It's finally time to review Thursday night's CKY concert at The Canadian Nightclub! In case you're wondering, this month's Defunct Local Band Profile will be our next post, either tonight or early tomorrow. Thursday's show had a very solid turnout of attendees, and while I have seen more packed concerts at The Canadian, the crowd reception and raucousness steadily grew throughout the night, and it was a cool atmosphere to be in! Just in case you missed our preview of this show, note that the reunited As It Stands quietly dropped out of the show and were not replaced, so this show ended by midnight, unusually early for a 19+ event, which could be good or bad depending on who you ask.
Opening Thursday night's festivities were local alt-punk quartet A Dire Setback, who maintained their forward momentum with a solid set of original material! No major surprises for fans compared to prior sets of theirs (aside from maybe bassist Matt Quinn's new green mohawk), but fans of songs like "Catastrophe", "Kicking & Screaming", and "Nightmares" will be pleased to hear that they sounded great and had no visible flubs or fatigue! Larry Babic was on point vocally, Matt handled the bass nicely throughout the set, and guitarist Chris Nielsen was his usual energetic self, and while there weren't high numbers on the floor for their set, responses were high from the crowd between songs. Solid way to kick off the night, and don't miss A Dire Setback one week from tomorrow when they rock the border opening for Speaker at The Canadian!
Jack Spades to the stage for the first time since the SNFU show in September, as they publically unveiled their 80% new lineup for the first time! First off, who was the mystery man replacing Johnny Belanger behind the drum kit? None other than Project 421/Eclipse drummer Chris Thompson, making him the only person to join J.D. Pearce as a member of Fitswitch, Frightlight, and Jack Spades. Very solid and fitting choice, and he held up things well on Thursday! Of course, new guitarist Daniel Horton is also in the same 3 bands as Chris, and if you were curious, he and fellow new hire Anthony Orazietti more or less split lead guitar duties, with both showcasing quality solos. As for new bassist Steve Shaw, while I'm more familiar with his guitar work with Talk Shit, he performed well on Thursday and fit in with the guys! In terms of the set proper, it was somewhat rushed, but most of their standard originals were worked in to the proceedings!
Fan favourites like "Rise", "Fear Corps", and "Motorwolf" (with vocal cameo by ex-guitarist Jesse Cook) were joined by a surprise cover of The Inner City Surfers's old song "Ten Commandments", which was very cool to hear! Local bands should cover other local bands more often. There were occasional hiccups and timing miscues with the new lineup musically on Thursday, but for what was their first show together, this was a solid first look at Jack Spades 2.0, and don't miss them opening for Beaver Slap later this month!
The Wild, and to many fans, they stole the show with their old school-tinged brand of rock 'n roll! Any comparisons to Jackyl held up very nicely with their rollicking originals like "Ready to Roll" and "Roadhouse", and they even added extra flourishes, like matching denim vests, some synchronized guitar moves on stage, and the extended faux-song endings on "Banger". I was reminded in ways of when Wilson opened for Jess Margera's other band Fuckface Unstoppable here in 2013, though The Wild had more of the retro flavour. Dylan Villain's got an almost deceptively strong voice, and he and The Kid complimented each other nicely on guitar, while Boozus' bass work was just as impressive as his beard! Very solid set from The Wild, and yes, you can say that it was wild too! Hopefully they come back through the Soo!
CKY in their first ever local stop, and they delivered a very fun set to cap off the evening with! Playing a mixture of familiar older songs like "Attached At The Hip" and "Knee Deep" as well as a few new selections like "Days of Self Destruction", the guys even broke out a couple of surprise covers, including GG Allin's "Bite It You Scum" and.... "Jungle Boogie" by Kool & The Gang?! Apparently, they'd never played that cover live before Thursday. One of the big questions that CKY diehards had before this show was how guitarist Chad Ginsburg would sound on lead vocals in place of the departed Deron Miller, and while he doesn't have the same range or projection (particularly on "Flesh Into Gear"), he can carry a tune well, and believe me, fans in the crowd picked up any needed slack! Though everyone was well spaced on stage, he and Matt Deis had solid chemistry, and Jess Margera's drumming was reliably good!
Also, props to new touring keyboardist Matt Cole (also Jess' uncle and Gnarkill bandmate), who filled things out with some understated but well performed contributions himself. Overall, CKY put on a great show, as did the openers, and kudos to J.D. for putting this huge show on! You can check out our photos from the show at this link or via our Facebook page, and as for our videos, here's A Dire Setback covering OneRepublic's "Counting Stars", Jack Spades' new lineup playing "Breakneck Speed", The Wild playing "Banger", and CKY playing "Rio Bravo"!
That's all for now, but stay tuned for this month's Defunct Local Band Profile next! Thanks everyone!