Sunday, June 16, 2013

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (LemmaFest), New Sault Michigan Hard Rock Bands, And More!!

In our second post of the day, we're 100% devoted to Sault Michigan bands and a popular returning festival, so what's in store? Along with the latest updates from a local hard rock cover band, we have a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for the festival alluded to above, and first, we have two newer Sault Michigan hard rock bands to mention, both of which will be on that event's lineup, so here's what you need to know (and check out our memorial to late Thansis Colle bassist Jim Smith in the post below this one!)

The lineup for the third annual LemmaFest has finally been announced, and it includes two new hard rock leaning Sault Michigan bands! We'll talk about the full lineup in a bit, but we'll focus on the new bands first, and one is a familiar new hard rock quintet named RamWagon. Though I believe LemmaFest will be this band's debut, RamWagon appears to be a splinter band of sorts from the existing local cover band Full Throttle (more on them in a bit), as ex-Full Throttle singer Ryan Kitzmiller, ex-guitarist Nathan Switzer, and ex-bassist George Belleau are all in this new band. The remaining slots are filled by Nathan's former Analog Deficiency bandmates Cody Reed on guitar and Marcel Grengs (also of The Highest of Fives) on drums, so there's familiarity all around if you liked early Full Throttle shows and the newer members' collective work! Launched in March after the Full Throttle division, they play a mix of classic and modern rock, and plan to gig around the eastern U.P., and while no media samples are online yet, I'm fairly certain they'll lean heavier. Stay tuned for updates on this new band as they roll in!

While we can add RamWagon to our band links now, the other new band has no online pages at present, but what can I say about them? Their name is Plastic, and they're a new local rock trio featuring former Half Stupid frontman Zac Crook, Cherubic Red alum Nick Moreau on bass, and ex-Bent Rollercoaster/Hammerspace drummer Paul Burns (my source is Zac's personal Facebook page.) The lineup is promising for a heavier sound, especially if they take on a grunge sound style to Zac's Half Stupid run, but I can't say much else on them yet. Stay tuned in case I hear anything else!

These new bands are joining a noticeably smaller (though still very talented) lineup of bands at this year's LemmaFest, which will be held THIS SATURDAY outside of Dondee Lanes! The other confirmed bands are returning local metal bands Half A Man and Scofflaw (in their publically confirmed first local concert dates since last year's LemmaFest) and young local hard rock/metal quartet Tantrym Tyme, so there's lots of talent to be had! Of the bands, only Half A Man and Scofflaw have played at LemmaFest before, but the newer faces should be welcomed, and it's great to see some performers back after long absences! Note as well that Half A Man drummer Mike Bishop mentioned that local rock band Bucksaw (who played the past two years) were playing on the Facebook event page, but this has not been confirmed through any other sources. This year's LemmaFest will open at noon on Saturday, admission is $10 and ALL AGES, and there will be food by donation, door prizes & draws, drink specials, and merchandise sales, with proceeds going to the family of Hunter Ross, a local baby who was recently born 15 weeks premature with a chronic lung disease.

And of course, the whole festival is in honour of the late Michael Lemma, who passed away in 2010, and his local friends are sure to be pumped for this year's festival! The smaller lineup is odd, but I don't know if it's final with longer or more spaced out sets, or if more bands will be announced, but there's a lot of established and newer acts to entertain, and a lot of heaviness, so don't miss the third annual LemmaFest outside of the Dondee this coming Saturday, and stay tuned for updates as they roll in!

Finally for this all Sault Michigan post, remember how we mentioned RamWagon were essentially a splinter group from Full Throttle? Well, here's the latest on the current Full Throttle, as they have launched a new Facebook page for "the new and improved" version of the band, which has been together since at least March (their old page has not been updated since their original lineup was together.) The page confirms that they play everything from classic rock to modern country (including originals eventually), and their lineup features original members Jason Lamoreaux on guitar and Mark Gillotte on drums alongside singer Donny Newell (of Absolute & Monkey's Uncle fame) and Steve's Music Center owner Steve Pevarnic on guitar. A bassist isn't credited beyond "whoever shows up to play", but Powerslug's Chris Gurnoe at least was their bassist at one point, and is featured in some photos (though I'm thinking he's since left the band.)

Full Throttle's new page has been active since Tuesday, and they played gigs at The Bird on June 1st and last night (apologies for missing each, I didn't know about this page until last night's show was in progress.) Shows at The Bird appear to be common for this band, and hopefully Full Throttle keeps their Facebook page updated with future live dates! Their only video so far (a Velvet Revolver cover from a March show) is promising, so check it out above, and I've updated Full Throttle's link on here to reflect the current version!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more Sault Ontario news shortly, along with our new poll on Tuesday! Thanks everyone!

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