Concert Reviews

Warped Tour 2013

Vans Warped Tour 2013Fresh off a goodnights sleep and back in Kingston I am  missing Toronto already.

To say the weather was fair is a bit under enthusiastic! And it was different because I wasn’t covering Warped Tour as I have quickly become accustom to. But still had an amazing time non-the less. I got to talk to a couple of bands that I have previously interviewed and watch their sets.  Made me love their sound even more!

I got to chat with July Band shortly before the Toronto date of Warped Tour 2013! Check it after my review of the days events.

The day was a mix of sun and rain which should have reduced the crowds but as music always prevails, Some big names headlined the Kia Stages, yet the best surprises were at the smaller stages.  Reading the day’s schedule tying to plan my day and avoid any overlap, I was excited to find out that some bands that had made the bill were ones I had previously talked with. ( Crystalyne, Acers of Lions, Courage My Love). They rocked the heck out of a not so dry situation and made it truly the best day ever!

Best surprise of the day, on recommendation from Acers of Lions bassist Dave, was to hit the acoustic basement tent, (which could have been placed further from the medal acts at the stage to the left. Where Billy the Kid was captivating! She also was exuberant to announce that she would be joining the rest of dates for Warped tour 2013. Billy the Kid hailing from Vancouver, is a Canadian Singer/Song Writer with a memorable voice. I can’t get  “Running”  out of my head, after picking up her EP Stars Exploding.  Check out one of her earlier songs, “Us Broken Hearts” here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfFyjF4cKwA

With a small break in acts I wanted to see what some of the vendors had to offer.  Wandering and general people watching took precedence. I was on the hunt for July band merch tent, which proved unfound, in the sea of merch tents and record companies seemed endless.  I even recognised a few of the Roadies, from the Fuse sponsored show “Warped Tour Roadies”! (Defiantly worth a watch).

Some bigger name surprises was, 3OH3 and Mad Child, of Swollen Members who had some solo work to offer. He was highlighted on Much Music ‘s show New Music Live the previous day deputing his new single, “It gets better”. Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avBvj2dIt8M&feature=c4-overview&list=UUBJcLcYDDLHNRZF96P9Hz5g

Catching up with July Band’s vocalist Devin Moody, shortly before they were set to play the Toronto stop of Warped Tour 2013 they talked with Canadian Tapped Promotions about Warped Tour and announced new music to be released next month!

July Band Promotion ShotCTP: Is this your first time playing Warped Tour?

Devin: Yup! This is our first time on Warped and we’re so thankful and excited.

CTP: Pick one of your songs and can you give me the story behind it?

Devin: Our song “What We Signed Up For” is a song about following your dreams. A lot of people will put you down or laugh at your dreams but if it makes you happy then follow your heart. You have to do what makes you happy not what everyone else wants you to do. So, that’s why we wrote the song!

CTP: What is your favourite song to play live?

Devin: We all talked at band practise the other day about this and I think we all collectively decided “Second Best” was our favourite to play live.

CTP: Who would you collaborate with given the chance?

Devin : Patrick Stump (Fall out Boy)

CTP: Any Tour stories you can share? 

Devin: Our bassist Marc got really drunk on the first night of our tour in Japan with some of the other bands and was jumping roof to roof and ended up losing his phone/all his money… on the FIRST day of tour.

CTP: What do you think is the Summer of 2013 song?

Devin: That’s a tough call. I personally am really digging Michael Buble’s new single “It’s a Beautiful Day”. It’s a great break up song but still is super catchy and upbeat.

CTP: What’s up next for the band?/ anything else you want to tell your fans?

Devin: We’re touring in the USA again this August and releasing new music later this month! We’ll be writing a new record this winter. Then…we’ll take over the world!

Check out July Band Official at their website; www.wearejuly.com for upcoming tour dates and You Tube Channel: www.youtube.com/wearejuly  . Devin (vocals) along with his band mates, Andrew Falcao (guitar/BV), Marc Sautter (Bass/BV) and Sam Guaiana (drums). Pulled a killer set on the  Kevin Says Stage at Warped Tour 2013!

Kevin Lyman you and your crew have produced a fantastic show 17 years running.  Thank you very much for a much anticipated #Bestdayever!

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Road Warriors, One Bad Son Start Fresh with Self Titled Debut.

Originally from Saskatoon, the four man band, ONE BAD SON comprised of Adam Grant (Bass) Adam Hicks (guitar), Kurt Dahl (Drummer) and Shane Volk (Singer) packed up and headed to Vancouver about three years ago to sign with Canada’s own, 604 records. Their debut self-titled album was released earlier this year (September 2012).One Bad Son

On their Ontario leg of the album release tour I got to catch Adam Grant (Bass) shortly before their gig recently at the Merchant Tap House in Kingston Ontario.

CT: How is working with 604 Records?
Adam: Working with 604 is great! They give us a lot of freedom as artists and that’s really all you can ask for! It’s great!
CT: How did the band start?
Adam: I am not an “original” member, Kurt and Shane, around 2004 starting jamming when their other projects fizzled out and got a hold of Adam Hicks shortly after. I came in round 2007.
CT: The band has a unique sound; can you talk about your music influences?
Adam: All of us are influenced by the bands from 70’s and early 90’s primarily; Led Zeppelin, The Who, Sound Garden and Pearl Jam. For me personally; Red Hot Chili Peppers, John Paul Jones from Zeppelin, especially now with the songs we have written recently. Shane’s voice has recently been compared to Bon Jovi and Axl Rose. People hear what is familiar to them.
CT: Pick a song and can you tell me the story behind it?
Adam: One that always seems to come up is, “Retribution Blues”. It’s the last track on the album. Song writing is such an interesting thing because things come up in so many different ways, whether it’s an idea that someone has or a jam. That’s what Retribution Blues” was a jam. We had just started jamming in this old house in Saskatoon, and it’s in this residential area, we played in the basement so we were worried about what the neighbours were hearing. So Kurt went outside to check the sound level and we just played this riff. Next thing he came barrelling down the stairs and said “yeah it’s not that loud but who cares, what was that riff?” and “Blues” was written in ten minutes. They are not all like that; Scarecrows took forever and went through many different variations. (Check out their YouTube channel listed below to take a listen).
CT: Any Tattoo stories you can share?
Adam: We are all tattooed to a degree. I have one related to the Red Hot Chili Peppers (on his right forearm) when I was sixteen. I also have some tattoos that have imagery that interest me.
CT: If you could have a superpower which one would you choose?
Adam: I’d probably go with flying, because I spend too much time in a damn van it would be nice to fly.
CT: If you weren’t touring in a rock band, what would you do for work?
Adam: I went to university for a couple of years; I took classes that interested me. I would love to be an author, which is akin to being a musician.
CT: Are you the main writer for the band or is it collaborative?
Adam: We all write. Its 25% each, we all collaborate. It’s rarely a situation that we have to twist someone’s arm.
CT: What’s up next for One Bad Son?
Adam: That’s a good question. We are going to be on the road for the next couple of months. That is a big chunk of time but we are always writing and there are couple of dates later on in the summer we are looking forward to. We love touring, promoting our music, talking to the fans and meeting people!

IMG_5297

Bassist Adam Grant of One Bad Son

ONE BAD SON up close and LIVE
Their live stage set up was typical of the traveling musicians, except for a stack of three vintage TVs with the band name printed in black stickers on them, which once turned on makes for an interesting banner! As with many bands to come from 604 Records I have been blown away by One Bad Son ‘s professionalism and quality of their live show! Even given a small venue they boast huge stage presence and are impressive to watch! Their sound reminds me of the rock era gone by (which is sorely missed by some). So it’s great to hear bands like One Bad Son using that familiar rock sound and use it in a unique way.

Try and get tickets to some of the festival dates they will be playing later in the summer as their cross Canadian tour just wrapped up. Check out their website (listed below) for the most recent show dates and keep an eye locked to Facebook and Twitter for updates from the road. Thank you so much to 604 Records, One Bad Son and Strut Entertainment! One Bad Son is a band whose CD you want in your car or on frequent rotation on your iPod this summer as they have a classic sound that is perfect for those cottage days!One Bad Son posts to their social media often keep up with them here:

Official website: http://www.onebadson.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/onebadson
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/onebadson
ITunes: http://itunes.apple.com/ca/artist/one-ba…
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/OneBadSonTV

Remember- keep one ear to the speaker and a #RebelHeart tapped into Canadian Music!

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!