Monday, July 31, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (The Ripcordz & Tym Morrison), Monday Night Concert Previews, And More!!

Here's our final news post of the month, as we have some rare concert previews for Monday night shows within, plus some recent concert videos, and to kick things off, LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (one on SHORT NOTICE), so here's what you should know!

Local acoustic hard rock singer/guitarist Tym Morrison will play a special matinee concert TONIGHT & TOMORROW NIGHT when he debuts at... Mark's Breakfast Plus at The Market Mall? Apologies for the short notice, these were only announced via their official Facebook event page yesterday, alongside shows this coming weekend that we'll save for our next weekend concert previews to avoid redundantly featuring them twice in a few days' time. These rare hard rock concerts at the 275 Second Line West mall will mark Tym's first gigs at the new breakfast-specializing restaurant in the former Kackleberry's location, and while this may seem like an atypical site for a concert performance, they have already hosted artists like former That's Chester/Griphook frontman Jim O'Leary, and reportedly host live music specifically between Sundays and Tuesdays.

Tym is no stranger to bringing his unplugged covers to unfamiliar venues (we never covered Gliss until he started there, for example), and hopefully TONIGHT & TOMORROW's shows are hits! Like his Gliss gigs, these shows are both 6:00 PM matinees with no announced cover charges or age limits, but remember that this is a restaurant, and they do have formal dinner entrees if you don't want all-day breakfast. Visit the above links for more details on TONIGHT & TOMORROW'S debuts at Mark's, and here's Tym live!

Next up, we have another new concert to announce, but with lots of prior word, as Montreal hardcore punk legends The Ripcordz will return to the Soo on Saturday, October 7th at The Algonquin Pub! Yes, this show has been publically advertised for over a month now via it's official Facebook event page, but we only just learned the venue in the past few days. For a fifth straight year, Paul Gott and company will headline a local concert between August & October, and you know how intense and packed their shows get locally, so don't miss out on their tried & true classics and newer cuts this fall! Currently advertised local openers include punk/metal quintet Jack Spades (who joined them on the "Fed Up!" split & helped open each of The Ripcordz' last four local dates) and punk trio Stegadeth, who contain members that have opened for The Ripcordz with both Jack Spades and T-Rex Manning in the past. Fitting choices for what should be another ferocious night of hardcore punk in October, so don't bypass either local opening band then!

Sadly a 19+ event following The Ripcordz' all ages headliner at The Canadian last year, this concert will be a 9:00 PM affair with $10 advance tickets that you can now buy online at this link, though no word yet on local availability or potential price hikes at the door. Local fans know that The Ripcordz are a must-see attraction during their recently yearly stops in the Soo, so circle October 7th on your calendars, and stay tuned for updates!

Also, here's our preview of another Monday night concert (albeit one with advance notice), as Calgary industrial punk trio Dri Hiev will hit The Gore Street Cafe TONIGHT in their local concert debut! Harbouring a unique sound that I likened to noise punk recorded inside a hydraulic factory, I have no idea how Dri Hiev (presumably pronounced "dry heave") will fare in the laundromat, which tends to lean more towards acoustic acts, but come down to see their intense and original sound tonight to see for yourselves! Local acoustic punk solo project Telephone & Address will open tonight in their first live set since rocking the cafe five months ago, and Chris should be in fine form with more of his unplugged post-punk originals, and pick up his newest CD "Are You Now or Have You Ever Been..." tonight also! This early stop on Dri Hiev's Canadian tour will see a 7:00 PM start time, it will be ALL AGES, and while this is a "pay what you can" event as usual, the venue suggests donating $10. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here's Dri Hiev live!

Finally for today, here's some new videos from Christopher Paci's YouTube channel, as the local concert filmer was also back in action shooting lots of videos at The Tea Party's free headlining concert at The Roberta Bondar Pavilion two weeks ago! Only posted online late last week, Chris filmed every act except opening artist McLean (granted, his set was only advertised at 15 minutes long), and he posted videos of Sudbury country singer Andrew Hyatt's song "Love Drunk", and three songs by Toronto drum & bass duo Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker ("Damini", "Work Shoes", and "Yo Hello Hooray".) As for the headlining Windsor hard rock trio, Chris posted videos of them playing their songs "Temptation", "Heaven Coming Down", "Save Me", "The Bazaar", "Writing's On The Wall", and as embedded below, "Psychopomp". These are candid fan-shot videos rather than the previously seen videos from news outlets and organizers, so how did these turn out?

Not bad at all, Chris was about third row for the concert, with a nearly central angle to the stage, and with bright daytime lighting at the outdoor venue to boot. Fans' heads can get in the road, but with the higher stage and many softer stretches from the day's bands, the audio and video quality is no issue! Give all of Chris' videos a look from this free and varied evening of live music above and below, and stay tuned for more from his channel!

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

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Treble Charger - "Self=Title" CD Review!!

Now is a good time for our 97th monthly CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, and in honour of their return to the local stage after a 2 year hiatus on Thursday, we're looking at local/Toronto indie punk quartet Treble Charger's second studio album today, amusingly named "Self=Title"! Released through Sonic Unyon Records in 1995 before seeing major-label reissues via RCA & BMG in 1996 & 1997, "Self=Title" was recorded using prize money from a Toronto radio station contest, and was mixed by the band, Jon Auer, and Brian Malouf, with mastering by Joao Carvalho and Ted Jensen. A Juno Award nominee for Best Alternative Album in 1997, the album features the same lineup from their debut "nc17", including singer/guitarists Greig Nori and Bill Priddle, bassist Rosie Martin, and drummer Morris Palter. CD copies of this album can be found at record stores still (mileage will vary), while online copies of the original album are available on services like iTunes and Spotify.

Note that original copies of this CD contain a digital magazine feature spotlighting Canadian indie bands from the mid-1990s, while only major label reissues feature the album's final two tracks. We will review all songs from the latter, but we won't review the "screen zine" content, which I'd treat as a bonus given that it's about other bands, but if you have the right copy and computer, it's worth a look. Also, song names below are linked to YouTube copies of the album, but support the band and buy this album if you haven't already! Featuring 9 songs running for 32 minutes in length, let's begin our review of "Self=Title"!

This CD begins with it's two singles (each of which receiving a music video), with the first song being "Morale", whose lyrics seem to allude to trying to stay positive with or without a friend's input. Peaking at #16 on the Canadian Alternative Rock charts, this song has a Weezer-esque feel at times, with a stop-start guitar melody, dream-like singing from Greig, and a catchy rhythm! Though not at their later pop-punk base yet, the song has glimmers of a musical edge to come, and it's a fine opener for their sophomore release! That's followed by lead single "Even Grable", which peaked at #6 on the same chart, their second best result there to date. Lyrically referencing a conversation with a departing and angry lover, some distorted guitar work and solid drums kick off this song, which has a nice full sound and pointed yet melodic singing, though the vocal harmonization late can sound a little muddled. Distinctive yet familiar song overall, Treble Charger's development is clear as this one progresses!

The softer "Case In Fact" comes third on the album, which honestly feels like a direct sequel to "Even Grable", as Greig rhetorically talks to the same loved one about the relationship's end & path forward. This song would be an ideal fit for acoustic concerts, with only the chorus showing more of a plugged in base, and while I lean more towards their more "rocking" songs, this is a pleasant track with mature lyrics! The choruses seem to lose a bit of the verses' focus, but if you like Treble Charger's early indie material, this will be right up your alley! Fourth is "Cleric's Hip", which falls just shy of 2 minutes, making it the shortest song on "Self=Title". Seemingly a continuation where a response from her is now waited upon, this song is arguably the most punk-like piece yet on this album, with more of a grungy bite to the riffs, though Greig's singing is still hushed and softer, and occasionally hard to hear until the final 30 seconds or so. It's an entertaining track, but it ends before it really gets started (and no word on if the sampled caller at the beginning got his peanut M&Ms!)

The fifth song is "Sick Friend Called", though the lyrics allude more to the drive to see said friend than anything (if that's how you take it.) Structurally similar in many respects to modern day indie rock songs, this one has a very well done chorus that melodically soars, contrasting well with the quiet and reserved verses, and Greig and Bill contrast well on guitar here, with Rosie's bass work a highlight on the bridge & closing chorus, so fans of their original sound should take to this one easily, despite an abrupt ending! Then we have "Motor Control", which seems to speak of reconciliation and apologies for past behaviour. Oddly beginning with a 17 second instrumental prologue before the song proper begins, this mid-tempo song plays to their musical strengths, and Morris shines on drums, but the singing lacks some emotion compared to earlier numbers, and the lyrics could have been fleshed out a little more. Solid indie rocker all the same!

Original copies of "Self=Title" ended with "Slight", which runs for nearly 5 minutes, the longest on any version of the album. Seemingly coming back to a relationship understanding in the album's lyrical arc, this song is another one that fans of Treble Charger's later punk sound may enjoy more, based on the fuller and more rocking choruses, though it retains their indie melodies and mature themes, plus a siren-esque audio sample and some "ooooo" vocalizations. That said, the second half of the song gives way to background noise, feedback, and a mild instrumental coda, which I wasn't too high on, it just came across like filler. While it lasted though, the song worked and felt like a bridge of eras! If you own a major label reissue of this CD, these final two songs will round out the track listing, starting with "Disclaimer", whose lyrics involve one warning someone about their past actions and choices of words, not to say they fully understand.

As far as I can gather, Bill handles lead vocals on this song, which is a very reserved and folksy number that fans of his later solo work will be familiar with. The backing "eeeee" vocals here are not my cup of tea, but it's a well performed song that would also fit nicely in an unplugged setting, though it probably won't be a top pick for fans of their later punk albums. Lastly is "Half Down", which seems to paint dissatisfaction and giving up on someone in the context of performing music. A deliberately paced ballad with some interesting effects (including phone call-esque singing from Greig), this is another solid performance within their early indie rock wheelhouse!

So, what are my final thoughts on Treble Charger's sophomore album? Overall, I will say that it's a natural follow-up to the previous year's "nc17", and it seemed to be a tighter pound-for-pound release, focusing on fewer and generally shorter songs, but also ones that showcased more of their instrumental talents and lyrical maturity, and intentional or not, a concept about a failing relationship and reconciliation permeates through the original 7 songs. Greig Nori and Bill Priddle remain a solid match on guitar, with Rosie Martin an understated but effective presence on bass, and Morris Palter kept pace well on drums, while Greig's vocals tended to be clearer and more consistent than on their debut! At the same time, he wasn't projecting his range at more familiar levels yet, but the singing tends to fit these songs, which showed some more hints of their punk sound to come, like on "Morale" and "Cleric's Hip". AllMusic criticized this album for sounding rushed and unfinished, and while some songs do have abrupt endings & short lyrical passages, "Self=Title" stands on it's own merits!

I still prefer their later punk sound, but Treble Charger delivered a quality sequel that fans of their early sound should eat up, so buy or stream it at the above links! Remember, the last two songs are only officially on the CD reissues, and are not featured on "Self=Title" copies on streaming services. I hope you guys liked this month's CD review, but what's coming up on the site next month? At this juncture, I again don't know, but here's what I can tell you. A new album would of course be our first choice, but if nothing comes out, an archive metal, hard rock, or punk album would be next, as usual. Treble Charger and SweetKenny are out of next month's running due to our 6 month anti-bias buffer between reviews of the same band, but there are many other options. As I like to tie in reviews where possible to artists playing live that same month, two heavy possibilities are The Bear Hunters' "Collapse The Sun" single (as they are playing live next month) and Haggith's "Apocalypse II" (given August dates from successor bands Eclipse & The Din), but nothing's official yet, and a new CD would take precedence.

Stay tuned in any event for our 98th monthly CD review at some point in August, and look for a new news post by Monday morning! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (K-Man & The 45s And Eye Of Horus), Plus New Videos!!

With a pair of big new concerts announced today, let's focus today's news post around these LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, but with a few new videos to cap things off! Here's what you should know!

Edmonton melodic death metal quintet Eye of Horus will make their local concert debut when they headline at The Canadian Nightclub on Sunday, August 27th! Capping off their Eastern Canadian Tour here in just under a month, Eye of Horus' blackened death attack should whet the appetites of extreme metal fans with their technical set, so be sure to check them out in advance of the 27th to see what Eye of Horus has in store! Joining them here for this concert are Guelph progressive metal quintet Becomes Astral, who fans may recognize from their set at The Algonquin Pub opening for fellow Edmonton metal band Elements (not the local Elements) two years ago. Becomes Astral should entertain new and old fans alike with their extreme and proficient originals, so don't bypass them either! Note that local advertising lists Eye Of Horus as headlining, despite Becomes Astral's higher poster placement. Local openers will include local death metal standouts The Bear Hunters in just their third concert of the year (and Live705 debut), as well as resurgent hard rock quartet Eclipse.

As of this writing, this will also be the first Live705 concert without A Dire Setback opening, which will be surprising to see, but they admittedly would be an outlier on this death metal-heavy event. Another licensed ALL AGES event with a 7:30 PM start time, this continues with Live705's recent reversion to advance ticket sales rather than vouchers, so get your $5 advance tickets from local openers or at The Canadian Motor Hotel front desk, or pay $7 at the door. Arguably the heaviest Live705 show to date, this should be a face melting good time, so visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and stay tuned for potential updates!

Next up, remember how Montreal ska-punk quintet K-Man & The 45s returned to the Soo for a concert in March, way sooner than expected given their four year run of local dates in the fall? Well, the balance has been restored, as they'll be headlining at LopLops Lounge on Tuesday, October 10th! Consider March's show a bonus, as The 45s will be back in our area for another autumn set of high energy ska punk originals and "Ska-mones" covers, and if you've seen them in their other four headlining appearances, you know how fun and memorable they are in person! Saskatoon noise/punk duo The Faps will also return to the Soo as a featured opening act, marking their first Soo stop since headlining at The New A in September 2014. This edgy minimalist duo made fans with their unique genre blend three years ago, so prepare for a belated second round in October! Local indie/hard rock quartet Bizotic will be the local opening act, and they should provide solid support like they did in March for K-Man and company!

Finally, local DJ The Dub Selectah will also be on hand on October 10th to spin ska and reggae music between bands, so keep that angle in mind! Quite possibly the first Six, Two, Oh. show ever held at LopLops, this will be the fourth straight K-Man show here from this agency, who also hosted The Faps in 2014 under their old Oh! Right Arm Promotions moniker. Unfortunately, the cover charge of this show is $10 (up $5 from K-Man's last three local stops), but it's still a 19+ event with a 9:00 PM start time. It's always great to see K-Man & The 45s here, who have quickly grown into local favourites with their ska attack, so visit the official Facebook event page for more details!

We'll close today with some new videos, starting with some recent footage from prolific local concert filmer Christopher Paci's YouTube channel! He has two more big shows with video to touch on in the coming days, but we'll start with the earliest ones here, as he was on hand for Mike Mikus' local farewell gig at LopLops Lounge two weeks ago! Posted three days afterward, Chris didn't upload anything from Id Iota's opening set, but he did shoot two videos of the Montreal-bound solo headliner's set, including one of an old Pixo Control song! The other video is of two apparent solo songs (if I forgot that one was a non-album original, apologies), with the first song being softer in tone, and the other being a faster & heavier number reminiscent of "Scratch". Embedded below is Mike, Dustin, and Keeghan playing their old band's lengthy song "Potpourri", which closed The Pixo Control's only CD "Probably Not", and it must have been a thrill for fans to hear that band's material one more time before Mike's big move!

The audio quality is good (admittedly better on softer stretches), and it's nice to see the guys rocking out in what had to be a bittersweet night, and while there are many attendee heads in the way of the camera, this was a highly anticipated concert. Hopefully Mike got a great sendoff, and best of luck to him in Montreal, I know he'll do great things as he progresses his solo career! Give Chris' videos of Mike's local swan song a look above & below!

Finally, local alternative punk quartet A Dire Setback live-streamed this video to their Facebook page on Thursday evening, and it features their preparation and setup prior to their set opening for Treble Charger at LopLops. That said, just when the band is starting to run through a soundcheck performance of "Catastrophe", the cell phone used to film the video falls over thanks to subwoofer vibrations, and ultimately falls to the stage floor after 11 minutes before being rescued in the waning seconds. Unique video in more ways than one, and A.D.S. sounded good during the soundcheck, so give their new live stream video a look/listen below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates soon, plus our newest CD review tomorrow or Monday! Thanks everyone!

Friday, July 28, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (The Elements), New Videos, And More Recent Updates!!

With a surprising amount of backlogged news to tackle over the next few days, here's a surprise news post for your Friday night, so what's in store? Some assorted recent updates, a pair of new videos relating to local metal bands, and leading off, a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for next month, so here's what you should know!

Local funk/hard rock quartet The Elements will play a rare headlining concert set when they hit The Rockstar Bar on Friday, August 11th! Last seen at this venue on Canada Day, this talented and raucuous quartet will be in ska-mode in two weeks' time, as the Facebook event page confirms that saxophonist Josh Norling will join them as a guest for the first time this year! (This also seemingly gives online public confirmation that he's not a full band member.) Josh always adds a fun "element" to The Elements' live show, and it'll be nice to see him back with the guys next month! Local alternative/hard rock quartet Bizotic will open on the 11th in a rare Rockstar Bar appearance of their own, and they'll be a fine compliment with their own horn instrument-infused originals, so don't be late for their set! This 19+ concert has no announced cover charge and a 10:00 PM start time, so visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and stay tuned for updates when & if they arrive!

Next up, here's a pair of new videos, including a new promotional clip for the Oh!NO 2017 Music Festival in nearby Leeburn on September 9th! Posted to co-promoter/AlgomA drummer Jamie Vincent's YouTube channel yesterday as his first upload there in three years, the video features assorted muted clips of local musicians (performing at the festival or not), friends of Six, Two, Oh., and other random footage, as interspersed with pan & scan views of the festival poster. The featured audio is of Sudbury punk trio Lightmares' song "The Sweat of a Hero" (will they play it here in September?), and while the video says more visually than vocally, it's a fun way to hype up this ambitious fall festival! I won't spoil the individual content, but it's well put together, if slightly random, so see more on this event above & below, and stay tuned for continued updates as they roll in!

Also, local punk/metal quintet (and Oh!NO Festival performers) Jack Spades' song "Motorwolf" is featured in a new YouTube video from Monday where Shit Liver frontman Josh Penno goes skydiving! Uploaded to Josh's personal YouTube channel (whose content is largely more based on his independent movie studio Spacebag Productions than his bands), the video features Josh and his buddy "Powers" as they prepare, take off for, and execute the skydive at the Niagara Skydive Center in Welland. Solid song choice for this well edited video, which is thrilling & amusing at different parts, though the audio is very quiet, so crank up your dial before you watch below!

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:

  • Are you wondering who's promoting the Dokken/Firehouse concert at The Essar Center on September 30th? None other than Superior Entertainment (source here), the Sault Michigan agency best known for putting on 2015's P.O.D./Hoobastank and Saving Abel concerts, plus numerous MMA events at Kewadin Casino. This rare cross-border promotional concert could also be seen as redemption for Superior Entertainment, whose Firehouse-headlined Superior Festival last year was cancelled shortly before showtime. It'll be very interesting to see how the promoters do on the Canadian side of the border, so keep that angle in mind!
  • Pillory bassist Jordan Leach-Berube announced in a Musicians Wanted Facebook group post on Thursday that he is "leaving soon" and is looking for bass players to take over in his three current bands (not named there beyond genre, but I'm 99.999% sure he means Pillory, improv/jazz trio The Peach Thieves, and ambient/drone trio Pointless.) I'm not sure where Jordan is going, but he's a talented musician that will be missed in the Soo, and be sure to message him at this link or above if you're interested in auditioning with one or more of these bands!
  • Sault Michigan metal quartet Stoned Ape Evolution will return to the stage as one of the opening bands at Bay Mills Bands Together's Labour Day Rock & Jock Softball Tournament in Brimley on September 2nd! They'll join fellow new confirmations Strange Brew (an acoustic rock duo) and The Damn Jahnkes (a new band presumably featuring past B.M.B.T. performer Ken Jahnke) at the outdoor fundraiser concert in just over a month. Solid choices, and it's nice to see S.A.E. alive and well, so visit the above links for more current details on this event!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and this month's CD review in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Oh!NO 2017 Music Festival & Curtis McKenzie), Plus More Concert Previews!!

As promised, let's round out this weekend's currently announced hard rock concert previews today, focusing on Saturday-only events, but to lead off, we have some LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, one of a huge scale, the other on SHORT NOTICE, so here's what you should know!

Eclipse frontman Curtis McKenzie will return to The Vape Escape on MacDonald Avenue for another solo concert TOMORROW NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, the show was only announced via it's official Facebook event page on Tuesday, and it was held for our second preview post due to it's relatively later scheduling among shows over this stretch. This will be Curt's fourth solo appearance at the new e-cigarette/vaping lounge behind Tim-Br Mart, and first in over a month, though he has played a pair of solo concerts elsewhere in the interim. That said, this show will be different from his prior Vape Escape sets, as he'll have a special guest on hand, namely former Haggith bandmate Caleb Cachagee, who is advertised to be playing a set on bass. It's not 100% clear whether Caleb is opening for Curt or is backing him up for one set, but it's great to see them back on stage together, so come out TOMORROW to see how this shapes up!

Like his prior Vape Escape shows, TOMORROW's event is a 7:30 PM affair with no announced cover charge, and you must be 18 or older to attend. Curtis' resurgent solo project has been impressing fans all over again locally, and it's clear that The Vape Escape has been a favourite venue for his solo sets in recent months, so definitely consider attending this one for some solo hard rock cover action! See above for more details, and here's Curt live!

Next up, here's one more huge show before our Destroyer preview, as Six, Two, Oh. are hosting the Oh!NO 2017 Music Festival on Saturday, September 9th! We waited to plug this on the site, as the venue was originally somewhat ambiguous, but we can now confirm it's taking place in Leeburn, Ontario (near the Bruce Mines town limits) at Robbie's Church near the Highway 638 & Center Line Road turnoff, though I don't know if this is a formal active church or just the name given to it. Sort of a distant spiritual successor to Das Bunkerfest, this concert will see twelve musical acts playing all day, including 5 out of town attractions, so who all can you expect? In no particular order, the touring bands will include Sudbury punk trio Lightmares, Barrie all-female punk quartet Beaver Slap (fresh off of their Rockstar Bar show last month), Toronto country/indie rock quartet Run Coyote, Hamilton garage punk rockers Artificial Dissemination (who opened for K-Man & The 45s here last fall), and Thunder Bay "desert rock" quintet The Franquilizers (who opened for 1971 here last summer.)

The roster of local bands at the Oh!NO Festival will include punk/metal quintet Jack Spades, doom metal trio (and Six, Two, Oh.'s own) AlgomA, a debuting local band named Slumshine (no word on their lineup, sound, or online pages at press time), alt-punk quartet A Dire Setback, reunited extreme metal quartet Winkstinger (in their first public concert in well over a year), new local indie/hard rock trio Vol. (featuring Pixo Control and Aldous alumni), and a solo set by Treble Charger guitarist Bill Priddle. How's all of that for a stacked lineup? I admittedly can't find any details yet on Slumshine, but it's great to see Winkstinger back on stage after a lengthy hiatus (they're back in our active band links), and it'll be interesting to hear how each band sounds! Also, just for clarification, Run Coyote no longer feature ex-Caddy Street Avenue drummer Andrew Dal Cin in their lineup, in case you saw the name and assumed he'd be back home for this event.

Six, Two, Oh. will be filming bands at the Oh!No Festival, which takes place at 11:00 AM until 2:00 AM with no stated age limit, and admission is $25, though this includes pick-up & drop-off at The Station Mall parking lot in a rented bus (a'la 2013's Big Loonie Bus Show), so if you'd rather not drive an hour, you have an alternative! Camping, a bonfire, and food vendors will be available on site, and tickets are now available at The Rad Zone, Case's Music, Northland Music, Coch's Corner, Big Guns Barbershop, and maybe The Gore Street Cafe. This concert is shaping up to be a huge event to help ring in the fall, so visit the official Facebook event page for current & upcoming details!

Finally for today, we'll wrap up this weekend's currently known hard rock concert previews, as Windsor-based Kiss tribute band Destroyer will make their long awaited return to Sault Ontario with a headlining gig at The Rockstar Bar TOMORROW NIGHT! Making their fourth local concert appearance on record tomorrow, this will be Destroyer's first trip north to the Soo in over two years, and for fans clamoring for Kiss classics on a a local stage again, this tribute should deliver the visual and auditory goods! You wanted the best, so here's the next best thing to the best! Unlike their May 2015 show here (opened by the now-inactive Griphook), Destroyer have no advertised local acts kicking off the evening tomorrow. This 19+ event has a 10:00 PM start time, and while official sources oddly aren't publicizing prices for tickets (available at The Algonquin Hotel's front desk), 2015's show saw $12 advance ticket sales that jumped to $16 at the door. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here's Destroyer live!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news either tonight or tomorrow morning! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (The 3 Day Millionaires) And Most Of This Weekend's Concert Previews!!

A busy month of July will be over in under a week, so here's the first of this weekend's hard rock & punk concert previews in the area! Due to the amount of shows going down this weekend, we'll feature Saturday-only events (namely Destroyer and the newly announced Curtis McKenzie solo show) and any additional late notice events in our next post, likely coming tomorrow night. With that said, here's what you should know to start the weekend, leading off with SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS!

Local classic/hard rock cover quartet The 3 Day Millionaires will return to Reggie's West for shows TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, the band only announced these concerts via their official Facebook event page on Monday. Three weeks removed from their debut weekend at the former Roosevelt Hotel, this hard hitting yet crowd friendly quartet should have another pair of solid nights of classic hits in store for fans, so don't miss out on all of The Millionaires' selections TOMORROW and/or SATURDAY! Note that the Sault Music News Letter Facebook page still lists this weekend's shows as belonging to the now defunct Mourning Wood, and while their prior gigs were generally adopted by successor band Soundcheck, that band must have been forced to drop out of these Reggievelt dates in the interim. TOMORROW & SATURDAY'S concerts are 19+ events with no cover charge and 9:30 PM start times. See above for more details, and here's The 3 Day Millionaires live!

Next up, we'll move to previously announced concerts, starting with TONIGHT's long awaited return of local/Toronto indie punk quartet Treble Charger to the stage, as they'll headline a "sneak peak show" at LopLops Lounge! Ending two years of public inactivity, the Juno nominated group will play a local concert for the first time since February 2015's Machine Shop event, and this full band performance will kick off an upcoming tour run, with a sixth studio album also in the works according to prior show advertising. Despite the promotional push for this show not hitting full force as soon as you'd think, tonight's Treble Charger show is still attracting lots of buzz online, and hopefully Greig, Bill and company have a blast in their return engagement! Local alt-punk quartet A Dire Setback will open the proceedings in a rare LopLops appearance, so don't be late for their high energy originals tonight!

This show may also mark Treble Charger's debut with Richard Mulligan on drums in place of Jason Pierce, but again, I haven't found a primary official band source confirming his involvement (Wikipedia is not a source for site materials.) As you might expect, tonight's show is already SOLD OUT, but if tickets open up or are sold on the secondary market, they were selling for $25. This is a 19+ event, and a 9:00 PM start time is advertised. It's great to see Treble Charger back in full force, so stay tuned for more on their return activity and teased future touring/album plans, visit the official Facebook event page, and here's Treble Charger live in 2015!

Also this weekend, the ever-prolific Tym Morrison will continue his weekly run of acoustic hard rock concerts when he returns to Gliss Steak & Seafood for three more solo gigs TONIGHT, TOMORROW, and SATURDAY! After last week's Barrelhouse return, Tym appears to be solely back at The Quality Inn's house restaurant this weekend for his fourth concert weekend since re-introducing Thursday evening gigs to his ongoing Gliss arrangement, so look for more unplugged hard rock hits over these next three evenings! As usual, we will add his assumed August concert weekends to our concert calendar next week upon their public online confirmation. As for tonight, tomorrow, and Saturday's Gliss matinees, these will all be 6:00 PM shows with no announced cover charges or age limits, but remember that this is a formal restaurant. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here's Tym live a few years back!

Finally for today's previews, we'll head south to The Northern Pines Lounge at the Kewadin Shores Casino in St. Ignace, Michigan, where Traverse City metal trio Scarkazm will return for concerts TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Though just two weeks removed from their most recent Sault Kewadin gigs, these will be the Peril side project's first St. Ignace gigs in over two months, so if you've missed them at this Kewadin branch, then come out tomorrow and/or Saturday for Scarkazm's hard hitting originals and covers! If you can't make it to see them in the Soo next month, or don't want to wait until then, this weekend's shows are 21+ events with no announced cover charges, and 9:00 PM start times are likely for both nights. For more details, visit the band's Facebook event pages for both shows (linked here & here), and for a preview, here's Scarkazm live!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for our Destroyer and Curtis McKenzie previews (and more news and notes) next! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

YouTube Channel Profile Series: Jason Mapes

It's now time for this month's YouTube Channel Profile, where we once again spotlight a YouTube channel whose content is at least 50% devoted to local metal, hard rock, or punk videos, be they from artists or concerts1 This month's randomly selected choice will be slight deja vu from a channel featured in this series back in 2011, but there's even more content in this installment from the band and channel creator each, so here's what you should know on this month's YouTube Channel Profile!
Jason Mapes (

Owner: Former Bad Side guitarist & local radio DJ Jason Mapes, now a Nashville-based solo musician

Channel Timeline: Launched on July 29th, 2006; Videos posted from August 2007 through May 2016

Channel Summary: Originally intended as the official YouTube channel for defunct Sault Michigan blues/hard rock quartet Bad Side's independent label Vicious Music, it later became a personal use channel for guitarist Jason Mapes, focusing many post-2008 videos around his own solo music and other ventures. 31 of Jason's videos are of Bad Side audio tracks, music & live videos, advertisements, interviews, and video diaries, with his 10 non-band videos including 5 solo performances, 2 clips regarding his local radio career, and 3 songs by recent collaborator Rob Jones.

Why You Should Watch: This channel is a must watch source for fans of Bad Side from their mid-late 2000s heyday, with Jason posting lots of media back when he and Melissa ruled the microphones on stage and at Northern Star Broadcasting radio stations! It's also far more substantive of a source for Bad Side videos than the band's actual YouTube channel, where all but one video (among current content) saw an upload on Jason's/Vicious Music's channel as well. Fans curious to hear Jason's music in the 2010s since moving to Tennessee will also get some solid material, if not as prolific as we had previously seen, though activity has not been visible there in over a year.

Our Recommended Videos To Check Out

Bad Side - Hit Me - mixed by Beau Hill (Ratt/Warrant/Winger): Jason's most viewed video is the music video for Bad Side's song "Hit Me" from their final CD, 2008's "Bad Things Come In Threes...", which is no longer in print but available online via iTunes and Spotify. A solid sing-along number with nice bluesy vocals by singer (and fellow relocated radio DJ) Melissa Krahnke, the well-edited video looks to have been filmed at an uncredited Dreammaker's Theater concert on multiple cameras, and it's a nice way to spice up this quality original, mixed by noted producer Beau Hill! Six more music videos are featured on Jason's channel, including two more tracks from this album and four songs from 2007's "Bad Side II".

Ace Frehley interviewed by Jason Mapes: Jason will still be familiar to many readers as a DJ at Northern Star Broadcasting radio stations 97.9 Classic Rock: The Bear, 99.5 Yes FM, and Talk Radio 1400 in the 2000s, plus a prior stint at Rock 101. In the wake of the massive local radio buyout of February 2010 that led to Northern Star's exit from the U.P. & The Bear's closure, Jason uploaded a demo reel of his on-air work & this audio interview with former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley, which aired live on The Bear in advance of Ace's solo Kewadin Casino concert in November 2009. The interview features Jason interviewing Ace about his tour, his new CD "Anomaly", what to expect at the show, his influence on young musicians, and Kiss moving on without him, among other topics. Solid interview that showcases Jason's natural ease as a DJ and interviewer, so fans of Ace/Kiss, and who miss Jason and the local Bear will all want to take notice!

Bad Side - Dig That Hooch Live at Summerfest 2010 Milwaukee: Bad Side's final concert appearance took place at the annual Summerfest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in June 2010, where they opened for Nonpoint on the CoolTV Rock Stage on the festival's fourth day. This set was the site of two videos on Jason's channel, including a music video for their original song "I Could Make You Want Me", but this full-colour video is a live recording of fellow "B.T.C.I.T." track "Dig That Hooch". Filmed on multiple professional cameras, the guys sound great as usual on this somewhat faster number! I still wish they'd have played one final Soo show before breaking up, but this was a huge stage to go out on, and best of luck to Jason, Melissa, and other former band members in their current ventures!

I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profile! Next month in this series, we have randomly drawn another stacked YouTube channel to look at next, this time from Sault Ontario goregrind/rap label Blood Shed Productions, featuring numerous audio tracks and live performance clips from their roster, so look or that profile on or around August 26th, and stay tuned for more news and updates soon! Thanks everyone!

Monday, July 24, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Dokken), New Project 421 Videos, And Much More!!

We're back on this Monday evening witha  new news post, so what will you find within? Some assorted recent updates, new videos from a recent concert, and leading off, a huge LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for this fall, so here's what you should know!

Platinum selling Los Angeles hair metal legends Dokken will return to the Sault Ste. Marie area for the first time in almost 12 years when they headline at The Essar Center on Saturday, September 30th! Last seen locally when they opened for Quiet Riot at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino in October 2005, Dokken should have a set full of hard rocking hits like "Breaking the Chains" & "Dream Warriors" in store when they rock the downtown arena this fall! This will also be Dokken's first regional stop with Chris McCarvill on bass (Barry Sparks was their bassist in 2005.) Joining them are North Carolina glam rockers FireHouse in their third local concert appearance, last seen opening for Bret Michaels in Sault Michigan in early 2014, with last year's Superior Music Festival being cancelled in the interim. With hits like "Don't Treat Me Bad" & "Love of a Lifetime" still in their repertoire, this will be a great way to welcome Firehouse back to the Soo, so don't miss them either!

Opening this show are Los Angeles melodic arena rock quartet Love 'N Revenge, a newer project from former Rockarma frontman Damon Kelly, and they should provide a nice compliment to kick off the night! As announced this morning on SooToday, The Sault Star, and Rock 101, tickets go on sale THIS FRIDAY for $55 (minus taxes and service charges) at this link, at the in-person box office, or by phone at 1-866-775-9422. Showtime is 7:00 PM, and this is an ALL AGES event. This should be an exciting show for Hair Scare loyalists, and remember, if this show is a hit, it'll encourage The Essar Center to bring in more hard rock shows! Check the above links for current details, and stay tuned for potential updates!

Next up, here's lots of video footage from the return of Project 421 at The Canadian Nightclub on Saturday night! As posted to their Facebook page yesterday, the local classic metal quartet brought their original and cover onslaught back after a nine month stage hiatus, and their whole hour-long set was filmed on a stationary camera, so what songs can you hear within? In order, we have Iron Maiden's "Running Free", Alice Cooper's "No More Mr. Nice Guy", Diamond Head's "Am I Evil?", Saxon's "Denim & Leather", Judas Priest's "Metal Gods", their original "No One Rides For Free", Iron Maiden's "Powerslave", Black Sabbath's "After Forever", their original "Into The Darkness", Metallica's "The Four Horsemen", and Iron Maiden's "The Trooper", so how's that for a nostalgia mindtrip (plus two originals)? The video quality isn't optimal, given that fans on the floor get in the way of the camera, which sadly wasn't zoomed in either, but the audio's fine!

You have to really crank it, especially if you're relying on laptop speakers, but the guys sound vibrant and energetic, and Blair Burch handles lead vocals fine and with conviction, though higher register songs like "The Trooper" fared worse. Of course, the Diamond Head cover is ever prescient given that 421 are opening for that band in September (details here), and it's great to see Project 421 back in advance of that highly anticipated concert, so give their full set from Saturday night a listen below!

Project 421 also shared two videos from a much closer filmer on the floor on their page yesterday including "Am I Evil?" again, and as embedded below, both "No One Rides For Free" and "Powerslave". The audio is louder, but not as clear, so keep that in mind when watching, but the visuals are much better, and you can see Blair, Frank, Daniel, and Chris back in action just as if you were on the floor that night! Give these videos a look above & below too!

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 alt-punk quartet A Dire Setback have been named as openers for THIS THURSDAY NIGHT'S Treble Charger return concert at LopLops Lounge, as per their Facebook page yesterday! Though not yet advertised on the Facebook event page for the sold out concert, their addition makes sense, given their recent work & advisement with guitarist Bill Priddle. Now publically confirmed as a "sneak peek" and kick-off show for Treble Charger's upcoming tour run, check the above links for more on this highly anticipated event!
  • Local alt-hard rock trio The Din revealed the setlist from their portion of the aforementioned Project 421 show on their Facebook page on Saturday, confirming there that the 9 song set was almost entirely based around songs from their planned second CD! Three of the songs are newly confirmed titles to the online record, including "Weekend Delivery", "Missing", and "In The Moonlight", though I can't confirm yet on if one of those was the untitled new song from their demo vocal track videos. Hopefully the nearly-all-new set went well for The Din this weekend!
  • After an almost 6 month hiatus from updating their Facebook page, local hard rock quintet Skeyes of Seven posted there on July 1st, but finally had a new update regarding the band proper on Thursday, noting that "the writing process has begun" and they can't wait for us to hear the material in question. Are they recording new songs, or perhaps re-recording their unreleased debut EP, or is something else afoot? Stay tuned for updates as they roll in!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates as we continue the last full week of July! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Local Hard Rock Video Showcase!!

Before we begin this all-video post, here's a late lineup update for TONIGHT'S Project 421 concert at The Canadian Nightclub, courtesy of it's Facebook event page, as local rapper and Live705 newcomer Mike Reed-Lecuyer (a.k.a. Reeder) has replaced blues/hard rock trio Electric Church on the lineup. A reason for Electric Church's withdrawal wasn't publically announced, but hopefully nothing bad happened! You may recognize Reeder from last summer's Grave Party concert at The New A, and hopefully he adds solid rhymes to the proceedings tonight! Now, let's begin this all-video post, including recent major concert footage and in-studio clips!

We'll start today with a belated concert video from the Lita Ford outdoor concert at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino last month, courtesy of YouTube user spiritinthesky blue's channel on Thursday! With her Great White videos already uploaded, she finally posted this clip of Lita Ford playing her original song "Gotta Let Go" to open her headlining set, and while the audio's not bad, this was filmed from backstage (remember this user's backstage and meet & greet clips?) Lita is visible in the center, but the dark lighting from behind the stage isn't optimal. Unique view all the same, so give this new Lita Ford video a look below, and hopefully more videos are out there!

Next up, here's a new video from last Sunday's Tea Party concert at The Roberta Bondar Pavilion, shared by the Ontario Government's Facebook page onto the ONTour concert series stop's Facebook event page on Thursday! A summative recap video, this features shots of the Soo and the road trip here for the concert for the first minute or so, before transitioning to the concert proper, including footage of The Tea Party, U.S.S., Andrew Hyatt, and McLean's sets, the crowd, and even some slow motion shots. All audio is disappointingly replaced by a techno/pop instrumental, but the filmers got some great angles of the bands and fans throughout the day's lineup, so give this one a look below as well!

Also today, here's some new videos from local alternative/hard rock trio The Din's Facebook page on Wednesday, specifically relating to demo recording now being underway for their second studio album! As far as I can tell, these are not the final recordings, and are strictly demos in advance of formal recording sessions later this year, but it's great to see that things have commenced towards CD #2! One video features frontman Mike Haggith tracking a song on bass while guitarist Tammy Hill mans the computer, while the other videos are of Mike recording vocal tracks, and between these two, there is 35 minutes of footage to check out from the sessions! The video below features Mike tracking their songs "35's The Limit" (fittingly enough) and "High Park", while part 2 features a slower and possibly newer song that I don't recognize, as well as "Up In The Air" and "Suburban Dream". Both feature assorted banter from Mike & Tammy between songs as well, helping fill out the time in the videos.

As both a sneak preview into five Din originals from their upccoming CD (albeit pre-session demos) and as an informal look at the band's recording sessions and often funny interactions therein, these are all worth checking out for fans of The Din! That said, prepare yourself for the length, and the sideways camera angles are unfortunate, but give in to The Din's new studio videos above and below!

Finally, here's a new cover performance from Theatre of Night keyboardist Craig Harrison, courtesy of the Sault Michigan classical metal project's YouTube channel on Tuesday! A cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah", and as filmed in one take with a cell phone camera, the view from Craig's right side isn't optimal, but the black and white filter adds to the mood, and he puts the requisite passion into this cover! Give Craig's cover a look/listen below! (Disclaimer: this video was posted prior to Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington's tragic passing on Thursday, and we had slotted it for a weekend post prior to hearing the news, but the coincidental timing can't be ignored.)

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

Thursday, July 20, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (The Alien Boys, Rudyard Musicians Festival, And Project 906!!)

With a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT hitting the wire this afternoon, here's a surprise second news post for your Thursday night! That is also joined by two more new concerts taking place over the same weekend in just under a month's time, so read on below for what you should know, and check out other weekend concert previews and more in the post below this one from this morning!

Sault Michigan hard rock quartet Project 906 will return to Moloney's Alley for one night only TOMORROW NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, the band only announced this show via their Facebook page earlier today. Still a largely unfamiliar venue for our coverage, the 227 West Portage Avenue bar played host to a private Project 906 show last month for Sault Area High School's class of 1997 reunion, but as far as I can tell, TOMORROW'S show is a regular, publically attendable show. Last seen at the King's Club Casino in Brimley two weeks ago, Project 906 are no strangers to branching out to atypical concert venues in the E.U.P., and hopefully things go well at Moloney's Alley TOMORROW! No word however on if the show will be outdoors again or indoors, but the picture they used to promote the event was from their outdoor set at the aforementioned reunion. Expect a 9:00 PM start time, no announced cover charge, and a 21+ age limit, so check the above links for more details, and here's Project 906 live last month!

Next up, here's some more new concerts with more than a day's public notice, starting with another new show from Sault Ontario promoters Six, Two, Oh.! Unusually taking place at The Rockstar Bar rather than their usual New A stomping grounds, this event on Friday, August 18th will be headlined by the local debut of Vancouver hardcore punk quintet The Alien Boys, but despite their name, they're actually an all-female group featuring former Rebel Spell guitarist Erin McGillicuddy. This will be nothing new for fans who saw Beaver Slap locally last month, but The Alien Boys' solid and energetic brand of punk rock should gain them their own audience locally, so don't miss them on the 18th! Local support (both in their Rockstar Bar debut) will include death metal duo Twistory's second live set of the year, as well as the second concert appearance period from Vol., the new indie/hard rock trio from Pixo Control and Aldous alumni. Nice diverse lineup, so don't miss out next month!

A $5 cover charge is in effect for this 19+ concert, and a 9:00 PM start time is in effect. Check the official Facebook event page for more details, and don't miss out on what should be a fun night of varying kinds of alternative music action! And yes, we are aware of a major concert event announced by Six, Two, Oh. for this fall, but we are waiting on confirmation on the venue and if it technically has a public address before we get ahead of ourselves on here. Stay tuned though, as this will be a big event!

Finally for tonight's post, the full lineup for this year's second annual Rudyard Musicians Festival in nearby Rudyard, Michigan was finally announced on Tuesday, so who all is rocking Rudyard Township Park on Saturday, August 19th? Mostly the same bands as last year, with only Stoned Ape Evolution, Second Offense, and The Gaskins not returning, so if you liked the inaugural Musicians Fest lineup, here you go! Despite previously indicating that there would be "NO METAL" this year, hard rock acts do populate two of the three top slots, with the aforementioned Project 906 headlining at 11:00 PM, as preceded by classic rockers/event promoters Steelhead (with guest performer Jimmy Bishop) at 10:00 PM, and sporadically seen experimental hard rock group The Karstens as one of this year's new bands at 9:00 PM. Good to see them back on stage! Fellow newcomers The Whole Shabang will tackle their own classic rock covers as well at 8:00 PM, while remaining performers are mostly in the online page-less country or bluegrass realm unless otherwise stated.

Other acts will include The North Country Band at 7:00 PM, The Wednesday Night Headliners at 6:00 PM, Robert & Bob Malaski at 5:00 PM, Jimmy Williams at 4:00 PM, pop artist Hayley Malaska at 3:30 PM, festival newcomer Kevin Blakeney at 3:00 PM, Crossroads alum Denny Verrett at 2:00 PM, Traverse City experimental outfit The Neighbourhood Dogs at 1:00 PM, and The (New?) Jazz Trio opening at 12:00 PM. Lots of talent on hand this year, so keep them all in mind! As well, organizers have confirmed that Friday the 18th will play host to an open mic night, as all of their equipment will be set up already, so "we might just as well use it" for a "Friday night free for all." You never know what you'll get with an open mic night, so if you're in the neighbourhood, this might be worth checking out! Free rustic camping will be available on sight for that weekend, while there will be a pig roast and other concessions for good measure. Admission is $5 a person, but kids 10 years old or under get in FREE, and like last year, all proceeds go to Rudyard Area Schools' music and band programs, which is always a worthy cause!

Despite promoters' earlier claim of no metal this year (no word on if that's specifically why Stoned Ape Evolution aren't back), it's nice to see some music on the heavier spectrum again this year, so if you're a fan of country or some more rocking music, you have options in this sophomore event, which is for a great cause and definitely looks to be a friendly event for fans of all ages! Visit the above links for complete details on this year's Rudyard Musicians Fest, and stay tuned for more news and notes on the SMS in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Tym Morrison), Weekend Concert Previews, And More!!

Before we begin this post, just a belated acknowledgement of a band switch on a recent concert, as local death metal trio Pillory replaced alt-hard rockers Bizotic (more on them in a bit) as an opening act during Monday night's Darsombra show at The New American Pub. A reason for the switch wasn't publically announced, but Bizotic never publically plugged the show that I ever saw. Hopefully Pillory filled in nicely in their return from the studio, and look for more from them in the coming months! Now, this post features a new video, weekend concert previews, and leading off, a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!

Prolific local hard rock singer/guitarist Tym Morrison will return to The Barrelhouse Wine & Whiskey on Queen Street East for a solo headlining concert THIS SATURDAY NIGHT, joining his regular weekly gigs at Gliss Steak & Seafood TONIGHT, TOMORROW, and SATURDAY! Apologies for the short notice on the Barrelhouse show, it was only announced via it's official Facebook event page yesterday. Last seen at the popular downtown tapas restaurant for a regular scheduled concert on June 10th, this continues Tym's semi-regular run of nighttime shows at this venue, and he should have more unplugged hard rock classics in store for fans at The Barrelhouse on SATURDAY NIGHT, so don't miss out! Of course, Tym's regular matinees at Gliss will continue on this week for his third straight week with the return of a Thursday nighter for the season, while he will be back there on Saturday after skipping that night last week while in Toronto seeing Iron Maiden.

Double the chances to see Tym live this weekend, so keep all of these in mind for your weekend plans! SATURDAY NIGHT'S Barrelhouse show is at 10:00 PM with no announced cover charge and a presumed 19+ age limit, while his trifecta at The Quality Inn's house restaurant are all at 6:00 PM with no announced cover or age limit. Click here and here for the Facebook event pages at each venue, and for a preview, here's Tym live!

Next up, we'll move to entirely previously announced concerts this weekend, starting with a Gore Street Cafe concert TOMORROW NIGHT that will be opened (or closed) by local hard/alternative/indie rock quartet Bizotic! Last seen opening acoustically for The Din at LopLops, this show will see Bizotic play alongside two Victoria, British Columbia touring bands, namely "lazy pop" quintet Bridal Party and shoegaze/alternative group Bright Boy. Neither band are heavy in sound, but both should be exciting for fans of laid back pop rock, including Bridal Party's indie tinged originals and Bright Boy's more ambient material, so keep them in mind if you're into such genres! Bizotic should add a harder edged flavour (complete with requisite keytar and trumpet) to the proceedings in their laundromat debut tomorrow, though I admittedly don't know if they're opening or closing. They're listed higher than the touring bands on the poster, for what it's worth.

Tomorrow's concert is a "pay what you can" event, in the usual Gore Street Cafe tradition, and this is an ALL AGES concert with doors opening at 7:00 PM. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and for a preview, here's Bizotic live earlier this year!

Lastly for currently announced hard rock concerts on this return to normal following Rotaryfest weekend, THIS SATURDAY NIGHT will see the return of classic metal quartet Project 421 to the local stage for the first time in almost nine months when they headline at The Canadian Nightclub! Also making their Live705 debut this weekend, this will be a great way to welcome this nostalgia mindtrip back to the local stage, complete with guitarist Blair Burch on lead vocals again for the first time since 2015, so don't miss their long awaited return on Saturday! A reversion to an all-local lineup after Live705's recent shows with touring headliners, a stacked opening roster this weekend will include alt-hard rock trio The Din as co-headliners, as well as jazz rock trio The Peach Thieves (featuring members of Pillory and Pointless), blues/hard rock trio Electric Church, funk/hard rock quartet The Elements, and in a late lineup switch, Live705's own A Dire Setback in place of indie rock trio The Autumn Roots due to "circumstances beyond our control", as per the Facebook event page.

Hopefully nothing bad happened with The Autumn Roots, but it's great to see A Dire Setback filling in, especially as it was very weird to see a Live705 show without them on the lineup! Another licensed ALL AGES show from them, tickets are $10 at the door unless you have a $2-off voucher attained from one of the performers. A Dire Setback will kick things off at 7:05 PM on Saturday, and for more details, visit the above links! With Project 421's resurgence, two more Live705 debutantes, and a stacked lineup of local entertainment, fans won't want to miss out on the action, so keep this show in mind for Saturday night, and here's Project 421 live!

Finally for today, here's a new video from the aforementioned Din's Facebook page on Monday! There's newer and very significant videos of theirs to touch on as well, but this is a surprisingly rare video from this year's Rotaryfest, with The Din playing 11 seconds of an instrumental section at Stage 2 last week. The video is geared towards demonstrating a custom Snapchat filter that The Din made up in advance of their Second Stage return, and it fits well with the portrait orientated clip, so check it out below, and stay tuned for more videos from them soon!

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

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Soundcheck) & Tea Party Concert Fallout!!

Before our weekend concert previews go on the site (not to mention some recently announced new concerts coming up in August), we have lots of fallout from a recent major concert to get to at last, but first, here's a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for next month!

Local classic/hard rock cover quartet Soundcheck will make their Canadian Nightclub debut with a solo concert there on Friday, August 4th! Apparently a rare solo concert from a local cover band at The Canadian (is the venue getting back into booking weekend cover acts again?), this won't be entirely new territory for the guys, as predecessors Mourning Wood played a Toystock fundraiser there, but this will be a first for the former Nameus. No word yet on if we'll see Soundcheck out there in the interim (remember, shows that they announce are often on short notice), but fresh off of their Rotaryfest debut, hopefully Soundcheck deliver a fun night of 1980s themed covers and select country numbers in two weeks time! A $4 cover charge is in effect for this 19+ concert, which is listed to start at 9:30 PM, and aside from food/drink specials that night, I can't confirm if there's any extra frills related to the booking. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and stay tuned for updates!

Next up, here's some fallout and videos from Sunday night's free Tea Party concert at The Roberta Bondar Pavilion! SooToday's Donna Hopper was on hand for the ONTour concert series stop, snapping 39 colour photos from the event for this article that also briefly summarized the event. Donna's excellent (but scrambled-in-order) pictures include 8 of The Tea Party's headlining set, 9 of Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker, 5 of Andrew Hyatt, 2 of McLean, and 15 of fans and attendees. That does seem like a lot, but it's clear from the happy fan response and ONTour paraphernalia that everyone had a good time with the free downtown entertainment on Sunday! SaultOnline's Lynne Brown was also in attendance for her own article on the concert, and she took 11 photos herself, including 5 of The Tea Party, 4 of U.S.S., and 2 of fans (including a well-timed shot of fans waving their arms in sync.) Give all of these photos and show summaries a look above for more on Sunday's action!

In terms of videos from the show, we'll start with a nine minute video of The Tea Party's set, courtesy of YouTube user Mike Deresti's channel right after the show. Mike's footage includes the Windsor hard rock veterans playing their biggest hit song "Heaven Coming Down" (as preceded by frontman Jeff Martin's anecdote about filming it's music video), and yes, they did inject U2's "With Or Without You" into the rendition! The video looks and sounds great, with a nice angle of the stage and video wall(!), and The Tea Party still sound like how they did at their peak, so give Mike's video a look below!

Today's other known videos come from the aforementioned local news websites, including multiple videos from a SaultOnline-affiliated YouTube channel named "ShadesofNorth CanUsa". If you glanced at or didn't read the above article, four abbreviated videos were linked there, including two of U.S.S.' opening set (which definitely got younger attendees moving up front) and two of The Tea Party's set. Their videos include clips of their songs "Psychopomp" and, as embedded below, one of their heavier hits, "Temptation". The side stage videos have some audio distortion, but a nice and unique angle of the band, so give them a look above and below as well!

Finally, SooToday also filmed the last two bands for their own YouTube channel, though in their case, it's a summative 69 second clip with no specific focus  on either band. Confirming that there was an on-stage MC to introduce acts, the video features some great quality, but all-too-short clips, including The Tea Party playing their song "The Bazaar" at video's end, and U.S.S. interacting with the crowd on the floor, which had to have been a thrill for fans! I wish there was more to this video, but give it a look below for more solid footage from Sunday's ONTour event!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and weekend concert previews in the coming days! Thanks everyone!