes, but if anything particularly shocks me, how did SNFU's return in September get no love? Five shows got a single vote, ranging from the expected (Hedley, The Ripcordz) to the less expected (Cocaine Moustache, though with the debut of the Gagoots, that may have helped.) A scant two shows recieved multiple votes, with Live705's debut concert at The Oddfellows Hall eking out second place. This was a big debut for this fast rising promotion agency, and though they haven't booked an all ages show since, fans definitely came out last fall and have continued to do so (and stay tuned for our coverage of their next show in the coming days!) But the winner of the poll was December's Guy Thiffault tribute concert, and I can definitely see how that won out. If you were there, you would have saw the emotion, the packed crowd, the responses, the band reunions, and the Guy rememberances, and that all added up in a very positive way at that sad time. Thanks to everyone for voting!

Now, for our final poll of our "favourite _____ of 2016" poll cycle, and given the recent voter turnout, our last poll on the SMS until July's poll on shows from the first half of this year. Today, we are suitably posing this question to you guys: What was your favourite metal, hard rock, or punk concert of 2016? As previously indicated in past years, we're combining the shows that received at least one vote from both of our last half-year polls, in order for readers to determine their favourite SMS-covered concert in the whole year! Six shows from early 2016 got votes, seven did over the past month, and "Other" is back just in case, so hopefully that will help cover missing bases. As usual, these all took place between January 1st & December 31st, 2016, and 2017 shows so far will be covered in July. If a specific concert you liked isn't in the poll that was in one of the prior half-year polls, it didn't get a vote last time, but we do have "Other" if you must vote for it! Now, here are your final 13 choices!

Bands: The Din, Stereo North, and Morgan Steele
Venue: The Gore Street Cafe
Date: March 4th, 2016
Info: This special acoustic concert was a featured event during The Gore Street Cafe's inaugural Fishbowl Festival from February-March 2016, 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: Gorod, Bookakee, Jack Spades, and Them
Venue: The Oddfellows Hall
Date: April 15th, 2016
Info: Word of mouth was great from 2015's Bookakee show, so when the Montreal theatrical metal band returned last April 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, 2016
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: Project 421, Eclipse, and Shit Creek Survivor
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: May 13th, 2016
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: Project 421, The Leash Kids, and Mourning Wood
Venue: The Rednecks Saloon
Date: June 4th, 2016
Info: The surprise winner of our poll from early 2016, this second Redneck Rock Bash concert had a completely different and smaller lineup that 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 year?

Bands: Jack Spades, Gnaeus, DJ Seith, The Din, K.I.C.K., and Conika
Venue: Queen Elizabeth Park
Date: June 21st, 2016
Info: The fourth straight local installment of Go Skateboarding Day (but second with live bands) saw an almost entire overhaul from 2015'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?

Bands: Hedley, The Beaches, and Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide
Venue: The Yard
Date: July 1st, 2016
Info: The second half of 2016 began with a bang when Abbotsford power pop/punk favourites Hedley returned to the Soo for the first time in 5 years as the headlining act for the first half of The Yard's Canada Day Kicker!  This well received show entertained many fans of the Juno-winners, while fans of The Rising Tide also rejoiced for the local openers' only Soo show of the year, complete with Mikey Hawdon back behind the kit! Would you cast your vote for Hedley's local return?

Bands: Cocaine Moustache, Gianni Gagoots, and War Baby
Venue: The New American Pub
Date: July 12th, 2016
Info: An intriguing meld of styles hit The New A in mid-July when touring Vancouver acts Cocaine Moustache and War Baby came east to give local fans a taste of their bluesy hard rock and grungy punk originals respectively! Sandwiched in between was the local concert debut of funk/hard rock instrumental group Gianni Gagoots, who began their local ascent with their creative improvised stage show for assembled fans! Would this show be your favourite of 2016?

Bands: Pillory, Iskra, Rotopsy, and AlgomA
Venue: The Oddfellows Hall
Date: July 14th, 2016
Info: Despite an unusual lineup order that saw the headliners playing second and AlgomA opening, this all ages concert from July gave fans an aggressive blast of extreme metal, with Victoria grindcore veterans Iskra making their long awaited return to the local stage after 12 years away! Notably also featuring the first non-battle of the bands appearance at a normal concert venue by the reunited Pillory, this show definitely melted faces of attending fans, but did this one earn your vote?

Bands: The Din & Gnaeus
Venue: The W.W. Baldwin Auditorium at The Tech
Date: August 12th, 2016
Info: Just one week after Gnaeus' CD release concert with The Din opening, the two bands switched places when The Din launched their own debut studio album "Give In To The Din" at The Tech's auditorium back in August. Despite a pre-show fire alarm at the former St. Mary's College, the show was also well received, even becoming the basis of Shaw TV's first OnStage episode, and The Din's CD also won praise from fans! Would you give in to this show?

Bands: The Ripcordz, Jack Spades, Project 421, and Eclipse
Venue: The Canadian Nightclub
Date: August 13th, 2016
Info: The idea of an all ages concert in the Soo with The Ripcordz as headliners had been teased for many months, and that came to fruition when Jack Spades frontman J.D. Pearce brought the Montreal hardcore punk legends to The Canadian in mid-August for another hotly recieved Soo show from Paul Gott and company! Also featuring a special guest appearance by Dayglo Abortions bassist Willy Jak(!) with Jack Spades, did this night of all ages punk & metal action win 2016 to you?

Bands: K.I.C.K., A Dire Setback, Electric Church, The Din, Talk Shit, Stegadeth, and Jizzy Baby
Venue: The Oddfellows Hall
Date: November 19th, 2016
Info: New local concert promoters Live705 and their featured band A Dire Setback made a big splash in November with their first concert and only Oddfellows Hall appearance to date, with a nice variety of local acts on display for fans! Notably also including the first live set from T-Rex Manning successors Stegadeth, punk quartet Talk Shit's first live set in seven years, and a breakthrough set from blues rockers Electric Church, did this intriguing concert top 2016 in your eyes?

Bands: Bin Hawdon & The Taliband, Destroilet, Rotbottyrot, Talk Shit, The Business Suit Trappers, Nebraska Arms, AlgomA, Stegadeth, and A Dire Setback
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: December 27th, 2016
Info: The sudden passing of ex-Hangdowns frontman Guy Thiffault in December was extremely sad, but his friends and former bandmates quickly came together to host a benefit concert for his family over the holidays, which included returns to the stage after a year+ away from Bin Hawdon & The Taliband, Destroilet, and two of Guy's former bands to a raucous and emotional reception from attending fans. This was a huge concert to end 2016 with, but was it your favourite?

Other: Did we miss a show you'd rather vote for? For reference, bands like 1971, The 3 Day Millionaires, 9 Lives & Counting, The Anti-Queens, Artificial Dissemination, Astral Gunk, The Bear Hunters, Big Brother, Bizotic, The Black Mirrors, Black Tremor, The Blackwood Sinners, Blessed, Bloody Diamonds, Bon Jovi Forever, Caroline Divine, Castle, Caveman Morrison, Crucify the Whore, Curtis McKenzie, Debutaunt, Dumpster Mummy, The Elements, Foam, The Franquilizers, Grave Party, Griphook, Havadder, Heavy Head, Kaepora Gaebora (now Exploring Detritus), K-Man & The 45s, Like A Pisces, Long Shot, Lost Love, Lucky 13, Moon Tan, The Motherfuckers, Mulligrub, The Nailheads, Nameus (now Soundcheck), Norilsk, Northwest, Reanimator, Redundant, Shit Liver, SNFU, Stiffler's Mom, Still of the Night, Sykotyk Rampage, Telephone & Address, That's Chester, Them, Twistory, Tym Morrison, Vintage Slang, and Winkstinger all played locally last year in shows not included in the poll otherwise. Did one of them have your preferred concert of 2016, or perhaps a show featuring bands in the poll that isn't listed? Vote for "Other"!

VOTE TODAY!! You have until June 18th to vote for your favourite concerts of last year, so hopefully there's a good turnout of votes to end our year-end polls with! That's all for now, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews next! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Alter Bridge/In Flames Concert Video Showcase!!

Today's post at the SMS is devoted to videos from last night's Alter Bridge/In Flames concert at The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino, and based on social media discussion, the show appears to have been a hit! We'll start with a substantial amount of footage from attendee James Jones' YouTube channel, as he filmed over 48 minutes worth of content from the show for uploading there! Kudos to him for the work on these videos, that's above and beyond the call of duty! First, he got the opening 14 minutes of Alter Bridge's headlining set, filming the Orlando hard rock quartet playing their songs "The Writing on the Wall", "Come To Life", and "Farther Than The Sun", so click each song name to go to each song. The performances here are very solid, and Myles Kennedy's voice is in top form, but the vertical camera angle, distance from the stage, and scratchy audio do the clip no favours. Still, this much footage is awesome, so give it a look below!

Unusually, James voiced his dislike for Alter Bridge as a band and preference for their predecessor group Creed in the description (to each their own, but why tell the world when you posted the video anyway?) However, it appears he liked opening Swedish metal band In Flames more, filming 34 minutes worth of footage from their set across two videos! Starting four songs in, James filmed In Flames playing their tracks "All For Me", "Where The Dead Ships Dwell", "Moonshield" (complete with extended intro thanking "Mike at the deli" for the request), "Before I Fall", "The Truth", "Paralyzed", and most of "Cloud Connected". All of that is in the video below, while his second video features their closing number "Take This Life", skipping "The End" in between. The quality of these videos is no different than before, but you get a nice cross-section of In Flames eras here, and dare I say, the newer alt-metal songs sound better live? See for yourself below!

Next up, here's a pair of Alter Bridge videos from from YouTube user Anne McIntosh's channel, including "Blackbird" and, as embedded below, Myles' acoustic medley of "Wonderful Life" & "Watch Over You", so click on each song name for specific tracks once again. Musically, I prefer "Blackbird", but the unplugged change of pace is nice to see! Anne was much closer to the stage, and her videos have much clearer audio, so keep them in mind on that basis, while the acoustic clip actually benefits the vertical camera angle, so give her clips a look above & below!

Finally here's our only video on a horizontal landscape angle for today, courtesy of YouTube user Kathleen Hardy, and it's of Alter Bridge playing their song "My Champion"! Despite a brief 86 second runtime, this is by far the best quality video from the show that I have seen so far, and not just because of the angle! She is nice and close to the stage, and her camera takes excellent videos, so fans would be well served to check hers out below!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews and last month's poll results tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (The Din), Two Inactive Band Notes, And A New Video!!

Here's another new post for you guys on this Tuesday morning, so what's on tap for this morning? A new solo performance video, two notes on bands to be moved to our inactive band links, and leading things off, an unexpected LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for later this month, so here's what you should know!

Local alternative/hard rock trio The Din will play acoustic sets at a unique event on Sunday, May 28th, namely the Family Market on the Greens at.... Crimson Ridge Golf Course?! That's a first for us! This event will see over 40 local vendors displaying and/or selling their wares under a tent outside, with access to the gold course proper and their Hickory Bar & Grill also available that day, and there will even be a bouncy castle for the kids, games, and more, so visit the official Facebook event page for full non-musical details! The Din's sets will be as an acoustic duo sans drummer Brandan Glew (no word on why he's missing out), but Mike & Tammy have adapted to an unplugged atmosphere well in the past, and they should provide a solid soundtrack to the family market one week from Sunday! They'll play at scattered times during the day between 12:00 & 9:00 PM, there is FREE admission, and this is certainly ALL AGES.

And just for clarification given it's unfamiliarity for our coverage, Crimson Ridge is at 418 Fourth Line West, very much in the west end, so keep that in mind if you're curious on the locale. Visit the above links for more details, and hopefully this intriguing family market is a hit!

Next up, we have a band to likely move to our inactive band links, that being local extreme metal quartet Winkstinger. The band hasn't issued a public update since opening for The Bear Hunters at The Oddfellows Hall one year ago on Sunday, which notably comes just over three years after the first time we relegated Winkstinger in our listings for very similar reasons. After a successful local run from 2010-2013 that saw them play numerous high profile concerts and win 2012's Battle for the Blood, the Operation: Killdozer successors fell inactive for 2 and a half years, before guitarist Jesse Cook & drummer Jonas Gasperas brought Winkstinger back in October 2015. Their new lineup returned for two shows last spring, both at The Oddfellows Hall, but no public updates have followed, and members have been working on separate projects in recent months, including Jesse & Jonas' recent collaborative work in The Elements, and solo projects from new members Keith Gagnon & Andrew MacDonald.

Winkstinger's return to the stage was definitely welcomed last year, even if the new members were an adjustment following their successful run in the early 2010s, and I have no idea what's happened to them in the past year. Granted, Jesse has been busy since with Jack Spades (well, until the fall), The Elements, and his new band Handsome Sandwich, but Winkstinger's brutal metal onslaught was always a fun sight on local stages, and the new lineup had promise from what we saw! Best of luck to Keith, Jesse, Andrew, and Jonas (plus other former band members) in the future, and hopefully Winkstinger turn up again down the road!

Also, we have a local hard rock solo project to move to our inactive band links too, that being of Din frontman Mike Haggith. Now, Mike is most certainly still active in the local music scene (as you'll next see THIS SATURDAY), but we're talking about his prolific solo project, as an update reflecting his own solo material has not been posted to his Facebook page since one year ago on Monday, admitting then that his solo work "isn't even a priority" due to The Din's local rise. After launching his solo music career in his Windsor hometown in 2005, Mike recorded a staggering 47 solo albums, including a number of prominent albums since moving to the Soo in the fall of 2010, such as his last solo CD "The Warinside" from 2015. Mike did play scattered solo gigs locally, including at Swampstravaganza IV and at Sault College events, but will be best known on the live stage from work with bands like The Din, Haggith, and The Strange Coyotes.

When Mike first came onto our radars at the SMS, it was a massive influx of back catalog material that initially made an impact, but he's since became a prominent and talented frontman & drummer in locally-originated projects, and has found a lot of success and visibility in that regard! Of course, his solo career isn't entirely behind him, as he's carried over a number of solo songs to The Din (and previously featured some with Haggith), but hopefully he revisits his own solo music down the road, including the unreleased "Neighbourhood Watch Revisited". Stay tuned for much more from The Din!

Finally, here's a new video from Sault Michigan classical metal project Theatre of Night's YouTube channel! Like his Alter Bridge cover from December, this is far more in line with keyboardist Craig Harrison's solo channel postings of late despite being posted on Theatre of Night's channel. An original ballad named "Without Your Love", this maintains the same visual structure of Craig's recent solo videos on either channel (sepia tone, holding a Go-Pro camera selfie-style, cowboy hat), but it has a similar emotional message to loved ones of his, and has dramatic piano accompaniment that gives the song a dark yet familiar feel. Check it out below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews, poll results, and more in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Alter Bridge/In Flames Concert Preview, New Soo Art Rocks Videos, And More!!

We are back with this new news post for your Monday afternoon, so what's contained within? New videos and fallout from a recent concert, clarification and news from a new local promoter with a familiar name, and leading things off, our preview of a special Tuesday night concert in the E.U.P. with some huge headline acts, so here's what you should know!

Orlando hard rock quartet Alter Bridge and Swedish metal veterans In Flames will make their way to our area TOMORROW NIGHT for the latest Allstar Promotions concert event at The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino! Of course, Alter Bridge have had a ton of success with rock radio hits like "Addicted To Pain", "Isolation", and "Open Your Eyes", and their fan favourite originals and soaring vocals should be very well received when they rock the Soo Kewadin tomorrow! In Flames will also be very interesting to see locally, as while they have seen a very polarizing response to their newer alternative material, they have many fans from their recent era and older death metal albums alike. Are you in this for "Clayman", "Come Clarity", or "Battles"-era In Flames? Hopefully there's a little something for all tastes, but it's great to see them here! Note that a previously announced opening set by Tennessee hard rockers Devour the Day is no longer advertised by them or Allstar Promotions.

No word on if they are indeed off the show (and if so, why), but it would be nice to see them finally play a local gig! This stop on Alter Bridge's "The Last Hero" tour goes down tomorrow at 7:00 PM, this is ALL AGES, and tickets are still available from the first row and back for $38.50, though at press time, only 15 center section seats remain. Get your tickets A.S.A.P. if you don't have any yet at this link, at 1-800-KEWADIN, or at the in-person box office, and check out Allstar Promotions' Facebook page for details on how to enter for meet & greet passes! This should be a great concert for hard rock and metal fans, so see above for more details, and here's Alter Bridge live!

Next up, here's some extra details from that new Facebook personal account called The SaultMusicScene that launched on Friday, so what should you know on it now? After some ambiguity about the identity of the administrator (and confusion on if I was involved), it has been confirmed that Autumn Roots frontman Jeremy Hannah is running it, and it's not just a tool to help promoters advertise their events: He's promoting shows again! Fans will remember Jeremy for his work with Big Voiced Records in the mid-late 2000s at The Oddfellows Hall, but he has dabbled into promotion and live sound since with Pure Sound Audio, Spotlight Canada, and the cancelled Music Mayhem show in April 2012, though none of those got very far off the ground. Jeremy has elaborated that he is open to working with other promoters on events, and is apparently planning to promote shows at The Canadian Nightclub and The Upper Deck Bar & Grill upstairs from that venue.

First up from Jeremy's new agency is a Canada Day weekend show on Friday, June 30th at The Canadian, which will have 6 bands to be announced, a door prize, and $5 advance admission (which doubles at the door.) Click here for more details, and we'll let you know if metal, hard rock, or punk makes the lineup! While I think the SaultMusicScene name is a little too familiar to the 2000s website of that name (especially as Scott MacLeod's not visibly involved), it is great to see Jeremy back in the promoting game, and if this lives up to it's ambitions, this will be an asset to bands and fans alike! See the above links for more, but remember, you have to be a friend to read postings on the main page, unless Jeremy relaxes the privacy settings.

We'll close today with new videos from Friday night's Soo Art Rocks concert at The Canadian Nightclub, but first, just a note from promoters Live705's Facebook page! In their latest post there, they thanked everyone making Soo Art Rocks a success, noted that their next concert will be in June (details coming this week), credited Pointless frontman Bill Priddle for helping A Dire Setback make "notable changes to polish our songs", and teased that they will be booking touring bands in the future. Very encouraging all around, so stay tuned as more details fall into place! As for the videos, A Dire Setback are the subject here, as photographer Josh Pace filmed the punk quartet playing the end of their set-closing self-titled original on Friday night for his personal Facebook page, which the band subsequently shared publically on theirs.

Though only 38 seconds long, the guys are in great form, and this is a nice showcase for bassist Matt Quinn too! The side stage angle puts him in the background on this clip, however. I do plan to film this song in full as well at an upcoming concert, but given that it's tended to be a set closer, I may have to have a backup video ready in the event of a file error, but I'll figure something out. Check this clip out below, and stay tuned for more from A Dire Setback and Live705 when it comes in!

Finally, here's a new clip from Live705's Facebook page, which is a live stream of the end of an early song during Id Iota's headlining set, including the introduction of guest cellist Pete Mozarowski to the crowd. Given the short length, vertical angle, and placement in the song's runtime, this isn't an optimal look at Id Iota, but it's nice to see some new footage of this alt-hard rock quartet, and they sound good from what we hear, so give it a look too!

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

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Soo Art Rocks Concert Review!!

Hey everyone, it's time at last to review Friday night's Soo Art Rocks concert at The Canadian Nightclub, so what should you know on this ambitious hybrid event? Good attendance overall, and though it tapered off a bit late, the bands wrapping up the night did get more of a crowd on the floor. Most of the performers had merchandise on sale (Bizotic even had some artwork to go along with the theme), and in terms of the art vendors, they were set up on the far wall of the venue near the soundboard, save for Chandra Barnett, who got the pool table there for her photography display. She, Brenton Ellis, Aaron Knight, and photographer Josh Pace had lots of material to display, and though prices were largely on request, pieces were definitely moving, and hopefully they got some great exposure regardless! And true to the pre-event teasers, a print of a Josh photo of A Dire Setback was indeed the door prize. This show also saw the debut of local YouTube personality Kyle Foster as the apparent permanent MC for Live705 events, so how did he do?

Good, but he did come across as a little nervous, often talking a little too fast between bands. Also, he only introduced bands and discussed the show immediately after sets, rather than setting up bands before they began playing. Things should get ironed out with time though! And lastly before reviewing the bands, local death metal duo Them dropped out of the show early on Friday due to "personal reasons", as per promoters Live705 on the Facebook event page. Hopefully nothing bad happened, Tyler & Anthony have been missed on public stages!

The night opened with a set by artists from the Soo York City hip hop collective, marking the first time that I've seen an S.Y.C. branded set like this rather than a solo artist from there. Shane "DJ Seith" Erickson was on hand to mix tunes and program backing tracks for the rappers, and the set started intriguingly with him walking us through his selections of vinyl records to mix together and asking for crowd input. It almost felt like the mix originated on Friday.... did it? There were three rappers from Soo York City on Friday, namely Kodex, Rick-E, and St. James, who each got solo showcases with scattered backing rhyme help, while the guys also collaborated on a couple of tracks too. The guys have rap skill, and though there were some nerves at times, I liked the informal nature as they helped Seith get their tracks ready. Fun opener that definitely appealed to rap lovers in attendance, and hopefully they keep at it!

Seith also DJed between bands in the latter half of the night, starting after Pointless' set, with his turntable set up beside the stage. This would definitely appeal to fans of his solo DJing, and those who hate dead air between bands, but he oddly didn't talk to the crowd or act as a hype man for the show proper (possibly because of Kyle hosting.) Still, if you like DJ Seith's vinyl mixes, you were thrown a bone!

Next was Stereo North frontman Andrew Pucci (a.k.a. Pooch) with a solo acoustic set, and while I have seen Andrew live multiple times fronting punk bands, I wasn't overly familiar with his own solo work. Largely, his solo music is more in the realm of alternative/indie rock, as seen on songs like "Won't Find Me" and "Time Machine", but he did bring out "Nobody" (which was written for Stereo North before their hiatus began), and his closer "Lust Or Lost" was actually heavy in tone, and is asking for full band input. He did cover an out of left field song too, namely Drake's "Hotline Bling", and yes, Pooch's version does sound better! I understand that Andrew is aiming to form a full band to play his solo material, and he does have a solid base so far to draw on, with his voice suiting the songs, and his guitar work was melodic and pleasant throughout! I do miss his punk band work, but Andrew's doing good stuff on his own, and hopefully he keeps on the upward path!

Third was local funk/alternative hard rock quartet Bizotic, and if you saw them at Live705's March Mash-Up, then their set will have been very familiar, with a largely similar set list comprised of songs like "Record Light", "Subway Delay", and "Dirty Time Machine". That said, they were tighter sounding this time around, and you could hear Louise Lamothe's trumpet playing better, so that all worked fine! B.J. Swire continued to rock the keytar as well as you can rock that instrument, and Travis St. Amour was a reliable presence on drums, but honestly, Brad Griffith seemed a little less confident, bantering less between songs and not introducing many of them. Bizotic are carving a good niche for themselves though, with a sound that's hard to pin down, but hard rocking enough to appeal to many listeners, so hopefully we hear much more from them soon!

In the middle of the night, we had the live debut of Pointless, the new band from Treble Charger guitarist Bill Priddle, Pillory bassist Jordan Leach, and Ashes To Dust drummer David Peredun, so what do we know about them now? Well, genre descriptions of "drone/noise/psych" were bang on, though those specific sounds were more of the sole genre of their songs rather than internal hybrids, so their songs all sounded different. That said, if you were hoping for something sounding like Treble Charger, you'll be disappointed, but certain Pointless tracks shared elements of Bill's indie band The Priddle Concern from what I know of that group. The guys are all talented musicians, and seemed to play off of each other well, but Bill could have been more confident and vocal on stage, only rarely talking between songs, none of which being announced by name. The "dronier" songs may be an acquired taste, but Pointless immediately stand out among local bands, and it'll be curious to hear how they progress!

Fifth were Live705's flagship alternative punk quartet A Dire Setback, and they kept on their steady upward momentum with a high energy set full of increasingly familiar songs! Their seven song set included songs like "Wasting Away", "Kicking & Screaming", and their cover of "Counting Stars", while their new self-titled song returned as their encore. I've seen A Dire Setback a lot lately, and while there isn't a lot new to say compared to their Easter Bash set, they had a solid set that showcased their enthusiasm and high impact sound, with Chris Nielsen a firecracker as usual on guitar, Larry Babic more and more confident on lead vocals, and Nick Kainula kept the rhythm nicely on drums throughout himself! Very solid set for punk fans, and definitely keep an eye out for much more into the summer!

Co-headlining on Friday were alternative/hard rock trio The Din, who kicked things off for their set by debuting their new original song "Give Me A Reason", which got a solid reception! Also playing familiar songs like "Alleyways & Apartments" and "Suburban Dream", plus a surprise rendition of "Potato" for an encore, The Din continued with their lively, freewheeling brand of alternative originals with verve and good humour, and fans definitely ate up their set, partly thanks to frontman Mike Haggith's dalliances into the crowd later on. His vocals were on point, Tammy Hill laid down some solid guitar solos, and Brandan Glew's drumming was a fine compliment as usual, so fans had nothing to worry about musically! The Din gave it just fine on Friday night, and you know to expect more of the same in the coming months, so don't miss out!
And finally, your headliners on Friday night were fellow local alt-hard rock quartet Id Iota, who welcomed ex-RedD Monkey cellist Pete Mozarowski as a guest performer for their set! Honestly, his input on songs could have been more substantial, as he was often hard to hear when playing, but when I'm used to seeing him play with one guitarist, (not two and a bassist) that may be a given. With the benefit of a visible setlist, I can confirm that they played newer originals like "Cop Drama", "Deep Empty", and "Blind Spots" during their set, and the guys kept up their varied styles within, dipping into funk, ska, alternative, punk, and hard rock at varying times throughout. Christian Lemay's lead vocals were just fine, and Dustin Goodall shined on guitar himself! I'm not 100% positive, but it sounded like Christian said that this was drummer Blair St. John's last show with Id Iota before moving to Ottawa. If true and I wasn't hearing things, best of luck, he'll be missed!

Id Iota delivered a fun set, so hopefully they're not off the stage for too long, and keep an eye out for more on their first full length CD! Overall, Soo Art Rocks was a very solid night of musical action for many tastes (not to mention some nice art on display), and everyone performed nicely for the occasion! Without rehashing certain events from the Easter Bash, there were no prolonged delays on Friday, so don't worry about that aspect. You can check out our photos at this link or via our Facebook page, and I did film all 7 musical acts, so what do we have? Below, you can check out a montage of the Soo York City collective's set (about 1 minute of each MC), Andrew Pucci playing "She Died First", Bizotic playing "Psychic Vampire", Pointless playing an original song (can you help name it?), A Dire Setback playing "Catastrophe", The Din playing their newest "Give Me A Reason", and Id Iota playing "Long D", though that title may be incomplete!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for our Alter Bridge preview and more tomorrow! Thanks everyone!