Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: A Look Back In The Year Of Local Metal

Well guys, 2010 is almost at it's end, so just like last year, I wanted to take a look back at the major events, concerts, bands, debuts, ends, comebacks, albums, and changes that took place over the past 12 months! By no means is this comprehensive or complete, but I wanted to go over some of the notable things that went on, and hopefully you guys enjoy this post, so let begin the SMS' look back at 2010! Of course, the biggest concert of 2010 was, without any shadow of a doubt, Kiss' concert at The Essar Center on August 10th! After we won a Kiss show through their Eventful concert routing contest last year, we were promised a local concert from these hard rock legends last year. However, after the postponement of the original December date due to weather, the skeptics came out in full force to denounce the possibility of the show and tell us all the reasons why Kiss wouldn't honour their word and play here. Well, on August 10th, they did, and it was one hell of a concert! Joined by openers The Envy and Kiss Battle of the Bands winners Garden of Bedlam, Kiss rock n' rolled all night to around 5,000 local fans, impressing all with their amazing stage show and classic hits! I was there, and I can say it's the best stage show I've ever seen locally, and the Kiss show left a mark fans won't be soon to forget! This was the only major hard rock or metal concert at The Essar Center in 2010, but there was many major shows across the river over the past year! Four major hard rock/metal concerts took place at Kewadin Casino in 2010, starting with Pop Evil on February 27th at The Dreammaker's Theater! Joined by Evans Blue, Graveyard Tan, and the Sault's own Nixxon Dixxon, all four bands rocked out to honour the memories of Kim Rogers and Kelsey Rafaelle, with the good will and charity extending all over the area to raise over $14,000 in their names! Then in June, classic hair metal returned to The Dreammaker's Theater, when Tesla rocked Sault Michigan once again! They impressed with their classic songs, and even brought Fifth Way (featuring Saultite Zak Stelmaszek) along for the ride! The next month, Kewadin Casino held one of their biggest shows ever, when they launched the Kewadin Casino 25th Anniversary Summer Festival! Featuring Bret Michaels and Vince Neil as the first night's headliners, local metal bands ranging from Clownsack and Elipzis to Nixxon Dixxon and Free Refill on the lineup over all three nights as well! A rousing success, it could be back next year! The last major metal concert of 2010 was on October 19th, when Sevendust, 10 Years, Since October, and Anew Revolution brought their new metal sounds to The Dreammaker's Theater for this exciting concert! And with Buckcherry and Cinderella already confirmed for 2011, there's lots more great metal and hard rock coming up over the next year! Back in Sault Ontario, many major and noteworthy metal concerts took place in 2010, and here's a sample of some of the most notable! Notable out of town metal and hard rock bands like Beyond Within, Breaking The Fourth Wall, The Cancer Bats, Crued, Derelict, Endast, Grady, Gunz N' FN' Rosez, Hells Bells, The Isosceles Project, Papa Fogals Chair, Phatstick, Skull Fist, Ultraviolence, and Who Made Who came through Sault Ontario in the past year to rock out, among many others! Not counting the Kiss show, there were many notable concerts in 2010, including two battles of the bands! Bring The Fallen won Downtown Showdown in May, while Sykotyk Rampage placed third in February's Scotties Tournament of Hearts Battle as well! Garden of Bedlam and That's Chester headlined the respective stages at Rotaryfest this year, numerous local bands raised Haitian relief money at Algoma Hope4Haiti in February, Frightlight recorded a live album at their July concert, Lion Ride played to over 300 fans at The Canadian Nightcub a few days ago, and the Rich Moreland-promoted metal nights at The Roosevelt Hotel have proven to be a success, introducing many young local metal bands to the masses! With these, the frequent shows from Turner Up, That's Chester, and Tym Morrison's projects, and many more, there was tons of live concert goodness in 2010 in Sault Ontario! 2010 was a surprisingly quiet year for local metal and hard rock CD releases, but there was a few notable albums to come out in the past 12 months! Frightlight's debut live album "It's A...Live!" was released for purchase in October, attracting many fans to their horror punk/metal sound! Experimental grunge trio SBD released two versions of their debut album "Sonic Experiments" starting in May, introducing fans to the studio versions of their unique and entertaining brand of music! A couple local acts released online-only albums this year, including "blue Chinese metal crash punk" quartet Sykotyk Rampage, whose 23rd album "Bella Disgusta" came out on internet stores in August, intriguing any "crash music" lover in the area! As well, local solo artist Mike Haggith kept busy in 2010, releasing no less than SIX solo albums in 2010, most recently "Live At The Outback" earlier this month, adding to his extremely expansive back catalog! But where there was albums released, there were many more awaiting a release of any kind, with local bands like Bring The Fallen, Garden of Bedlam, Gates of Winter, Lion Ride, Riverin, Sense of Truth, Woods of Ypres, and many more announcing or starting albums that we'll be sure to watch out for in 2011! Sault Michigan also saw a big year for local bands and concerts, aside from the obvious major concerts at Kewadin Casino! Monkey's Uncle continued their run with numerous area concerts over the past year, showcasing their hard rock sound to all of their fans! Among other local bands across the river, Clownsack returned with a vengeance this summer, Elipzis debuted to much fanfare this year, and Nixxon Dixxon ended their successful run with a number of high profile shows in 2010, with Splitshot picking up where they left off in November! Blind Baby and their successors River Witch became local fixtures this year, Riot! By Night played their last shows of hard rock covers this spring, and Free Refill returned after a long hiatus for a series of concerts this summer! Numerous out of town bands also found their way to Sault Michigan for concerts in the past year, some of which included Peril, Nudge, The Darwin Project, Orange October, Driven, and Kilacel, who all brought their own takes on metal and hard rock to Sault Michigan once again! And with other new items like Clownsack's E.P. recording, Half A Man's local launch, and the return of concerts to The Savoy, there was no shortage of entertaining hard rock and metal in Sault Michigan in 2010! 2010 proved to be a big year for new local metal bands on the scene, who hope to leave a huge impression in 2011 and beyond! One of the biggest was WinkStinger, who've made a huge mark in the last quarter of 2010 with their extreme metal attack! They're one of the most prominent bands in a new wave of young local metal bands that have invaded the scene this past year, including The Bear Hunters, State of Misery, Shit Liver, Changing Waves, Sativa Rose, and Late & Loud! Many of these bands have been frequent sights at local concerts this past month, and they stand out immediately with their high talent levels and energetic sounds that are sure to keep the scene going well into 2011! Among other new local metal bands this year: SBD's experimental unique sound made it's mark this year thanks to some notable shows and their debut album, The Mark Rand Band launched a few days ago with a blast of old school hardcore for a new audience, Riverin's industrial hard rock style made it's anticipated debut a few months ago, and Mike Haggith relocated to Sault Ste. Marie from Windsor to spread his prolific solo work to us local fans! In Sault Michigan, Elipzis burst onto the local scene with their entertaining brand of female-fronted hard rock & numerous Michigan tour dates, Nixxon Dixxon alumni joined together in the new local band Splitshot, Half A Man emerged from Brimley to rock the area, and other bands like Hammerspace, River Witch, and Nathan Switzer's solo project made their local debuts as well! A number of local metal and hard rock bands saw different looks in 2010 through lineup changes, with none undergoing more than Turner Up. The then new metal cover quintet has seen a near complete overhaul this year to become a classic hard rock band, with only guitarist Robert Brown surviving through each lineup change. The most prominent moves came to the singer position, transitioning from Todd Killam to Brent Royer to Krista Marshall in just six months. Among other bands with major membership overhauls: Stillbroke underwent numerous lineup switches this year, including Sam DeDominicis' move to drums and the additions of Chris Villeneuve and Mitch Sirie. Browbeat frontman Dutch Vanderploeg replaced their classic lineup with various new members, eventually settling on James White and Jonathan Belanger to fill out the band, while Dutch and Jonathan also found themselves in the most recent Caveman Morrison lineup, replacing Rick White and Jeff Richards. Jeff also left Frightlight earlier this year, with a new Jeff (De Rose) taking his position behind Frightlight's drumkit. Among other notable membership changes: Joel Violette replaced Bryan Belleau in Woods of Ypres, Carmine Romano became the temporary replacement for Brenton Ellis in Lion Ride, Jon Morrison filled the vacant drum position in Gates of Winter, and Justin Pregent replaced Matt Maccarone upon Out Of The Mouth Of Babes' reversion to the As It Stands name, among other notable lineup changes in 2010! Where things begin or change, others are bound to end, and a number of prominent local bands ended their runs this year. Two very prominent Sault Michigan hard rock bands played their last shows in 2010, those being Bad Side and Nixxon Dixxon, following the relocations of some members. These capped off successful local runs and numerous high profile concerts in both of the twin Saults. Other Sault Michigan bands to end in 2010 included Half Stupid, Blind Baby, and Riot! By Night, following each of their own local successes. As well, classic rock fans were saddened at the closure of 97.9 Classic Rock: The Bear following the local radio changeover earlier this year, although it would return on a further signal. In Sault Ontario, there wasn't as many notable band demises, although a number of local bands went inactive with no signs of life, including Dirty Virgin, No Arrow, Detroit, Out Of The Mouth Of Babes, Quite Frankly, and Silver Dream. The biggest ends on this side came to non-bands, including the demolition of The Eastgate Hotel and the closures of CD Plus, GLOW Nightclub, and the closure of Stereo Soul Studios following Miguel Gauthier's move to California. Though I'm sure many of us are disappointed at the above ends and hiatuses, I'm sure the memories will live on! But despite these ends, many things and bands came back in 2010, notably Gates of Winter's return from a year's hiatus to record a new album! With their heaviest material yet and new drummer Jon Morrison in tow, look for big things from Gates of Winter in 2011! As well, Fitswitch returned from their breakup for two more one-off reunion gigs with their classic lineup! Bad Side returned from their hiatus for their final shows in the Milwaukee area, and Clownsack also returned from a lengthy break with a new guitarist and material to show for it! As It Stands returned after a year long breakup with new material and many new concerts, local thrash band Faithless Sin returned to the scene after a long absence, and bands like Stillbroke and Free Refill resumed activity after months of inactivity as well! The comebacks also came courtesy of venues, where The Oddfellows Hall, The Grand Theater, and The Roosevelt Hotel launched back into regular concert booking in the latter half of 2010! And with the announcement of Hempfest's local return in time for next August, there was no shortage of things returning in the local metal scene in 2010! And, don't forget about Woods of Ypres' return following their signing to Earache Records after their "breakup" either! 2010 was a huge year for the local metal scene, and hopefully you guys were a big part of it! 2011 is promising to be even better, and fingers crossed that we're all along for the ride! Hopefully you guys enjoyed this look back at 2010, and I hope you guys have a Happy New Year! I'll have new posts next year, including a preview of what to look out for in 2011 tomorrow, so keep an eye out! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Cinderella), New Years Eve Concert Previews, And A Cancellation!

After three straight days of concert reviews, it's time to return to a sense of normalcy, if for only one post before 2010 ends! I have some special posts coming over the next little while, but for tonight, it's business as usual, including a concert cancellation, two concert previews for New Years Eve shows, and first, a MAJOR LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!!

Remember in March when I reported that Philadelphia glam metal legends Cinderella were coming to Kewadin Casino in May, only to find out a day later that it was actually a live production of the PLAY based on the fairy tale, NOT the band Cinderella? That was one of my strangest errors ever since starting the SMS, but I'm sure many of you could see where I was confused. Kewadin Casino frequently books hair metal bands, Cinderella had just announced a new tour, and you don't usually hear anything about live stage plays there, let alone ones who share names with a band who seem likely to play there. Well, I can finally make amends for that, as yes, Cinderella (the band) ARE coming to The Dreammaker's Theater on April 14th, in the second announced major hard rock show there in 2011! I can verify that it's the band this time around because The Sault Star reported this show earlier this afternoon at this location, so unless they got their Cinderellas mixed up too, then we're 100% in for some hair metal goodness in April! Best known for hits like "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)", "Coming Home", and "Shelter Me", they've sold over 7 million albums since their 1983 inception on the backs of their exciting hair metal sound!

This concert will take place on April 14th, 2011 at 7:00 PM, with possible opening bands not announced yet. Tickets are now on sale for $39.50 at Kewadin Casino's ticketing page, at their box office, or by phone if you call 1-800-KEWADIN! Hair metal fans should be right at home with this concert, which promises to be a hard hitting night of classic songs...that is, unless it's the play again. It can't happen a second time, can it? If it does, I'll change all this, but I think we're good this time around! Stay tuned for updates as they come in!

Now for previews of the known metal/hard rock concerts taking place on New Years Eve, or tomorrow night! But first, here's a cancellation, as the planned Turner Up concert tomorrow is completely cancelled. Originally scheduled for The Nicolet Tavern (according to Robert Brown on the band's Facebook group), they were later added to the New Years Eve lineup at The Rockstar Bar along with Obsession and local comedian J.P. Naphan. No official word on why the Nicolet booking was off, but it would have been cool to see them at The Rockstar Bar! However, since that announcement, band members' Facebook pages have since retracted that statement and now, there's no Turner Up this weekend at all. Odd to see a weekend with no shows from them, but I imagine they'll be back in full force in 2011!

Now to the shows that are still on, and we'll start at Foggy Notions, where four of the newest and brightest metal bands in Sault Ontario hit the stage one more time to end 2010! The headlining band is WinkStinger, four days after they dropped out of the Nightmare After Christmas Party at Foggy's. Hopefully Alan Wells' voice is back for the show, so that WinkStinger can unleash their assault of extreme hardcore metal to ring in 2011 in the heaviest way possible! Also scheduled are two of the newest death metal bands in town, State of Misery and The Bear Hunters! Both are sure to devastate with their heavy and aggressive takes on death metal, which have both gotten some high notices since their respective live debuts! And yes, if you're wondering where the new State of Misery videos are, I'll have them in my next news post. The picture on your left (and the Facebook event page) also confirm that local metal cover trio Sativa Rose have also been added to the lineup, essentially replacing Bring The Fallen as the fourth band tomorrow night. They've also been making waves since their debut this summer with their very proficient classic metal covers, so watch out for them as the openers tomorrow night! Check the above links for more on the scheduled bands!

This show takes place at 9:00 PM tomorrow night at Foggy Notions, with NO COVER CHARGE! You must be 19 to enter. This is probably the best and heaviest way you can end 2010 with, so if you are free and have no other plans, then head to Foggy's for this show! I regrettably can't go, as we have family plans tomorrow night, but I am VERY overdue to see Sativa Rose, The Bear Hunters, and State of Misery, and you have my word: I WILL be at shows with these bands in 2011, hopefully sooner rather than later! WinkStinger too, I've loved their concerts! For now though, check the above links for more details, and for a video preview, check out this brand new video of WinkStinger playing their original song "Where'd We Go Wrong" from the Garden of Bedlam concert earlier this month! Thanks to YouTube user WhiskeyBar1 for the upload!

And finally, in Sault Michigan, the place to be is The Corner Pub Bar & Grill, where a prominent local hard rock band make their long awaited local return tomorrow night! For the first time since July's Kewadin Casino 25th Anniversary Summer Festival, local hard rockers Elipzis play a local concert, as they close out 2010 with a New Years Eve bash! This was no hiatus though, they've been rocking all over Michigan, and are poised for a big homecoming tomorrow night! A 7:00 PM start time is listed on the official Facebook event page, with no announced cover charge. Like most bar shows, I would expect a 19+ age limit. It's always good to see Elipzis back in town, and their brand of melodic hard rock has attracted fans all over Michigan, so they should deliver a nice set of music tomorrow night to celebrate the New Year! Plus, who knows when they'll be back home for a concert? Check the above links for more details, and for a preview, here's Elipzis playing their song "Take Me On" earlier this month in Warren, Michigan!

That's all for tonight, but stay tuned tomorrow for a special post where we look back at 2010 and the events, shows, debuts, demises, releases, and stories from the past year! Thanks everyone!

The Mark Rand Band Concert Review!!

And now, it's time for our final concert review of 2010! I've been to 36 local metal/hard rock concerts this year, and fittingly, we end the year in much the same way we ended 2009: An old school hardcore concert at Coch's Corner featuring a punk opening band, Destroilet, and a headlining band featuring Mark Rand and Mikey Hawdon! I just realized how coincidental that all turns out to be. So here's my final concert review of 2010!

First off, thanks to Destroilet for the free t-shirt and Justin for the Scary Uncles pin, that's way too nice of you guys! The opening band was local punk trio The Scary Uncles in their long awaited return show, and maybe their farewell too? Band members had hinted that this could also be their last show too in online postings leading up to the performance last night, but unless you read them, you wouldn't have been able to tell, as they made no mentions of anything final. Having not seen The Scary Uncles in ages, I kinda went into this fresh, but I did have Monday's Reagle Beagle set as a reference point. Well, with the full band present, I must say, The Scary Uncles did pretty good! I forgot to mention this before, but Justin Langlois actually has a edgier and deeper voice live than on the studio material I've heard from them, and on every song, his guitar work gave everything a nice straightforward punk sound that we honestly don't get much here. Andrew MacDonald's bass work was as solid as ever, and Mark Mullin's drumming was pretty good, and you can tell he knew the material! Though mostly original songs (sans "Labatt 50", oddly), some covers from the Reagle Beagle show survived, including Nirvana and Johnny Cash. Good stuff all around, they're an underrated punk band with a great sound, and I hope this doesn't turn out to be their final show!

Then, Destroilet hit the stage for just the third time since their 2009 inception, and like in my first time seeing them late last year, I was impressed by their sheer energy and aggression! They ripped into a setlist chock full of old school hardcore covers from bands like Good Riddance, Gang Green, Assjack, GG Allin, Bad Religion, and even some classic local bands like Fist Magnet! There was a few originals thrown in as well, but each song followed a similar vein. Mike Hull and Christian Foisy contributed loud, aggressive, and unforgiving vocals for each song, with Mike expounding much energy as he moved about the stage and gave each song it's deserved aggression. Their sound isn't going to win points for technical brilliance, but you know what? It's old school hardcore, they're not trying to do that with their music. Matt Waples was solid on each song on drums, Adam Larocque's bass was loud and unforgiving, and the guitar work accomplished exactly what it set out to do, even if many of John Conway's solos sounded the same on each song. They played a rocking set packed full of hardcore insanity with little room for a break, and if you judge them on the atmosphere and the intensity of their live show, you'll have come away from Destroilet's set satisified, like I did!

Following their set was your headliners, the debuting Mark Rand Band! Remember, this is the six man hardcore supergroup that gave Lion Ride guitarist Mark Rand's Toronto-based solo project life on the live stage. Mark informed us during the set that the six of them ("Brown" Dave Brunton was absent) had only first jammed an hour before the concert. You could see hand written tabs on the floor for some of the members, but once the old school hardcore assault began, we didn't notice or care about any musical screw-ups! We heard Mark's fast paced (and very short) original songs like "Nine To Five", "Question", and "Minimum Wage", among many others, plus a cover of Minor Threat's "Small Man, Big Mouth" to cap off the set! Because the performed songs were from Mark Rand's solo project, let's talk about him first, and as it turns out, he'd make a great frontman if he did this more! He has a hard edged singing voice with a punk edge, and he has the screaming down as well, not to mention a distinct willingness to involve the audience and get everyone singing along! I wish I had a better grasp of the lyrics going in! Again, given the band's relative inexperience playing these songs together, you can't rate everything on a normal basis, you just have to gauge it on it's own terms.

Mikey Hawdon's drumming stood out to me, as it often does, and the three pronged guitar attack from Marco Pedalino, Nebraska Arms' Dave Prendergast, and ex-Renderware guitarist Marc Lafrance ensured devastating riffs on each song, even if they had screw-ups here and there! Guy Thiffault of Nebraska Arms also was pretty good on bass, it'd be cool to hear him play heavier stuff more! Despite the bribery of Jager shots to get people on the floor for their set, everyone was ramped up for The Mark Rand Band's dozen of aggressive fast paced songs, amidst some of Mark's trademark humour, including many funny self-deprecating shots at themselves and the other bands! If someone came last night to grade them on musical abilities, they might not get a high score, but again, they had only first jammed AN HOUR before the show, so what do you expect? This was a show where you went for the overall sound and the old-school hardcore environment, to get drunk and have a good time. On that basis, The Mark Rand Band scored very high, and if they play another show, they should be even better with more time to prepare! I had fun, and overall, that's what matters. As always, I got plenty of pictures, so click here or visit the SMS' Facebook page to check them out!

And yes, I have videos too, two songs on each video due to the short lengths of the material. So here's Destroilet covering Gang Green's "Let's Drink Some Beer" and Good Riddance's "Cages", and The Mark Rand Band playing Mark Rand's solo songs "Day Waste" and "Christ Almights"!

That's all for now, but stay tuned tonight for previews of the New Year's Eve metal/hard rock concerts that I know of, and some more news from the last little while! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Soo Music Mash-Up & Lion Ride Concert Reviews!!

How's everyone doing? Today marks our second of three straight concert review posts, and this one's a doozy, as we have TWO concerts to review! This marks just the third time that I've ever reviewed two concerts from the same night, following the Downtown Showdown battle of the bands & Hells Bells in May, and Frightlight & Garden of Bedlam in July. Let's not waste too much time, here's my reviews from last night's shows!

My first show of the night was Soo Music Mash-Up at The Oddfellows Hall, which was a nice surprise in that it was an all locals concert at an all ages venue, something we don't see nearly enough of nowadays! The stage extension was even brought out for this one, so you knew there'd be some good stuff in store! Not long after the doors opened, the first act took the stage, that being promoter Jeremy Hannah's new acoustic solo project Ocean View. I've never seen Jeremy perform live before, so this was new for me, but I will admit being more partial to his hardcore stuff with Lorax and Constructed Apocalypse. That being said, he is a talented singer and songwriter, and he played some good songs for the style he was going for! Without invoking genre preferences, my biggest complaint was that his set seemed very abrupt. Many songs just seemed to stop out of nowhere, and even his set ended suddenly without warning. I'll assume that's just first show jitters for this project, but for an acoustic indie project like this, it accomplished what it set out to do! Following them was local acoustic band Tea With Lincoln, who I had no familiarity with going into the show. They actually had a bit more of an edge than I had predicted going in, with some good sounding songs that, though not metal, were well played! They had a couple of covers, but mostly originals, and they will definitely attract a good crowd at shows more for their style, but they helped set the tone well with their music!

Next was that new local hardcore band Changing Waves, in just their second live concert. I still don't know a ton about them, but I did hear from Jeremy Hannah that at least one member was in the defunct local hardcore band Paraside, so take note of that! I think that they were even better than at their debut, but I honestly expected that, as with experience, they were bound to get better! The singer's been working on his stage presence a lot more, and he wasn't facing the sound guys on the right the whole time again, which I welcomed! I'm very impressed with their guitarist too, his solos were very proficient and I loved his riffs! Their hardcore cover of "Sweet Leaf" is also really cool, and they know how to get a good moshpit going! They're a very promising band, and I think they they have a bright future if they keep on with what they're doing! They just need more live experience and an internet page of some kind to get exposure up! Hardcore fans should pay attention to Changing Waves, they're quite impressive despite their new status in the local scene!

Next was Bring The Fallen, and to put it mildly, they were brutal! Despite the demotion following their short exit from the concert lineup, they delivered a heavy as hell set of covers and originals! Oddly, they started their set with covers, including their renditions of Trivium and Slayer classics, before launching into their own originals, like "Exposed Embankment", "Night Riders", "Nostalgia", and "Defiling Despondence"! I think Josh Stephney's vocal abilities are improving, he was able to sing "Entrance Of The Conflagration" pretty well without resorting to growling throughout, and his death metal singing is getting clearer with time! Plus, you have to give credit to Andrew Chiarello for his amazing guitar work, and Dan Souliere too, they mesh together extremely well! Nolan Rainville's bass work was dependably good throughout their set, and Travis St. Amour deserves more credit than he gets for his drumming! I missed their banner though, that'd have added to their presentation! The moshpits were awesome too, but luckily they didn't bang me up as much as at Total Chaos!

I should note that I regrettably had to leave for the last chunk of their set, as I had to run to Dollarama at Station Mall to get AA batteries. Why? Well, I'm using a borrowed camera for SMS reviews while my camera charger is getting mailed back home (I forgot it in Detroit), and the battery life on the camera isn't great by any standards. Plus, if I didn't get the batteries before Bring The Fallen wrapped up, I might have gotten there past closing hour at the mall, so it was either leave then to get batteries, or have no camera the rest of the night. I bought 10 AA batteries, so things should be safe for tonight's Mark Rand Band show, so don't worry about that! But Bring The Fallen were awesome from what I saw, and I hope to see a full set of their death metal attack very soon!

Next was RedD Monkey, in my second straight night of seeing them live! Honestly, I can't say too much different about their set last night compared to their show at Foggy's on Monday, but they were just as good as at the Monday show! Steve Mozarowski's voice seemed a bit harsher, but that's about all. Their unique mix of punk with a cello is still a fun sight, and how many bands featuring classical instruments in Sault Ontario are ever going to draw a moshpit besides these guys? I still say that they shouldn't start and end their sets with the cello rap songs, cause they don't really seem like the best songs for those slots, but Steve's actually not a bad rapper! I'd rather listen to him than The Black Eyed Peas, for example! After them was the very popular local band The Fury (pictured), who looked a bit different, yet familiar last night. Bassist Tony Briglio was absent due to illness, so filling in for him was former bassist Josh McNally! Nice to see him back, he added to the band nicely during his tenure! Their set included many of their classic originals like "Rebel Scum" along with a new song, and they still pull off a unique style of rock that shoudln't be categorized, but still draws from many influences! Their lyrics actually show a nice maturity on some songs, while having some more light hearted fun lyrics on others! Fun band, they're proof that you don't have to have certain instruments to rock!

Second to last at The Oddfellows Hall was the return of The Crossed, the popular experimental emo quartet who gained quite the following in the mid-2000s. They only occasionally reunite nowadays, and this was actually the first time I've seen them live in about 4 years. I admit that back when they were a frequently performing band in the scene, I wasn't a huge fan, mainly because they weren't really in my preferred genres. I haven't heard them in a long time though, so I went in to this on a blank slate, and what did I think? They are talented, but they're still not my thing. Jordan Flesher is a very good singer, and they have some well thought out songs and messages, but for what I tend to listen to, they were just too light. Even on the faster paced sections, things seemed a bit poppy. Dan Iannelli's keyboard work was really nice too, but at times, it felt like it was part of another song entirely. The best parts of The Crossed's set were when they went screamo, including a guest appearance by former frontman Josh McNally, in his second surprise appearance of the night! He's a good screamer, you think he'd do it more! The crowd was super responsive and into their set, and sang along with the songs with enthusiasm! I appreciate their appeal and abilities, but I still wouldn't call myself a huge fan.

And finally, your headliners were As It Stands, and I'll say right off the bat, I didn't even see half of their set. I wanted to, but I had plans to go see Lion Ride at The Canadian after this show wrapped up, and with the show running a bit late, I had to leave early to ensure I didn't miss Lion Ride. But what I saw was very impressive! As It Stands are still improving as musicians, they're a far cry from their emo days, or even their earlier run with Justin Pregent before the Out Of The Mouth Of Babes era. Justin's screaming and singing are both better than ever, and the rest of the band have awesome chemistry! Angelo Huckson's very energetic on stage, and the guitar riffs and breakdowns are great on each song, but I do wish either Garrett or Albert would incorporate more solos! Their new originals are awesome metalcore tracks, and I'd love to hear studio versions of their newest songs, which are all heavy and great to mosh and rock out to! Alas, I can't comment on the last half of their set, having missed it, but I want to see a full set of theirs very soon, as they're definitely a band to watch!

Overall, despite my camera issues and my early exit, I really enjoyed a lot of Soo Music Mash-Up, and it felt good to be in an all locals all ages show again! Of course, there were bands that I normally don't tend to see, but variety never hurt anyone, and every band had their own levels of talent that shown readily in each set! Kudos to Jeremy Hannah and Nathan Bouliane for making everything sound and look awesome, and hopefully there's more on the horizon in 2011! For my concert photos, click here or visit the SMS' Facebook page, and here are my videos from the show: Changing Waves' original song "Lockdown", Bring The Fallen's cover of Trivium's "Entrance of the Conflagration", and As It Stands' new original "Conception"!

So then it was off to The Canadian Nightclub for Lion Ride, but with my arrival at The Canadian not coming until around quarter to 12, I had no idea how much I had missed. Before I could figure that out though, I had to contend with the line. Yes, a line at a bar concert, this was new for me. It went all the way up the stairs almost to outside when I shown up. I think this was a combination of two things: A. Lion Ride were back home, and B. It was $2.50 Tuesday at The Canadian, and you know how people like discounted alcohol. Still, I've never had this happen before, maybe it's because I was late. Luckily, Marco from Lion Ride spotted me peering through the railing on the stairs to get in, so he had security let me in free through the exit, which was super nice of him! Thanks again, Marco! Now I missed The Pinecones entirely, as their set started and finished before I ever left The Oddfellows Hall, so I regrettably can't tell you anything about their set. When I got there, The Billy Bastards were roughly halfway done their set, but by the time I managed to finally get inside, they had just finished their set, so I couldn't get any pictures. With that said, their country/punk mix sounded good as I waited in line, and they sounded like they had good energy! If it wasn't for that line, I guarantee I would have pictures of them in action and a more detailed take on how they did!

Because of the crowd (looked like over 300 people were there), I planted myself firmly in the first few rows and stayed there. I could tell that the floor would be packed when Lion Ride hit the stage, so I wasn't going to risk losing my spot. I think this is the busiest I've seen The Canadian since the Kiss Battle of the Bands, maybe even moreso! When Lion Ride took the stage, they immediately launched into an energetic hard hitting set of metal and hard rock, and believe me when I say this, they were AWESOME! They were basically a bottled up rush of energy from start to finish, and the crowd loved every second of it! Their set included most of their classic originals, like "Sneak Attack", "Trust", and "Slapdance", the two previously heard cuts from their upcoming album ("Stick It In" and "Snail Trail"), and covers of hits from Kiss, Motley Crue, and (of course) The Pointer Sisters! They also played a brand new song live for the first time in town, called "Bang Bang", which is a familiarly exciting track that'll be cool to hear the studio version of! The most unique turn of the night came when Lion Ride invited some of the women in attendance to dance on stage during "Stick It In", which went over pretty well!

The whole band were in top form last night, and if there were any glaring errors with their playing or sound, I was having too much fun to notice! Mikey Lion's singing retained his familiar punk-edged attitude, and he kept the crowd on their feet all night, whether he was on stage or climbing the speakers! Marco & Marky Lion's riffing was great, as was Marco's solos, and Marky's screaming was in top form, in a bit of a preview of tonight's Mark Rand Band show! Carmine "Cobra Carmander" Romano's becoming an established addition to Lion Ride, even if his slot in the band isn't full time, and he has a very good handle on their songs to boot! Iron Mike Bison's drumming was solid all night as well, he keeps up well and is very talented himself! The whole band were expending lots of energy, moving all over the stage amidst a loaded smoke machine, all their great fans, and photography from Curt O'Neil and SooToday's Donna Hopper! Despite my initial issues with the line, I actually liked the crowd and the atmosphere they provided, as this show was MUCH better attended than their May 2-4 weekend show at The Canadian, which I greatly welcome!

Overall, this was one fun as hell show from Lion Ride, I just wish it was a bit longer! They could have broke out "Lazer Lover" or another new song and kept the party going longer, we'd have welcomed it! When I left, my feet were aching from eight straight hours of concerts, but my head and my heart wanted more! I hope we won't have to wait another seven months for another Lion Ride show, cause they never cease to impress (or rock) whenever they come home! Again, apologies to The Pinecones and The Billy Bastards for missing your sets, but I'll make up for it! As always, I got a bunch of photos, so click here to check them out, and here's my video of Lion Ride playing their brand new song "Bang Bang"!

That's all for today, but I will see you guys at Coch's Corner TONIGHT for The Mark Rand Band, Destroilet, and The Scary Uncles! I'll have a review tomorrow, along with previews of the New Years Eve concerts this weekend in another post! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Nightmare After Christmas Party Review!!

Hey guys, it's time for our first of three straight concert review posts for four concerts this week, and there's a lot to get to from last night's Nightmare After Christmas Party as it is! But first, here's a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!!

(EDIT: Thursday, 7:32 PM) The planned That's Chester concert at The Rockstar Bar last night was cancelled, as confirmed on the band's official Facebook page. No reason was given, but it should be noted that Turner Up's show there on Tuesday was also cancelled, so these could be linked to an issue at the venue itself. Just thought you guys should know!

Now, to the review of last night's Nightmare After Christmas Party! It was good to be back at Foggy Notions, which was still decorated for Christmas, including stockings for all of the staff on the wall! I should note right off the bat that the lineup changed, again, with it all resulting in just one originally announced band playing at last night's show. RedD Monkey (who replaced The Scary Uncles) became the new headlining band last night. I'm not sure why, but they are popular enough to warrant it! The previously announced WinkStinger dropped out of the show for unannounced reasons, although I heard that frontman Alan Wells had fell ill. That's just what I heard, I could be wrong. As for The Scary Uncles, we could surmise that they dropped out because of the absence of drummer Mark Mullin, but frontman Justin Langlois and bassist Andrew MacDonald played on with Frightlight guitarist Rick White on drums in an impromptu reunion of Reagle Beagle! They had only first jammed about one hour before their set, but luckily, the three musicians have chemistry! Justin & Andrew are of course in The Scary Uncles together, and Rick has histories with both, being in Fitswitch with Andrew and numerous bands with Justin, most recently The Quims.

With this being an impromptu band playing many impromptu songs, I took my critiques of their set differently from the later bands with actual preparation, but for what they were, Reagle Beagle did alright! Their set comprised of covers ranging from Nirvana and Danzig (featuring Frightlight's J.D. Pearce/Johnny Pints on guest vocals) to The Ramones and Johnny Cash to even stranger songs, like TLC and George Michael! You could tell that a lot of these songs were made up as they went, but luckily they are talented musicians, so they did a good job! After getting some Jager shots, they even covered The Scary Uncles' "Labatt 50", which was cool! I can't say Reagle Beagle were the most proficient of the bands that played last night, but if they had more preparation and time to craft a real setlist, they would definitely be something special! Plus, you never knew what you were going to get, just that it'd be punk, and luckily, they entertained!

Next was Frightlight, the only unchanged band from the original lineup, and they immediately had a surprise in store for us with their Christmas getups! All four band members were decked in Santa Claus coats and hats overtop their usual horror punk attire, though "The Count" Jeff De Rose lost his entirely not long into the set. It's the thought that counts, and Johnny Pints even went the extra mile with blood all over his Santa outfit and tears and rips in it as well! Plus, their dismembered heads had Christmas hats as well, fitting of the season! Musically, they sounded just as good as they have all year, but there seemed to be a lot of microphone issues, leading to some dead air patches and delays. We got what we came to see, and the band looked to be enjoying themselves greatly! Johnny Pints was all over the place, jumping down onto the floor to sing with great energy on some songs, ranging from their originals, to Fitswitch and Misfits covers, to a new song named "Love Bites" that sounded pretty good! I can't complain too much about the individual members' performances, they were on form last night, especially Eddie Fright, whose bass sounded especially good on each song! I can't complain, Frightlight always impress, and they're certainly a band to watch out for in 2011!

Also, I wanna add a little something on their set. Before Frightlight got ready to play "C.H.U.D.", the police actually shown up over a noise complaint. Apparently, someone nearby called the police over the loud music at Foggy Notions, so the police came and told them to turn down the music. I've heard of this happening before at jam sessions, but I've never been at a concert before where the police were called over a noise complaint. I could say the standard line of "If it's too loud, you're too old", but I give the benefit of the doubt to the person who called, as you never know why they didn't like the loud music. You can't just assume they're just rock music haters, after all. Still, I wanted to mention this, as it's new for me!

Headlining were RedD Monkey, and though they're not metal, they are fast becoming one of my favourite non-metal bands with local members! It'd still be nice to see them with Kevin Overton on drums though, I miss him from the Gates of Winter and Smeltzer days! The fact that a punk band has a cellist is still a unique sight, but I'm used to it now, and Pete Mozarowski plays it well for punk music! Call it Apunkalyptica if you must, but he makes it work! Honestly, if you only heard their live performances, you might not realize there's a cello at all, but you'll be able to sense something's different. His brother Steve (also of Smeltzer fame) shown versatility on guitar and vocals as he always does, with fast riffs and appropriate vocals, whether he's singing or rapping! Cello rap punk, who'd have thought? Joe Bumbacco of The Fury continues to be very good as their temporary drummer, I've always liked his playing! Their originals can be quite chaotic, but it's a good chaotic, and its always cool to see them covering Motorhead's "Ace of Spades"! Fun way to end the show, and RedD Monkey always bring a sound you never see anywhere else, so they're worth checking out!

Overall, this was an entertaining show, although the many lineup changes did throw off my expectations going in. The crowd wasn't too big, but the bands played well, and if you weren't there, you missed some good stuff! To close the review, here's FOUR videos! I got a Frightlight song (C.H.U.D.), as you would expect, but given that the other bands played some hard rock tunes, I got videos of them as well! I got two of Reagle Beagle because both are incomplete, with the beginnings missed, so I filmed two to make up for it. So here's Reagle Beagle's covers of Danzig's "Mother" (featuring. J.D. Pearce) and Nirvana's "Breed", Frightlight's original "C.H.U.D.", and RedD Monkey's cover of Motorhead's "Ace of Spades"!

That's all for today, but stay tuned tomorrow for my reviews of TONIGHT'S Soo Music Mash-Up show AND Lion Ride's local return! Thanks everyone!

Monday, December 27, 2010

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Turner Up & WinkStinger), Gates Of Winter's New Drummer, And More!!

Here's one more post before concerts kick in, and this actually clears out my cache of older news, clearing the way for our pile of concert reviews this week! Today, we have news on the apparent end of a local concert venue, a prominent local metal band's new drummer, and more assorted news, but first, here are some LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS!!

First, we'll get to two shows that are VERY short notice, so my apologies right off the bat for having these so late! Oh, and consider this a preview of the shows too! This morning, Turner Up drummer Scott McClurg posted this Facebook event page for shows that they'd be playing TONIGHT and TOMORROW NIGHT at The Rockstar Bar! Odd that they'd be playing shows on a Monday and Tuesday, but I'll assume that they wanted to rock the stage for shows that weren't over the holiday weekend, so they went with the next closest days that weren't holidays. Both shows have announced 10:00 PM start times, with no cover charge and a 19+ age limit. I know these are short notice, but if you don't wanna go to Foggy Notions tonight or The Canadian Nightclub tomorrow, and want a more classic hard rock sound, then Turner Up will be ready to grind your mind on one of their final shows of 2010! Check the above links for more, and if you miss them tonight or tomorrow, remember that they'll be at The Nicolet Tavern on New Year's Eve to end 2010 on a high note! Oh, and if anyone has video or audio of Turner Up's current lineup in action, let me know!

The other new concert is one that I've alluded to in the past on here, as we waited for additional confirmation. There's no Facebook event page yet, but we have enough confirmation from the bands to call this, so here's what you should know! On New Years Eve at Foggy Notions, three local metal bands will take the stage to mosh away the last hours of 2010! The bands are local hardcore metal quintet WinkStinger, and two of the newest death metal bands in town, The Bear Hunters and State of Misery! Bring The Fallen were also originally announced for this show, but have since dropped out for unexplained reasons. My sources for this information are the bands' Facebook pages and promoter Rich Moreland's personal Facebook page. It looks like there will be no cover charge, I'd assume a 9:00 or 10:00 PM start time would be in order, and you must be 19 to enter. If there's a more brutal way to end 2010, then I haven't heard about it! WinkStinger are set as one of the premiere new metal bands in Sault Ontario, while The Bear Hunters and State of Misery are gaining fast recognition in their own right, and adding to the death metal scene in town that used to be pretty lacking! It'll be tough for me to get out of family commitments for any New Years Eve concerts, but if I can weasel out, I'll try and get to Foggy's! Check the above links for more on this show and the announced bands!

Next up, here's some lineup news concerning a major local metal band! I've actually missed this news since late last month, but blame Facebook's layout for wall posts for that, as you can't see what "others" have posted without specially clicking for that. On November 28th, Gates of Winter frontman Lee Maines announced the addition of Sault Ontario native Jon Morrison as the drummer on their forthcoming second full length album. No word on if Jon's now officially a band member (he's not listed as such on Gates of Winter's Facebook page, where the news was broken), but Lee lists him in the "Gates of Winter" friend group on his personal Facebook page, so make of that what you will. Jon is the first drummer the band has enlisted since Woods of Ypres' David Gold parted ways with the band following their last live shows in 2008. Sounds good to hear that they have a real drummer again, but what does Jon have to offer? Well, he is from Sault Ste. Marie initially, but now lives in Vancouver, where he currently drums for area metal bands Parallel Truth and Alpha Trion, with past credits including Nylithia, Avatara, and Game-X. Plus, he studied drums at the Berklee College of Music, which is awesome! He has the skills to back it up too, very technical work, and I think we have some great material for our Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile Series now too! Stay tuned for more on Gates of Winter's new album as I hear it, and give a listen to some of Jon's work, cause there's some quality stuff, especially Parallel Truth for you Opeth fans!

Fourthly, have you noticed a lack of news lately from GLOW Nightclub, the oft-renamed Gore Street concert spot that only recently reverted to it's classic GLOW identity? So have I, and it looks like it may have closed again. Why do I say that? Well, former events manager (and veteran local bassist) Nathan Bouliane told me that GLOW had closed at last month's Total Chaos show, but I held back on mentioning it here until online word came out, so I'd have a source to back up the information with. Well, there was never an official statement as such, but the last publicized event to happen there was a Halloween party on October 29th, as per their Facebook group, with no updates since on events there. Plus, the old GLOW Facebook page has since had it's name and purpose changed to serve as a Facebook page for Madison's Pub, the Pine Street bar that sporadically hosts concerts (notably Garden of Bedlam's show there last December.) If you don't believe they're the same account, then check the photos, as GLOW pictures are still posted. Looks like the GLOW page creator moved the account to a Madison's-centric account following the ceasing of activity at GLOW, which only appeared to be active for two months (and just one metal show) under it's new ownership and name.

We may never hear public word on the closure, but it is a shame, as this location has seen numerous names, owners, and designs over the past few years. I wonder why nothing can stick for the long term? Well, hopefully someone can put the location to good use in the future, hopefully as a bar/concert spot, as it used to have a great amount of shows and events! If I hear more, I'll let you know, but I have moved GLOW to our "Other Local Metal Links" due to their apparent end.

And finally, here's three quick news items in alphabetical order by band name:
  • Sault Michigan hard rockers Bad Side announced on their Facebook page last week that they were working on a retrospective CD/DVD combo to feature their music videos, live footage, interviews, demos, and more. It's supposed to come out next year, but little else is said yet. Sounds exciting, but I hope this won't be their "final statement", so to speak! I'll keep you posted!
  • Phatstick frontman Jason Taillefer is playing an acoustic solo show tonight in his hometown of Sault Ste. Marie. His solo stuff isn't metal, so why mention it here? Because he's playing at a new local concert venue, Joey's Twisted Italian Grill & Pub! This is the newly renamed and moved Joey Calzones, which has moved to the former UBetcha location at Station Mall, and despite being smaller, it now features a stage for bands to play on! Might metal or hard rock bands be there soon? Time will tell!
  • Woods of Ypres' frontman David Gold was ranked #13 on a top 50 list of favourite male metal singers on the metal blog named The Number Of The Blog! The author gushingly praises David's ability to sound mournful and master his tone, even saying "Goddamnit I love David Gold" twice in the same paragraph! Nice to see this kind of praise, click here for more!
That's all for today, but I will see you guys TONIGHT at Foggy Notions for The Nightmare After Christmas Party! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

This Week's Local Metal/Hard Rock Concert Previews!!

As promised, it's time to preview some upcoming concerts! It's not often where we dedicate a post to just mid-week concert previews, but as is usually the case during the holidays, there's a lot of shows going on! In the next three days, we have four concerts with metal and hard rock bands to mention, and before anyone asks, I will be at ALL FOUR of these shows! I know I've missed a bunch lately, but blame homework, my Detroit trip, family holiday commitments, and my lost camera charger for that. I'm in the clear this week, and you'll see a lot of concert reviews this week, you have my word! Now, let's get previewing!

We'll start with tomorrow's concert, appropriately titled "The Nightmare After Christmas Party"! I should note that there has been a quiet lineup change to this show since it was announced, but we'll get to that in a second. A few recently prominent local bands will hit the stage for this concert tomorrow night at Foggy Notions, including headliners Frightlight! Over a month after their last show at The Oddfellows Hall, the local horror punk/metal quartet are ready to rock with their brand of Misfits and horror movie inspired music! Hard to believe this will be my sixth time seeing them live this year! Also on the bill is local hardcore metal band WinkStinger, sharing the stage with Frightlight once again! They've made a huge impression over the past two months with their fast and brutal metal attack, and they'll definitely leave a deep impression on fans at Foggy's tomorrow night! Now the original third band was supposed to be the returning Scary Uncles, but according to the Facebook event page, they've been replaced by local/Toronto classical/punk trio RedD Monkey, adding to a busy stretch of three shows in four days for them. No word on why the change was made, but good news for Scary Uncles fans, as frontman Justin "Frenchie" Langlois will be playing a solo set tomorrow as well! I'm not sure what sound he'll take on, but no matter what, it'll be nice to see him back on stage! Plus, you'll get a chance to see The Scary Uncles on Wednesday too, so not all is lost! Check the above links for more on the scheduled bands!

This show will be at Foggy Notions tomorrow night at 10:00 PM! There is a $3 cover, and you must be 19 to enter. $3 is a good value for the four acts you'll get tomorrow, and if you're in the post-Christmas blahs, why not rock out at Foggy's? I'll be there, and you all should come too! Get more details and previews at the above links, and for a video preview, here's Frightlight playing their song "She Screams" from their Foggy Notions show in October!

Now to the metal shows on Tuesday, and it's a packed night, with eleven bands playing at two venues, including four hard hitting metal bands to ensure everything has an appropriate edge! And first, it's a HUGE all ages local concert at The Oddfellows Hall, entitled "Soo Music Mash-Up"! No less than EIGHT bands are scheduled, so let's go through who to expect! Your headliners are local metalcore quintet As It Stands, returning to The Oddfellows Hall for the first time since their reunion! Expect a hard hitting set of intense hardcore from this talented band, who've quickly returned to prominence in the local scene! Two more metal bands are scheduled, including death metal rockers Bring The Fallen (ignore the poster, they're on and they're fifth on the bill), and new local hardcore band Changing Waves immediately before them! After a bit of a gray area on Bring The Fallen's participation, it's awesome to see them bringing their brutal death metal sound to this concert, with intense moshing sounding very likely as a result! As for Changing Waves, it's great to see them back on stage after a solid debut, though I'd still like to know more about them! Though the rest of the bands aren't "metal", there is lots of solid and entertaining music to be had, so here's the other five bands scheduled for tomorrow!

Local experimental emo band The Crossed make a rare concert appearance tomorrow night as the co-headliners, right before As It Stands! I admit never being a huge fan of theirs, but The Crossed are very talented, and have a large and dedicated local following! Plus, one of their former bassists is Nathan Bouliane, who's played in a few metal bands and is providing lights at tomorrow's show as well! Local bass rockers The Fury are also on for tomorrow, right before The Crossed. They'll prove once again that guitars are not mandatory, as they bust out some high energy originals and covers like only The Fury can! Also, fresh off tomorrow's show at Foggy's, RedD Monkey take the stage for a set of cello-infused punk rock, which will definitely make a mark amidst the vast lineup! They're sandwiched between The Fury and Bring The Fallen. The opening two bands are the local indie/acoustic acts Tea With Lincoln and Ocean View, who'll both set the pace with some mellow indie rock! Tea With Lincoln are a newer local duo who've played many area shows, while Ocean View is the new acoustic solo project from promoter and former local hardcore frontman Jeremy Hannah. For more details on all of the announced bands for this concert, check out the above links!

Doors open at 6:00 PM on Tuesday evening for this ALL AGES concert! Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door. If you still want to get advance tickets, contact Jeremy Hannah, Nathan Bouliane, Alice Rose, or Bring The Fallen guitarist Dan Souliere! This should be one packed, but fun night of music! Sure, it's not mostly metal, but there's quality AND quantity to be had, and it's worth checking out! I'll be there, and even if you're going to the show later that night that we're mentioning next, you'll have time to hit both, like I'm doing! For more details, visit the above links and the Facebook event page, and for a preview, here's As It Stands playing the song "Eeny Meeny Miny Ho" from their return show in August!

So, you want more metal for your Tuesday? How about some Lion Ride? Yes, after seven months away from the local stage, these local hard rockers make their long awaited return home for a headlining show Tuesday night at The Canadian Nightclub! With a new album still in the works, and loads of existing high quality originals in store, look for a triumphant return set from these guys on Tuesday! Hopefully a better crowd turns out than at their May 2-4 weekend show! Opening for Lion Ride on Tuesday night are two bands that may not seem like the best genre matches, but will still entertain! One is The Billy Bastards, the punk/country quintet featuring alumni of local metal bands like Destroilet and The Harsh Heads! They have a nice sense of humour and a good mix of Southern sounds with punk attitude, so they'll be worth keeping an eye on! The other opening band is The Pinecones, the local indie band featuring members of bands like Terminal and Nebraska Arms, including former Downfall guitarist Mike Yakasovich! I don't know much about their sound, but there's lots of talent in The Pinecones, so take note! For more details on the announced bands, click the above links!

The show is scheduled to start at 9:00 PM, though I have a hunch it might not actually begin until later. There's no announced cover charge, but bring cash just in case, as The Canadian Nightclub usually has one. And yes, it's 19+, but at least there's an all ages show beforehand! For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! It's always notable when Lion Ride return home, and I'll definitely be at The Canadian following the Soo Music Mash-Up show! I might miss part of the openers at The Canadian depending on how long things go, but I'll be there at some point! Lion Ride's high energy brand of metal with a punk swagger will be sure to get a great crowd, and I hope to see you guys there! For a video preview, here's Lion Ride playing their new original "Stick It In" at their last local show!

And finally, while we're on the subject of Lion Ride, a special concert is taking place on Wednesday night at Coch's Corner, featuring a unique debut show of sorts from a new local band! Ironically taking place about one year after Detroit's last local concert, Lion Ride & Detroit's own Mark Rand (a.k.a. Marky Lion) headlines a local supergroup named The Mark Rand Band, who'll perform a set of his own solo original songs and covers! His Toronto-based solo project has given birth to loads of fast hardcore songs similar to his past Detroit work, while this local supergroup is ready to bring these songs to life on stage! His live band will comprise of guitarists Marco Pedalino (Lion Ride), Dave Prendergast (Nebraska Arms), and Marc Lafrance (Renderware), along with bassist Guy Thiffault (Nebraska Arms), and drummer Mikey Hawdon (Lion Ride, Inner City Surfers, etc.), with Talk Shit's "Brown" Dave Brunton credited for "alcohol", though his band contributions beyond that aren't known publically yet. Mark Rand will handle lead vocals on Wednesday, giving a live voice to his solo material! My confirmed source for this information is Mark's MySpace page! With that kind of a lineup backing Mark up, you know this will be an awesome show, but there's more to be said!

The opening bands include local punk/metal quintet Destroilet, one night after guitarist John Conway shares the stage with some Mark Rand Band members in his other group, The Billy Bastards! After their own seven month hiatus, Destroilet are back for just their third public concert, ready to impress with their loud and heavy style of music! Also scheduled are the returning Scary Uncles, two nights after frontman Justin Langlois' solo set at Foggy's in lieu of their original return show! Awesome to see them back, they'll be sure to give the fans a great set with their energetic punk sounds! This show takes place at 9:00 PM on Wednesday night, with NO COVER CHARGE and a 19+ age limit. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This is shaping up to be a night to remember, featuring a literal local supergroup ready to rain down an old school hardcore assault on their fans, with two other very talented bands ready to rock as well! I will also be at this show, and hopefully you guys don't miss it, as who knows when The Mark Rand Band will be back? Check out all of the above links for more, and for a video preview, here's one of Mark's blistering original solo songs, "Question"!

That's all for tonight, but I will have more news very soon, along with our summative look at 2010 and a post on what to look out for in 2011, along with (of course) concert reviews, and previews of this weekend's shows around Thursday! Stay tuned, and I'll see you guys at Foggy Notions TOMORROW NIGHT!!