Monday, May 29, 2017

SweetKenny - "Epic" Album Review!!

For our 95th monthly CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, here's a surprise look at an album we haven't even covered on the site yet, namely Dafter, Michigan solo hard rock artist Ken "SweetKenny" Sutton's 20th solo album "Epic"! Quietly released on February 28th via Google Play and iTunes (though curiously not Bandcamp) via Waterfall Records, this is SweetKenny's seventh album designed to be utilized as a film, TV, or video game score, going along with his general focus since late 2015, with only "In Your Face" breaking pattern as a traditional rock album with sung vocals during this period. Ken's actually released two score albums in 2017, joining the brand new "Music Composed For Film", but I chose "Epic" for this month as it is a heavier release. And yes, stay tuned on the site this week for full news write-ups on both albums. "Epic" is available at the above links for $9.49, and can be streamed for free at this link, but consider buying it to support SweetKenny's work!

Featuring 15 songs running for 29 minutes, let's begin our "Epic" review with the first song, "Drums of Power"! Self-described as a "drum layered track with a slow groove" that would be good for work in the action genre, this song has more of a tribal vibe that admittedly doesn't give off a "powerful" sense, but it is effectively performed for what it is! Given the drum-heavy instrumentation, it's not optimal listening for fans of Ken's typical rock music, and it does get repetitive, but you can easily loop it for longer stretches, and that appears to be intentional. Second is "Maddy's March", inspired by the survival horror video game The Last of Us, though I don't know that game to have a character named Maddy. This is more of a fully realized song with dramatic piano input, a darker ambiance, and some orchestral tinges, and it's a solid number for what it is that could serve as an introductory number or credit roll song!

Next is "Bangkok", named after the Thai capital and described by Ken as an "Eastern style track". You do get a far eastern vibe here, but the song also has some ominous orchestration to start, and it seems to relish in exploring different sounds and effects to make it distinct from the first two songs. That said, the song ends before it really starts to get going, but compared to later songs on "Epic", it's actually on the longer side of things when you look at the full track order. The fourth song is "Invading Force", which runs for an album-long 4:35, but actually has the fastest tempo yet on the album. The song preserves some of the ethnic feeling of "Bangkok", while also giving off the vibe of a chase or approach involving enemies, so the title is accurate to the song! Is it wrong that I got notes of the Terminator theme and Oil Ocean Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in here? The drum beat is also catchy, if not pounding, and while it's not aggressively heavy, the song does what it says!

Song #5 is "Marrakesh", which is similarly "Eastern" themed like "Bangkok", though the title here alludes to a city in Morocco. Given the different nationality, you'd be correct to expect that the song wouldn't be too similar, with it the most like a "hard rock" song yet on the album, while also containing a slight Middle Eastern flavour and some catchy percussion rhythms. Unfortunately, it does share the sudden ending before it really starts like "Bangkok" had, but it's a quality early number on "Epic"! Sixth is the "full mix" of the song "Viking Village", and the title will make sense once this song itself wraps up. If you were hoping for this to be a sudden foray into viking metal, you'll be disappointed, as it's more of a techno-influenced rock instrumental with some backing female vocals for effect purposes, plus more prominent percussion. Despite the title's intended locale, the song has a bit of a dance vibe to it, which may not have been intentional, but it's a fun song on it's own merits!

Now, why was "Viking Village" called the "full mix"? Well, the 7th-13th songs on the album are all isolated cue tracks containing portions of that song, all but one under a minute in length, presumably so SweetKenny can sell them or propose use of them by themselves for effect or mood depending on usage in an intended score. In the three score albums of his I have reviewed on the SMS, this is a new one, but he must really be proud of the final product to offer it in this form too! I won't re-review each cue track, but they include "Intro Mix", "Percussion", "Demented Vocal Part 1" & "2", "Kalimba" (an African instrument used in the song), "Dogg Bass", and "Ambience", with the second-fourth cue tracks running for just 29 seconds each. For casual listeners, I'd stick to just the full "Viking Village" song, but if you're interested in using the score or breaking down the song's components for research or instructional means, the cue tracks could be very handy!

The final two songs on "Epic" are alternate versions of an electronic song called "Out For A Drive", one being the full mix and the other having no vocals. The only song on the album that includes Ken's vocals in any substantial form, you just hear him saying "I'm a winner" and "I can feel it" off and on in his usual Elvis-like drawl, plus other voices saying "Is everybody happy?" and "Here we go!". I assume the intent was to use the song for a racing portion of a work, but the no-vocal part is naturally completely up for interpretation. The song proper is a lively techno track that would not be out of place at a dance club, but it's a thematic jump from earlier songs on this score, and honestly, I don't really associate it's vibe with a driving or racing feel, with or without vocals.

So, what are my final thoughts on SweetKenny's seventh score CD? While I still aren't as knowledgable about reviewing an album like this compared to our usual fare, "Epic" does a solid job of evoking intended themes, and if the right person comes along to want these songs for score purposes, they should get solid audio! That said, it is clear that "Epic" doesn't a thematic concept encompassing every song like "The Hitman Files" & "Gator's Bayou", Ken's other score albums that we reviewed on the SMS, and as a result, there isn't as much of a cohesive thread. I assume that was the intent, but the album's all over the place, from dark and orchestral to Asian-inspired rock to full on techno. I appreciate the diversity, but for me, my favourite songs were "Bangkok" & "Marrakesh", despite ending so soon. Also, the album lost some substance to me when 1/5th of it was chopped up portions of an earlier song, but again, this is intended for usage as a score, this isn't a direct follow-up to his last traditional rock album "In Your Face".

Of the three SweetKenny scores that I have reviewed, I still prefer "The Hitman Files" for it's rock themes and evocative intended storyline, but "Epic" has a lot of plusses depending on your preferences as a fan, filmmaker, or game designer, so check it out at the above links, and hopefully Ken has a new regular music album in the works for later this year along with his continued score focus!

I hope you guys liked this month's CD review, but what's coming up in June? At this juncture, I don't know, but here's what I can say. A new release is definitely first in line if an album comes out, and be sure to follow our next "Where Are The New Albums?" post on Friday for hints as to who might have an album coming out soon! In any event, our next album review will not be of another SweetKenny album, as we have a 6 month buffer period in place to avoid possible accusations of having a bias for or against anyone. Based on acts playing next month, an archive review could come from bands like The Din, The Bear Hunters, A Fall From Innocence, or I.S.O.M. to tie in with artists playing locally next month, so keep an eye out in any event for word on our next CD review subject, and stay tuned for more news and updates soon on The Sault Metal Scene! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Destroyer & Handsome Sandwich), Show Postponements, And Much More!!

To kick off this post, we have two late clarifications for shows this weekend, including a postponement and an apology. For the former, it came out this morning that Kinross, Michiagn classic/hard rock trio Banned have postponed their Runway Bar concert in Hessel from last night to TONIGHT, as per their Facebook page. A reason for the postponement wasn't announced, but the venue had advertised the show being on Saturday previously, so the band must have gotten mixed up. We went with Banned's advertising for recency's sake, but they have since corrected the date, so keep their Hessel return in mind for TONIGHT! Also, I want to apologize for missing the late notice return of Sault Ontario classic/hard rock cover quartet Soundcheck to The Rednecks Saloon last night, as that show was only publically announced online yesterday evening with an hour's notice, way too late for us to rush a post to cover it.

The show started at an unusually early 7:00 PM as a continuation of efforts by Soundcheck to retain patrons during Rednecks' Friday chicken wing nights, having debuted the concept with an 8:00 PM show earlier this month. I have no idea if the matinee timing is helping with attendance moreso than at The Park Grille's live band experiment, but hopefully it was a great show, and profuse apologies again for missing this show on the site! We'd have covered it in our weekend concert previews had it received more notice!

Now, here's a pair of LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for the coming months, starting with a trifecta of hard rock and punk music at The Rockstar Bar on Saturday, June 10th as part of their kick-off to the summer season! The bands playing in two weeks are new genre-less (albeit alt/punk sounding) trio Handsome Sandwich in their Rockstar Bar debut, alternative hard rock trio The Din, and reunited hard rock quartet Eclipse, so prepare for a solid night of musical entertainment from these three acts! Notably, this show will also help re-open the venue's outdoor patio for the season, so keep that angle in mind if you've missed it lately! Visibly a co-promotion of Paperclip Productions and The Din, there is a $5 cover charge is in effect for this 19+ concert, which has a 10:00 PM start time, and a merchandise table for all three bands is also being hyped. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and don't miss this intriguing union of rising bands in two weeks time!

Also newly confirmed is the return of Windsor-based Kiss tribute band Destroyer, who will make their (at least) fourth local concert appearance when they rock The Rockstar Bar on Saturday, July 29th! Continuing their recent trend of biennial concert appearances, in the Soo, this will be Destroyer's first appearance here in 2 years, last rocking the same venue in late May 2015. As fans will have seen in their prior local gigs, Destroyer bring a faithful looking and sounding tribute to Kiss at every show, so if you want the best, here's the next best thing! As of this writing, there is no advertised opening band, which would be typical, but remember that the now-dormant Griphook opened for Destroyer locally in 2015. Unusually, The Rockstar Bar has yet to acknowledge this show publically on their own Facebook group, but expect an announcement in the coming weeks, I would assume.

This 19+ concert should have a 10:30PM-ish start time, and while tickets don't appear to be on sale yet, note that the 2015 Destroyer show here had $12 advance tickets at The Algonquin Hotel's front desk, while door admission jumped to $16. Again, tickets are NOT on sale yet, and may not even be that price. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page, and stay tuned for updates as they roll in!

Finally for today, here's three assorted shorter news items from the last while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist name:

  • Local doom metal trio AlgomA's third split album has been announced, and it will see them sharing a cassette tape with local/St. Catharine's goregrind trio Shit Liver! The split was first announced via this image on AlgomA's Facebook page on Monday, and it will come out via AlgomA's old label Dead Beat Media, who have put out all AlgomA releases sans the Hooded Menace split. A "summer/fall" release date is currently listed, so stay tuned for this unique retro split as more details roll in! No word though on if this is the teased second album from Shit Liver, or if they are still working on a solo follow-up CD, but stay tuned for updates!
  • Local death metal favourites The Bear Hunters and death metal duo Twistory have both been added as openers for the Ruptured Birth concert at The Oddfellows Hall on June 4th (one week from tomorrow), as per promoters Heavy North Entertainment on the official Facebook event page last week! This will be both bands' first shows of 2017, with The Bear Hunters last seen opening for Norilsk in the fall, and Josh & Robert last advertised publically opening for Foam last June. Very solid additions, so visit the above links for full details on this brutal all ages concert!
  • June 17th's planned Oddzfest II event at The Oddfellows Hall has been postponed until "later this summer" due to "some minor booking issues", as per promoter Josh Stephney on the Facebook event page yesterday. Josh didn't elaborate further, but with he & the headliners coming from out of town, either of them may have had a scheduling hang-up. Very disappointing to hear, but stay tuned for word on Oddzfest II's new date!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates next week! Thanks everyone!

YouTube Channel Profile Series: lukera81's Channel & THE ELEMENTS sault

Here at last are this month's YouTube Channel Profiles! Once again, we're taking a look at 1-3 YouTube channels (2 this month) with at least 50% of their content relating to local metal, hard rock, or punk musicians and/or concerts, in order to spotlight their material and media for current readers and encourage subscriptions therein! This month, our random selections have taken us to a major local concert from a decade ago, and a local band's solid run of shows a couple of years back, so here's what you should know!
lukera81's Channel (

Owner: YouTube user lukera81 (real identity unknown, but his first name may be Luke)

Channel Timeline: Launched on August 23rd, 2007; Only video uploaded that same day

Channel Summary: The only video on this channel is of New York hard rock legends Kiss playing their classic song "I Love It Loud" during their outdoor headlining concert at Kewadin Casino in Sault Michigan on July 20th, 2007.  Filmed at a sharp angle to the stage, the video still has a good angle of the band and video monitor, but scratchy audio is ever present, and the "ultimate drunk Kiss fan" turns up at times to sing along (no word on if that's lukera81 or not.) Though not the best footage of this concert, it's worth checking out for Kiss fans even a decade later, but note that this channel hasn't been visibly updated since.


Owner: A member of local funk/hard rock band The Elements (exact identity unknown)

Channel Timeline: Launched on October 23rd, 2015; Videos posted from that day until November 1st of that year.

Channel Summary: The official YouTube channel for The Elements, four videos were posted there in the fall of 2015, as culled from two separate Algonquin Pub concerts from that season.

Why You Should Watch: Check this channel out for the only proven official YouTube channel from this talented hard rock/ska/funk fusion outfit, who are still playing live to this day! However, note that this channel hasn't been visibly updated since these uploads, and therefore does not have any content from 2016 and beyond, including their recent concerts with (de facto?) drummer Jonas Gasperas.

Our Recommended Videos To Check Out

Wynona's Big Brown Beaver cover by The Elements: The Elements' first and most popular video comes from their set at a Soup Kitchen benefit concert at The Algonquin Pub earlier in October 2015, with the video featuring them covering Primus' "Wynonna's Big Brown Beaver" Featuring their original lineup of singer Rob Speers, Handsome Sandwich bandmates Jesse Cook & James White on guitar & bass, and ex-Changing Waves drummer Alex Hagerman, the cover is suitably lively & funky, but the blur effect added in post production (in combination with the dark lighting) can be very distracting. For an alternate take of this cover, watch the end of the Tuned with Donna Hopper episode on this benefit from SooToday, which was co-produced and partially filmed by the aforementioned Rob Speers!

The Elements Halloween 2015: This channel's other three videos all come from their set at J.D. Pearce's annual Halloween Party at the same venue later that month, where the guys welcomed Josh Norling as a guest saxophonist for a block of (with one exception) Sublime covers. One video is of their rendition of "Wrong Way", while a longer set-closing video features their versions of "Saw Red" (with an unidentified female guest singer), "Same In The End", and their own original "G20", though an unusually high side-stage camera angle & lengthy dead air don't help matters. Embedded below is this clip of The Elements covering "Badfish" and "5446 That's My Number/Ball & Chain" from an identical angle to the "Wrong Way" clip, and you get a nice and close look at the largely costumed band paying homage to the ska punk legends! Note that their multi-song videos share the same title.

I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profiles! Next month in this series, we will again look at multiple YouTube channels, as the first random selection only has one SMS-relevant video, and so did the second, so we're tripling up for June! With that said, next month's profile will be on Life's Eclipse singer David Mills' YouTube channel (featuring one instrumental song), YouTube user LudwigVaanArthans's channel (featuring one Woods of Ypres song), and meshayeah's channel (featuring two Shit Liver videos from a 2014 private event), so look for these profiles on or around June 26th, and stay tuned for more news and note soon! Thanks everyone!

Friday, May 26, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Banned), More Weekend Concert Previews, And Show Cancellations!!

(Updated at 2:52 PM) As planned, we have our preview of tomorrow's Northwest show here, but with a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT, we're now leading off with that in this post! Also, we're rounding things out with one more preview for later this weekend, and a pair of big concert cancellations, so here's what you should know on this Friday morning!

Kinross, Michigan classic/hard rock cover trio Banned will return to The Runway Bar in nearby Hessel for one night only TONIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, we only heard about this show via Banned's Facebook page yesterday, though the venue's Facebook page first announced the set via this photo last week. Banned haven't announced non-Kewadin shows with advance notice in months, which also explains why we missed their April 13th & 14th Hessel gigs for coverage on here last month (belated and profuse apologies for that), but The Runway Bar has announced both earlier than Banned has, so I'll have to pay more attention to their Facebook page in the future. In any event, Alex, Wayne, and Don should have another night full of familir favourites for fans out in Hessel TONIGHT, so don't miss out on all of this action! There is a 9:00 PM start time for this show, which has a 21+ age limit and no announced cover charge. See the above links for more details, here's Banned live, and we will stay more on top of Banned's future Hessel gigs, I promise!

Next up for this weekend, Sault Ontario indie/punk quintet Northwest will play their first public concert of 2017 when they headline at LopLops Lounge TOMORROW NIGHT! After taking a 9 month hiatus from the stage since opening for 1971 last August, this talented veteran outfit will take a break from their recent studio sessions to headline at LopLops with a show full of their established and newer originals alike, so don't miss out on Northwest's return tomorrow! Guitarist Greg Callaghan was confirmed as a late opening act via his personal Facebook page this afternoon, so don't be late for his often evil covers! Also, in case you were curious, Winnipeg country musician Richard Inman is playing at LopLops tonight. Tomorrow's Northwest show has a 9:00 PM start time, a $5 cover charge, and a 19+ age limit. For more information on this concert, visit the official Facebook event page, and here's Northwest live in concert last year!

Also, here's one more concert preview for later this weekend, as local alt-hard rock trio The Din will provide special acoustic sets during SUNDAY'S Family Market on the Greens at Crimson Ridge Golf Course! A very unique locale and event for our coverage, the Fourth Line West location will welcome dozens of local vendors and businesses to the golf course under provided tents to display and sell their wares, while the golf course proper and the on-site Hickory Bar & Grill will also be available to attendees, and there will even be a bouncy castle, games, and more to take in, so visit the official Facebook event page for full non-musical details! The Din will be playing scattered sets throughout the day as a two-piece sans drummer Brandan Glew for unannounced reasons, but as we have seen in the past, The Din acclimate well to an unplugged setting, with or without a drum kit or cajon present, so keep an eye out for Mike & Tammy on Sunday!

Events kick off on Sunday at 12:00 PM for the Family Market on the Greens, admission is FREE, and this is certainly an ALL AGES event. For more details on all of the entertainment and vendors on Sunday at Crimson Ridge, visit the above links, and for a preview, here's The Din live!

Finally, we have a pair of Canadian Nightclub concert cancellations for next month to take note of. One is the planned Rad Zone Battle of the Bands scheduled for next Saturday, with the event page noting that the event will be rescheduled for an unspecified later date. Promoter J.D. Pearce noted to me that slow band registrations were a contributing factor, which is definitely disappointing, but hopefully the battle gets a new date soon! A now-deleted post on the Facebook event page noted that the judges next week would have been Dustin Jones and myself once again alongside Pointless frontman Bill Priddle (replacing Rob Speers), and while I can't speak for potential changes for the new date, I'm happy to return if available! The other cancellation is for the Jesse Merineau/Din concert from Jeremy Hannah's new SaultMusicScene agency on June 30th due to an "unfortunate circumstance", as per the Facebook event page earlier today.

No word on what happened specifically, but Jeremy did direct fans to follow the July 7th Vaultry concert at the same venue from Live705. Hopefully Jeremy can get his concert bookings back off the ground, so be sure to stay tuned for updates on their next gigs! For what it's worth, blues/country outfit The Barn Board Trio had replaced Bizotic as tentative openers prior to the cancellation. That's all for now, but stay tuned for this month's YouTube Channel Profile next! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Project 906) And Memorial Day Weekend Concert Previews!!

On this Memorial Day weekend, we're fittingly focusing mostly on Sault Michigan-area concerts today, one being a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT, but we have a pair of Sault Ontario gigs also to fill things out! To avoid overstuffing this post, our preview of Saturday night's Northwest concert at LopLops will be in tomorrow's post (plus any more late notice confirmations), so don't worry, it's coming! Now, here's what you should know!

Sault Michigan hard rock quartet Project 906 will return to Pickles Bar & Grill in nearby Brimley for one night only THIS SATURDAY NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, the band only announced the show via it's official Facebook event page on Tuesday. One week removed from their most recent gigs in the Soo, SATURDAY'S concert will mark Project 906's first at this venue since Pickles' St. Patrick's Day party two months ago, and it'll be great to see this talented quartet back at their original live venue this weekend, so don't miss out on SATURDAY NIGHT! Note that regional classic rock solo artist Tom Savoie will precede Project 906 from 6:00-9:00 PM for a few sets (source here), but he is not advertised as an opening act, so we'll treat him as playing a separate concert. Project 906 will be on at 10:00 PM on SATURDAY, you must be 21 or older to attend, and there's no announced cover charge. See above for more details, and here's Project 906 live!

Moving to previously announced concerts, we'll first take a detour north to Sault Ontario, where local hard rock singer/guitarist Tym Morrison will continue his long-term weekly run of concerts at Gliss Steak & Seafood with matinee concerts TOMORROW & SATURDAY! This talented veteran artist continues to deliver quality weekends of hard rock covers to fans at the downtown restaurant, and this weekend should be more of the same for fans and patrons alike, so don't miss out on all of the action this weekend! And just in case you were wondering, a possible return to thrice-weekly bookings at Gliss likely wouldn't begin until July, if past scheduling recurs. Tomorrow and Saturday's shows are 6:00 PM events with no likely age limits or cover charges, but mind the restaurant location if thinking of attending. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here's Tym live!

Now let's head back to Michigan for today's remaining previews, starting with Traverse City classic metal trio Peril's next weekend of concerts, as they rock The Northern Pines Lounge at the Kewadin Shores Casino in St. Ignace TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! This is the fourth straight concert weekend for Peril in St. Ignace dating back to last fall, and it's clear that Jeff, Adam (or Dave), and Brooks are finding success and familiarity there as they continue focusing their gigs on Kewadin Casinos (with Scarkazm picking up the touring slack), so keep Peril's hard rocking covers in mind if you're up for such tunes this weekend! Peril aren't scheduled to return to St. Ignace until August, after all. As usual for Peril's Kewadin gigs, there are 21+ age limits, no announced cover charges, and 9:00 PM start times in effect for tomorrow and Saturday night. Check the above links for more information, and here's Peril live in concert a few years back!

Finally for today's previews, Sault Michigan hard rock quartet 415E are scheduled to return to The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Ste. Marie Kewadin Casino TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! After taking a 2 month break from the stage, this show will see Dave, the Hubbards, and Mitch laying down more familiar hard rock classics and presumed Van Halen covers for fans over the Memorial Day weekend, and they continue to entertain and impress fans as they have done for the past 5 years or so, so don't miss out at the Sault Kewadin this weekend if you can help it! And if you miss this weekend's shows, they'll be back in St. Ignace next week. Tomorrow & Saturday's shows have 21+ age limits, 9:00 PM start times, and no announced cover charges, so check the above links for more details, and here's 415E live! Yes, this is still the only video we have, 415E don't post or share videos of themselves online for one reason or another, and anything else was deleted.

That's all for today, but stay tuned for our Northwest preview and more tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Uncle Ray & Gianni Gagoots), And Still More Alter Bridge Concert Videos!!

After a quiet Monday, we are back with a new news post this morning featuring more recent concert videos to check out, and leading off, a pair of LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for later this year, so here's what you need to know!

Windsor grindcore quartet Uncle Ray will make their local concert debut on Sunday, July 9th when they headline at The New American Pub! Specializing in ferocious yet short original songs, Uncle Ray's brand of "grinding power violence" has left a good impression on Southern Ontario fans, and hopefully they bring the same intensity to The New A later this summer, so give them a listen! Local support will include local doom metal trio AlgomA in their second local show since the end of their European tour run. With a very intriguing new album in the works from AlgomA with another notable band (more on that shortly), the second half of 2016 should be very eventful for them, so stay tuned! The other opening act will be local death metal duo Them, in their first publically announced concert of the year, not having played live publically since opening for Dumpster Mummy last fall (apologies for missing that show in previous references to their stage hiatus.)

Solid choice, and hopefully Tyler and Anthony can pick up where the left off in seven weeks' time when they open for Uncle Ray at The New A! Promoted by Six, Two, Oh., this concert has a $7 cover charge, 19+ age limit, and 9:00 PM start time. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and stay tuned for potential updates as they roll in!

Next up, local funk/improv/hard rock quintet Gianni Gagoots' second show under their Like Ten Productions promotional banner will take place on Saturday, September 2nd when they open for Montreal jazz/rap/funk trio The OM Sound at The New American Pub once again! Fans may remember seeing the Gagoots open for this band at The New A back on December 30th during Six, Two, Oh.'s Holiday Funk Show, and it's clear that The OM Sound left an impression on attendees with their "hip-hop/electro/jazz funk" stylings, so if you like said genres and want another sampling, here's your Labour Day weekend booking, with some harder edged instrumental jams from the local openers to kick things off! More details may be forthcoming (the show isn't for over 3 months, after all), but expect a $5 cover charge, 19+ age limit, and 9:00 PM start time. Check the above links for more details in the interim!

Finally for today, we actually have a few more videos from last week's Alter Bridge concert at The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino to acknowledge on here! Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in! Five come from Infathom manager Michael Cole's YouTube channel, as he belatedly followed Wednesday's "My Champion" video with five more clips uploaded yesterday. Five day delay or not, it's great to see these! Michael's new videos are of the Orlando hard rock quartet playing their songs "The Writing On The Wall", "Come To Life", "Farther Than The Sun", "Addicted To Pain", and as embedded below, "Ghost Of Days Gone By". Filmed at a similar angle and quality as seen previously from Michael, these videos have a great angle of the band, but slightly muffled audio. Check them out above & below, and if more videos turn up on YouTube, we'll try to acknowledge them!

Lastly, promoters Allstar Promotions's Facebook page shared two videos from owner Dave Atkinson's personal Facebook page last week that feature Alter Bridge doing their soundcheck before the show proper began! The sub-2 minute clips (one linked here) feature instrumental performances before doors officially opened, though gathered onlookers do applaud and cheer after songs wrapped up.  This is a very unique way to view this concert, especially when you combine the empty seats and lack of vocals, and diehard fans will definitely want to check these out above & below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates as the month rolls along! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Even More Alter Bridge/In Flames Concert Videos!!

As previously teased, here's our third and presumably final showcase of videos from Tuesday night's Alter Bridge/In Flames concert at The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino! Kudos once again to everyone who was filming at this concert, we were beyond spoiled! We'll start with a frequent sight for concert video postings around here, namely Christopher Paci, who shot sixteen videos at this concert, including ten of Alter Bridge's set, so what should you know? Uploaded on Friday, Chris filmed the Orlando hard rockers playing their songs "The Writing On The Wall", "Ghost Of Days Gone By", "Cry of Achilles", "My Champion", Myles Kennedy's acoustic renditions of "Wonderful Life" & "Watch Over You" in the same clip, "Open Your Eyes", "Metalingus", "Show Me A Leader", "Rise Today", and as embedded below, "Blackbird". The camera can be a little jittery at times, and heads can get in the way, but he had a solid angle of the band, and the audio's usually solid! Give his Alter Bridge clips a look above & below!

Chris also posted six videos of opening Swedish metal standouts In Flames from Tuesday, including their songs "Where The Dead Ships Dwell", "Moonshield", "Before I Fall", "Cloud Connected", "Take This Life", and as embedded below, their opening track "Wallflower". Similar quality to the Alter Bridge videos (naturally) though with not quite as much zoom, these capture In Flames' set nicely, and you can see them above & below as well!

Next up, fellow attendee Jeff Hagan (a prior filmer from this year's Pop Evil show) uploaded sixteen videos of his own from Alter Bridge's set to his own YouTube channel on Friday! Sadly, Jeff did not post anything of In Flames, but he did get most (if not all) of Alter Bridge's songs from Tuesday in at least partial form, including "The Writing on the Wall", "Come to Life", "Ghost Of Days Gone By", "Cry of Achilles", "Addicted to Pain", "Metalingus", "Open Your Eyes", "My Champion", "Crows on a Wire", "Waters Rising", "Blackbird", "Slip to the Void", "Watch Over You", "Wonderful Life", and as embedded below, "Rise Today". Filmed from a higher and further angle than the rest of the videos I've seen from the concert, Jeff got some solid videos all the same with a clear view of the band, though the audio can be a little muffled, "Blackbird" is regrettably filmed on the vertical camera angle, and "Open Your Eyes" was accidentally posted twice. See more from Jeff above and below!

Finally, we have two more clips from YouTube user Kathleen Hardy, who followed up her "My Champion" video from Wednesday with two additional videos on Thursday, those being of Alter Bridge's songs "Slip To The Void" and, as embedded below, "Waters Rising", notable for featuring guitarist Mark Tremonti on lead vocals rather than Myles. Filmed at her excellent angle from before with awesome audio and video quality, these are a nice way to cap off our Alter Bridge video showcases, so give these a look as well!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates as the week rolls along! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Deathsticks, Gianni Gagoots, And Tym Morrison), And A New Music Video!!

I was intending today's post to be a video-only feature from Tuesday's Alter Bridge show (yes, we have enough for at least one more), but with a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for TONIGHT (plus two more new concerts), I couldn't put this off. Now, alongside a new music video posting, here's what you should know on this Saturday evening!

Former Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison will play a headlining concert at The Barrelhouse Wine & Whiskey TONIGHT! Profuse apologies for the short notice, Tym only announced this show via it's official Facebook event page earlier this afternoon, and non-Gliss shows are not listed on his website's calendar. Fresh off of his matinee at Gliss Steak & Seafood TONIGHT, Tym will hit the Queen Street tapas restaurant for (at least) the seventh time with this late notice gig, his first announced there in two weeks, and fans of Tym's unplugged hard rock covers should take to TONIGHT's action, so keep this one in mind just in case! Presumably a 19+ event with no announced cover charge, everything starts at 10:30 PM, so visit the above links for more details, here's Tym live, and apologies again for the late notice, we'd have plugged it sooner had we known about it!

Next up, here's some upcoming shows with advance notice, starting with the next concert from local funk/hard rock jam quintet Gianni Gagoots, who will open for Niagara Falls experimental prog rock quartet The Road Waves in that band's local debut at The New American Pub on Friday, June 23rd! Though not quite crossing over into hard rock or punk territory, The Road Waves will be a nice compliment in the improvised jam arena to Gianni Gagoots, who will be playing their first announced concert since opening for The Hazytones last month. Of note, this is the first show from the sauce masters since announcing that they're now self-promoting concerts under the name Like Ten Productions, though they had previously booked gigs internally without a company name. I'm unsure of the meaning behind "Like Ten", but hopefully they can attain similar heights as contemporary number-named agencies Six, Two, Oh. and Live705!

Doors open at 9:00 PM for this 19+ concert, which has a $5 cover charge. This should be a fun time at The New A for fans of improvised and experimental rock & roll, so visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and stay tuned for more on Like Ten Productions' next announced show in the fall!

Today's other new show comes from the aforementioned Six, Two, Oh., as Whitby, Ontario garage/noise rock duo Deathsticks will finally make their local concert debut when they headline at The New American Pub themselves on Thursday, June 29th! Fans may remember hearing about this band's intended local concerts at The New A in October and at The Gore Street Cafe last month, with the former cancelled due to the work commitments and the latter (promoted through the laundromat) quietly called off without public word, so third time should be the charm next month! Promoters played with Deathsticks during AlgomA's summer touring last year, and they thought highly of Deathsticks' unique brand of "power slop", so don't bypass them! Local alt-hard rock quartet Bizotic will return to the site of their live debut as local openers next month, while an additional opening act may be added too.

As a thank you and show of appreciation for fans who have attended Six, Two, Oh. shows over the last couple of years, this will be a FREE CONCERT, while it is still a 19+ event with a 9:00 PM start time. Hopefully this show goes off without a hitch, as I know the hype Deathsticks have received since last fall, and fingers crossed all goes well for this FREE show at the end of June, so see the above links for updates!

Finally for today, here's a brand new solo music video from Skeyes of Seven frontman Cory Murchison's YouTube channel! Unlike his past solo dalliances (which were primarily acoustic for live sets), this is a fully electric song named "Asleep At The Wheel", which has a definite Alice In Chains vibe, and wouldn't be out of place with Skeyes of Seven proper! For the record, we haven't heard a public update from them in four months, and no word on if this solo video means anything regarding the band's status, but the description notes that the song "represents an awakening" and "remembering who you used to be." The light hearted video features Cory playing in and performing a silly walk in a cemetery, as mixed in with clips of him playing with (and alongside) his baby daughter, and while the camera angle changes can be a little jarring, this is a fun video overall that shows off Cory's soft side while maintaining a dark grungy edge! Give it a look below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates on the site in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCEERT ALERTS (Vaultry, The Din, And Electric Church), Plus More Recent Updates!!

Before we dive back into Alter Bridge concert videos (yes, there's enough for another post on them!), we have a post full of news to touch on for this Saturday morning! Along with some assorted shorter items, we're leading off with three big LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for the summer featuring some varied lineups, so here's what you should know!

Live705 have announced their next two promoted concerts, and both will mark their first stabs at promoting out of town touring acts! First up from them is a Father's Day concert on Sunday, June 18th at The Canadian Nightclub, and that show's featured touring act is Toronto hardcore quartet Speaker, whose hard hitting punk-influenced fury will be welcomed by local fans for the first time next month, so keep them in mind! Presumably due to their touring commitments, Speaker are not the advertised headliners on the 18th, with local blues/hard rock trio Electric Church reprising their Easter Bash role as the night's closing act. Solid choice, and if you've seen them lately, you'll know the talent these guys bring to the table! A high quality and suitably varied opening lineup continues with Live705's own punk quartet A Dire Setback, rising punk trio Stegadeth, reunited hard rock quartet Eclipse (in their Live705 debut), folk/indie trio The Autumn Roots, and unidentified Soo York City hip hop performers once again.

Curiously listed as an 18+ show on the poster (not by accident, 19+ attendees will have wristbands), this show starts at 7:05 PM on Father's Day, and admission is $10 with Live705's recent requisite $2-off vouchers available from performers in lieu of a cheaper advance ticket price. Also, as this is on Father's Day, dads get in for just $5 (no word on if a voucher applies before or after that discount, but keep it in mind!) This sounds like a fun and varied concert to take in next month, though note that it will be the same night as the Rock the Border Music Fest, so plan accordingly. Stay tuned to the Facebook event page for continued updates!

Next up, here's another Canadian Nightclub show to announce before we get to Live705's July show, as new local promotion agency The SaultMusicScene (no relation to this site or the 2000s website) will host their first concert there on Friday, June 30th to help kick off Canada Day! Headlining at the end of next month are local/Toronto indie rock musician Jesse Merineau in a rare headlining appearance, while the band he edged out in last year's Speak Easy Battle (local alternative hard rock trio The Din) will also return to the stage fresh off of their Rock The Border Music Fest set as co-headliners! Supporting bands will include two returning acts from Live705's Father's Day show, namely the aforementioned Autumn Roots (fronted by promoter Jeremy Hannah) and Eclipse, while alternative hard rock quartet Bizotic are currently listed as tentative openers on June 30th. If they are confirmed or have to drop out of this concert, we'll let you know!

The lineup may still see an addition, so message Jeremy at the above links or the Facebook event page if your band wants in on this show or planned future events from The SaultMusicScene! This 19+ concert has $10 door admission, $5 advance tickets (details forthcoming), and an 8:00 PM start time, while there will reportedly be two door prize draws, though we await word on what they'll be for. It's been a long time to see Jeremy promoting again after a few false starts under old names, and hopefully this show is a huge hit to spur along more from him in the coming months! See above for current and upcoming details as they roll in!

Lastly for today's new show announcements, we have a true hybrid event on Friday, July 7th when Live705 return to The Canadian Nightclub once again with not one, but two out of town headline attractions! Victoria, British Columbia alternative/punk quintet Vaultry will headline this show in their local debut as they wrap up their This Is Our Eulogy Canadian tour, and their melodic brand of alternative originals should be a nice match this summer! Peterborough doom rapper Garbageface (who headlined at The New A in February) will return to the Soo as co-headliners for another punk/rap fusion event on July 7th, and his dark and unique rhymes should appeal to genre fans that night as well! Local openers will include the aforementioned A Dire Setback (who opened at the previous Garbageface show here), Soo York City rapper Rick E in a solo set, and two more acts to be announced.

Might the new acts maintain the punk/rap hybridization? Time will tell! Like with the Father's Day show, expect a 7:05 PM start time, and there will again be $2-off vouchers from local openers to knock $2 off of the $12 door admission fee. As for the age limit, this is also listed as being 18+ with wristbands for older attendees, in the second show where they're experimenting with allowing in attendees a year younger. Is this a first step towards Live705 all ages shows at The Canadian, or just a bonus for those a little too young to come? Stay tuned, but for more details on this intriguing mash-up show, visit the official Facebook event page!

Finally for today, here's three assorted shorter news items from the last while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist or business name:

  • Sault Michigan music store Grooves Music has changed ownership and name, with Gary Hatch retiring and selling the Ashmun Street business to former Half Stupid frontman Zac Crook and his wife Christy, and the store will fittingly be known as Crooked Music upon it's re-opening in June. The store's Grooves-era services (lessons, gear, local albums) will still be maintained, but the Crooks plan to sell band t-shirts and vinyl records there as well. It's great to see that 540 Ashmun is remaining a music store to serve the E.U.P., so keep tabs above for details on the upcoming relaunch, and we've updated it's link on the site and relegated Grooves' page!
  • Local/St. Catharine's death metal trio Shit Liver have quietly dropped out of Oddzfest II at The Oddfellows Hall on Saturday, June 17th, as per their removal from the lineup on the Facebook event page. A reason for their withdrawal wasn't announced, but remember that the guys do live in Southern Ontario now, and one or more of them may not be able to make the trip home that weekend. Promoter Josh Stephney is looking for a replacement co-headliner and an extra opening band to boost this show to six acts, so message him at the above links if you or someone you know are interested in playing next month! 
  • I have replaced the link inactive Sault Ontario concert promotion agency Spotlight Canada in our "Other Local Metal Links" due to it's domain name expiring, so it now links to their Facebook page. A short lived attempt at a promotion agency in 2015 with national ambitions for touring and promoter networking, this was the aforementioned Jeremy Hannah's last stab at promoting concerts before returning to that avenue with the new SaultMusicScene this month. There's not much to speak of left of Spotlight Canada themselves, who never held a concert proper, but I thought I'd acknowledge the link update!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates this weekend! Thanks everyone!

Friday, May 19, 2017

More Alter Bridge/In Flames Concert Videos!!

For this Friday afternoon post, we're tackling yet more videos from Tuesday night's Alter Bridge/In Flames concert at The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino! A lot of people filmed a lot of footage for YouTube at this concert, and there's more yet to be featured on the site, so thanks to everyone who filmed on Tuesday! We'll start today with the filmer we closed with on Wednesday, namely Anne McIntosh, who uploaded eleven more videos to her YouTube channel yesterday to join her prior two Alter Bridge clips! Despite the wait in between, kudos to her for putting up even more! Eight were of Alter Bridge's headlining set, filming the Orlando hard rockers playing their songs "Rise Today" (their closer, preceded by dueling guitar solos from Myles & Mark), "Slip to the Void", "Waters Rising", "Crows on a Wire", "Ties That Bind", "Cry of Achilles", "The Writing on the Wall", and as embedded below, "Show Me a Leader". Why this song? Beforehand, there was an on-stage marriage proposal!

You don't see this every day, let alone in the Soo, and while I won't spoil the details, would we share it here if she said "No"? Nice moment for sure, and as for the videos proper, Anne's new videos are even better than before, with a nice and close angle to the stage, a horizontal camera orientation, and strong performances throughout, so check everything out at the above links and below!

Anne also filmed three videos of In Flames, marking our best footage yet of the Swedish metal notables from Tuesday night, and she filmed them playing their songs "Moonshield", "All For Me", and as embedded below, "Deliver Us", one of only four songs not captured in James Jones' videos of the concert. Again, these have similar qualities and angles to Anne's Alter Bridge clips, and you get a good sense of In Flames' set and command of the crowd, regardless of band era, and as I stated the other day, their newer material sounds better live! See more above & below!

Next up, here's a pair of new uploads from Alter Bridge's set, including this one from the YouTube channel of Michael Cole (manager of Munising metal band and prior local headliners Infathom), and he filmed their song "My Champion". More of a higher side-stage angle on this clip, and while the video is clear and nicely framed the location, the audio is muffled. Not bad though, so give this perspective a look below as well!

Finally, we have a video of Alter Bridge playing "Open Your Eyes" on Tuesday night, courtesy of YouTube user Mitch MacDonald! Though there's nothing in the title or description confirming it was from the Soo show (all of his videos are titled "Mitchy" with numbers following), the stage setup and clothing match other videos I have seen. At a quick glance, you'd assume this was one of Anne McIntosh's videos given the angle and quality, which is a positive sign, as this is a very solid video of one of Alter Bridge's early hits, though the audio is a little crackly. Check it out below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates this weekend! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

This Weekend's Hard Rock Concert Previews!!

Before we begin today's weekend concert preview post, just a clarification note in case anyone's confused. A new local country band named Full Circle is playing at The Royal Canadian Legion on Saturday night, but they are related in name only to the 2011 classic/hard rock cover band named Full Circle, who were previously far better known as Turner Up. At this stage, I don't think there'd be much of a mix-up, but I thought I'd mention it! Now, let's tackle this weekend's currently known weekend concert previews, starting in rough chronological order!

We'll start at Gliss Steak & Seafood, where prolific local singer/guitarist Tym Morrison will continue his long-term weekly concert arrangement with unplugged shows TOMORROW & SATURDAY! On this Victoria Day weekend, there's no breaking news to clarify, just another solid weekend of acoustic hard rock classics from this veteran local frontman, and whether you're familiar with Tym's lengthy run at The Quality Inn's house restaurant or not, you can expect lots of solid tunes at these next two matinees, so don't miss out! As usual for Tym's weekly Gliss gigs, these are 6:00 PM affairs with no announced cover charges or age limits, but remember that this is a formal restaurant, not a typical nightclub. For more details on this weekend's pair of shows, visit the official Facebook event page, and for a preview, here's Tym Morrison live!

Next up, we'll take a detour to Sault Michigan for the next concerts from local hard rock quartet Project 906, who will rock The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Kewadin Casino branch TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! After a month off from the public stage, these will be Project 906's first shows at The Rapids Lounge since April Fools Day, and these should be great chances for fans to check out Billy, Joe, Dustin, and Will in action, so keep them in mind if you're in the E.U.P. and crave some hard rocking covers! Note that these are currently Project 906's last advertised concerts of the year at either Kewadin location, and while there is no word on if more are in the pipeline yet, there are open weekends on the schedules for both. We'll of course keep you posted! As usual for Project 906's Kewadin stops, expect 9:00 PM start times, no announced cover charges, and 21+ age limits. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here's Project 906 live!

Heading back to Sault Ontario, local classic/hard rock cover quartet Soundcheck will officially play for the first time at The Esquire Club with shows TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! In all but name, you've seen these guys play there before, when Mourning Wood played their farewell gigs at this venue three weeks ago with this exact lineup, but with the two bands merging under the Soundcheck name, it's only their debut there on a technicality. Fresh off of their late notice Reggie's Place debuts last week, Soundcheck should have another solid weekend of 1980s-centric covers in store for fans this weekend, so keep them in mind if you're in the west end! Note that Soundcheck have yet to publically confirm these shows at press time (much like the Reggie's gigs), but the venue announced them as being for Mourning Wood in this earlier concert calendar, and SooToday's events calendar confirms that Soundcheck are now scheduled.

Soundcheck have visibly taken over Mourning Wood and Jukebox Junkies gigs post-merger, so this does make sense, and if any venue concert calendars come out listing those bands, expect Soundcheck to play them unless otherwise stated. As for this weekend, expect 10:00 PM start times, 19+ age limits, and no announced cover charges. See above for more details, and we'll let you know when public video footage turns up!

Finally for this weekend (barring a late notice announcement), local alternative/hard rock trio The Din will return to LopLops Lounge for a headlining concert THIS SATURDAY NIGHT! Last seen at this venue during last month's NLFB Meltdown, The Din will continue to ride their recent momentum with another high energy set of familiar and new originals alike, so don't miss out on their return to the downtown gallery & lounge on Saturday! Local indie rock trio The Autumn Roots will open themselves, who are also returning from the Meltdown, and they're a fine genre fit for the venue, so look for their folksy acoustic originals to set the tone well! Note that this is also their first announced show since frontman Jeremy Hannah launched his new "SaultMusicScene" promotion agency, no word on if he'll acknowledge any future plans for them during their set. A 9:00 PM start time, $5 cover charge, and 19+ age limit are all in effect for Saturday, so visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here's The Din live at LopLops last year!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes in the coming days, plus recent concert videos! Thanks everyone!

Last Month's Poll Results & Our Final Poll On Your Favourite 2016 Concerts!!

Here's our poll results from last month on the SMS, plus the launch of our final poll on last year's events in the local scene! We posed this question to you guys last month: What was your favourite local metal, hard rock, or punk concert in the second half of 2016? Sadly, this poll received only 10 votes, which isn't great, but there is a clear and deserving winner, and we did have a comparable number of votes from our first half of 2016 poll. Thanks to everyone who did vote, and here are the final results!

Guy Thiffault tribute at The Rockstar Bar on December 27th (3 votes, 30%)
Live705 Show at The Oddfellows Hall on November 19th (2 votes, 20%)
The Ripcordz at The Canadian Nightclub on August 13th (1 vote, 10%)
The Din & Gnaeus at The Tech on August 12th (1 vote, 10%)
Iskra, Pillory, and Rotopsy at The Oddfellows Hall on July 14th (1 vote, 10%)
Cocaine Moustache at The New American Pub on July 12th (1 vote, 10%)
Hedley and The Rising Tide at The Yard on July 1st (1 vote, 10%)
Gnaeus & The Din at The Rockstar Bar on August 5th (0 votes)
SNFU & Jack Spades at The Rockstar Bar on September 1st (0 votes)
K-Man & The 45s at The New A on September 17th (0 votes)
The Gnar-BQ at Queen Elizabeth Park on September 24th (0 votes)
Castle & AlgomA at 180 Projects on September 28th (0 votes)
Moon Tan & The Din at The New American Pub on October 6th (0 votes)
Norilsk & AlgomA at The Oddfellows Hall on October 28th (0 votes)
Halloween Party at The Algonquin Pub on October 29th (0 votes)
Punk Rock Bingo at The New A on October 30th (0 votes)
Eclipse at The Rednecks Saloon on October 31st (0 votes)
Toystock V at Grand Gardens North on November 20th (0 votes)
Mike Mikus & Id Iota at LopLops on November 26th (0 votes)
Gnaeus & The Din at LopLops Lounge on December 26th (0 votes)
Other (0 votes)

What do you guys think? Well, given the lack of votes, I can't be too surprised by the amount of shows with zero votes, but if anything particularly shocks me, how did SNFU's return in September get no love? Five shows got a single vote, ranging from the expected (Hedley, The Ripcordz) to the less expected (Cocaine Moustache, though with the debut of the Gagoots, that may have helped.) A scant two shows recieved multiple votes, with Live705's debut concert at The Oddfellows Hall eking out second place. This was a big debut for this fast rising promotion agency, and though they haven't booked an all ages show since, fans definitely came out last fall and have continued to do so (and stay tuned for our coverage of their next show in the coming days!) But the winner of the poll was December's Guy Thiffault tribute concert, and I can definitely see how that won out. If you were there, you would have saw the emotion, the packed crowd, the responses, the band reunions, and the Guy rememberances, and that all added up in a very positive way at that sad time. Thanks to everyone for voting!

Now, for our final poll of our "favourite _____ of 2016" poll cycle, and given the recent voter turnout, our last poll on the SMS until July's poll on shows from the first half of this year. Today, we are suitably posing this question to you guys: What was your favourite metal, hard rock, or punk concert of 2016? As previously indicated in past years, we're combining the shows that received at least one vote from both of our last half-year polls, in order for readers to determine their favourite SMS-covered concert in the whole year! Six shows from early 2016 got votes, seven did over the past month, and "Other" is back just in case, so hopefully that will help cover missing bases. As usual, these all took place between January 1st & December 31st, 2016, and 2017 shows so far will be covered in July. If a specific concert you liked isn't in the poll that was in one of the prior half-year polls, it didn't get a vote last time, but we do have "Other" if you must vote for it! Now, here are your final 13 choices!

Bands: The Din, Stereo North, and Morgan Steele
Venue: The Gore Street Cafe
Date: March 4th, 2016
Info: This special acoustic concert was a featured event during The Gore Street Cafe's inaugural Fishbowl Festival from February-March 2016, and notably was the source of The Din's debut live CD "The Din Does Laundry". Fans got a mellower take on their and Stereo North's originals, plus a late notice opening set by country pop musician Morgan Steele, but was this show up your alley?

Bands: Gorod, Bookakee, Jack Spades, and Them
Venue: The Oddfellows Hall
Date: April 15th, 2016
Info: Word of mouth was great from 2015's Bookakee show, so when the Montreal theatrical metal band returned last April with a different French headlining act (Gorod) in tow, there was quite a response! Despite microphone issues and Winkstinger's dropout, this was an extremely fun show that had to be seen to be believed, particularly on Bookakee's part, but was it your favourite choice?

Bands: Id Iota, The Pixo Control, and Gnaeus
Venue: LopLops Lounge
Date: April 21st, 2016
Info: Capping off their tour of Ontario with Tidal Records, these local alternative hard rock bands returned home for this concert in April, which Id Iota headlined in their first local concert appearance in almost a year, launching their "Maudlin Fair" EP in the process! Also seeing the local debuts of Id Iota bassist Dan Linklater & Gnaeus drummer Alex Proulx, would you vote for this show?

Bands: Project 421, Eclipse, and Shit Creek Survivor
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: May 13th, 2016
Info: After taking four months off from the stage due to a family emergency and other personal matters, classic metal quintet Project 421 returned to the scene for this Friday the 13th show, and picked up right where they left off alongside their sister band Eclipse! Notably joined the next day by a late notice fill-in gig from both bands (albeit with Curtis McKenzie opening instead), did you like this/both show(s) the most in the poll?

Bands: Project 421, The Leash Kids, and Mourning Wood
Venue: The Rednecks Saloon
Date: June 4th, 2016
Info: The surprise winner of our poll from early 2016, this second Redneck Rock Bash concert had a completely different and smaller lineup that time around, partly due to the late dropouts of Redundant and Shit Creek Survivor. Notably featuring the debut of the short lived experimental duo The Leash Kids, and a rare multi-band concert from Mourning Wood, was Redneck Rock Bash 2 your favourite concert in the year?

Bands: Jack Spades, Gnaeus, DJ Seith, The Din, K.I.C.K., and Conika
Venue: Queen Elizabeth Park
Date: June 21st, 2016
Info: The fourth straight local installment of Go Skateboarding Day (but second with live bands) saw an almost entire overhaul from 2015's lineup, with only DJ Seith returning, but this diverse lineup of punk, alternative, and hip hop (including both VM Battle winning bands) delivered a fun soundtrack to the day's skateboarding events and showcases! Was this outdoor show your favourite?

Bands: Hedley, The Beaches, and Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide
Venue: The Yard
Date: July 1st, 2016
Info: The second half of 2016 began with a bang when Abbotsford power pop/punk favourites Hedley returned to the Soo for the first time in 5 years as the headlining act for the first half of The Yard's Canada Day Kicker!  This well received show entertained many fans of the Juno-winners, while fans of The Rising Tide also rejoiced for the local openers' only Soo show of the year, complete with Mikey Hawdon back behind the kit! Would you cast your vote for Hedley's local return?

Bands: Cocaine Moustache, Gianni Gagoots, and War Baby
Venue: The New American Pub
Date: July 12th, 2016
Info: An intriguing meld of styles hit The New A in mid-July when touring Vancouver acts Cocaine Moustache and War Baby came east to give local fans a taste of their bluesy hard rock and grungy punk originals respectively! Sandwiched in between was the local concert debut of funk/hard rock instrumental group Gianni Gagoots, who began their local ascent with their creative improvised stage show for assembled fans! Would this show be your favourite of 2016?

Bands: Pillory, Iskra, Rotopsy, and AlgomA
Venue: The Oddfellows Hall
Date: July 14th, 2016
Info: Despite an unusual lineup order that saw the headliners playing second and AlgomA opening, this all ages concert from July gave fans an aggressive blast of extreme metal, with Victoria grindcore veterans Iskra making their long awaited return to the local stage after 12 years away! Notably also featuring the first non-battle of the bands appearance at a normal concert venue by the reunited Pillory, this show definitely melted faces of attending fans, but did this one earn your vote?

Bands: The Din & Gnaeus
Venue: The W.W. Baldwin Auditorium at The Tech
Date: August 12th, 2016
Info: Just one week after Gnaeus' CD release concert with The Din opening, the two bands switched places when The Din launched their own debut studio album "Give In To The Din" at The Tech's auditorium back in August. Despite a pre-show fire alarm at the former St. Mary's College, the show was also well received, even becoming the basis of Shaw TV's first OnStage episode, and The Din's CD also won praise from fans! Would you give in to this show?

Bands: The Ripcordz, Jack Spades, Project 421, and Eclipse
Venue: The Canadian Nightclub
Date: August 13th, 2016
Info: The idea of an all ages concert in the Soo with The Ripcordz as headliners had been teased for many months, and that came to fruition when Jack Spades frontman J.D. Pearce brought the Montreal hardcore punk legends to The Canadian in mid-August for another hotly recieved Soo show from Paul Gott and company! Also featuring a special guest appearance by Dayglo Abortions bassist Willy Jak(!) with Jack Spades, did this night of all ages punk & metal action win 2016 to you?

Bands: K.I.C.K., A Dire Setback, Electric Church, The Din, Talk Shit, Stegadeth, and Jizzy Baby
Venue: The Oddfellows Hall
Date: November 19th, 2016
Info: New local concert promoters Live705 and their featured band A Dire Setback made a big splash in November with their first concert and only Oddfellows Hall appearance to date, with a nice variety of local acts on display for fans! Notably also including the first live set from T-Rex Manning successors Stegadeth, punk quartet Talk Shit's first live set in seven years, and a breakthrough set from blues rockers Electric Church, did this intriguing concert top 2016 in your eyes?

Bands: Bin Hawdon & The Taliband, Destroilet, Rotbottyrot, Talk Shit, The Business Suit Trappers, Nebraska Arms, AlgomA, Stegadeth, and A Dire Setback
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: December 27th, 2016
Info: The sudden passing of ex-Hangdowns frontman Guy Thiffault in December was extremely sad, but his friends and former bandmates quickly came together to host a benefit concert for his family over the holidays, which included returns to the stage after a year+ away from Bin Hawdon & The Taliband, Destroilet, and two of Guy's former bands to a raucous and emotional reception from attending fans. This was a huge concert to end 2016 with, but was it your favourite?

Other: Did we miss a show you'd rather vote for? For reference, bands like 1971, The 3 Day Millionaires, 9 Lives & Counting, The Anti-Queens, Artificial Dissemination, Astral Gunk, The Bear Hunters, Big Brother, Bizotic, The Black Mirrors, Black Tremor, The Blackwood Sinners, Blessed, Bloody Diamonds, Bon Jovi Forever, Caroline Divine, Castle, Caveman Morrison, Crucify the Whore, Curtis McKenzie, Debutaunt, Dumpster Mummy, The Elements, Foam, The Franquilizers, Grave Party, Griphook, Havadder, Heavy Head, Kaepora Gaebora (now Exploring Detritus), K-Man & The 45s, Like A Pisces, Long Shot, Lost Love, Lucky 13, Moon Tan, The Motherfuckers, Mulligrub, The Nailheads, Nameus (now Soundcheck), Norilsk, Northwest, Reanimator, Redundant, Shit Liver, SNFU, Stiffler's Mom, Still of the Night, Sykotyk Rampage, Telephone & Address, That's Chester, Them, Twistory, Tym Morrison, Vintage Slang, and Winkstinger all played locally last year in shows not included in the poll otherwise. Did one of them have your preferred concert of 2016, or perhaps a show featuring bands in the poll that isn't listed? Vote for "Other"!

VOTE TODAY!! You have until June 18th to vote for your favourite concerts of last year, so hopefully there's a good turnout of votes to end our year-end polls with! That's all for now, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews next! Thanks everyone!