The biggest local concert weekend of the year (holidays excepted) is upon us, so here is the first of our weekend concert preview posts! We're largely focusing on half of a major annual festival today, but let's start with a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!
Local indie/hard rock quartet Id Iota will headline one of two post-Rotaryfest afterparties at LopLops Lounge TOMORROW NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, this show was only announced this past Friday. After co-headlining Stage 2 at 7:30 PM (more on that later today), this fan favourite band will head to LopLops to continue that venue's "re-directed"-era run of post-Rotaryfest concerts with Stage 2 performers, and they should be in fine form with their high energy originals TOMORROW! An opening act is teased, but not announced yet, though if past years are any indication, they'd likely be a Second Stage performer this year as well. We'll let you know if one is announced! TOMORROW'S 19+ concert has a $5 cover charge, and a special late start time of 11:00 PM to not conflict with Treble Charger's headlining Stage 1 set at 10:00 PM (more on that later in this post.)
The late scheduling makes sense, as punk and indie fans now don't have to pick and choose who to see on Friday, especially if you couldn't see Id Iota on the Second Stage that evening, and hopefully they deliver a knock-out set in both of their concerts TOMORROW NIGHT! Stay tuned for more on the opener if announced, and for our Stage 2 previews in our next post, but don't miss out on tomorrow night's action, and here's Id Iota live!
Next up, let's move to Clergue Park, where Rotaryfest's two stages are returning, and the covers-centric Stage 1 is taking things back with the "Rotaryfest Rewind" theme, in honour of the local Rotary Club's 100th anniversary! For the 20th modern Rotaryfest, stage director Shaun Antler and organizers have largely dropped their regular performer lineup in favour of hosting one-off reunions of defunct local bands of all stripes, with only five bands this year having played Rotaryfest at all since 2006, so if you've complained about the samey lineups of past main stage lineups, you'll want to pay attention! Given the roster of bands, I expect the covers-only rule won't be enforced as stringently either. Today's opening night lineup is hard rock free, as usual for Stage 1, but there are still many familiar faces scheduled! In descending order, today's bands are 1970s-1980s country band George Pinder & Patches at 10:00 PM, ...
...1960s classic rock outfit The Dark Side at 9:00 PM, 1960s-1970s classic rock quartet The Polisi Basson at 8:00 PM, 1980s jazz/blues rock quartet Zak's All-Stars at 7:00 PM, and 2000s Rotaryfest mainstays The Northern Jazz Ensemble kicking things off at 6:00 PM. No heavier bands to speak of, but expect a great lineup of local entertainment for FREE at Clergue Park today, especially if you were around for these bands' original runs!
Treble Charger at 10:00 PM in their first recorded Rotaryfest appearance and first local show in almost a year, so if you want a free & high profile set from them, here's quite the opportunity! A special tribute set will take place at 9:20 PM to honour past local musicians and bands, now to be hosted by Mac Headrick instead of Adrian Vilaca, and it'll be interesting to see what form this takes, especially with the involvement of Ric Datson from the Sault Ste. Marie Museum! Classic rock veterans Mustang Heart will play a special Bon Jovi & Journey tribute set at 8:30 PM to continue their current iron band streak at the festival. Early 2010s classic/hard rock cover band Turner Up
will play their first Rotaryfest set since 2011 (as Full Circle) at 7:30 PM, featuring a five-piece composite lineup from across their run, while 1980s country/bluegrass quartet Road Fever will precede them with a reunion set at 6:30 PM.
Friday's openers are local hard rock/funk trio Tripod the Dog, who will bring their swing and ska-influenced sound back for the first time in over a decade at 5:30 PM. This may be the best package of hard rock and punk-per-pound at this year's Rotaryfest on any stage, so don't miss the FREE & ALL AGES action tomorrow night, and it's great to have these bands back at it! For a preview, here's Treble Charger live last year!
As for SATURDAY's extended lineup, that will closed by local classic/hard rock cover favourites That's Chester in their first show since Rotaryfest 2016, with guest guitarist Dan Belanger in tow, plus a special appearance by original singer Richard Fullerton, so look for more hard rocking hits at 10:30 PM! The nominal headliners are Juno-winning Calgary classic rock trio The Stampeders (of "Sweet City Woman" fame) at 8:30 PM, making them the first non-tribute/cover headliners at Rotaryfest in nine years, while another short tribute set to past local musicians will precede them at 7:50 PM. Local Celtic punk quartet Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide (with Chris Johns on drums) will make their Rotaryfest debut at 7:00 PM, while Chicago-influenced 1970s soft rock collective Pegasus will return at 6:00 PM, and 2010s hard rock quartet The Suicide Kings (featuring guest drummer Johnny Belanger) will play their fourth Stage 1 set at 5:00 PM, in their return to their original name.
Sporadically seen jam rock favourites Odd Man Out are on at 4:00 PM, while one-off pop rock tribute The Sun Dogs will host a "summer beach party" at 3:00 PM featuring covers of 1960s and 1970s summer and beach-themed songs. Wailing Aztecs alumni will perform folk & pop covers under their own names as McGillivray, Martinelli and Roy at 2:00 PM, while members of Korah Collegiate's school band Mustang Sally will kick things off under the name The Kids From Sally at 1:00 PM. Quite a stacked lineup of local favourites and special attractions on Saturday, let alone for FREE & ALL AGES, so see above for more details, and here's That's Chester live!
We're just getting started with our weekend concert previews, so look for our previews of the Second Stage and Saturday night's LopLops afterparty (a.k.a. The Dinunion) next on the SMS later today, with more yet to come on this stacked local concert weekend! Thanks everyone!