Wednesday, June 28, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Rotaryfest Stage 1), Plus Second Stage Updates!!

For a second day in a row, we have a news post heavily focusing on next month's Rotaryfest and the musical entertainment therein, so let's get things rolling with a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT relating to this year's installment of the Soo's annual summer festival!

Two days following the Rotaryfest Stage 2 lineup reveal, we now know the complete Stage 1 lineup for Clergue Park's main outdoor stage from July 13th-15th, courtesy of the official Rotaryfest program! That said, this year's covers-only lineup isn't quite as heavy as it has been in years past, with only Friday's lineup containing a band I'd classify as "hard rock", but here's a look at who to expect across the main stage this year! Thursday, July 13th's five band roster will be headlined by Coverfly side project Encore at 10:00 PM in this general "party rock" group's Rotaryfest debut, preceded by country quartet Crossroad's fourth straight Stage 1 set at 9:00 PM, local radio DJ Jeff MacNeice's new Neil Diamond tribute band Hot April Night at 8:00 PM, classic rock veterans Flathead Ford at 7:00 PM, and veteran blues/country group The Algo Rhythms playing their first Rotaryfest on record at 6:00 PM.

The lineup on Friday, July 14th will be of the most interest to regular SMS readers, and is also extended to 6 bands this year after running with only 5 for the past three years, so who's on that night? Headlining at 10:00 PM are veteran hard/party rock cover trio Stiffler's Mom in their third Rotaryfest set since 2014, and second straight Friday headlining set. Solid choice to return, so look for more hard rocking renditions from Greg, Mike, and Jon on the 14th! Classic rock veterans Obsession will play their ninth Rotaryfest set in the past decade as the 9:00 PM co-headliners, while local country musician Mark Tarantini will play a special solo tribute set to Garth Brooks at 8:00 PM, much like the one that Mourning Wood members played last August, though he has a new backing band this time around comprised of out of town artists. Classic rock quintet Mustang Heart will continue their run as the iron men & woman of Rotaryfest with their (at least) thirteenth straight Stage 1 set at 7:00 PM, so keep them in mind also!

Veteran blues rock quartet Five Below Zero will hit the main stage for the first time since 2013 (and at least fourth time total) with the 6:00 PM set, while newer classic/hard rock cover quartet Soundcheck will make their Rotaryfest debut to open Friday's lineup at 5:00 PM. Solid lineup overall for classic rock and country fans that's well anchored by some veteran hard rock groups, so don't bypass Friday if you want a bit of heavier classic rock action!

As for the Saturday, July 15th lineup, that will actually be headlined at 10:30 PM by veteran country quartet Bone Yard (playing the festival for the first time since their 2010-2013 run), while previously announced Southern Ontario-based Keith Urban & Blue Rodeo tribute bands Ultimate Urban & Blue Radio will play featured sets at 9:00 & 7:30 PM respectively, and R&B big band The Reptiles will play their seventh festival set since 2009 at 6:00 PM. Blues rock singer/guitarist Paul Dellavedova will reprise his solo cover action from 2015 at 5:00 PM, while Obsession frontwoman Valerie Powley will front a one-off Janis Joplin tribute called Janis Full Tilt! at 4:00 PM, and 1960s-centric classic rock quartet The Peace Vibe will return from last year with a set at 3:00 PM. Finally, newer blues rock quintet Red & The Muscle and improv jazz/R&B quintet The Jazz Cats will play their first Rotaryfest sets on record to open at 2:00 & 1:00 PM.

While the general musical range hasn't changed much for fans who wish for more variance on Stage 1, keep in mind that half of this year's 20 acts have not played a recorded Rotaryfest, and the out of town country tributes mark the first touring country acts to play our summer festival since The Road Hammers in 2009, so that alone is different from the recent norm if you're a country fan! Also, note that recent regular bands like Coverfly, Griphook, Mid Life Crysis, and That's Chester are not back for 2017. All three nights of Stage 1 are FREE & ALL AGES, so visit the above links for full details on this year's Rotaryfest, and stay tuned for updates when & if they roll in!

Finally for today, here's some updates to this year's Rotaryfest Stage 2 lineup at the "redirected" stage beside the Art Gallery on Saturday, July 15th! Courtesy of the mini-write ups on each band in the program linked above, we can glean a little more on some of the band's sets and recent activity, including the first firm public acknowledgement that indie/punk quintet Northwest are working on their second EP! The guys have been busy at Mission Control Studios in recent months, but hadn't 100% stated that a new album (their first with current drummer Marc Santos) was in the works until now. Very encouraging to hear, hopefully more comes out on it soon! Also, the program confirms that alt-hard rock quartet Id Iota will once again feature ex-RedD Monkey cellist Pete Mozarowski as a guest performer for their Rotaryfest set this year, with the program even listing him as if he's a band member, though Id Iota's Facebook page does not list him as such... yet? Either way, Pete should add a neat element once again, so keep his involvement in mind!

The program also notes that headlining indie rocker Jesse Merineau's set will be our "only chance" to "preview the huge project he has been working on", while new opening band All Us Others is a six-piece indie/pop band (not just a duo) with two female singer/songwriters joined by a full backing band, even including a keyboardist. Hopefully they make a good first impression in under three weeks! Be sure to check the Rotaryfest program and above links for full details on the musical and non-musical events for this year's summer festival, and stay tuned for more news and updates soon! Thanks everyone!

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