Monday, April 17, 2017

Live705 Easter Bash Concert Review!!

Hey everyone, let's get our review of Saturday night's Live705 Easter Bash up on the site at last! Marking the promoters' first ever appearance at The Rockstar Bar, the show was well attended, especially by A Dire Setback's set, though much of the night saw the bands competing for fans' attention with the Maple Leafs game, especially as it went into the overtime periods. The teased giveaways were in the form of door prizes raffled between bands as the night rolled along, with free Domino's Pizzas, A&W gift sets, Tidal Records hats, A Dire Setback buttons, and a "golden ticket" for free entry to 3 upcoming Live705 shows all up for grabs (I didn't win anything, but I was 6 digits shy on a hat/button combo.) A.D.S. frontman Larry Babic even indicated that there were Easter eggs hidden throughout the bar, but I never saw such a thing, so I'm not sure if he was being facetious or just picked good hiding spots. Overall, the show has a nice atmosphere for Live705's venue debut, and there was even pizza on sale for fans to partake in, so things were set up very well!

The opening act and house DJ was supposed to be Douglas "Deejay Elementz" Agawa, but he dropped out of the show on late notice due to "unforeseen circumstances" (no one was any more specific.) Hopefully nothing bad happened, but Live705 found the perfect replacement, as Shane "DJ Seith" Erickson replaced him for the night, reprising his March Mash-Up role without breaking a sweat! Though advertised to begin at 8:30 PM, he more or less began when doors opened at 8:00 PM, mixing tunes for a nice long time for early fans! If you've seen Seith live, you'll recognize some of the songs from prior performances like his "It Takes Two"/Lyn Collins mix, and he did bring back some of the hard rock action missing from March, like Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, and even some sound bytes from the movie School of Rock. DJ Seith was on point despite the short notice, and by set's end, he was getting suitably intense, even mixing songs with his hands behind his back!

Starting after the next set, DJ Seith also played between bands in a house DJ role, setting up his turntables away from the stage. He was fine in this role (we know he's done this before), and it extended the good vibes from his formal set throughout the night. Overall, entertaining for fans of turntable mixing, and Seith continues to show why he's a key performer in this area!

Next was folk rock solo artist Jacob Quarrell, and true to the show's advertising, he only credited himself by his initials J.Q., rather than his established solo project name Shit Creek Survivor. No word on why that name wasn't used, especially as it's still the name of his Facebook page, though for what it's worth, he hasn't posted there in over a month. Regardless of name, Jacob played a quality set for fans familiar with his original material, including tracks like "Swinging", "When This Is Done", and "1,075". Showcasing a natural ease on stage, and a sound bigger than his small guitar would imply, J.Q. has an effective voice and a good casual rapport, though at times, some backing instrumental accompaniment would be an asset at times. Not a bad set to ease early fans into the groups to come, and hopefully we hear more from Jacob/J.Q./Shit Creek Survivor soon!

The night's first band was local punk trio Stegadeth, who played to their usual standards with a fun set of familiar covers and an increasing amount of originals! Tackling classics from acts like The Ramones, GG Allin, and Bad Religion with conviction, the band also showcased their sound on originals like the debuting "The Song Not Called 'The Wire'" and their fan favourite adoption of T-Rex Manning's "She Banged The Mayor", with friends of the band singing along during the choruses. Fun to see, especially with at least one visiting from out of town! Stegadeth continued to showcase their talents and chemistry on Saturday night, with Bill Bennett improving steadily on vocals, though Tiffany Stocco needs to project her own voice a little more, and she and Bill could both stand to be more active and lively on stage. Solid set overall, and hopefully Stegadeth continue to build on things this year!

The Easter Bash hit it'd midpoint with a set by local indie rock quartet K.I.C.K., and if you're anxious to hear their upcoming debut CD, you'll have been happy to hear all of the newer songs that they played on Saturday night! Though the guys were coy late in their set about songs that would or wouldn't be on the album, they still stuck to a set that (by & large) contained songs I hadn't seen them play live before, like "Love/Hate", the unusually heavy "Never Want To See You Again", and "You'll Never Find Me", among many others. The lighting on stage seemed to be getting to frontman Simon Shearsby early on, hence breaking from the band's buttoned-shirt motif, but he sounded good, and he and Tyson Letang handled the guitar work fine on these new songs, with Aaron Dunn keeping up things on the drumming end himself! The Keep It Cool Kids did indeed keep it cool on Saturday, and best of luck as their CD nears completion!

Live705's flagship band hit the stage next, as A Dire Setback brought their punk/alternative originals to the stage with an enthusiastic and high energy set of their own! The guys played 8 originals like "Forget This Memory", "Nightmares", and their new self-titled track, alongside their punk cover of OneRepublic's "Counting Stars", and they attracted the liveliest crowd of the night, as seen with the fans on the floor late in their set! If you've seen A Dire Setback live, there won't have been many surprises, but everyone delivered a solid performance, with Larry Babic's singing fitting in as nicely as ever, Chris Nielsen a sparkplug of activity throughout on guitar, and Nick Kainula's drum work was steady and a very suitable compliment! Title track aside, there wasn't a lot new to add, but A Dire Setback delivered a fun set that wasn't a setback for them as a band, and hopefully there's more to come from them soon!

Now, there's a lot of divisive talk about the last two timeslots online today, so this is what I will say about things. On Saturday night, there were huge delays before The Noochin' Lanterns' set, leading to them only starting their set at 1:00 AM, 45 minutes behind schedule. This resulted in their set being chopped to just 4 songs, and Electric Church not beginning until after 1:30 AM. I will not pass judgement on anything else that happened on Saturday, or throw anyone under the bus regarding the set times or delays, other than to say that I hope things can be worked out by all parties.

As for The Noochin' Lanterns set (their first ever at a public concert), they sounded good, and had a fun look also, with everyone dressed in pajamas for their set! If nothing else, they were comfy. If you're not familiar with the former Noochy Lanterns, their sound resembles that of frontman Paul Stanghetta's old band The Fury, just with guitars and more of a power pop style that even featured a bit of rap, and on the closer, a "Pumped Up Kicks" sample?! Paul actually played guitar rather than his usual bass role (Matthew Forster handled that), and he and Tyler Gibson played off each other well, even though this is a huge departure from Tyler's grindcore roots. Also, props to new mom Amanda Brown, who's showing promise on drums! Unfortunately, The Noochin' Lanterns set was cut short before new synth player Amber McKay could play for the set's intended second half, but hopefully we hear from the band's full lineup soon, and despite the hang-ups, it'll be interesting to see where things go for them!

FYI, there was no public reference made to the planned release of sister band The Apocalypse Afterparty's "Bufflesnort" EP on Saturday. It's possible that The Noochin' Lanterns' set's abbreviation eliminated the chance, but The A.A. haven't posted on their Facebook page since then either to elaborate on the EP. In other words, stay tuned for presumed updates!

With the delays, Garden River blues/hard rock trio Electric Church's abbreviated set began later than anticipated, but the crowd chanting their name pre-set indicated that they were still eager to see the guys in action, and they delivered! I couldn't stay for the full duration, but with originals like "Muddy Waters" and "Ain't Got None" in their repertoire, you know that they had remaining fans' interest! Compared to their March Mash-Up set, they largely delivered a similar set, and while I wish the guys showed a little more energy on stage, the late start time may have impaired that. Spencer Pine's guitar skill is still beyond his years, and his smooth voice fits their songs very well, while Elijah Nielsen and Beau Whitfield were solid on bass and drums in tandem, and when you consider how young these guys are, imagine how good they'll be as the years roll along! Solid way to end the night, and hopefully we hear much more from Electric Church soon!

Overall, this was a fun concert, despite the late delays, and everyone played to their strengths for a good night of entertainment! It's worth noting that, in a throwaway line between bands, DJ Seith indicated that this event would be occurring monthly. If that's true, that'll be very interesting, so stay tuned in case that's elaborated on! You can check out our photos from the show at this link or via our Facebook page, and as for videos, here's DJ Seith mid-set, Jacob Quarrell playing "Daddy's Little Girl", Stegadeth playing "Kingdom of Ashes", K.I.C.K. playing "You've Got It Bad", A Dire Setback playing "Everlasting Despair", The Noochin' Lanterns playing "2, 3, 4", and Electric Church playing "Carey Baby"!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for more news and this month's poll results and new poll next! Thanks everyone!

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