Saturday, February 17, 2018

Pop Evil Concert Video Showcase!!

At last, we have a showcase post of videos from the two major hard rock concerts earlier this week, as Rock 101's Facebook page has got us covered from both events! Much like The Sault's Rock Station did for the recent Theory of a Deadman show (they were presenting sponsors for all three), a station staffer had their camera rolling for both Tuesday's Big Wreck concert at The Machine Shop and Wednesday's Pop Evil concert at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino, with videos making their way to their Facebook page during each. We'll get into their Big Wreck footage in an upcoming post, but there's enough from Pop Evil alone to fill a whole post today, so let's start with the headlining Muskegon hard rock quintet! Rock 101 filmed Pop Evil playing their recent hit singles "Waking Lions" and, as embedded below, the much longer "Boss' Daughter". Compared to the prior YouTube clips from this show, the quality is much better despite the distant camera angle from the stage, and the crowd turnout is solid, so give these a look above & below!

Next up, here's another video of Pop Evil's set at The Dreammaker's Theater on Tuesday, and while this is also from 101.3 FM's Facebook page, it's not from the station proper. Instead, fan Dave Fisher publically shared this clip of Pop Evil playing their hit "Trenches" in a comment reply there on Thursday, and it's the best video I've seen yet for view of the band (and not just because it's on a landscape orientation!) Leigh's vocals still sound strained compared to past Pop Evil videos I've seen from the Soo, but the crowd makes up the difference, and the band sounds solid as usual, so give Dave's clip a look also! Hopefully there's more to come at some point!

Moving to the openers, Rock 101 did get a video from each of them, including this clip of Las Vegas "fashion-art rock" band Palaye Royale playing their single "How Do You Do?" Not a bad band, almost reminds me of a cross between indie/alt-rock and goth, if that makes any sense, and they have a harder edge that comes through here despite the somewhat muffled audio quality! Give Rock 101's Palaye Royale clip a look below!

Finally, Rock 101 filmed San Francisco hard rock trio Black Map playing a song during their set, but I can't title it based on recent concert setlists (either my song recognition skills are off today, it's a new to this tour, or it's a cover.) Regardless, their sound is solid, they get good mileage out of their three-piece lineup, and is it wrong to make Chevelle comparisons? Check out this Black Map video below, and thanks again to Rock 101 for filming these videos, with Big Wreck videos to come!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for last month's poll results and a new poll on the site tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Friday, February 16, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Banned), Pop Evil Videos, A New Album, And More!!

Here's a Sault Michigan-heavy post for your Friday morning, and it includes videos from a big recent concert, a surprise album release, and even a few Sault Ontario notes, but let's kick things off with a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for readers in the E.U.P.!

Kinross, Michigan classic/hard rock trio Banned will return to The Runway Bar in Hessel for one night only TONIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, Banned only announced the show via their Facebook event page late last night, though the venue's Facebook page has covered it since Tuesday. TONIGHT's show will mark Banned's first gig since taking a road trip to Engadine (outside of our coverage range) last week, and their first in Hessel since a deer season party in November. That said, this concert is also tied to special festivities, as it coincides with the annual Snowsfest in Hessel, with this taking place during the festival's annual Pub Shuffle, so if you like pub crawls and such, click here for full details on participating venues and the favourite bar contest! And in case you're curious, this year's theme is cartoons, hence the cartoon imagery on The Runway Bar's Facebook page when covering this concert, but if there's a hidden meaning behind only using underwater-set cartoons, I don't know it.

TONIGHT'S show at The Runway Bar (I mean, Bikini Bottom?!) has a 9:00 PM start time, no announced cover charge, and a 21+ age limit. Visit the above links for more details, best of luck with Snowsfest and the pub crawl this year, and here's Banned live!

Next up, here's (so far) the only public videos that I've found from the Pop Evil concert at The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Ste. Marie Kewadin Casino on Valentine's Day! Uploaded by YouTube user Om G shortly afterward, these videos are of the Muskegon hard rock quintet playing their songs "Boss' Daughter" and, as embedded below, "Ways to Get High". These aren't optimal looks at this concert due to the vertical camera angle, shaky visuals, and muddled audio, but while the vocals come through fine, Leigh's range doesn't hit the heights I'm used to from Pop Evil's studio versions. These work well enough though, so check them out above & below!

Also today, here's a surprise, as Dafter hard rock solo artist Ken "SweetKenny" Sutton has released yet another studio album to his Bandcamp page! Entitled "Music For The Body", this is officially SweetKenny's 25th official album, and his second of 2018 already, but it does depart from his recent formula of intended scores for other media. Instead, this is an EP-length release featuring 6 instrumental tracks, including his recent song "Bikini", and as it turns out, he's intended "Music For The Body" to be used for fitness purposes, specifically aerobic or Zumba workouts. That's an angle I didn't expect, but hey, it shows his diverse thinking! You can buy this EP at the above links for $7, and can stream it for free there as well. It's great to see SweetKenny release a new non-score album, even if it's a fitness EP, but might we see a review of it on the site? It's possible, but given that we just reviewed "The Dogs Are Watching" last month, it wouldn't be until July at the earliest due to our 6 month anti-bias buffer period.

As well, keep in mind that SweetKenny has released six studio albums since the beginning of 2017, so I'd be shocked if he didn't have anything else put out by July. Given that, a fitness-geared EP likely wouldn't be our optimum choice for a review over a potential full length album (score or otherwise) that follows, but stranger things have happened! Give SweetKenny's new album and more of his extensive back catalog a listen above!

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

  • Local alt-punk trio A Dire Setback announced on their Facebook page last week that they have begun pre-production for their debut album, and will post updates on it along with "a few surprises." No word on when and where they'll officially begin recording tracks for it, but the guys did note that their planned next concert will be in May. Intriguing, so stay tuned for more from A.D.S. as it rolls in!
  • Local indie/hard rock quartet Id Iota and DJ Seith took a road trip to Espanola for rare out of town concerts last Friday and Saturday as part of the Boogie Mountain Night Jam skiing event there, as cited at this link. Hopefully the shows were a hit, and that both Id Iota and Seith made some new fans out east! However, no public word yet on Id Iota's teased new bassist.
  • Former Bear Hunters guitarist Mike Vincent posted the first track from his planned second solo album onto his Bandcamp page on Wednesday! Entitled "Apocalypse", this is a well recorded technical death metal instrumental that fans of his other recent solo material should like, so give it a listen above! For what it's worth, Mike still hasn't formally released "Ultimate Chaos" in an formal album packaging on Bandcamp or elsewhere that I've seen, with the songs still only posted as separate single tracks.

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

Thursday, February 15, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Shit Liver, Soundcheck, And Tym Morrison), Plus An Upcoming New Album Release!!

I hope everyone had a good Valentine's Day! It's now time for another batch of weekend concert previews on the SMS, and while things are quiet on the hard rock spectrum, both of this weekend's performing hard rock acts have SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS to address as part of them! To round things out, we have one more huge new concert to address, including a new album alongside it, so here's what you should know!

Local classic/hard rock cover quartet Soundcheck will return to The Rockstar Bar stage for one night only TOMORROW NIGHT, with their apparent Water Tower Pub debut following THIS SATURDAY NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice on these shows, the former was announced via their Facebook event page on Monday, and the latter was briefly noted on the Sault Music News Letter Facebook page on Tuesday. However, note that Soundcheck have not publically acknowledged either show on their own Facebook page at press time (or posted there in almost a month), and the Water Tower Pub haven't mentioned it either that I've seen. TOMORROW'S Rockstar Bar show will be the Mourning Wood successors' first at this venue since January 19th, and while it's not clear why they didn't get a double booking for there this weekend, SATURDAY'S Water Tower Pub show will fill in the gap in a rare solo hard rock appearance there from a local band!

An act of Soundcheck's style isn't unprecedented for this Great Northern Road venue, and hopefully they deliver a solid set on SATURDAY, assuming that the show is still on! These gigs are likely 9:30 PM affairs both nights, you must be 19 or older to attend, and there are no advertised cover charges. Check the above links for more details, and nope, no public Soundcheck videos yet! We'll let you know when any turn up!

Next up, prolific local hard rock singer/guitarist Tym Morrison has new nighttime gigs at Room 21 above Low & Slow TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT to go along with his ongoing Gliss Steak & Seafood matinees that take place earlier those same days! Again, apologies for the short notice on the Room 21 shows, Tym only announced them via their Facebook event page on Sunday (concurrently with his Mark's Breakfast Plus gigs earlier this week.) These will be Tym's first stops at this newer acoustic-heavy upstairs venue of 2018, last having played there in September, so if you liked seeing his unplugged hard rock favourites there last fall, here's another chance! Likewise, his ongoing long-term arrangement at Gliss continues for two more matinee shows this weekend, so if you want an earlier and more intimate night of music, you have those options once again too!

These four shows (including at Room 21 TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT) have no cover charges, and while the Gliss gigs are at 6:00 PM with no firm age limit, the Room 21 shows are at 10:00 PM with a 19+ age limit. Click here and visit the above links for more details, and here's Tym live!

Also, here's one more new show with lots of advance notice, and it's a big one, as local/St. Catharine's grindcore trio Shit Liver are coming back home for a headlining concert on Friday, April 6th at The Algonquin Pub, with their new album in tow! Last seen here at The New A in September during the "Trading Faces" split release tour, Shit Liver will make their way back north in support of their second full length album "Hitting The Fan", which never even made our "Where Are The New Albums?" posts because they never publically and firmly acknowledged studio sessions for it. In their album announcement on their Facebook page yesterday, the guys indicated that this is completely a DIY release that they recorded and are releasing themselves with no label assistance, so that may have helped explain the quiet recording sessions. "Hitting The Fan" will be released on Tuesday, March 13th, with local physical copies following at the show on April 6th, but how can you hear it?

An online release is expected for next month (presumably on Bandcamp), but physical copies appear to be limited to vinyl records with no CD pressings implied. If true, this will mean that all three of their studio albums have came out on different physical formats (should we break out our 8-track players for album #4?!) This pressing is apparently limited to 550 hand numbered records, with coloured vinyl, a lyric insert, and a poster, so keep that in mind come April 6th! In terms of that concert, local punk trio Stegadeth will open in their second show of the year, while there will be a third band to be announced. Stegadeth are a solid choice to compliment Shit Liver's punk influences! Promoted by Six, Two, Oh. (who also put on their show here last fall), a 9:00 PM start time is advertised for this 19+ concert, which has an $8 cover charge, and while prices for vinyl copies of "Hitting The Fan" are not out yet, their friends in AlgomA priced their vinyl splits for around $20.

I had no idea that things were this far along for Shit Liver's sophomore original album, but this is huge news, and I know fans will be eager to hear their new originals in studio form next month! Stay tuned for more on the digital release and price, track listing, and more, and assuming there's no release hang-ups, our next three CD reviews are set for the site! Given that Mike McCleary and Telephone & Address have new albums already on sale, that may bump "Hitting the Fan" to an April review, but certainly no later than that. Keep in touch for updates, and for a new news post this weekend, hopefully with Big Wreck and Pop Evil fallout! Thanks everyone!

    Tuesday, February 13, 2018

    LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (I Mother Earth & Redundant), Live705 Updates, And More!!

    Here's a big news post for your Tuesday delectation, and with other big news and announcements piling on, there was no need to delay things! Today's post features some assorted shorter items,

    Three local punk bands will unite for Punk Covers Night at LopLops Lounge on Saturday, March 3rd! A presentation of Tidal Records, this show's lineup will include veteran punk favourites Redundant in a rare LopLops appearance from them, and they definitely know their share of punk classics! While this is a covers-centric show, might we hear originals from their long-awaited debut EP, currently in progress at Tidal's own Mission Control Studios? Sporadically seen punk cover quartet The Cover-Up will play their first publically advertised concert in three years next month, with frontman/Tidal Records head Dustin Jones & ex-Lion Ride guitarist Marco Pedalino now joined by Dustin's Rising Tide bandmate Marshall Jaaskelainen & K.I.C.K. drummer Aaron Dunn, replacing Clint Wilson and Mike Yorke respectively, as per personal Facebook postings. Reasons for the lineup changes haven't been publically announced, but remember that The Cover-Up don't have any known band pages on Facebook or elsewhere. Solid and familiar choices for Tidal loyalists, and they should deliver a fun set!

    The third advertised band is The Bananas Guerrillas, and while the name is new to the site, this band is either a renaming of or successor to Enema of the Soo, the Blink-182 tribute from the Halloween Party events at The Algonquin last year. If the lineup's identical, look for ex-Stereo North frontman Andrew Pucci, ex-Long Shot bassist Adam Dawe, and ex-Gnaeus drummer Brendan Garlick in this band. No online pages yet, but they have an intriguing lineup! A $5 cover is in effect for this 19+ concert, whose doors open at 8:00 PM on March 3rd. Visit the above links for more details, and look for a high impact night of punk rock at LopLops next month!

    Next up, here's a huge show announcement for The Machine Shop on Wednesday, April 18th, as Juno award winning, multi-platinum-selling Ontario hard rock bands I Mother Earth and Finger Eleven will co-headline this already highly anticipated show! Best known for hit singles like "One More Astronaut", 'So Gently We Go", and "Another Sunday", this will be a long anticipated gig for fans of I Mother Earth's alternative and prog-tinged hard rock sound (they last played here at Club Princess, so there's an idea of the wait!) This will be I.M.E.'s first show here with Salads bassist Chuck Dailey in place of Bruce Gordon, while it'll mark frontman Edwin Ghazal's return after his 2 prior stops here with Crash Karma. As for Finger Eleven, this will mark their first stop here since headlining at The Roberta Bondar Pavilion back in 2004, and their first Soo gig since having their biggest chart success with the dance rocker "Paralyzer", so look for that and other hits like "One Thing" & "Living in a Dream" in a couple of months' time!

    Also, this will be Finger Eleven's first local show since Steve Molella replaced Rich Beddoe on drums. Tickets are $40 for this ALL AGES concert, which has an advertised start time of 8:20 PM, and tickets will go on sale TOMORROW at 10:00 AM at this link and at the in-person box offices at The Machine Shop and Station Mall. Fittingly announced the day of tonight's Big Wreck concert at the same venue, it's great to see The Machine Shop booking more non-country acts, and with this double whammy of Canadian hard rock, I know the buzz will only build in the next two months! Visit the official Facebook event page for current and future details as they come in!

    Also today, here's the latest from local concert promoters Live705's Facebook page, starting with a post on January 20th where they held a "roll call" for bands that would be interested in playing future shows of theirs, or to be "placed on our talent list" if they're contacted with information about band-for-hire slots. No word yet on when Live705 will end their concert promotion hiatus (they teased the summer), but send your band's name, contact info, description, lineup, and available links to Live705 above if you're interested! With that said, a Live705 representative was in attendance for Elements bandmates Rob Speers & Jesse Cook's acoustic concert at The Rockstar Bar on Friday, and this is an unplugged cover of Tom Petty's "You Don't Know How It Feels" alongside Rob's Jack Spades bandmates Daniel Horton and Johnny Belanger on guest guitar and percussion. The vertical footage doesn't help, especially at this sharp angle, but it's a solid rendition of this roots rock classic! Give it a look below, and I wonder why there were so many balloons?

    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:

    • The aforementioned Daniel Horton is thinking about starting a new side project that would play originals and select covers. Influences would include bands ranging from Breaking Benjamin and Chevelle to A Perfect Circle and Tool, among others. No word on what instrument Daniel would primarily play (he's usually a guitarist, but was the bassist in Project 421), so message him at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from Thursday if you're interested in more details!
    • Former A Dire Setback/A Fall From Innocence singer Larry Babic is looking to get back into the scene, and is interested in jamming with other musicians. He is currently learning to play guitar as well, he cited bands like Taking Back Sunday and Tiny Moving Parts as some of his favourite current bands, he likes "making sad lyrics", and he indicated that he loves doing promo work. If you're interested in jamming with Larry, message him at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from Friday!
    • Sykotyk Rampage's Facebook page has quietly returned after being briefly deactivated late last month, so we can quote the posts there that acknowledged their hiatus. On January 16th, the band said "Sorry we have been out of the loop, but we will be back with more", and "we should be getting together soon so we can bring the sweet creativeness to all of you.", while thanking fans for the love & likes. This isn't a firm declaration of imminent activity, so we'll leave them in our inactive band links for now, but I know fans of the crash are hoping that Sykotyk Rampage come back in full force in 2018!

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

    Monday, February 12, 2018

    LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Tym Morrison), Pop Evil/Big Wreck Concert Previews, And More!!

    A unusually high profile stretch of shows is upon us early this week, so let's largely cover those in this Monday morning post, alongside some new videos from a recent concert, and leading off, surprise LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, half on SHORT NOTICE! Here's what you need to know!

    Prolific local acoustic hard rock singer/guitarist Tym Morrison has announced six matinee gigs at Mark's Breakfast Plus for this month TONIGHT, TOMORROW, and WEDNESDAY, then again on February 26th-28th! Apologies for the short notice, Tym only announced these shows via their Facebook event page yesterday, and while he did also announce a pair of new Room 21 gigs as well, we will hold those for this weekend's concert previews to avoid redundantly covering them twice in under a week. Already busy enough with his weekly Gliss Steak & Seafood arrangement and bi-monthly Roadhouse gigs, February is suddenly packed for the former Caveman Morrison frontman, with only Thursdays having no gigs at all this month! TONIGHT'S Mark's show will be his first at the Market Mall restaurant of the year, and first in over two months, and if that doesn't work out for you schedule-wise, he will be back there on TOMORROW, WEDNESDAY, and at month's end, so you have plenty of opportunities to see Tym live this month!

    And no, the Wednesday gigs will not conflict with his open mic night hosting duties at The Canadian, as their matinee scheduling means they'll end well beforehand. All six of Tym's Mark's shows this month (including TONIGHT, TOMORROW, and WEDNESDAY) are at 4:00 PM with no announced cover charges or age limits, but mind the locale, this isn't a typical concert venue, let alone time of day or week. Check the above links for more details, and here's Tym live a few years back!

    Moving to previously announced concerts, hard rock fans in the Twin Saults have quite a double header ahead with a huge show on both sides of the border in the coming days, starting with the long awaited return of Juno Award winning Toronto/Boston hard rock notables Big Wreck to the Sault Ontario stage TOMORROW NIGHT at The Machine Shop! Familiar to rock fans for high charting hits like "Albatross", "Blown Wide Open", and "That Song", this will be Ian Thornley and company's first local concert appearance since 2001, so if you've been waiting patiently for their local return for the past 16+ years, here is your big chance! This show is a stop on Big Wreck's 20th anniversary tour for their multi-platinum debut album "In Loving Memory Of...", and if recent shows are any indication, expect that whole album to be played tomorrow, albeit in mixed up order! Winnipeg alternative rock trio Attica Riots will open this show in their local debut, so look for an upbeat pop/indie rock-influenced sound from them tomorrow as well!

    Also, don't forget the interview with Ian by The Sault Star's Jeffery Ougler from January 28th, which talks about his musical background, Big Wreck's initial successes and drawbacks, and more, so give this detailed interview a look above or if you still have that issue! Tickets for this 18+ show are $35, and are available at this link or at the Machine Shop and Station Mall's in person box office, while the show proper starts at 8:00 PM. This should be a very solid concert for hard rock fans, especially with such a long wait for Big Wreck's local return, so don't miss all of the action at The Machine Shop tomorrow night, and here they are live!

    Finally for this early-week batch of concert previews, we'll head across to Sault Michigan, where Muskegon hard rock quintet Pop Evil will return for their fifth local concert appearance THIS WEDNESDAY NIGHT for a Valentine's Day concert at The Dreammaker's Theater at the Soo's Kewadin Casino! Hitting this venue for their fourth headlining show there, and first since last February, this should be another great opportunity for fans to check out this fan favourite group and their numerous chart-topping hits like "Footsteps" & "Torn to Pieces", plus their newest single "Waking Lions", so there should be lots of familiar hard hitting songs to take in on Wednesday! Las Vegas/Toronto "fashion-art rock" band Palaye Royale (not "Palace") and San Francisco post-hardcore trio Black Map will open this show in their own local debuts, and with the former's indie influenced power rock and the latter's more aggressive metal attack, both should make solid fanbases here on Wednesday, so don't be late for them!

    The first concert of 2018 from Allstar Promotions (who have put on most of Pop Evil's local gigs), tickets for this all ages event are $25, and are available at the in-person box office, at this link, or at 1-800-KEWADIN, with limited center section seating still available, but seats from the second row and back are still on sale in the left & right sections. Everything starts at 7:00 PM, and whether you're in this just for the rock, or if this is part of your Valentine's Day plans, Pop Evil should have a great show in store for their U.P. fans once again! See the above links for more details, and here's Pop Evil live at The Dreammaker's Theater last year!

    Finally for today, we'll stay on the Kewadin track, as local hard/blues rock quartet Project 906 have shared four videos from their set opening for Laith Al-Saadi at The Dreammaker's Theater on Saturday onto their Facebook page! All vertically oriented cell phone camera clips, two were shared from guitarist Joe Jenkins' personal Facebook page, including the end of their cover of ZZ Top's "Tush", and an instrumental section that I can't identify off hand. Both are more less to showcase Joe soloing, though new drummer Tommy Korcal is in easy view on them also, and the quality is solid despite the length! Attendee Dani Baumann also filmed the guys playing "Tush", and while it is an earlier section with vocals, Joe gets some solid solo time in at the end! The audio quality is even clearer, and while Dani was further from the stage than the filmer on Joe's clips, she zoomed in and showcased Billy & Dustin too, so it all works out! However, embedded below is a full performance clip of Project 906 covering The Marshall Tucker Band's "Can't You See", courtesy of attendee Katie Jeffson, so how does it sound?

    In our first look at the current Project 906 lineup, we get a solid cover of this southern rock standard here, and it's a bluesy enough number to suit the concert's theme! Solid video quality despite the vertical angle, and you get a good view of everyone, all things considered, so give this video a look below, and see more from this show above!

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

    Saturday, February 10, 2018

    Defunct Local Band Profile Series: Project 421

    It's now time for our second Defunct Local Band Profile of 2018, as we're continuing our spotlighting of defunct or inactive local metal, hard rock, and punk bands, so current readers can read up on their run and accomplishments, and see where members are now! As always, we randomly selected this month's band, and they are quite a prominent group for Sault Ontario metalheads of the last few years, so here's what you should know!
    Project 421

    Genre: Classic Metal/Power Rock

    Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

    Members: (Members not in their last full lineup in italics.)

    Blair Burch (Re:Born, Broken), vocals/guitar
    Frank McGillivray (Re:Born), guitar
    Daniel Horton (Jack Spades, Haggith), bass
    Chris Thompson (Fitswitch, Frightlight, Half Past), drums

    Curtis McKenzie (Haggith, Eclipse, The Din), vocals
    Larry Mousseau (Fitswitch, Frightlight), drums

    Audio/Video: Though loose plans to record a debut EP (perhaps with an April 21st release date) never came to pass, Project 421 are well documented online from live concert videos, which can be seen officially via their Facebook page & YouTube channel, while Christopher Paci's channel & our Facebook page have a good amount of videos as well, among other fan-shot sources. Most of 421's set was comprised of covers from bands like Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, and Diamond Head, but originals like "No One Rides For Free", "Into the Darkness", and "Running Away" were also very prominent. Here's their 5-piece lineup covering Judas Priest back in 2014!

    Info/Analysis: Debuting as a mystery band during Haggith's initial farewell show at The Algonquin Pub in December 2013, Project 421 soon became a prominent sight at local concert events in the mid-2010s. Soon adding bassist Daniel Horton's Haggith bandmate Curtis McKenzie for his first of two stints as lead singer, 421 arguably made their biggest early splash by opening for Anvil at The Canadian in March 2014, a role they reprised the following year. Fans will have also seen Project 421 open for bands like The Ripcordz, Diamond Head, and Broomfiller, play notable events like both of 2015's local battles of the bands, Medi-Fest, and Sault Band-O-Rama, and headline a smattering of headlining and solo nightclub events in their later years, though breaks from the stage became increasingly more common. Curtis, Daniel, and 421's second drummer Chris Thompson formed the modern hard rock side project Eclipse in 2015, which ran concurrently with Project 421 until both bands' disbanded for differing personal reasons in the fall of 2017.

    Project 421 were succeeded by guitarist Blair Burch & Frank McGillivray's current new band Re:Born, who have taken on their predecessor's original songs, but Project 421 will be missed by their fans! Not many groups could feel right at home at an all ages Oddfellows Hall show and a solo Rockstar Bar three-set booking, but they pulled it off! Blair and Frank were an effective double threat on guitar, Curtis' excellent vocals were a bonus during his time in the band, Daniel's bass work stood on it's own, and both Larry and Chris each had good chemistry on drums! Project 421 had a good run, but be sure to follow Re:Born & Jack Spades for members' current projects!
    I hope you guys liked this month's Defunct Local Band Profile! Next month, we'll hit Sault Michigan for the first time in this series in 2018, as our next random selection will be inactive early 2010s metal band The Eleventh Hour (a.k.a. Angelic Genocide & Changing You For Better Days), and while I forecast that they can sustain a full profile on their own given their numerous updates and name/lineup changes, we'll add a randomly chosen Sault Ontario band with minimal info if we need to. Look for that on or around March 10th, and stay tuned for concert previews and more next! Thanks everyone!

    Thursday, February 8, 2018

    LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Rob & Jesse) And Weekend Concert Previews!!

    This weekend's concert previews are here for your delectation, and just a disclaimer: This is a shorter post than usual due to recent quietness for other news, and a relatively quiet weekend for hard rock and punk shows ahead. Of course, we'll touch on next week's Pop Evil and Big Wreck shows early next week, but it's way too soon to preview them now, so look for them on Sunday or Monday. Now, let's start with a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!

    Elements bandmates Rob Speers & Jesse Cook will join forces for an acoustic concert at The Rockstar Bar TOMORROW NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, this show was only announced via it's official Facebook event page earlier this week, though it was previously advertised on the venue's physical marquee board as a Rob Speers solo concert.  Making their first live appearance in this setting of the year, fans may recall Rob & Jesse playing as "The Kariokeheads" at Room 21 late last year, but that name is used nowhere on the event page. No word on whether they've dropped it, they're not incorporating live karaoke TOMORROW, or if the name was Room 21's idea, but it's the same base act! Now describing their sound as "bluesy acoustic rock", but surely with a harder edge akin to their electric bands, Rob and Jesse will be playing covers for assembled fans, and expect guest appearances from their friends and bandmates, as well as Rob's wife Christina, who guested with them at one of their Room 21 shows.

    No word on why they're not playing on Saturday, but Rob & Jesse/The Kariokeheads are on at 10:00 PM TOMORROW, you must be 19 or older to attend, and there is no announced cover charge. Visit the above links for more details, and hopefully the guys launch an online page or post some public media at some point!

    Moving to previously announced concerts, fans can take in another two matinee concerts from ex-Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison also as his weekly concert arrangement continues for shows TOMORROW & SATURDAY! Only playing at Gliss this weekend (Wednesday open mics at The Canadian aside), this weekend's shows should provide fans and restaurant patrons alike with another entertaining pair of evening concert sets from this prolific veteran performer, so don't miss out at The Quality Inn's house restaurant tomorrow and/or Saturday! As usual for Tym's long-term gigs at Gliss, these are 6:00 PM events with no announced age limits or cover charges, but mind the non-traditional locale (well, outside of Tym's shows, at least.) Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here's Tym live!

    Lastly for known hard rock concert previews this weekend is a big show for blues rock fans, as Sault Michigan hard rock/blues quartet Project 906 will be among the openers for Ann Arbor blues rock singer/guitarist Laith Al-Saadi as he makes his local debut on SATURDAY NIGHT at The Dreammaker's Theater at the Soo's Kewadin Casino branch! Entitled “The Best of Michigan Blues”, fans will recognize Laith as a finalist on The Voice in early 2016, but don't judge on that, as he has since carved his own path in solo music with a rich and skilled blend of blues rock, so don't miss out on Laith's headlining set on Saturday! Fellow Ann Arbor blues/funk act The Chris Canas Band will co-headline with their own powerful take on the blues, so definitely keep them in mind, especially with how well their shows tend to be recieved! Project 906 will add a hard rock touch to this show, which is just their second announced gig with new drummer Tommy Korcal, so see how they do on this big stage on Saturday!

    Reunited local blues group Chord On Bluz (featuring Clownsack alumni) will open this show as well, and it'll be nice to see them back on a local stage! Despite an earlier rumour, this show (presented by U.P. Beat Entertainment) is not cancelled, and will go on as scheduled for Saturday night at 7:00 PM, with tickets going for $30 at this link, at 1-800-KEWADIN, or at the in-person box office. At press time, seats are still available from the second row and back, so act A.S.A.P. for the best possible spots! This should be a fun time for fans of the blues, so visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here's Laith live tackling a Jimi Hendrix classic!

    That's all for today, but stay tuned for this month's Defunct Local Band Profile on the site next, in all likelihood! Thanks everyone!