The Glorious Sons’ concert at the Scotiabank Arena can be rightly described as an explosive, high energy performance by the Juno nominated Canadian rockers. The music, the stage, the crowd, the lights - everything perfectly amalgamated together to give the audience an experience of their lifetime. Toronto rockers “The Beaches” opened for the TGS and warmed up the audience with their groovy alternative rock style music. Before the concert I only knew a couple of songs by the beaches but after seeing them performing live now I am a fan. The all-girl band rocked the crowd with their stage presence and music. Sometimes I feel like I don’t see enough girl rockers on stage so I was really happy and it was a refresher. When TGS took over the stage Scotiabank Arena was full. One of the largest venues in Toronto was sold out and the band exceeded their fans every expectations by taking everyone’s musical consciousness to a higher level. Front man Brett Emmons is so good at performing live that it’s hard to imagine he would be doing anything else with his life but be a singer of a kickass rock band. Running from left to right, cheering and rocking with the almost 20,000 audience throughout the concert, Brett’s energy is simply infectious. His orange pants and blue shirt is almost a symbol of how the band does not conform to the mainstream. The music does not have any fancy external vocal or guitar effects or DJ machines to add to their music like many other rock bands have these days. TGS is a simple rock band with guitar, drums and bass along with a harmonica played by Brett on some songs. They do have a touring keyboard player but its simple keys without any external, fancy effects. This simplicity of basic instruments played by friends who love to play music and have a good time - make The Glorious Sons unique. The audience can simply relate TGS as the band that is always having a good time. I can’t wait to see them again
The band Skid Row and Sebastian Bach are synonymous with late 80s and early 90s rock music. So obviously as a 90’s kid I loved Skid Row and other rock/heavy metal bands popular at the time. I never imagined that I would get the opportunity to photograph Sebastian Bach at a concert and literally be only a few inches away from him. That’s what happened last week when Sebastian Bach performed at the Phoenix concert hall in Toronto on Friday. The concert was sold out mostly attended by all 90’s kids and some younger heavy metal fans of 90s music. Sebastian Bach, once known as one of the best rock singers around, put on a rocking concert with amazing guitarist Brent Woods, bassist Rob Deluca and drummer Bobby Jarzombek. Any Skid Row fans would know right away that Sebastian’s voice didn’t really age. He sounded and performed almost exactly the same way as he did 25 years ago head banging with his long hair making the crowd dance with him. When the band performed Skid Row’s popular hit “18 and Life” the crowd sang half the song and Sebastian enjoyed the connection with his fan by holding the microphone to the crowd to let them sing with the band.
Guitarist Brent Woods jumped from one side of the stage to the other as he performed flawlessly all the Skid Row hits and covers of popular songs by Pantera, Jimi Hendrix etc. Sebastian eluded many times about his Canadian heritage (he is from Peterborough in case you didn’t know!) and his memories of performing at the Phoenix concert hall in the 80’s. When the band covered “Cemetary Gates” by Pantera the crowd screamed and jumped throughout the song appreciating the timeless heavy metal classic while paying tribute to the late drummer and guitarist of Pantera. There was nostalgia, tribute and respect for other musicians throughout the concert as Sebastian reminded the crowd of musicians who are no longer with us even though their music will remain forever - including Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington. This was honorable as Sebastian played many tribute songs to some of the greatest musicians of our time. Great concert for anyone who wants to enjoy some heavy metal music and especially enjoyable if you are a 90’s kid!
Is it worth it to drive 4 hours to see Stone Temple Pilots and Seether play at the Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario? Absolutely YES!! A hundred times YES. The long running rock/alternative outfit Stone Temple Pilots dropped their new album earlier this year and currently touring North America to remind their fans how good this 4 piece band can sound when they are live. The brothers Dean and Robert DeLeo along with drummer Eric Kretz played perfectly in sync portraying their musical experience that has only made them better with time. The band went through a lot of struggles in the last few years with death of their two front man Scott Weiland and Chester Bennington (Chester was temporarily with the band after Scott Weiland departed from Stone Temple Pilots in 2013). I don't even have the capability to imagine how the death of two fellow musicians could have negatively affected the band but Stone Temple Pilots showed their strength and love for music in their new album and at the concert. Along with newer hits the band played their classics "Interstate Love Song" and a beautiful slow version of "Plush" which was powerful enough to make every one in the audience scream and sing along with the new singer Jeff Gutt. There were times when Jeff reminded the audience of Scott Weiland as they both have similar body language on stage. However, Jeff's distinct voice proves why he is right for the band and why he collaborated so well in the new album with the rest of the band. This concert was not just a nostalgia trip of Stone Temple Pilots in the 90's but also eargasm to fans who love to hear the rock/grungy alternative riffs played by amazing musicians whose live collaboration will force you to stand up and sing your lungs out.
Mirror Master Tour
Young the Giant, the Californian indie band formerly known as The Jakes, promoted their 4th album at The Rebel last Thursday. It was almost impossible to walk to the venue with a massive crowd of fan, and of course, all the songs were followed to the point one could actually hear the crowd sing at the same volume as Sameer Gadhia, lead singer and percussionist of the band.
The new album released only a month ago, presents a more energetic vibe ready to make everyone stand up and dance. Basic rhythms, simple riffs and a lot of loops create a fascinating combination that merges entirely with the similarities and differences of every band member of YTG.
It’s interesting to mention that Sameer majored in Human Biology at Stanford University. It was not until 2009 that he decided to put a halt to med school dreams to give everything to the band. He plans to go back to finish his degree someday though.
Born in Timmins, Ontario, the opener of the night rocked the stage with her most recent production called Skin & Earth. An album released along with a comic book series designed by Lights herself.
With more than 10 years of career, we see in Lights a many-sided artist that is always on the move as a singer, songwriter, musician, comic book author, illustrator or writer.
The show was centred in the new album songs. These songs are not only played in a synthesizer as a regular electropop production, but the whole band is presenting the music live along with Lights. Drums, guitars and bass sounds are mixed perfectly with her voice to create a comforting result.
My favourite song of the night was Savage, but I need to accept that I was shocked when I did a little more research and found at least five different versions of the song Giants (Spanish, English, Japanese, French and Tagalog) given the different places in the world Lights has lived.
Not to mention that her voice just sounds remarkably beautiful in the acoustic album that turned out to be a perfect match for a romantic dinner.
Iron Maiden’s bassist, primary songwriter and co-founder Steve Harris rocked The Great Hall of Toronto with his alternative project called British Lion. The album was released way back in fall of 2012 after Graham Leslie (guitar) shared some songs with Harris in the 90’s. The bassist then decided to mentor, produce, manage and even write songs with the new band. We are ready to hear their new material coming up in summer 2019.
British Lion sound is energetic and filled with this English classic metal aura that we are all familiar with. The DNA, of course, is shared with Iron Maiden (who would have thought?) specifically the fact that most guitar riffs are accompanied with a strong bass melody on the back that keeps the song alive continuously. Richie Taylor (singer) possesses a powerful voice that mixes perfectly well with the galloping bass of Harris.
At the venue, there were less than 400 metalheads. The average age was over 50, but most of them wore their Iron Maiden, Motörhead, or Black Sabbath T-Shirts proudly. New generations attended to the show as well and supported the band chanting their whole album.
The project will be performing in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Japan the next couple of weeks after finishing Canadian presentations in Montreal, Ottawa, Waterloo, and Quebec City.
When new music is not talking to me, I usually turn to old school music. This time was different because British Lion sounds like new-old music. Steve Harris is the backbone of the band, and onstage anyone can see the years and years of experience that he projects not only with his very characteristic sound but with his personality and confidence. All we can say is -Respect, Mr. Harris.
If I told you Tupac is alive and just did a live show, you might believe it for a few seconds before completely dismissing my claim. However, if I were to say Roy Orbison just did a concert in Toronto last Sunday that would be completely ridiculous because we all know Roy Orbison is unfortunately no longer with us. Well there is some truth to my claim about Roy Orbison. There was a concert last Sunday at the Sony Center and a hologram of Roy Orbison performed with a live band behind it. Following its debut shows this spring in Europe, Roy Orbison's hologram stopped by in Toronto last Sunday at the Sony Centre. Yes the future of concert and live performances has arrived. We have the technology to enjoy a hologram concert of any artist who is no longer with us or who maybe just far away performing halfway around the world. Roy Orbison performed all his hits and also spoke to his band during the concert complimenting the band. This was a complete re-enactment of one of his past performances which the band replicated behind the hologram live. I was in complete awe and also loved the fact that we get to enjoy a concert without being in front of the artists. I am speculating this will be used in the future for distance live performances where anyone can enjoy a live hologram version of a concert without physically being at the concert. This is just the beginning of hologram technology and soon maybe we will be able to enjoy holograms everywhere (even on our phones!!). There was a little sadness in my heart throughout the concert which kept reminding me that Roy Orbison is no longer with us and this is just a hologram of him. This sadness was further exacerbated when the hologram played one my favorite Roy Orbison song "I drove all night" bringing back memories of when I first heard the song. Excited to see how holograms will merge with live performances in the future.
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