BUTCHER BABIES, HATEBREED AND BLACK LABEL SOCIETY LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS – FEATURE EDITORIAL

Featured
HATEBREED CROWD @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDAY JAN. 8TH 2015
All Photography By: Fridae Mattas

BUTCHER BABIES, HATEBREED

AND

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY

LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS

 TORONTO

FEATURE EDITORIAL

By: Fridae Mattas

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY - ZAKK WYLDE: VOX/AXE LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS TWinter sucks, especially here in Ontario where you can get all types of precipitation in one day. The worst is when you get sick like I did. Caught this weird virus that I thought was just a regular cold until it warped into a crazy one. Never in my life have I experienced something like this, along with all the typical symptoms my skin hurt and my hands would go numb to the point where I couldn’t even press buttons on my android. After nearly two weeks I’m finally back at full health, the photos from the first show of the new year Thursday January 8th, turned out alright. I hoped for better but with the ghetto lighting for the first two bands I did okay. Strobes look cool but are not fun to shoot in, nor is red lighting. At least the headliners had wicked lighting, they were the best shots of the night hands down!

BUTCHER BABIES - CROWD LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDAY JAN. 8TH 20METAL FANS @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDAY JAN. 8TH 2015This show was a bittersweet experience for me personally, it was the first of 2015 but the last show I will ever cover and see at the Kool Haus. For over thirty years with a few incarnations The Guvernment Entertainment Complex has been a mecca for entertainment in Toronto. It is globally known as one of the largest and longest running clubs in Canada. The complex houses a number of venues like The Kool Haus, Skybar, Chroma (means colour in Greek) aka “The Orange Room” where Deadmaus and quite a few other DJ’s got their start. Many international artists have graced the stage at the well known live venue, The Kool Haus formerly “The Warehouse” and “RPM”. Sadly on the 31st of January after 18 years of music, dancing and mayhem, the massive complex will be closing its doors for good. The Guvernment was the first club I went to as an underage youth exploring the club scene, always had a fantastic time! I believe my father even bounced their doors at some point during the glory days in the nineties.

BUTCHER BABIES - HEIDI SHEPHERD: VOX  LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSMy siblings and I saw and met many artists like “Nsync”, “Pink”, “Evanescence” and so many more at the Kool Haus. As I got older before the journalist days, I did background work in many films shot at the venue, attended exclusive events, sales, parties, raves, had many backstage wanderings and got lost a few times in the maze of rooms, the Guv is always a fun place to explore. Once upon a time at the Kool Haus I left my backpack with “friends”, who didn’t want to leave the general admission line to actually meet the band. We skipped school to see the band, might as well make the best of it right? When I returned from hanging with the band to grab my backpack, I noticed that some teenie robbed the drawings from inside my bag! Days and nights, hours and hours of sketching and painting gone. Fuming, yet at the same time flattered that my artwork was awesome enough to swipe. To this day I still wonder, why on earth would anyone want to steal Sailor Moon and random school drawings in the first place? Good thing I wasn’t stupid enough to leave my purse because I never saw my artwork again! After all of that drama, at least I chilled with the band before and after the show.

BUTCHER BABIES - HENRY FLURY: AXE LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDAY

BUTCHER BABIES  LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDAY JAN. 8TH 2015The Guvernment has been for many Torontonians a crutch, it would always be there in our minds. But, as the unnecessary condo communities grow, our music culture in Toronto is being demolished, one venue at a time. Out of all of my adventure spots, I will definitely miss this place the most! Even more so than when the Big Bop complex closed it’s doors. Okay, enough depressing jibbers of what is eminent, let’s get to the music. First up on stage was “The Butcher Babies“, these gorgeous ladies and lads were the BUTCHER BABIES - CARLA HARVEY: VOX  LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDAwhole reason I chose this show as the first of 2015! Major thanks to their team for hooking a girl up! Having heard so many good things about The Butcher Babies, I had to see them live for myself. The minute I wandered into the pit the lights dimmed and the band hit the stage, I made it just in time! Tried as fast as I could to find the best non flash settings in my camera for the lighting, we only had three songs. Right out the gate they embraced the stage with vibrance and charisma, Heidi and Carla did an amazing job entertaining the crowd! The ladies went right up in there, singing from the barricades almost in the crowd. At times the crowd looked like they were going to swallow front woman Heidi Shepherd but security had her back. The mostly male audience was getting wild, I’m glad that I didn’t see any inappropriate groping of these fearless females…Then again, I wasn’t in the pit for the whole set.

BUTCHER BABIES  LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDAY JAN. 8TH 2015BUTCHER BABIES - CARLA HARVEY: VOX  LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDA

During the last show of 2014, I felt like a fun-sized Fridae trying to film behind this WNBA sized femme who was in front of me for the entire set. This time, it was I who felt like Andre the Giant’s daughter when Vox – Carla Harvey ran past me to get back on the stage, she is so tiny! They kicked off their eight track set with intro “The George Takei song” followed by “I Smell A Massacre” and continued to rock out with their blend of New school metal. The sound was the best of the night and the crowd was having a fantastic time, especially when they rocked their big tunes “Mr. Slowdeath” and “Magnolia Blvd”. If you get the chance to see California’s Butcher Babies, go for it! I could actually understand what they we’re singing! Diction is the most common issue for metal bands live but these femmes had it on lock! Bassist Jason Klein and Guitarist Henry Flury used the stage and kept the music on point! The beats were always tight thanks to stick handler Chris Warner. Throughly impressed with The Butcher Babies, looking forward to covering them again in the future.

BUTCHER BABIES - CHRIS WARNER; DRUMS LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSD

 BUTCHER BABIES

HATEBREED LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDAY JAN. 8TH 2015Hatebreed has always been one of those elusive bands I always missed at festivals and finally had the chance to shoot and absorb a set. Their lighting was the worst of the night and it shows in my shots, everyone was drowning in red lighting! At least the band sounded good, that was the last thing I needed, a shitty metal band in my ears for the next forty-five minutes or so! Thankfully that was not the problem with Hatebreed, surprisingly I enjoyed their fourteen track set very much. The crowd was singing along to the mix of old and new tracks played in the fourteen track set.

HATEBREED LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDAY JAN. 8TH 2015HATEBREED LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDAY JAN. 8TH 2015They rocked tunes like “This Is Now”, “Live For This”, “Doomsayer” and a few more of the classics…Not a big fan of the band, but am familiar with a few tunes thanks to an almost boyfriend. Hatebreed is one of those bands that has changed up members a few times. The current line up is: Jamey Jasta – Vox, Chris Beattie – Bass, Wayne Lozinak – Guitar, Matt Byrne – Drums and Frank Novinec – Guitar. The lighting was too boo and it was getting harder to shoot the band. The bodies were starting to fly more often and all the photographers who missed the Butcher Babies were trying to make up for it. Would I see Hatebreed again? Yes, would love to! They could use some more energy and crowd interaction but they held their own, that’s for sure! 

HATEBREED LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDAY JAN. 8TH 2015

 HATEBREED

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDAY JAN. 8TH 2015The last band of the night was Black Label Society who I thought would never hit the stage. How long does it take to put up a curtain? Apparently, half an hour and six stage hands! Oh and let’s not forget they wouldn’t let us into the pit until after the curtain dropped and was put away…That took what felt like an hour and a half, we only had three songs. Due to the delay in rotation at this event, I could only reach one of the other two scheduled for that night. My phone was dying, so I plugged it into the smartest thing I bought this year thus far, a portable phone charger for $14.99 from The Source! Just as I pulled the battery from my phone, the band began to play and the curtain dropped, we finally were able to enter the media pit.  

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY - ZAKK WYLDE: VOX/AXE LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS TBLACK LABEL SOCIETY - JEFF FABB: DRUMS LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURBLACK LABEL SOCIETY - DARIO LORINA: AXE LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THUThe set intro was “Whole Lotta Sabbath” followed by “The Beginning…At Last” which could not have been more ironic. As for vocals, the mic stand with a bunch of skulls was cool, but I couldn’t hear shit in the pit. I focused on the only instrument I could hear, the Lead Guitar. The sound of a seasoned guitarists fluid skills unfolding, is always a treat for my ears. Honestly, it did not matter that I couldn’t hear any vox at this point, my ears were too busy enjoying Zakk Wylde’s intoxicating electric axemastery. I’ve seen Black Label Society briefly once before, but only caught the last few songs of the set. The band has had a few member changes but two originals remain, founder Zakk Wylde – Piano/Vox/Lead Axe/Rhythm Guitar and Bassist/Backup Vox – John DeServio. The other members in the band are newbies Dario Lorina – Rhythm Guitar/Backup Vox and Jeff Fabb who was destroying that dragon skull drum kit.

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY - ZAKK WYLDE: VOX/AXE LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS TBLACK LABEL SOCIETY - DARIO LORINA: AXE LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THUIt was awesome to see Wylde use different guitars for every song, especially the one that was stolen last year and found a few days after. The whole band was fun to watch because they were all feeling the music. My favorite of the night was, Bassist DeServio who was flying all over the stage, entertaining the crowd as some were flying into the pit. Security kept tapping us on our shoulder, which is the standard heads up for the incoming surfers. Didn’t have a chance to run away from the line of fire a few times and was smushed against the stage, as security pulled out crowd surfers. The lighting was perfect for this set, my camera loved shooting in these lights but as usual was being a diva with the reds. After the three media tunes I left the venue to hop in a cab and reach my next destination. Just as I wandered out the venue my friend called to tell me he was twenty minutes away. So I rewinded back inside to see a few tunes until my friend arrived.

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY - ZAKK WYLDE: VOX/AXE LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS TBLACK LABEL SOCIETY - JOHN DESERVIO: BASS LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS TBLACK LABEL SOCIETY LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDAY JAN. 8TH 2015Wandered back in the venue at the end of “Suicide Messiah” and new tune “My Dying Time” was played next. The crowd was even more into the show as it progressed, singing along to pretty much every tune played. A mix of hits with many from the latest record “Catacombs of the Black Vatican”. It was good to actually hear the vocals from the back of the venue, always the go to spot for the best sound.

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY - JEFF FABB: DRUMS LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURIn the end I actually got to watch and see most of the set but had to leave in the middle of “Angel Of Mercy” which sounded so good! Did not want to go just yet but I had other places to be, definitely need to watch a full set from Black Label Society in the near future. You should check them out, especially if you like hearing amazing guitar being played, Wylde’s guitar solo was epic. The newbs Lorina and Fabb killed it, they add more character and chemistry to the band. Thank you to everyone who helped make this first show of 2015 an unforgettable one! That includes the couple who were fighting before the BLS set and eventually escorted out of the Kool Haus by security. Adios Kool Haus, we had some amazing times! Will always be one of my favorite places to shoot incredible talent! Now this fabulously dangerous 18 year escapade is coming to an end. The memories will always be, but there will never be another venue like the Guvernment Entertainment Complex. You will be missed!

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY - ZAKK WYLDE: VOX/AXE LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS T

 COPYRIGHT © 2015 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY

www.ButcherBabiesofficial.com

www.Hatebreed.com

www.BlackLabelSociety.com

LAWSON LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUB 2013 – FEATURE EDITORIAL REVIEW

All Photography By: Fridae Mattas
All Photography By: Fridae Mattas

LAWSON

LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUB

2013

FEATURE EDITORIAL REVIEW

By: Fridae Mattas

Saturday February 2nd I checked out UK band Lawson who were here in Toronto for the first time to play the Virgin Mobile Mod club with Toronto’s own Neverest warming up the stage with an acoustic set. No idea who they were until I was told about them and I do recall hearing their name before but I have not had the time to listen to any of their music. If it wasn’t for Neverest opening, I would not have requested the show and unfortunately I was given the wrong set times missing Neverest’s set. I was annoyed but there will be other gigs of theirs to cover and who knows maybe a new interview!

JOEL PEAT - GUITAR/BACK UP VOX - LAWSON LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE

On with the show! I had no idea Lawson already had a following of fans, teenage girls that is! Well, there were a few males here and there but they were rare. The bartender thought I was one of the teenage girls, she didn’t believe I was old enough to drink and refused to serve me a beer until I showed her my ID! Right now it’s 4:20 am, I’m rewriting this review because the snow storm knocked out the power and the original did not save.

LAWSON LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUB 2013 - Photography By:

ANDY BROWN - VOX/GUITAR - LAWSON LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUB 2013 -  Photography By: Fridae MattasIt was not a sold out show but there were more than enough shrill screams to last a lifetime. I could not get anywhere near the front of the stage or the right corner (stage left) where I usually shoot from at this venue. As I scoped out the venue for a good area to capture some stills I thought about how hostile some fans are. One adventure in NYC I will never forget, I was smoking and jibbering with a friend outside of the hotel where many industry folk were shacked up. After my friend migrated to do an interview, a plump female removed herself from behind the barricade and came up to me just to say, “If you get in the way of me getting an autograph or photo of anyone again I will kill you.” Yeah…Pretty special moment but that is not the scariest teenie encounter! Don’t get me wrong, not all fans are psycho, I have met some amazingly beautiful people, it’s just that from my personal experiences the crazies outnumber the normals. A lot of these girls were no different, they wanted to get as close to the Larries of Lawson as they could and nobody was about to get in their way, including me! Thank you to the Woman who attempted to help me get to the front but it was a lost cause, I was already getting dirty looks for taking up arm waving space with my camera, I didn’t want to anger them anymore.

LAWSON LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUB 2013 - Photography By:

JOEL PEAT - GUITAR/BACK UP VOX - LAWSON LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUB 2013 -  Photography By: Fridae MattasI really should have brought some ear plugs because the minute those lights went low, the fog emerged and intro began, the fans went off the charts on the sound levels. Regardless of how loud they were during the intro, the moment the band hit the stage it was over, my ears deafened. They were the loudest crowd this year so far and absolutely thrilled to be there! I could barely hear the band at times but its not like that mattered because the fans sang the songs for them, I even saw the classic hand hearts waving in the air. The band played about fifteen tracks, the first one being a song called “Learn To Love Again” which is their fourth single in the UK off of their début record “Chapman Square” released in October of last year. The tune is a mid-tempo track that has a catchy chorus, in fact most of the songs they played were memorable enough for me to figure out the titles. Lawson is: Andy Brown – Vox/Guitar, Joel Peat – Axe/Backup vocals, Ryan Fletcher – Bass/ Backup Vocals, Adam Pitts – Drums. They put on a commendable performance, vocals were impressive he just needs to work on breathing other than that Brown has a great tone with plenty of range that allows him to pull off many tunes. 

ANDY BROWN - VOX/GUITAR - LAWSON LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CL

RYAN FLETCHER - BASS/BACKUP VOX - LAWSON LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUB -  Photography By: Fridae MattasThey mixed in a few covers like Maroon 5’s “Move Like Jagger” where Brown introduced the whole band. The tune was sung well, this gave Brown a chance to put down his guitar and interact with the fans freely. My ears were liking Brown’s voice more than the original because he didn’t have that annoying nasal sound Adam Levine has in his voice when singing. They also threw in Call Me Maybe (I hate that song), The A Team, Teenage Dream and Adele’s Hometown Glory to close the set. The rest of the band did well playing their instruments but they could move around a bit more especially Joel Peat, he was the shyest most nervous guitarist I have seen in a while, Bassist Ryan Fletcher was out performing him like he was the lead guitarist. When Peat got into the music that is when you saw the passion but he needs to relax and get comfortable to work the crowd and stage seamlessly. Fletcher could do with a little more migration and cohesiveness with the band otherwise he looked more comfortable on stage than Peat. At one point during the set Adam Pitts stepped out from behind the drum kit and sang a little. Pitts kept the beat tight consistently throughout the set and his voice isn’t so bad either. I always try my best to get shots of all the band members but the drummer is almost always the hardest to shoot and this set was no different. Shooting from the crowd has its many obstacles but I managed. 

ADAM PITTS - DRUMS - LAWSON LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUB 2013 - Photography By: Fridae Mattas

I need to see this band again live when I have a little more familiarity with the music. From what I can recall the songs that stood out other than the opening track were “Taking Over Me”, “Stolen” and “Standing In The Dark”. I hope those are right, I guess I’ll have a few correction comments if they are not. Boys with accents who play instuments and sing are always a weakness for most females even in their forties (I saw a few cougars lingering). The whole British Musician combo is most definitely working for Lawson with the Canadian girls! If this band ends up in your neighbourhood go check the lads out, I’m sure the rest of the world will catch up with Britains latest export soon enough.

COPYRIGHT © 2013 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved

www.LAWSONOFFICIAL.com

LAWSON LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUB 2013 - Photography By: Friae Mattas
All Photography By: Fridae Mattas

 

EMELI SANDE LIVE IN TORONTO 2012 – FEATURE EDITORIAL REVIEW

All Photography By: Fridae Mattas
All Photography By: Fridae Mattas

EMELI SANDÉ

LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS 2012

FEATURE EDITORIAL REVIEW

By: Fridae Mattas

EMELI SANDE LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS 2012Friday November 23rd the latest Scottish vocal talent Emeli Sandé hit Toronto’s Kool Haus with Shawn Hook as supporting act. When I found out she was coming to the city I had to go see and hear her perform live. Emeli is one of the newer legit talents to reach the mainstream waves, the “Our Version Of Events” tour is her first headlining tour. In the past Emeli opened for acts like Cold Play performing at huge venues across the globe, she even sang a cover of Cold Play’s “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” in this set. Emeli’s real name is Adele Emeli Sandé, she started using her middle name “Emeli” as a stage name when fellow British songstress Adele’s star began to rise. My ears discovered Emeli’s music late last year just before she released her début record and began to explode in North America. Many people still don’t know who Emeli is and that is why I created FridaeTV, to introduce the world to fantastic new artists like Emeli Sandé! Once you listen to Emeli’s music you will understand. 

Arriving just in time to catch the last two songs from Canada’s Shawn Hook who was opening the show for Emeli. He wasn’t too bad from what I caught and he even did a little autograph session at the merch table for his fans after the set. Watching the last bit of his set I could not tell if there was a pit, far too many people were crowded in front of the stage. All I know is, I will definitely have to check Shawn out again when he’s back in Toronto.

EMELI SANDE LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS 2012

Once given our media passes we were escorted to the stage area, our Live Nation escort EMELI SANDE LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS 2012then informed us there wasn’t a media pit to shoot from. She didn’t know in advance because she did not check the stage area of the venue prior to the show. I should have listened to my intuition and brought the 70-200 lens but decided against it because my confirmation email stated we were to shoot first 3 songs no flash from the media pit. Now, I had to shoot from the crowd with my regular lens and the fans were going to get upset for being in their space. So I did what I had to do, worked my way into the large crowd getting close enough to the stage as possible, explaining to the fans around me that I would only be there for three songs. Managed to capture a few feasible photographs to use in this editorial. Thank the Lord it wasn’t a rock concert without barricades because that would have been deadly.

After putting my camera away I came back to the venue to watch the rest of Emeli Sandé’s fifteen track set. People want to have fun and dance but they also have different issues going on in their lives and look for an escape, that’s where music comes in. Everyone can relate to music about relationships and heartbreak because life is filled with both.

EMELI SANDE LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS 2012

My favorite songs of Emeli’s are “Heaven”, “Next To Me” and “My Kind Of Love”, she performed them all and more. A few other tunes I took a liking to are “Clown”, “Breaking The Law” and the final encore “Read All About It (Part III)”. She sounded incredible when she sang and utilized the large stage to the best of her ability with her band, a piano player and a guitarist. There were a few pitchy moments, very few! I can remember only one incident mid set during an acoustic track. She played a few songs on the piano herself while singing her heart out to the crowd and they were loving every minute! Well…The majority of us paying attention to the amazing talent on stage. These bobblehead broads in front of me kept taking Facebook or Twitter profile shots throughout the entire set and that was getting played out fast! Other than the bobbleheads, I enjoyed the rest of the show and was able to feel the music. If you like genuine talent with soul, your ears need some Emeli Sandé therapy! Go see her live if she’s in your area, I can guarantee that you will not be dissapointed!

COPYRIGHT © 2012 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved

www.EMELIESANDÉ.com

Queen’s Hungarian Rhapsody: Live In Budapest Review

QUEEN’S HUNGARIAN RHAPSODY

LIVE IN BUDAPEST

REVIEW

By: Fridae Mattas

Last Thursday September 20th I was invited to the screening of this newly restored concert classic. As a fan of Queen I was more than happy to attend and see how they remastered this old school concert. Queen was popular before my time but I came to know their songs as I grew up realizing I knew a lot more Queen songs than I thought. I remember being fond of Queen as a kid because they were one of the very few rock bands I was allowed to listen to. My parents were obsessed with Abba, I like a few of their tunes but even in diapers they were just too cheesy for me. Its pretty amazing how much a person remembers from infancy, I can recall all the way back to when they took my hospital picture not too long after I was born. The only reason I remember that day is because I did not like the flash of the camera, it hurt my eyes. My expression in that photograph is absolutly hilarious to me, from the look of annoyance on my crinkled browless watermelon face to my tiny fists raised and ready to fight.  My ears discovered Queen about the same time they did Bon Jovi, my Dad was blasting “Another One Bites The Dust” on his 8 track the one time he drove me to Ballet when I was three. Since then I have been intrigued with the Queen I heard and to this day I still love listening to old school Queen tunes. My Brother has most of my Dad’s old records including a bunch of Queen vinyls but none of the 8 tracks survived our multiple moves.

The Hungarian Rhapsody screening was only to be for that day, recently it was announced that it will be released globally in select theaters starting September 20th and available on DVD to purchase in November. Having seen other Queen concerts on TV I was excited to see this one, especially because it was on the big screen. I wish I was old enough to have seen Queen live in action fronted by the late great Freddie Mercury because he truly knew the meaning of entertainment. I have not yet seen any frontman with the charisma, chops or enthusiasm Mercury had on the stage. Not one lead vocalist out of the thousands of bands has come close to the level of Freddie Mercury live. These days, too many bands and artists rely heavily on the voice box and autotune. If you can’t sing, don’t.

You can tell the footage is old, the colour correction on the compiled interview portion could have been done a little more, it was a lot more dull compared to the actual show footage. While watching the set on the big screen I noticed the crowd was huge! This was filmed at an enormous open air venue in Budapest filled with 80,000 screaming Queen fans who sung along to each and every song. The set included most of their hits, which was a great joy to my ears but I did notice Mercury carried the band. The others had their moments with a few solo’s sprinkled here and there but it was Freddie who did all the work when it came to engaging the crowd. I hope to see Queen live one day but I don’t know if I will ever be comfortable watching their classic songs being performed by someone other than Freddie Mercury.

For all the Queen fans around the world, you need to go see this remastered live performance on the big screen! Thanks to www.Eagle-Rock.com and Cineplex for the tickets and swag, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves as I’m sure everyone else who caught the screening did. Find out exactly where you can watch Queen’s Hungarian Rhapsody here or hit up www.Queenonline.com.

Directed By: JÁNOS ZSOMBOLYAI
Executive Producers: JIM BEACH and LÁSZLÓ HEGEDÜS

COPYRIGHT © 2012 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved

BACKSTREET BOYS LIVE IN TORONTO REVIEW 2010

 
By: Fridae Mattas 
All Photography By: Fridae Mattas

 The Backstreet Boys popped out when I was like eleven; The New Kids on the Block just faded when the Backstreet Boys were being created. They started out as a five piece teenage male vocal group and they lasted as five from 1993 to 2006 until the eldest member Kevin Richardson called it quits to pursue other endeavors. The remaining four are A.J McLean, Nick Carter, Howie Dorough and Brian Littrell. 

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

I remember the Backstreet Boys gaining esteem in the mid-nineties shortly followed by the ‘Spice Girls’. Once those two pop groups became immensely successful it caused a popstorm, every major record label around the world had to have one. Male and Female Pop Groups were being molded together faster than Big Mac’s at the 42nd and 7th McDonalds during rush hour in Manhattan. When Kurt Cobain died in 1994 so did Grunge, the poptarts took over. The 90’s pop era will forever leave a lasting impression on music today. Look at the ‘Jonas Brothers’ they all sound like mini Carter’s but come in a ‘Hanson’ “MMMBop” package. Doesn’t matter what they say the girls wanted to date them and the boys wanted to be them. Many larries I knew dyed their hair blonde sporting a mushroom cut like Carter’s or trimmed their facial hair to mimic AJ’s goatee. Admitting or still closeted many guys do enjoy the tunes, countless drunk solos I’ve encountered. Last year I was at Les Deux in West Hollywood, it was rock night and they had live bands playing. The last band of the night busted out ‘I Want It That Way’ to end their set, you would think they were going to be booed but the super packed club was cheering it on, they loved it! Never understood the term ‘boy band’, if you think about it, every dude in a band with just larries is a boy band, it should be ‘Toy Band’ for the manufactured candy coated kind. This specific pop group has been kicking for seventeen years! That’s like Seventy-Seven in Entertainment years, especially since their main competitors ‘Nsync disintegrated in the early 2000’s.

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

 The Backstreet Boys were quickly becoming the last of a dying breed until the New Kids announced their return in 2008, that caused a little commotion but soon the New Kids hype deflated once again. The Geezers are still floating and now the Backstreet Boys have competition from their predecessors or do they? The word is that as of Summer 2011, the two Man groups are doing a joint tour. The Old and the Older together, maybe Richardson will make a return for this Pop Trip Extravaganza tour. Technically they are both passe and irrelevant in today’s music, well…Actually, the New Kids are considered ancient but who knows? The combo tour could receive collective attention, putting them both back in the spotlight selling out arenas again. Any way you view this 2 for 1 Toy Band deal, it’s a win win for everyone involved. These two groups have some extremely dedicated fans, together they will do and pay anything to see their favorites for a nostalgic pop trip to their childhood. If they were to do a collaboration track good enough to get airplay, it could give the man groups ground to launch on. We all know that both of the Toy bands’ current music nobody but their fans want to hear, radio won’t touch. I do give The Backstreeter’s props for still trying even after Richardson’s departure, that shows sheer determination and persistence when most people continue telling them to disappear and stop trying.

Photography By: Fridae Mattas
The Backstreet Boys hit Toronto last Saturday August 14th to play the Molson Canadian Amphitheater in support of their seventh studio release ‘This Is Us’, which peaked at #9 on the U.S Billboard Charts and hit #3 on the Canadian charts. There was a slight buzz with the records first popperific single ‘Straight Through My Heart” produced by Gaga’s ‘Red One’. It was in rotation on both Radio and TV but soon was dropped from playlists.     
 

Photography By: Fridae Mattas
Photography By: Fridae Mattas

I had no clue they released another single off the new record. When they introduced the track ‘Bigger’ as the current single I was lost, guess I should have done more research. Listening to the tune, I understood completely why I had never heard it. Nobody would spin that track anywhere public ears could hear, It’s a very cheesy thank you song to “The best fans in the world”. They repeatedly thanked the fans and as they should. If it wasn’t for their fans, they would be doing club tours or have normal day jobs like 98 Degrees and the rest of  ‘Nsync. One thing I still don’t know is how JC Chasez ended up a judge on America’s Best Dance Crew? His dancing is so bad, like a rythmnless cheerleader, no flavor. Maybe they should throw him in The Backstreet Boys for some extra publicity with McLean and Carter teaching him how to dance. The venue was packed with 11,000 screaming fans mostly female (Duh), clearly in Toronto they can still pull bodies into a larger venue. The best records The Backstreet Boys have released are “Millennium” and “Black and Blue”, they have had sprinkled success singles here and there. Song’s like ‘Incomplete’ were hot but then they released ‘Inconsolable’ on the record “Unbreakable” playing themselves out with reruns.

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

When I first migrated into the media pit I heard someone yelling my name, that was weird! it turned out to be this woman I knew from a film we worked on a few years ago and she was sitting in the front row. She told me to check out the merch booth because Littrell’s wife had T-Shirts of herself for people to buy, I started laughing I didn’t think she was serious, honestly thought it was a joke. Who does that? Didn’t believe it until I saw this for myself on the way to my seat, such a sad desperate cry for attention, never in my life have I heard or seen any significant other do that. Honestly, if you are not in the group why are you selling T-Shirts of yourself, talk about trying to milk it Yoko. It’s pretty clear this broad wants to be famous riding her husband’s coattails as far as she can. Is she the new fifth member? Richardson’s replacement (Laughs).

As I was checking my angles, there was an eruption of screams and out popped this little curly-haired blonde larry with a mic. He looked about five or six and with a thick Southern American accent he introduced all four members in the group including his father Brian Littrell. Soon after mini Littrell migrated, the curtains pulled back and a video played on the screen, more screams. The last scene was of the group running towards the camera and out they jumped through the screen onto the top-tier of the stage’s second level. The screams at that decibel were beyond deafening, once the fans saw them in the flesh it’s like they went into extra shrill mode. I so wished at that moment I had my ear plugs but of course I forget them when I need them the most. As the fans unleashed their lungs the four of them stood there taking it all in, looking around at the frenzied crowd as if they were sucking in all the energy for a super adrenaline rush or (stealing their souls – haha). As the show progressed they had several mildly entertaining skits between six different costume changes in their twenty-two track set, Divos!  

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

This tours stage set up was a less elaborate production compared to their previous arena tours; they didn’t even have a band just one man behind the “Kit”. It looked like he had all the toys needed to be the musician of the show. They kicked off the set with ‘Backstreet’s Back’ and the whole Thriller-abee dance. Followed by ‘We’ve Got It Going On’ and four dancers who joined the aging pop group as they proclaimed they’ve got it goin on for years, jamming in their Jordans. I have to say this was the hardest group for me to shoot, the stage is so high up and these dudes were ‘Flying Larries’. By Flying Larries I mean Dancing Dudes. They were everywhere, flying all over the place with so much energy busting a move and singing in tune. Not as awkward as you would think, but Howie and Brian did look as if they were going to pass out at certain points, they are the oldest. Getting a few feasible clean shots was so very challenging, especially because my camera does not have a built in motion stabalizer it can be very tricky to get a dynamic shot. Particularly when pushy stalkerazzi are on your ass everywhere you turn. With only two tracks to capture these flying larries in their essence this dude was so annoying to me. I was going to snap on the stalkerazzo he had this monster stalkery telescopic zoom lens and kept asking me if I was going to move around. I always do and as always he followed me everywhere I went repeating the same thing over and over in my ear. My camera has a much smaller lens, his distinct huge zoom lens is capable of getting crisp shots from anywhere in the pit. I have encountered this stalkerazzo before, he has some serious lingering halitosis and every time he talks it spreads a few feet contaminating the entire area.

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

Regardless of the obstacles I managed to get some   pretty decent shots and you can check the rest in the slideshow at the end of the article. They sang a tune right before “Incomplete” called “Undone”, I was impressed with Littrell’s vocals on  this one, he was hitting those high notes without going flat. Most of the guys had strong vocals throughout the night, Carter wasn’t as whiney or nasally and Dorough actually sounded decent (his voice is the least tolerable to my  ears of the four). McLean has the most unique voice and is a natural born dancer, even Carter’s dance skills have improved, Timberlake better watch out… DDDANCE BATTLE!! (Laughs) All four have that special chemistry together and that makes this group the multi-platinum selling artists they are. They can entertain with their eyes closed, I would hope so since this is what they have been doing for most of their lives.  

Photography By: Fridae Mattas
Photography By: Fridae Mattas

 It was obvious they are seasoned performers they know how to win over a crowd. I could only recognize the old school hit singles like ‘Quit Playing Games’, ‘I’ll Never Break Your Heart’ and ‘All I Have To Give’. During those songs with the five part harmonies in which Richardson’s vocals rounded out the sound, you could hear the absence of the broken puzzle. Some of the harmonies sounded pitchy, to pull it off flawlessly you need a deeper tone to solidify the sound to make it full. They tried but unlike Boyz II Men the four of them have similar vocal tones and can’t replicate the sound of a five piece because the Bass is missing.

The loudest screams of the night unleashed when they dropped their hit tune ‘The Call’ it was insane, maybe they should pay attention to what hits the spot. But really it doesn’t matter what tune they release their fans eat it up. Coming to the conclusion that although they put on the best show and are the most talented of the ‘Toy Bands’, The Backstreet Boys need KEVIN and a new record filled with hits. They really should stop picking shitty rejected New Kids songs and work with new producers and writers. Keep up with the current scene larries but don’t mimic. Flip the script and create something fresh, there are so many talented people to team up with. The last tune of the set was ‘Straight Through My Heart’ the final, of three encores ‘If I Knew Then’ and ‘I Want It That Way’ were played just before. Most of these guys are multi-instrumentalists, they have the appeal all these resources at their finger tips, they could move mountains once again. But as I’ve learned not everyone has gifted ears and writing skills.

ALL PHOTOS BY: FRIDAE MATTAS

Would I see them again? Maybe, I’m not sixteen anymore I wouldn’t buy a ticket but I would do some filmage at another show or an interview with a few of the larries. Even if it’s disingenuous and campy at least it’s quality old school pop and not the assier shit of today. Are they back? Is it possible for The Backstreet Boys careers to be resurrected to conquer the pop world once more?  With the latest record not at all, still chilling in washed out territory but if they set themselves a part with something new and relevent, there is a chance. All the aspiring music newbies out there, respect your elders! Yes, it’s fluffy pop music but not too long ago these larries sold over 130 million records world wide and they still have the potential to do it again. 

COPYRIGHT © 2010 FRIDAE MATTAS FOR FRIDAE TV™   

www.BACKSTREETBOYS.com 

www.LIVENATION.com 

‘MUST CONTACT PUBLISHER FOR PERMISSION TO USE PHOTOGRAPHS AND OR ARTICLE FOR RE-POSTING AND OR RE-PUBLICATION. UNAUTHORIZED REPRODUCTION IS PROHIBITED.’  info@fridaetv.ca

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TORONTO SET LIST

Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)

We’ve Got It Goin’ On

PDA

Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)

As Long As You Love Me

This Is Us

Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely

All I Have To Give

She’s a Dream

I’ll Never Break Your Heart

Bigger

Shape of My Heart

More Than That

 Undone

 Incomplete

Larger Than Life

All of Your Life (You Need Love)

Bye Bye Love

Encore 1:

If I Knew Then

I Want It That Way

Encore 2:

Straight Through My Heart

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

THE 2010 TORONTO FREEDOM FESTIVAL!

 
 
 
 

ALL FOTOS BY: FRIDAE MATTAS FOR FRIDAE TV

Another year Queen’s park is taken over by Marijuana activists and everyone who was drawn to the massive crowd or should I say cloud? The Toronto Freedom Festival and Global marijuana march is one of the largest gatherings in the world. All of this to legalize herbs grown from the ground, that is occasionally naturally found. They have the support I think it’s time more of the government officials pay attention. 

A month prior to TFF, Cannabis As Living Medicine (C.A.L.M.) Compassion Club in Toronto was raided and many were arrested in what is an absolutely ridiculous unnecessary incursion. They are there to help people who need it. C.A.L.M has provided support for patients with debilitating illnesses that range from AIDS, Cancer, Glaucoma and MS for years. The police arrested 9 individuals found on site and confiscated their medication. The Queen St. location was targeted despite the fact that all individuals in question had federal licenses to possess, store and/or cultivate medical cannabis. 

  
ALL FOTOS BY: FRIDAE MATTAS FOR FRIDAE TV

ALL FOTOS BY: FRIDAE MATTAS FOR FRIDAE TV

Evidently it was the end of the month and the piggy’s needed to meet their quota because the CALM Volunteers did nothing wrong. The Pigs probably thought to themselves; hey why not hit up the stoners book 9 birds with one shot. Stupid Popo’s thankfully the pigs at the Ganja Festival weren’t there to rain on the parade. I missed it again! Since I started covering the event I always miss the Global Marijuana March, maybe one year I’ll make it! As much as I don’t like law enforcement for me they were never there when I needed them. For once the Po’s were there at the right time, when the kid fell out of the tree. Yeah, I don’t know how it happened I was filming on the stage it was during the 420 countdown and I found out from Marc Emery “The Prince Of Pot”. In the middle of the interview he mentioned it because his A.D.D self noticed the yellow tape. Marc has been extradited to the United States and will be serving a five year prison sentence for selling seeds over the internet for more information watch the interview. Free Marc website 

As for the kid who fell out the tree, he hurt himself but was not killed, he could have died, it was a pretty far drop to the grassy hill below. You blaze the trees! Don’t climb them if you’ve been smoking them. Minus that incident, the event turned out to be the biggest yet! I tried to hit the other stages but there were way too many people surrounding them. I couldn’t even find half the other stages due to the massive clouds of people so I kicked it by the main stage and media tent where bong man floated around smoking that herb.  

ALL FOTOS BY: FRIDAE MATTAS FOR FRIDAE TV ALL FOTOS BY: FRIDAE MATTAS FOR FRIDAE TV ALL FOTOS BY: FRIDAE MATTAS FOR FRIDAE TV

I love Toronto there is no city like my city on this earth! Everyone was so chill at “The Toronto Freedom Festival”, no violence plenty of dancing, smoking and music, there was tons of different tunes floating around Queen’s Park. It was so packed especially since the sun was shining so brightly! There were a few moments where it looked as if the sky was about to let it rip but as soon as the 420 countdown rolled around the sun burst through those ugly grey clouds like a shiney bullet in the sky. Prior to the countdown DJ Spence Diamonds threw down the sickest beats most of my favorite tracks to dance to and just chill. Watch I was singing and dancing along to the beat my filming was so ass! I can’t help it! I am a rhythmic musical soul I gotta bounce to the tunes body automatically just starts vibing to a sick beat. The countdown was insane, an ocean of people in clouds of herbal essence the organizers and Marc Emery spoke to the crowd.

 
 

ALL FOTOS BY: FRIDAE MATTAS FOR FRIDAE TV

 
ALL FOTOS BY: FRIDAE MATTAS FOR FRIDAE TV

 

I was filming the countdown watch it. One of the performers was Saukrates, his set was right after the2010 light up. I caught up with him after his performance for a little jibber. Saukrates is a Canadian Hip Hop artist and has been in the game for a long time now but is still unknown to many. My opinion he‘s a really talented multi-instrumentalist, he can sing and rap! Unlike most MC’s his singing doesn’t sound like a cat is dying so there is no need for all that auto-tune. He has yet to peak like Kaos or Kardinal but I think in a few minutes he might, watch Saukrates perform Money or Love.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed myself this year even though things didn’t go according to plan as always you gotta wing it and I still managed to get some great coverage. Thanks once again to the amazing people at Planet 3! See everyone next year and remember to smoke the Kush, don’t throw it in the bush! 

  COPYRIGHT © 2010 FRIDAE MATTAS FOR FRIDAE TV™ 

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THE MADNESS – CANADIAN MUSIC WEEK 2010 PART 2!

BY: FRIDAE MATTAS

Jamie Cullum - Photography By: Fridae Mattas For Fridae TV

CMW has come and gone, this is how the rest of the festivities went down. Are you ready? Grab a snack; this is a novel of three days crammed into one, you’ll be reading for a while, but at least there’s pictures!

CMW 2010
SLASH, KYRA, JOHN - Photography By: Fridae Mattas For Fridae TV

If you don’t know who Slash is, clearly you are a newbie in the world of rock n’ roll guitar greatness or just lost. Slash’s real name is Saul Hudson; he is one of the best guitar players of our time. Hudson started in the music game as lead guitarist in the immensely successful band “Guns N Roses”. Slash recently released his first self titled solo record April 6th. This year CMW landed Slash as a Celebrity Keynote speaker and his interview was on Thursday March 11th, it was madness! Comparing last year when Gene Simmons of Kiss was a keynote speaker to this year’s Slash keynote, I would say Slash’s crowd was crazier, although Gene does win for the most diehard weirdos in KISS makeup.

Slash was interviewed by CNN’s John Roberts co-anchor of “American Morning” and CNN Anchor Kyra Phillips. John Robert’s was one of the first Much Music VJ’s when the network launched in 1984 he’s the original VJ. The questions Slash was asked were derived from the writings in his published memoir “SLASH”. They asked him about Axl, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, little pieces of his childhood and what led him to this point in time. Frankly, if they had some audience questions thrown in there, it would have been a much more interesting interview. Many of the queries seemed rather redundant, below par considering they were coming from someone who hosted “The Pour Hour”.

CMW 2010
SLASH - Photography By: Fridae Mattas For Fridae TV

I was able to get inside away from the clutter of people and press or so I thought! I ended up in more of a zoo at the centre of the circus, the press pit. They utilized the right side of the stage as the front end media area. They had a whole other section near the middle of the venue off to the right side that housed hundreds of videographers and photographers. Being in the front lines is ridiculous, always ducking, trying to balance and achieve feasible footage and photographs. All this focus needed while dudes are climbing on top of me just for the same shots every other photographer was getting. It reminded me so much of Fashion week but there wasn’t as many psychotic divo stalkerazzo’s causing drama. There were so many things you could have talked about and I’m glad they at least asked Slash about his love of guitar and how it still affects him the same way today, There’s something about a guitar that is just innately sexy, and still to this day when I open a guitar case there’s still that sense of awe.” said Hudson, I agree one hundred percent!

Now to play like he does! Haha…Ya right, it’s like trying to be Hendrix or Stevie Ray Vaughn! There’s only one, you can’t replicate the original. Slash jibbered about how cutthroat the music industry is and to be very careful who you trust as you gain success, there is that chance your best “friends” will fuck you over. It’s true though, how well do you really know these people around you, don’t be so gullible.

It’s all about the music, about protecting and keeping that sacred, being able to function and have control over it and not letting somebody else do it.” – Slash

Slash gets my respect for more than just the obvious, the comment he made shows his genuine self. “I’m not much of a money minded person that’s always been sort of my character defect, I never did this for the money, so I never really cared much about it but at this point I’m sort of like going, we need to pay attention to what’s going on.”

CMW 2010
SLASH -Photography by: Fridae Mattas For Fridae TV

He speaks with such rare honesty I completely understand why Slash and Axl don’t mesh. Hudson was talking about his solo record and he mentioned that he wasn’t sure if the artists he wanted to work with would agree to work with him. As he was explaining the story his expressions were so animated like a little boy at show and tell. He was so amazed at the fact he had no problem working with those he chose. I like his perspective on some things, he seems like a chill Larry keepin’ it real. Watch the video clip of him talking about Michael Jackson and Ray Charles

The funniest thing I remember from that particular event was at the end. The whole room launched at the stage, I had to go on the stage to escape getting crushed from the rush. Everyone wanted to touch, talk and get a picture with Slash; it was far more insane than Gene’s Q&A. I’ve seen it hundreds of times before with other artists but it still amazes me how uncivilized and wild people really are. It’s all about the balancing of Mind, Body and Soul, not one over the other. Back to the funnier stuff, there was this extra trashy woman in her mid forties, possibly older with super fried bleach blonde hair and feathered 80’s bangs. Basically her tragic garb and facepaint made her look like she just rolled off the set of Trailer Park Boys! This woman was pushing people hard-core trying to get to Slash, as was everyone else. Tried to film the madness but it was too crazy to get any viable footage, two seconds after I put my camera away I look up and I see trailer geez staring at me like I was wearing her clothes. That wasn’t the last I saw of her, later I went out for a smoke and voila…She was staring at me like I stole her money, only this time she had her daughter with her, who joined in on the staring session. The feeling I got was that the daughter is an “aspiring artist”, I feel sorry for her, the spitting image of her trailer trash stage mom 20 years younger. Picture “Kelly Bundy” uglier, cracked out with super ghetto “Shoppers Drugmart” extensions. The “Trailer Twins” weren’t the only ghetto weaved Shoppers blondes I ran into that day who were acting like they wanted to start something! I swear! There are way too many insecure Britney-abee’s trying to initiate drama with me just for existing. I don’t know what their damage was or is but the whole thing seemed very bizarre, however they did make me laugh adding to the many moments of amusement. Countless laughs during CMW, fun times with amazing people as always!

CMW 2010
JAMIE CULLUM - Photography by: Fridae Mattas For Fridae TV

Next up at CMW headquarters I was to check extremely talented platinum selling British Jazz-Pop musician Jamie Cullum. I first found out about Jamie a few years back, I had to see him live. Thought I was going to miss this interview and performance but reached just in time to get some great coverage.   The Concert Hall was nicely decorated, so pretty with all the deep bright colours, the floor however was so weird to walk on, very uneven. I’m surprised I didn’t nose dive at least once because I am a natural klutz and the way the carpet was covering these boards the floor was calling my name. Cullum was interviewed by Music industry legend Ralph Simon, currently CEO of Mobilium and he was Co-founder of Zomba Music Group, now part of Sony Music Entertainment. This discussion was a more vibrant talk than the earlier nooner with Slash. Both parties were comfortable and had more personality, it wasn’t just the interviewee or vice versa. One of the questions Ralph asked Cullum was how he came to be on Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino”, in short Cullum stated they met through Eastwood’s son Kyle. Watch Jamie talk about the song and perform it. He delivered exactly as I expected, a remarkable talent is Jamie Cullum check him out if you can.

CMW 2010
JAMIE CULLUM - Photography By: Fridae Mattas For Fridae TV
DEAN LICKYER - Photography By: Fridae Mattas For Fridae TV

The first stop of the evening was to be Domenica at the Tattoo Rock Parlour. I hit the venue a little too late missed the whole set, only caught the last song. I filmed the track but the audio did not turn out. I tried to fix it but she was drowned out by the band, it doesn’t matter if I stood at the back or next to her mic’s speaker, levels were way too low. I will have to see them again, that’s the second set I missed but I’m getting closer. I may have missed Domenica but I did catch Dean Lickyer finally!  I kept missing their shows for about three years now; everyone has been ranting and raving about them, hello! I’m naturally curious so of course I really wanted to know why! Dean Lickyer is from Stoney Creek, Ontario; comprised of Joshua Alvernia – Vocals, Sean Royle – Guitar/Backup Vox, Justin Bosso – Bass/Back up Vox and Zander Lamothe – Drums. At the end of CMW 2009 Dean Lickyer won best band, awarded $10,000 by Gene Simmons and now are signed to Underground Operations.

COPYRIGHT 2010
DEAN LICKYER - Photography By: Fridae Mattas For Fridae TV
COPYRIGHT 2010
DEAN LICKYER - Photography By: Fridae Mattas For Fridae TV

They were first discovered on Much Music’s “Disband” I don’t watch that show, I’ve only seen a few episodes. I still  have yet to see Dean Lickyer’s episode of Disband but that is fine by me I would rather see them live. Once they hit that stage and the singer Joshua Alvernia started to sing I understood what the hype was all about. This band is what every new band even some signed artists need to pay attention to, showmanship! You can’t be scared of the audience even if there’s only five people, you gotta make it seem like there’s thousands! Get interactive with them, show some genuine personality  The larries in Dean Lickyer all have charismatic stage personalities which are expressed as they play. Alvernia has a charm about him, he works the stage to his advantage. He is everything a front man should be when performing without an instrument. Magnetism and devotion emanate from each member as they execute their blend of old school rock and roll with a fresh touch. They are so young and have a long bright successful future ahead of them! You have to go see Dean Lickyer if you haven’t, you need to! Watch “Witchin Hour Moon” from the set.

MY DARKEST DAYS – Photography By: Fridae Mattas For Fridae TV

After DL’s set I migrated to a few other venues then back to the Tattoo for My Darkest Days set. The First time I saw My Darkest Days was at the Rivoli for North By Northeast 2009, they were one of the bands I kept missing but I think I have more than made up for lost shows. Since then there have been many changes with the band even from the CMW set at the Tattoo. The original My Darkest Days band is Matt Walst –  Vocals/Rhythm Guitar, Brenden McMillan on Bass and Doug Oliver on Drums. They added new member Sal “Coz” Costa on Lead Axe who joined the band in 2009 and new live member (He did not play this set) Reid Henry on Keys/Guitar. Oh yeah and if you don’t know, they are now signed to Island Def Jam/Mercury U.S.A. & 604/Universal Canada. I’m not going to go into detail about the set, I will cover another show one last time with the updated band.

Photography By: Fridae Mattas
Photography by: Fridae Mattas
MDD’s debut record is dropping this summer, the first single off the record will be “PornStar Dancin” Featuring Ludacris, Chad Kroeger and Zakk Wylde. They freshly filmed the music video for the single in Las Vegas, ‘Pornstar Dancin’ should be hitting airwaves this June. I still can’t forget what people were telling me before I  saw this band for the first time. I understand their point of view but also they misjudged the bands determination and growth potential. Are the haters right? Did My Darkest Days sell out? I don’t agree one hundred percent but can see why some people think so.
Photography By Fridae Mattas
Photography By: Fridae Mattas

There is no right or wrong in music, you can’t deny someone their art.  If it’s causing ears to bleed, by all means that’s when someone has to say something but don’t you worry, I will always state my opinion! My Darkest Days did put on a fantastic set, everyone I talked to was more than pleased with the Tattoo performance if not impressed. Love them or hate them, the band of larries that is My Darkest Days are going to reach colossal heights. They have mass appeal and can be marketed to many; I would say they are Canada’s new school “Bon Jovi” in development. My Darkest Days will surpass their “Guru’s” band, if they can keep their shit together; continue practicing hard, keep their Yoko’s at bay and stay grounded, otherwise it will hurt badly when you fall, it will leave a scar not just a mark. Check the interview I did with MDD last summer prior to the member changes. You can also watch newbie tunes like “PornStar Dancin” from various sets on both FTV Facebook and YouTube.

My Darkest Days - Photography By: Fridae Mattas For Fridae TV
The Set - Photography By: Fridae Mattas For Fridae TV

It was now Friday Yeahyah! The next evening of musical adventures! Friday’s are always fantabular days for me. Kicking off the night was “The Set”. The band recently signed with Wax Records and originally is from Vancouver, BC only just migrating to Toronto to finish recording their debut record scheduled to drop in June. The single “Already Know” is available on iTunes and for request on radio. I was hoping it was going to start off on a good note and it did! This band is like a collection of energy bubbles! They were so into their music, feeding off of the massive crowd of people. I was surprised to see so many people show up for an opener. Martin Macphail, Dean Rode, Tristan Tarr, Harrison Bourdon and Chad, they are “The Set”. The vocals were a little pitchy during some tracks; I liked the tone of his voice. They were having technical difficulties as have many bands before them; it was after all the Tattoo! I think the venues sound system has mood swings from band to band, day to day, year to year. Next it was off to float around and see if there was anything captivating enough to keep me entertained.

Photography By: Fridae Mattas
Photography By: Fridae Mattas

 Nothing spectacular to keep me in one venue. The next band I hit up was “Hail The Villain” There was a crazy line up, I knew I should have reached earlier because it was a free show at “The Hideout” not very big and “HTV” is fucken fantastic, definitely the best band out of Oshawa. The band is Bryan Crouch – Vocals, Joseph Stamp – Guitar, Chad Taylor – Bass and Drew Dockrill – Drums.

Hail The Villain - Photography By: Fridae Mattas For Fridae TV
Photography By: Fridae Mattas
I am not able to tell you how the whole set went but it sounded pretty good from outside. Made it inside the venue midway through and let me tell you! It was the most people I have seen crammed into the Hideout ever in my life! I’ve been at the Hideout during some crazy times but this by far was on a whole other level. Of course I had to find a good spot to film, there was no way I was going to go near the stage, it was retarded! Balancing beam I found! I maneuvered my way through the crowd to the arm of the couch near the front entrance.  The arm was a little wider than an actual balance beam so it was easy to keep my balance; the ceiling was back up. I wish I had seen the  whole set but it’s better than one tune! I managed to capture some of Hail The Villains magnificence on film, more people need to be paying attention to these larries. Yes it’s true, I have to see “Hail The Villain” again to give them a full review Watch.
Once that set wrapped, off it was on a venue hop from The Hideout to the Bovine, hitting up all the venues along the way landing at John and Richmond’s club XS to see Nikki Awesome’s set. The stage was big inside the club I don’t know why they don’t have more performances there. A little too high up for my liking, it was like whiplash shooting and filming but I managed as always! I met Nikki the day before when we did the interview! Nikki’s was the only interview I did, I usually don’t do interviews at festivals because I am so busy but I will try and get a few more in next time around. We found this cool ballroom with a sick chandelier to jibber in, we immediately clicked she had a great vibe and personality, we had many things in common so it went smoothly, an enjoyable interview. Thank God she wasn’t a bitch, she’s just a fellow mellow fly female from Scartown! Back to the performance, her grand entrance was after her dolls lined up across the back of the stage and then she migrated out to her first hit “You Say (It Was Supposed To Be).
Nikki Awesome - Photography By: Fridae Mattas For Fridae TV

She tried to get the crowd hype but they were so boring, as if they were too cool for the tunes.

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

 At Showcases artists don’t put on a full show but Nikki’s doll’s were wicked, it would have worked better if they were in different spots on the stage. The stage looked a little empty with them all the way at the back not moving, I did like the idea and where she was going with it. Other than the sound issues, she needed more variety with her dancing the choreography was getting a tad cyclical. Some white girls have a problem with not being able to naturally move their hips to the rhythm, it’s not their fault they have no flavour, they were born that way. Miss Awesome has her own unique flavour but please darling wear boots that are made for dancing, if you cannot dance in your boots, no matter how cute and how much they go with your outfit! Stay aware, here’s the link to Nikki’s smash hit song “All The Little Things

Nikki Awesome - Photography By: Fridae Mattas For Fridae TV

 The last band of the night that I really wanted to see was Minority, after a brief moment of chillage at The Bovine where I saw a wicked metal core band “Titan” from Toronto who I need to see again! It was so hard to film one tune while the Bovine was a rammed sardine can. I had to get out of the Bovine it was too small, too many people so I migrated over to The Hideout. Minority was on at three am and The Hideout was one of the few bars with a patio open until 4am. This time it was breezy to bypass the line, inside it wasn’t as crowded but there were more people moshing because there was more space near the stage. This was my first Minority show, I missed half of it and couldn’t take any photographs because my memory cards were full, what else is new! The singer, he brought it, such a powerful voice and he delivers with clear conviction. Minority is a Hardcore Progressive Metal band they are: Dan McCann – Vox, Scott Degroot – Axe, Eric Lightfoot – Drums and Stefan Horning on the Bass. I thoroughly enjoyed their performance; Minority’s set was probably one of the best of the festival. Check a video

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

The Indies – Where do I begin this brief little jibber? The band that peaked my interest was The Constantines who were not to perform until the end of the night wrapping up the awards. I arrived late and the media room was not all that interesting this year. Granted, they gave us access to the actual venue room through the media room which was a miracle because last year they made us walk around. The usual Canadian bands were present like The Arkells, USS, October Sky and new to my eyes is Mariana’s Trench who won several awards! Who knows they could have been at The Indies last year but I don’t remember them all, most band larries look the same to me. Pictures speak a thousand words and that is what I am leaving you with, some Indie shots! I must give a huge thank you to the Planet3 Team and everyone who helped me out! See YA’LL next year!

MEDIA ROOM THE INDIES CMW 2010 - Photography By: Fridae Mattas For Fridae TV
The Constantines - Photography By: Fridae Mattas For Fridae TV
Rural Alberta Advantage - Photography By: Fridae Mattas For Fridae TV
Great Lake Swimmers - Photography By: Fridae Mattas For Fridae TV
Mariana's Trench - Photography By: Fridae Mattas For Fridae TV

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View All The Photos

Day 1

Day 2

Slash & Jamie Cullum

Day 3

The Indies