Sunday, September 10, 2017

Project 421 & Friends Concert Review!!

Before we begin this post, we have an apology for a missed show, as Kinross, Michigan classic/hard rock cover trio Banned also played a set last night at the Jack Passmore Grandstand at Kinross Speedpark following the Memorial Invitational race. The show was only confirmed on Banned's Facebook page at supper time yesterday, missing our radar at the time, so our profuse apologies for missing this one, hopefully it was as big a hit as Friday's show! Now, here's our first concert review on the site in two months (good to be back!), as I was in attendance for the Project 421 show at The Canadian Nightclub on Friday night! Good attendance early for this one, though it did plummet before Project 421's set, floating around two dozen fans at that point. And no, the axe throwing competition cage(?!) on the far wall didn't get in the road of the concert, but how's that for an attraction? Live705 nicely handled sound for the evening, but how did the bands do?

Opening Friday's concert was the long awaited return of local hard rock quintet Skeyes of Seven for the first time since 2015, ending their second two year+ long stage hiatus, and I'm glad to say that they sounded great for their latest comeback! After the Eye of Horus concert & another unannounced show fell through, the guys finally got their moment in the sun with a high impact set that was half devoted to songs from their yet-to-be-released debut EP, with the remainder including new songs "Differences" & "Treading Water", plus covers of Audioslave and Mastodon songs. The latter was particularly surprising, but with 2 years of jam time and preparation, they had everything down fine! This was their first show with new rhythm guitarist Kyle Sweet, who asserted himself fine in their set (and had awesome shoes), while established band members didn't seem to lose a step either, including a strong vocal performance from Cory Murchison, reliable bass work from Al Fletcher and solid drumming from John Mignacca.

It's great to have Skeyes of Seven back, and while it remains to be seen when we'll see them on stage next (not to mention, when we'll finally see "Stare at the Sky" on sale), here's hoping we're not waiting until 2019 for their next gig, as they definitely made some new fans on Friday night!

The middle band on Friday was alt-punk quartet A Dire Setback in their first of two shows in under 24 hours (look for Oh!No Festival fallout when it rolls in), and they pumped out another strong set of original punk songs for fans to bridge the gap between the night's heavier acts! If you've seen A Dire Setback this year, their set won't have held many surprises, with familiar originals like "Nightmares", "Everlasting Despair", and "Faded" populating their timeslot, as well as their "Counting Stars" cover. Of course, the guys delivered musically as usual, with Matt Quinn's bass (and sound) work coming naturally, and Chris Nielsen was his regular sparkplug self on guitar, but Larry Babic's vocals did sound noticeably rougher in the second half of their set, with higher notes not coming as easily. Strong set overall though from A Dire Setback, and hopefully they had a great time in Leeburn!

And finally, your headliners were classic metal quartet Project 421 in their third show and second headlining date of 2017, and they sufficiently rocked remaining fans with a hard hitting blast of 1980s metal covers and select originals! Along with Alice Cooper, Saxon, and Judas Priest renditions, the guys also moved back to covering Diamond Head after opening for them last, while originals "No One Rides For Free" & "Into The Darkness" also made appearances. Blair Burch's singing voice continues to gain strength and confidence compared to what I've heard in the past, and he and Frank McGillivray kept the power guitar rolling nicely throughout their set, with Daniel Horton and Chris Thompson maintaining a solid rhythm themselves! There were some occasional hiccups, and it's a shame that more people didn't stick around, but 421 have restored their spot in the local scene with ease and retro flair, and here's hoping for much more from them soon!

Overall, this was a fun concert with lots of talented artists, including a big return to kick off the night, and hopefully there's more to come from these acts soon! You can check out our photos from this show at this link or via our Facebook page, and as for videos, here's Skeyes of Seven playing "Treading Water", A Dire Setback playing "Wasting Away", and Project 421 covering Iron Maiden's "Powerslave"!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for this month's Defunct Local Band Profile next! Thanks everyone!

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