Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014: A Preview & What To Watch Out For

Happy New Year to all of our readers and fans! After another big and highly eventful year in the local metal scene, 2014 is already looking to top it, so as has become a yearly occurrence, we're going to take a look at announced events and possible things to watch out for and expect in the coming 12 months! With that said, let's begin this preview of the year at large!

In terms of concerts, most of the currently verifiable metal/hard rock shows in 2014 as of today are in the Sault Michigan area thanks to recent Kewadin Casino concert announcements, none on a bigger scale than Poison frontman Bret Michaels' return to The Dreammaker's Theater in the Soo on January 18th (with Firehouse in tow!) Other heavier-leaning shows across the river that I can source at the moment are at The Rapids Lounge at the Soo Kewadin and at The Northern Pines Lounge in St. Ignace, with local standouts RamWagon and two Northern Michigan metal outfits featuring the prolific Jeff Hudson (Peril and Scarkazm) playing under the regional Kewadin umbrella this year. Major concert events to keep an eye out for in 2014 in the Eastern U.P. include the fourth annual LemmaFest in June, The Sugar Island Music Festival in August, the Rock Till You Drop battle of the bands at The Chippewa County Fair, and a possible return of the Walk To Rock Against Bullying in September.

Check out out schedule on the right for current dates that I know of, and more are sure to follow from them and other acts, including some likely new modern rock shows from Allstar Promotions at The Dreammaker's Theater, and hopefully much more at other venues! In Sault Ontario, I only know of 100% verifiable shows this coming weekend at present, including Griphook's first public dates with new singer Joel Syrette at The Roosevelt Hotel on Friday & Saturday, Stiffler's Mom's return to The Rockstar Bar on Saturday (more on that tomorrow), and assuming the arrangement continues, a Tym Morrison solo gig at The Harp on Friday. Anything else is either not fully confirmed publically or unannounced, but what could we expect? Look to Hempfest and Rotaryfest for some usual heavier acts on their stages, along with events like The Soo Zombie Walk, promoter J.D. Pearce's annual Halloween party, Toystock, the Sewer Swampstravaganza, and perhaps the return of Bushplane Musical Madness or some battles of the bands for some good metal/hard rock action this year!

As usual, we'll have updates on new shows as soon as we can verify them, with a mix of new younger talent and experienced veterans a guarantee throughout 2014, so don't sleep on anything that happens, lest you miss a big announcement! As for new CD/album releases, we saw a surprisingly high amount last year, but there's a good amount that are in progress or partially/completely finished that could find their way into our CD players in the next 12 months. As documented in our "Where Are The New Albums?" series (to be continued on Thursday), artists like AlgomA, As It Stands, The Bear Hunters, Gates of Winter, Mike Haggith, RedD Monkey, Sailor's Tongue, Shit Liver, The Sorrow Fields, and The Suicide Kings have all started yet-unreleased album sessions, and that doesn't count the usually busy slate from Blood Shed Productions artists or Sykotyk Rampage, but how many of them will get their new material out this year? Sault Michigan has some extant possible albums too thanks to 415E, Half A Man, The Highest of Fives, SweetKenny, and various Werehold Records artists, so don't let them slip by!

Of course, we know very little on the coming events of 2014, but this is always a good way to set some early primers for the year to come, as anything can happen! Hopefully this is the best year yet for the scene and the site, so follow along for the ride, and stay tuned tomorrow for weekend concert previews and this year's "Where Are The New Albums?" post! Thanks everyone, and Happy New Year!

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