Face The Music With A Vengeance : Tour Review

Face The Music With A Vengeance       March 28, 2013          K-Rock Centre

New comer to the arena stage and recently signed to Canadian record label, 604 records co-owned by Jonathan Simkins and Nickelback front man, Chad Kruger. Anami Vice is a Vancouver hip-hop talent found by non- other than Marianas Trench lead, Josh Ramsay. No stranger to the music industry Anami has previous EP, released independently entitled #SomethingForEveryone. He has experienced increased popularity under his first full length release, Are You Serious? That boasts his debut single, “Time I Ever Had” and the new smash hit, “Take your Shirt off” I was unsure of their use of tracking during the set, as Anami has a big band sound that is hard to replicate live without tracking. He seemed to be out of breath at some points during his set. His energy was evident throughout the set and this may have had something to do with it.   Along with his band, The New Future, featuring Alex “AJ” on Drums, and a killer bass guitarist, and Kevin “Kevvy Mental” Maher from the Vancouver, BC based band Fake Shark, Real Zombie on guitar, boast live stage promise! Check out his official website here: http://www.anamivice.com/

Toronto hip hop power house Down With Webster (DWW) knows how to pump up a crowd. Hype men, Cameron “Cam” Hunter (vocals) and Martin “Bucky” Seja (vocals) burst out with huge black flags emblazed with the DWW logo as Patrick “Pat” Gillett (vocals, guitr), Tyler Armes (Bass guitar, keys), Andrew “Marty” Martino (Drums) along with their  DJ, Dave “Diggy” Ferris ripped up the turntables  and pulled out all the stops as they hit the stage with a BANG. The set started with hard beats, insane energy and true to their reputation; HYPE, got the crowd jacked playing favourites like, “Time to Win”, “Professional”, “Your Man” and even slowing it down for “Jessica”. Half way through their set Marty stayed on stage (the rest of the band disappeared) as he ripped into an insane drum solo that started with the Super Mario Brothers theme and incorporated the latest viral video track “Harlem Shake”. But the real surprise was their new single, “One in a Million”. Where they lit up the stage in these futuristic light suits! (Check out any live coverage on You Tube from the tour or the official video OUT NOW!), that brought a very “TRON” look and space feel to their music. Can’t wait to see more! Showering the crowd with what looked like million dollar bills promoting their new single and classic red flip cups emblazed with the Down With Webster logo were thrown into the crowd, it was definitely a party few would forget! See below for my exclusive interview with Down With Webster’s Cam Hunter for some hints on the new album and his take on how Down With Webster really started.

After the show opener and title track from their third album release. Ever After and a prologue intro to a dark Tim Burton feeling fairy tale written by Marianas Trench front man, Josh Ramsay (Lead vocals, guitar). The stage was draped in fog as Josh was brought out of the black and white jack-n-a-box, on a wire to fly over the crowd and was brought back as the fading notes of the first song faded. Joining him onstage were Matt Webb (rhythm guitar, back ground vocals), Mike Alyey (Bass guitar, background vocals) and Ian Casselman (Drums). Pumping up the crowd with their previously released popular songs “Shaketramp” and “All to myself”, they kept the energy going with their recently released single, “Stutter”,  feeding off the crowd as they slowed things down revealing their upcoming single release to be “By Now”. The crowd was very responsive pushing to get closer to the stage. Bringing out a shirtless Marty, along with Pat, Cam on a skate board and Bucky, from Down With Webster and Anami Vice with Kevvy came back onstage for a T-shirt give away as Marianas disappeared for a quick costume change. Desperate measures brought Matt, Mike and Ian to centre stage in Pink dress shirts and black tier-aways with Ray bands sunglasses. ( Homage to Tom Cruz in Risky Business).  The tier-away pants disappeared quickly to reveal each in a super hero themed boxers, Josh even broke out the clear guitar for this one! Always having the fans at the centre he even reached out to them showing an emotional connection. With a video break to progress the storyline Josh Ramsay then took the helm behind the drums, making Ian Casselman mobile as Matt Webb and Mike Alyey flanked the stage drumming out a tribal beat intro to “Truth or Dare” as the multi-coloured lights continued to shift before they took their place guitar and bass in hand to finish the song. Mixing in crowd favourites with unreleased material the crowd was highly entertained, especially when Singer Josh Ramsay chose “Cross My Heart” (a hit single from their second studio album, Masterpiece Theatre) as the time to not only do his usual voice range game, but also dive into the crowd and do a lap of the arena, much to delight of the screaming fans. The theatrical element of a highly visual storyline and multiple costume changes complimented their complex harmonies. Which were present especially during their acapella intro to the show closer “No Place Like Home”, which transfixed the crowd as the fairy tale drew to a close. Proving Marianas Trench can play through some spotty technical glitches and deliver a show worthy of a standing Ovation.

Marianas Trench is set for another busy summer as they just wrapped filming the video for their latest singe, “By Now” in Las Vegas and are set to hit the road running this summer. Before playing some summer festivals in Canada, a 24 date US tour was recently announced sponsored by Journey’s that have many of the band’s VIP tickets sold out! Check out the promo here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7oB8x1nu_Q

Long before the crowds swelled and the lights dimmed over the arena where over 4,000 tickets were sold. I got a backstage look at an upcoming project from Down with Webster as they have started a media campaign around their recently released single, “One in a Million”.  Catching Cameron Hunter, MC and one of the two hype masters before the show he was kind enough to answer a few questions for me. And

CT: So to start out on the last tour, you filmed a video on the tour bus by mixing one of Marianas’ songs and you rapping, it was well received by fans! Can we expect more this tour?  

Cameron:  It all depends on whether I get a good I idea or not. It depends on what strikes me, I’m defiantly going to try but, you have to have the idea first.

CT: Would DWW ever thought about using their songs to do a musical?

Cameron: I think that would be amazing and very ambitious. I’m not much of a dancer so they may have to cast other people and do voice overs.

CT: If you could make-up a story of how DWW started what would it be?

Cameron: I don’t know, astronaut camp, Cap Canaveral, Florida, trying to get our NASA on and it didn’t work out, so we started a band called Down With Webster.

CT: What’s on your Ipod right now?

Cameron: Just ignorant awful rap music, amongst other stuff.

CT: Song that gets the most crowd response?

Cameron:  Definitely One in a Million for this tour.

CT: Can you tell me a story behind a song on the new album? (Tyler Ames ducked in to help Cam out with this one!)

Tyler: There is a song that maybe may make it on the album, maybe calling “Yes” because Bucky says Yes a lot. So if there was one word that would sum up Bucky’s lifestyle it would be Yes. He says Yes to everything.

Cameron: Just as quick as he came, he vanished.

CT: You have recently done some writing with Josh Ramsay, How is the writing process going for the new album?

Cameron: It’s good, you know. It’s cool, its first time we are branching out and writing with new people. I’d say most of the songs we have are still all our stuff. I think it’s natural to like what you do best. It’s been a cool experience. There is a lot of cool stuff and we still have to go through and pick what’s going to be on the album, so hopefully some of the stuff we did with Josh makes it.

CT: What’s the biggest misconception about down with Webster?

Cameron: I don’t really know what people saying about us. I don’t really read the comments on You Tube; there is a lot of positive feedback on my Twitter. Tell me what people are saying badly about us, and I will answer that question.

CT: In which city that you have previously played have found the craziest fans?

Cameron: Craziest fans probably Montreal the fans there are insane, Newfoundland too! Newfies and French Canadians are amazing and wild!

CT: we previously talked about educational backgrounds, if you weren’t apart of Down With Webster what would you be doing?

Cameron: Definitely still in the music industry, I have a side project in the works. (Solo project guys get excited!!) But first thing is first, the new album for Down With Webster.

Catch Down with Webster’s video for their new single, “One in a Million”, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkgiG28Cniw&list=UUBDDIqAclAEuRmSHp9exHWQ&index=1  and keep a close eye on Facebook and twitter (@DownwithWebster) as there are many updates and many pictures from their most recent tour! And maybe a link to the best tour prank I have seen to date involving Josh from Marianas Trench and some Lobster friends! Hit up their Facebook for the link to purchase any Merch you may have missed out on too! The toques are dope! Peace out until the new album drops hopefully in the fall of 2013!


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