The Rockstar Bar for the first time due to The Algonquin Pub/Spin Nightclub's Halloween dance party, it was confirmed last night that TONIGHT's second half will return downstairs, with Cherry Crush performing a full solo concert for the season in The Rockstar Bar, so keep that in mind! There was a solid turnout with lots of costumes brought out for the occasion, and though I can't confirm who won the Friday night costume contest, there were many worthy candidates! I was one of the guys with a court jester hat, albeit with real bells. However, the lineup took a hit before showtime, as Toronto groove metal headliners Decatur (the former Caym) were unable to make it to the Soo due to inclement weather and road closures up near Marathon. Very disappointing, but hopefully they can make it here again in the future! Due to the late notice, they were not replaced.
The Soo Fighters, who are of course a side project from three members of tomorrow night's Rockstar Bar headliners Cherry Crush. Playing a set of 8 classic Foos songs from their debut album (like "This Is A Call") to 2000s material like "The Pretender", their jamming and pre-existing chemistry paid off, and fans responded in kind to these familiar hard and alt-rock classics! Frontman Jules Cote even looked a little like Dave Grohl with the long wig he put on for their set! He and Jeremey Salatuk paired well on guitar, while the Amendolas kept the rhythm up nicely, and if there's anything I can complain about, it's only by wishing that some other favourite Foo Fighters songs made the cut, like "Something From Nothing" or "Let It Die". Also, nice touch in having Mentos (well, "Sootos") on hand for "Big Me"! Solid set, and hopefully we see The Soo Fighters out and about again in the near future!
The mid-point of the show belonged to local punk/metal quintet Jack Spades, under the guise of "Spinal Remains" for a set of Misfits covers. This seemed like a slam dunk idea given J.D. and Chris Thompson' past work together in Fitswitch and Frightlight (who covered The Misfits often), and we did get familiar songs from the horror punk legends like "Hybrid Moments", "Dig Up Her Bones", and "Last Caress" during the set's first half! However, Spinal Remains soon gave way to a proper Jack Spades half-set, which is honestly just as well, as it was obvious that the guys weren't firing on all cylinders on this set (remember, Jack Spades don't tend to cover The Misfits live.) However, they made up for it with an explosive stretch of their own originals like "Motorwolf" and "To The Left", plus covers already in their back pocket like "All My Friends Are Dead" and "X". The tribute set idea was a great one, if only they'd had more time to prepare and get the songs down!
Also, special props to bassist Puff the Magic Dra... I mean, Rob Speers, who I'd never seen live before with Jack Spades, and he was a solid fit, with melodic backing vocals where needed! As Spinal Remains, they were fun & engaging but still ripe, while Jack Spades was well done as usual!
The Bear Hunters took the headlining slot for their long anticipated turn as "Mount Doom", where they covered Swedish death metal notables Amon Amarth's 2008 CD "Twilight of the Thunder God" from front to back! Love the band, that album, and it's artwork, so I was on board! Nicely adorned in their best viking outfits (albeit at various states of dress), Mount Doom tackled everything from the title track to their regular cover to "Embrace of the Endless Ocean", and yes, "Guardians of Asgaard", with the most packed crowd of the night responding very well to the viking metal brutality, including some moshing! The guys welcomed Jack Spades guitarist Daniel Horton as a special guest to fill things out, and he definitely played up the theatrics for the duration, while he and Mitch Sirie kept the riffs and solos flowing, and Nik Deubel looked and sounded the part, even utilizing a drinking horn, hopefully with mead!
Brutal and crushing way to end the night, and kudos to The Bear Hunters and Dan for delivering a classic album in full for a local audience! Fun night of Halloween concert action, and if you can help it, don't miss TONIGHT'S second half for System of a Down, Nirvana, Blink-182, and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes tributes! You can check out our photos from the show at this link or via our Facebook page, and as for videos, here's The Soo Fighters covering "All My Life", Spinal Remains/Jack Spades playing both "Halloween" and their own "Fear Corps" (one each to reflect both halves of the set), and Mount Doom playing "No Fear For The Setting Sun"!
That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and this month's CD review on the site soon! Thanks everyone!