Sunday, May 7, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Rock The Border Music Fest & Ruptured Birth!!)

Before we begin this post, I wanted to offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of former Phlashback/Kick Start singer & guitarist Terry Becker, who passed away on Friday at the age of 65, according to numerous personal Facebook postings. Details on his services have yet to be announced, but definitely stay tuned to local news media for updates on that front. Though not known for work in hard rock bands (moreso country and blues rock), Terry will be familiar to many fans as a brother of Sykotyk Rampage mainstays Paul & Dirk Becker, and was once scheduled to join them with a solo set at 2015's Soo Zombie Walk, though he later had to withdraw from that event. I own an autographed copy of Phlashback's 2006 CD "Ride the Wind", on which Terry was the primary songwriter, where you got a sense of Terry's musical & vocal gifts, and he was definitely a talented musician and instructor, so our condolences are definitely with the Becker clan at this difficult time. R.I.P. Terry!

Now, today's post is devoted to LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS regarding two concerts taking place next month, one a long awaited festival announcement, and the other seeing returning Northern Ontario extreme metal bands after 2 years away or more, so here's what you should know!

Sudbury death metal quartet Ruptured Birth and North Bay extreme metal trio Thekillingfield will each return to Sault Ste. Marie for a concert at The Oddfellows Hall on Thursday, June 4th! Featuring former members of Before the Black Gates, fans may recognize Ruptured Birth from opening for Vesperia at The Algonquin Pub back in 2015, and their crushing science fiction-inspired originals should brutalize local fans when they make their return to the local stage next month! As for Thekillingfield, this show is a long time coming for them, having not travelled west to the Soo since headlining at the former Roosevelt Hotel back in 2011, with two early 2014 Oddfellows Hall sets being cancelled in the interim. Thekillingfield played here a lot around the turn of the 2010s, and it's awesome to see them finally come back after nearly six years away, so don't miss out on their return on June 4th! Local goregrind solo project Crucify the Whore will be among the openers in their first public set of the year, and fans should enjoy Tyler's solo return also!

At least one more opening act is to be announced, so stay tuned for updates on their identity. Promoted by Heavy North Entertainment in that agency's first event since September's Dumpster Mummy concert (and just their second since the fall of 2015), a 6:00 PM start time is currently advertised for this ALL AGES show, but admission prices have not been posted yet. This should be a brutal and heavy good time for local metalheads, including some acts we haven't seen enough of locally, so visit the official Facebook event page for continued updates!

Next up, the long-delayed lineup announcement for the Rock the Border Music Fest on Sunday, June 18th has finally been made, and organizers have confirmed that Buckcherry frontman Josh Todd and guitarist Stevie Dacanay will headline the show in a side project group! The two of them are actually in two side bands, the newer hard rock outfit Josh Todd & The Conflict, and a rap/electronic rock project named Spraygun War, but organizers just said that they will play "a little of everything". I'd be inclined to believe that The Conflict are the band coming, but we won't list them as such until/unless there's confirmation. Josh & Stevie D. are no strangers to the area, as fans who saw Buckcherry at Kewadin Casino in 2011 will know, but how will they sound in this side band next month? Stay tuned! The teased Australian band will be Sydney hard rock quintet The Lazys, who will hit the Soo as part of their Summer Ontario Fun Tour. Lively yet old school sound, they should find a solid audience when they rock the Soo next month, so give them a listen!

Three more bands are to be announced, but aside from at least one being Canadian, none have been confirmed publically as of this writing. Now that the lineup has finally been partially announced, what else should you know on the concert? Well, it's now advertised to take place at The Roberta Bondar Pavilion instead of The Machine Shop, marking a rare local hard rock concert under the tent downtown, and it will be nice to see some live concert action there after too long of a wait! This is an ALL AGES show, though it is licensed, and an early 2:30 PM start time is advertised. Tickets are on sale for $45 for early birds (no word on when the discount ends), $55 for advance admission, $60 for general tickets, and $75 for VIP passes, which allow close access to the stage, a drinking section, and line bypass upon entry. As well, there will be a $100 meet & greet VIP pass that allows you to view the soundcheck and get an autographed poster, so keep all of the packages in mind!

You can get tickets online at this link, though no word on local in-person availability as of this writing. Also, just for clarification's sake, a post on the Facebook event page from organizers indicated that this is not promoted by CSA International (they of the postponed Quiet Riot concert), despite the fact that the "About" tabs on CSA's Facebook page & the Rock the Border Facebook page both list the same phone number. Given that, there must be a common person involved in both, but if they say this isn't a CSA event, who am I to argue? As for the show proper, I know there's already some pessimism online regarding the two week+ delays and the perception of the lineup quality so far, but remember, there are three more bands to be announced, Buckcherry fans should come out in force, and if this concert is a hit, more big hard rock shows will come to the Soo, from these promoters or others! Stay tuned for continued updates on the Rock The Border Music Fest as it comes in!

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

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