WITH SUICIDE SILENCE
LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE
VISUAL FEATURE EDITORIAL
All Photography By: Joanna Glezakos
All Photography By: Joanna Glezakos
By: Fridae Mattas
This review was to be included with all of the other Canadian Music Week and Canadian Music Festival content but decided to split the editorials in half to give proper feature time to the artists that made the cut. After a few obstacles I am back to expressing my thoughts on these two bands.
Not too long ago I covered the headliners Hollywood Undead at a different venue but I have never seen Abandon All Ships live. They are one of those bands I always miss and the same thing almost happened again! Arrived at venue a few seconds to camera call, did not know if I missed it. Luckily for me the girl at the door was very helpful and the fabulous Live Nation escort came to get me, thank you for that! As we rushed into the pit I was scoping out the crowd, it was pretty packed already and Abandon All Ships was the second of three bands to grace the Phoenix stage that night. Abandon All Ships is a five piece Electronicore band from Toronto, they have been on the scene since 2006 and will be releasing a new record July 3rd. I’ve heard two of their tracks before “Take One Last Breath” and “Infamous” which I recognized as they played them in their set. Aita’s screaming was fantastic, I love hearing growls that you can mostly understand. When Angelo Aita is not screaming he could be a little more entertaining and personable with the crowd as could Bassist Martin Broda. His vocals were decent, he has a nice tone to his voice and there is potential but he needs to work on his breathing, enunciation. The one reason I don’t listen tot his band is I am not a fan of autotuned vocals. Guitarist Daniel Ciccotelli was the most entertaining of the band, they all could have used a little more energy but overall a respectable performance…I recommend checking them out if you want a pleasant fusion of music in your ears.
Hollywood Undead were the headliners, the house lights were dimming , the fog started to emerge and once the beat dropped the crowd was fired up and ready for the band to blow them away! HU started in with the intro “Dust In The Wind” morphing into their set with hit single “Undead”. I was expecting the crowd to be a lot crazier than they were, it was like they were fighting the urge to crowd surf and mosh. A few were brave enough to fly around but in my opinion not enough people were surfing considering how many bodies were in the venue, I was a little dissapointed in Toronto. It was good to see more females this time around, all were enjoying themselves and some were having a little too much fun! One girl in particular was escorted by security a few times because she was too intoxicated, some people just don’t know their limit or how to handle their liquor. As much as I dislike shooting in mosh pits or with crowd surfers, I love to photograph them and look forward to these shows just to get shots of the amazing crowd. Not this time…Although they were very energetic it did not compare to the crowd when I first covered Hollywood Undead at the Sound Academy. It could be because the band always comes to Toronto in the middle of cold ass Canadian winter, when most of us are hibernating in our igloos (ha ha). As I migrated out of the pit and back into the crowd area it was pretty packed for a Wednesday night where more than 300 other bands were playing across the city for the 2013 Canadian Music Week festival. Once the band began to play, the first few songs were strong but soon enough I could hear there was something off, it sounded like they were having some technical issues with the equipment. Messier and a little strained but then again it was not their fault, the sound system clearly needs an overhaul. If you have the option to migrate around and shoot from different angles, always take it! The more options the bettter but there were a few newer photographers camping out at the same place for all three tunes. I love shooting the masks especially the ones that light up, I have mentioned this before in prior reviews so I will skip the details. I do wonder if they can see in those things? I did see that they were sweating bullets under those masks, I tried my best to avoid sweat drops on me or my lens. last time there was no pit and this venue usually doesn’t have one, I came prepared ready to shoot from anywhere in the venue.On with the show! It was the same setlist as the last performance covered, the fans eagerly chanted and sang the words to each song before the beats dropped. Majority of them knew the track order off by heart. It’s always cool to watch all of this transpire after I am done photographing the band, you can feel the love the people have for their favorite musical act. The Larries of Hollywood Undead are stepping their game up every time I catch a set, Funny Man is not lurking in the shadows as much anymore however, I did see him standing in a corner taking it all in. His voice is full of bass when he flows, my ears like this sound! If keeps up the crowd visibility and confidence enhancement, he will actually embody his nickname on stage. “I didn’t expect him to sound like that, he doesn’t look like he can rap” said a girl to her friend in the crowd. How can you tell by looking at someone if they can rap or sing? Some people are seriously delayed.The whole band had much more energy at the January show, but they had the charisma necessary to deliver what the fans were expecting, a great fucking performance. They just released a new record titled “Notes From The Underground”, working on that review. I like their style of Rap Rock crossbreeding especially the beats, these Eminemabee’s are growing on me. J3T and Charlie had the tightest flow with the most conviction followed by Funny Man and J-Dog. Danny sang his heart out as the crowd was singing along with him. There were moments he sounded a little tired but kept his energy up throughout the show. The Drummers had a nice solo which is always fantastic to watch because there are two of them, Da Kurlzz who floated the stage even more occasionally shaking out his curly fro hair. And, there was D-Rock who kept the beats on lock the entire set! I always try my best to get shots of every person on stage but sometimes it’s hard getting a clear shot of the drummer. And with this band it was more challenging because there are nintey five band members on the stage ha ha.J-Dog was rocking the Axe and Keys throughout the set as was Charlie Scene and Danny. But, J-Dog took it to the next level and jammed out on the speaker with his guitar for a few minutes, the crowd loved that! J-Dog is the most improved this time, they need to do more stage antics and work on interacting with the audience. Bringing a few fans up on stage every show is a good start.During the set in January Charlie Scene’s twin Larry was chosen to come on stage. This time, they invited two little boys both of whom looked under eleven (all ages show). The little Larries were dancing around trying to rap with the big boys, that was too cute. I love it when bands acknowledge their fans even when they have mascara tears, make them feel special and they will always come back for more. Hollywood Undead closed the set with “We Are” the first single from the new album. On that note, I suggest checking both bands live if you get the chance.
By: Fridae Mattas
On April 8th Enter Shikari hit Toronto on their North American tour to play a packed house at The Annex Wreckroom. A venue that is too small for this band, they need to be on bigger stages because they put on the type of show where wandering room is needed for them to fully throw it down. My first time seeing these lads from The United Kingdom was last year at The Vans Warped Tour where I caught a few tunes, wow was I impressed! They have so much passion and energy; their music is an eclectic blend of various sounds and influences, including infusions of Dubstep properly used with Metalcore elements. The day started out a little grim, I had been ill for a few days already and was trying to gather the strength and energy to complete this mission. You gotta do what you gotta do! Regardless of how I was feeling I made it to the venue for the show and interview with Enter Shikari’s Chris Batten – Bass/Backup Vocals and Rory Clewlow – Guitar/Backup vocals. A few days prior I asked Joanna (FridaeTV Photographer/Writer) if she wanted to do a few of her own questions. It was the perfect time for her to learn interviews the Fridae way and I really needed her help for this one! Thank you so much Joanna! My voice was hanging by a thread that day, I was amazed at how long it actually held out for. Finally after waiting about an hour in the cold, it was time for the interview with Rory and Chris. They were laid back and seemed a little tired but glad to chat. We were the last interview of the day so who knows how many they did prior and still had to perform! Rou Reynolds Lead Vox was at the back of the bus finishing up another interview and Drummer Rob Rolfe was back in England still awaiting his work visa. From what I recall, Guitar tech Roger was filling in for their American understudy who could not get across the border. It worked out in the end because Roger was amazing with those sticks and he just learned the songs. The interview was definitely not my best work but I didn’t think I was the worst interviewer ever, we will have to do another in the future. You can watch the interview right here.
The promoter or whoever buddy was at this event thought he was running a show at the Air Canada Centre and not a struggling bar on Bathurst, there was no need for all that extra drama and attitude. Karma caught up with that guy was pretty quickly because he was running around all night trying to catch crowd surfers to boot, before they tore the place apart even more than the previous bands did. Huge thanks to Sarah and Bob for helping me resolve the problem quickly, it does not go unappreciated! There was a variety of teenagers, some with parents but mostly in groups, one even dressed up as Gumby in full costume and all. I thought that was it for the Mr. Dress-Ups at this show but I was so wrong, there was the Enter Shikari mascot Skully in flotation, well…I think he belonged to them.
I was permitted to film one track so I found a little area by the merch tables to film from, it was the only spot that was slightly elevated from the rest of the venue other than the stage and bar. No way was I going anywhere near the stage, I really didn’t want to get trampled or air kicked by hyper surfing teens. Although it was the best observation spot in the house there was so much bass and vibration from the instruments and people jumping around, hard to focus camera. Joanna was taking shots from the stage and then migrated to safety after two songs which I am glad she did because it was a bodystorm, there were people launching everywhere! Majority of the kids were landing on the stage and diving back in the crowd as Enter Shikari tore it up. I give them major credit for still being able to rock out with all the fans soaring on and off the stage the whole set! There was a group of larries in their late teens to early twenties near by me planning their turns crowd surfing. Each one who made it onto the stage the friends cheered for and took pictures while singing the lyrics to the songs. That was amusing, it reminded me of when I went to shows with boyfriends, where they and friends would do the same shit. Boys will be boys! It doesn’t matter what generation or age, they will all play video games until they die and do the same stupid shit that you can’t help but laugh at it.
Enter Shikari played a fourteen song set, majority from their latest record “A Flash Flood of Colour”, they started out with a medley of the first and second tracks on the record System and Meltdown, the lighting was awesome because they brought the album cover to life with the triangle’s multicolour flashing lights and not just the red hue. The chemistry amongst them was evident, they looked natural and genuinely enthused as they bounced off of one another. There were a few technical issues, I think some guitar strings broke from what I could understand and Rou had to ask the sound tech to turn up a few instruments and mics a couple of times. It was fun to watch the band go from the laid back larries (guys) of the interview, to these stage personas ripping up the stage! One of the best sets I have seen from any band this year so far, it was just as exciting and unpredictable as the record but much more entertaining. They all fly around, hang off of pipes and crowd surf with the people, giving the fans a show to remember! Enter Shikari interacts and enjoys their own music as much as the fans do, if they don’t sincerely love it, they definitely deserve an Oscar!
If you are looking for a magnificently refreshing band, Enter Shikari‘s sound waves are for you! Go see them, you will not be disappointed because it doesn’t matter what age you are, prepare to be blown away. Currently on tour somewhere near you and I hope to be seeing them again, this time on a bigger stage where they can roam freely. If you don’t know, now you know, Enter Shikari is Fridae approved! You can watch the video of the first track below and can find more photos of the set on www.facebook.com/fridaetv.
Brutal death metallers Nephelium announce they will be performing at Death Metal Decapitation 2 in Toronto, ON, May 4th at Hard Luck Bar alongside Derelict (Montreal), Deamon (Ottawa), The Unborn Dead (Toronto), Blastomycosis (Toronto).
Show details can be found at the following link – https://www.facebook.com/events/103977863068749/
Friday, May 4th
Hard Luck Bar – 772A Dundas St. W, Toronto, ON
Doors at 8PM / 19+ / $10
Bands: Derelict, Deamon, Nephelium, The Unborn Dead, Blastomycosis
Nephelium traces its roots back to the late 1990s from the city of Dubai, UAE and have now re-established themselves in Toronto, Canada for the last 10 years and recently release their debut album “Coils of Entropy” on February 7, 2012.
The album balances equal amounts of brutality and complexity, staying true to the roots of old-school death metal and is a 6 track masterpiece that truly embodies Nephelium’s vision of technical death metal with old school roots and Arabian melodies.
Album Stream – http://nephelium.bandcamp.com
Single Stream Link – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRE2UpktFdg
CD Cover Design: Juanjo Castellano (JuanCastellano.com)
Logo Design: Christopher Horst
1. Burial Ground 05:04
2. Merciless Annihilation 06:18
3. Hellborne 05:02
4. Malediction 08:52
5. Halls of Judgment 05:56
6. Coils of Entropy 10:15
By: Fridae Mattas
This two day festival of metal is a first for Toronto, it started out in Montreal but this year they brought it to TDot not to mention it was the exact same weekend as HeavyMTL. To me that was weird, I wanted to go to HeavyMTL this year but when I found out there would be a HeavyTO, I just had to be there to see how it went and not to mention check out the bands. Day one was Saturday July 23rd, there were 24 bands in total that were scheduled on the bill, twelve to play each day but one band had issues getting across the border so they couldn’t make it over. The metal fest was held at Downsview Park in Toronto, no stranger to that venue it hosts most of the music festivals the city has and is a great venue for it.
Last time I was at the park it was for Edgefest two weeks prior, when I arrived for this event the set up was completely different; the media area was not backstage but off to the side close to the front entrance which I thought was extremely inconvenient. It was a trek to get to the stages, granted for most interviews they took us on a golf cart to the catering building which was also off site but I still ended up missing two bands during that process even though we got a lift. At least put the media tent inside the venue, there was more than enough space to place us within. We were sectioned off like we had some kind of disease, quarantined. There was no water for us or anything; it was a scorching humid day but finally after someone asked them to bring us water they finally did, it was super warm but hey at least they brought some. I did not drink any because I came prepared; I brought bottles of water and a few cokes which were much colder to drink and actually lasted me the whole day until I left just before Motörhead, who I really wanted to see! I heard they put on an outstanding show and I missed it. I left because I was not feeling well I packed everything except some Advil, usually I stick it out because I’m a trooper but when my interview with Underoath was a wrap I booked it, my head felt like it was going to explode, I never get headaches so this needed some attention.
HEAVY T.O. DAY 1
To the metal! The first band I saw was Endast who kicked off the festival popping the Jager West stage’s cherry and the HeavyT.O. festival which had two stages beside each other, right next to the Jager West was the East exactly the same size. The schedule for the set’s was fantastic, they went on smoothly without a hitch back to back. One of the stages would always have a band playing and another setting up, the bands were always ready to rock immediately after one another. The only delays were when ‘The Sword’ was to play but as I mentioned above they could not make it over the border and Rob Zombie was about ten minutes behind but other than that everything ran on schedule when it came to timing. Montreal band Endast brought the festival into gear with their version of heavy metal which was indeed growl filled to the fullest but they need to tighten up on the instruments. The band sounded off when they first started in a little confused, the beat and the guitars didn’t flow properly to my ears and it didn’t translate properly on camera either so it wasn’t my hearing or the delay off the walls, it was the band.
Next on my coverage list was Diamond Head on the same stage.
I skipped out on the band that was playing the Jager East stage just before because I didn’t like their sound. When at festivals and choosing who to cover I listen to the first song, if I like it I will cover it and if I don’t I simply skip them. I am pleased to have seen this band from England, they put on a great show, full of enthusiasm and genuinely happy to be there. Vocals are very good not to mention the band played extremely well and the songs are catchy. I definitely want to see this band live again and will be keeping my eyes peeled for another Toronto show; it was their first time here.
Next up was Underoath who I was excited to see because I have never seen them live before and this was my chance.
Although they are not original members and just lost the last of the originals they all have been playing together for the past ten years according to Timothy McTague Lead Axemaster who I interviewed along with Bassist Grant Brandell after their set. Be aware in the next few weeks I will publish that interview I haven’t even looked at it yet to see how bad I messed up the questions. Interesting little tid bit for you, when I was doing my interview with the two larries, Vox Spencer Chamberlain was doing another interview a few tables beside us with another publication and FridaeTV photographer Joanna was being shared between the two simultaneous interviews.
This Tampa bands performance was incredible; everyone who was there just to see Underoath definitely got their monies worth! The other members in the band are Daniel Davison: Drums, James Smith: Guitar and Christopher Dudley on those Keys. I need to see them again when they make their way back north or maybe I’ll trek it to Tampa when they play there or somewhere closer to Toronto. Unfortunately for me when I was doing my interview “As I Lay Dying” was on stage but I couldn’t make it to the stage on time. Although I didn’t have my usual three media songs because they didn’t give me pit access which was a blessing in disguise. I got to choose which songs I wanted to film and there was drama the next day during Billy Talents set, the photographers and media in the pit could only shoot two tracks for their own safety. As much as I really wanted to check out As I Lay Dying’s set I also wanted to watch all the other bands I ended up missing. Oh well, I guess I’ll catch them when they come back to Toronto.
HEAVY T.O. DAY 2
Sunday July 24th went much smoother than the day before when it came to me covering bands. I arrived just in time to catch the last half of Melissa Auf Der Maur’s set which was a relief because she was retched, how can people listen to that shit? She sounded like a dying whale. No wonder she was in the background of Hole where she needed to stay because clearly she is not a singer and definitely not Heavy Metal. Thankfully, Anvil was about to hit the Jager East stage I honestly thought I was going to miss them because my meeting ran a little late. All I know is they needed to start the show soon because this chicks voice was giving my ears a hard time.
Anvil hit the stage and immediately did an instrumental piece followed by 666. After the track was a wrap Lead Vox Steve “Lips” Kudlow said to the crowd “It has taken us 30 years to play a crowd this big in Toronto.” I find that amazing yet sad at the same time, sad because they put on a decent performance and they still couldn’t make it back then when it was so easy for mediocre bands to make waves.
I don’t know how they think they are still metal, these days they are considered more on the classic rock side as would many of the oldies on this festivals bill. The fascinating part is that today, it’s just as easy for mediocrity to pass the airwaves even more so than in the past and Now finally Anvil is making a name for themselves mainly due to the hype of their documentary. Vocals are not at all what they should be live, he has aged but his vocals have always needed work and that is what has held them back all these years. Rob Reiner on those cans is always fantastic and Glenn Five on the Bass brings his flavor to the people, all they need to do is get Lips some vocal lessons but someone should have told them that thirty years ago.
Just before Anvil finished their set I migrated over to the Jager West stage to find a decent place to photograph and film Baptized In Blood’s set because my photographer wasn’t there yet. I had to do both competently and effectively which I always manage to do. Finally I got to see them live, there have been numerous shows where they were headlining and I was actually there but couldn’t stay because there was always another show to hit up. This time it was different, the London Ontario band had my undivided attention for the duration of their set and I must say what an experience. Johl Fendley’s Vocals are precise and his enunciation is amazing for a metal vocalist. By infusing some personality into the live performance it made him likable to the crowd not to mention his voice has this kind of strength I haven’t heard in a while. Musically the rest of the band is, Josh Torrance – Guitar/Vox, Nick Bertelsen – Guitar, Matt Harris – Bass and Alex Johnston – Drums/Backup vocals. They were all phenomenal, rocking out to the fullest with heads banging all while shredding Axe’s n Bass’ all while building their fan base because they definitely won over some new fans with their relatable metal blend. Baptized in Blood is another band I need to see again because they were that good, no metal fan will be disappointed by these five.
Soon after Baptized in Blood finished their set I wandered over to the Jager East stage to catch Testament, an old school Heavy Thrash Metal band from California. They were ok, I could barely understand what vocals was singing, it just sounded like one long growl at certain times and it sounded like there was no structure to the songs. It didn’t matter from where I filmed, the sound was amazing everything was so crisp, musically this band had it down but vocals need work and they need a little style refresher because they sound way too similar to Slayer who was up next. Just because you’ve been in the game for so long, does not mean you do not have to refine and continue improving your talents. The band is Chuck Billy – Vocals, Eric Peterson – Rhythm & Lead Guitar, Alex Skolnick – Lead Guitar, Greg Christian – Bass and Gene Hoglan on the Drums who is filling in for their regular Drummer on hiatus and Slayer’s touring Guitarist Gary Holt is filling in for their other Guitarist. I know many bands out there feel they don’t need work on a single thing because they are perfect as is. What world are you living in? Maybe to your group of fans but if you want to expand and touch base with a whole new group of people and stay in the game, you have to bring it up to today’s standards.
It was funny when they told me I had no pit access to shoot anything, I was pissed off at first but then got over it because my video camera has serious zoom. As long as I could roam freely within the crowd to film I was cool. My photographer had the perfect lens for this type of event and she was allowed to shoot in the pit for Underoath thanks the bands awesome team who put her on their list. By the time Slayer hit the stage the crowd was overflowing an estimated 18,000 people came out for the first ever two day festival of Metal that took over Downsview Park last weekend. Never in my life did I ever think I would cover Slayer, they are legends in the Thrash metal world right up there beside Megadeath and Anthrax who I missed the day before but really wanted to see live. Before the band even hit the stage the crowd was going crazy with chants bodies were getting ready to launch across the ocean of people that gathered to watch Slayer come alive on the stage. The band is Tom Araya – Lead Vocals/Bass, Kerry King – Guitars, Gary Holt – Guitars and Dave Lombardo on the Drums. They started their sixteen track set with World Painted Blood which you can watch on FridaeTV along with many other performances covered in this editorial and for photos of the two day festival hit up FridaeTV Facebook and check the slide show at the end for unreleased shots from the editorial that couldn’t be squeezed in.
The crowd was loving every minute of their performance, you can hear them chanting “Slayer! Slayer!” in my video clip which was not an easy task to accomplish, of all the bands that performed this was probably the hardest of mosh pits to stand in without losing footing because the crowd was rocking out to the point where you would just drift with their motions letting them carry you. I loved many of the guitar solos especially when Holt unleashed with his Signature V, both King and Holt had some sexy guitars in their hands! Such amazing sounds I had goose bumps, as I always do when I hear incredible guitar playing! The shredding of guitars has been my favorite sound other than solid vocals which Araya delivered with ease. This year is the year of the Bassist Front Men because Tokyo Police Club’s Vocalist who I saw two weeks prior is the Bassist for his band which is new to my visuals. Last year it was Singing Drummers, this year it’s Singing Bassists, I love watching bands I have never seen rock out but only if they are good and Slayer was exceptional!
Immediately following Slayer’s set a number of people from the crowd headed for the exit because they were not thrilled about the next band which was Billy Talent on the Jager West Stage.
When I got to the Jager West stage I migrated my way through the crowd to find a decent film spot. I thought the area I had chosen was perfect, until the moshers and some clearly retarded dudes started throwing things and yelling at the band because they didn’t like their music. This loser right beside me kept pushing into me just so he could get a clear shot to directly throw something at lead Vox Benjamin Kowalewicz. I don’t understand some people, if you don’t like the band then go get food and less beer, wander around to find your place at the headliner’s stage instead of wasting your time harassing the band, do something productive with your life. It’s not Billy Talent’s fault their agent totally fucked them over by setting them up for obvious heckling, anyone in the music industry who saw this unfolding knows it was a huge mistake.
What were they thinking when they scheduled the band for this event?
Billy Talent should have performed before Slayer if anything because like Melissa Auf Der Maur they were a little misplaced at the wrong music festival. These fans were here to listen and see their metal Gods and even though in reality Slayer is pretty much just as heavy as Billy Talent musically but alters in lyrical comparison because the content in the songs are completely different. People will do what they want and this was a test for the band of how literal the saying “The show must go on” is. Ian D’Sa – Lead Guitar/Vocals, Jonathan Gallant – Bass Guitar/Backup Vox and Aaron Solowoniuk – Drums, percussion along with Front Man Benjamin Kowalewicz kept rocking out to finish their sixteen track set despite the madness. The brunt of the heckling was directed towards Benjamin who read a sign that one of the audience members was holding, it read “Go home Billy Talent from Toronto”, which was absolutely fucken rude because they are from Mississauga and the venue was pretty close to their home. I have seen many bands that blow donkey dick but I’ve never thrown shit or yell at them to get off the stage, I may think that sometimes, but I do leave if my ears can’t handle the sound. Why would I waste my time spreading negativity? It was hilarious to watch as this one drunk-ass kid kept trying to crowd surf, note the word “Try” as his attempts flopped he was always falling on his head. Too funny because he wanted to surf close enough to launch something at the band but he was a failure to launch himself. Vocals were fabulous, the music was on key and timing was perfect, this band went through a lot of shit to finish this set and they did incredibly well regardless of the haters. They still had their fans cheering them on and in the end the hecklers were found and booted. Go see Billy Talent rock the shit out of your town if you get the chance.
Last but not least the headliner of the first ever Heavy T.O., The new king of gore, Mr. Rob Zombie and his crew of interesting characters. I have always wanted to see him live but the last time he came to Toronto his show was at the Sound Academy and I try to avoid covering shows at that venue as much as possible. Not to mention I try to evade crazy groupies who try to befriend me just to latch on for a quick spin on my coat-tails to meet and mingle with people in the industry. You would be surprised at the psycho groupies and girlfriends I have encountered but thankfully none of them were at this show, from what I could see and there weren’t any new ones added on. People need to just let me do my job.
The crowd was chanting Zombie! Zombie! Zombie!
As this giant robot looking statue with glowing eyes was erect on the stage, just before Zombie came out the robot thingy exploded and lit up in flames. A few minutes later the band came on the stage and then out popped Zombie to his microphone which was held up by a cool looking skeleton stand and that reminded me of Adam Gontier’s skeleton hand mic stand but Rob’s was much cooler as was the stage production. The band including Zombie on vocals is: John 5 – Guitar/Backup Vox, Piggy D. – Bass Guitar/Backup Vox and Ginger Fish on the skins.
They all had some pretty sick make up going on especially on Bassist Piggy D. he was full out awesome gear, Zombie’s mask was fresh too and the music was incredible, no lies you can see for yourself from the couple of tracks I filmed. Rob Zombie has a sturdy solid tone with grit and power making his music easy to listen to because he makes it sound so easy without being a monotonous bore. White Zombie was Rob’s former band and there were fans of that band that came to see Rob rock out for sure and there was also fans of his solo stuff and film work.
All the members in the band entertained the mostly male crowd thoroughly, Rob Zombie and his team of wicked outcasts put on a pretty fantastic show filled with ghouls, wandering skeletons, music, guitars, lights, colours and flames! It was a great way to end the first ever HeavyT.O. festival, this definitely needs to be a yearly event and I hope next year the media tent will be closer to the stages. Major thank you goes out to my photographer Joanna for trooping it out both days with a popped blood vessel, Live Nation, HeavyT.O. and Underoath, their management and publicists.
By: Fridae Mattas
CANCER BATS shredded the MOD Club last Thursday May 19th 2011!! I have never seen them live before nor do I know their music too well but I have been told by so many people I need to go see this band play a live set. A very busy day for me I didn’t know how I would pull off the over fifteen events I was asked to cover or just attend…I narrowed it down to five, one of them was for sure the Cancer Bats no way was I missing them again. As the story goes I always missed them when they played at home in Toronto. Yes, it’s true the Cancer Bats are from Toronto and this was their hometown show, what a great welcome they got after being on tour since March across the globe. The tour ends next Tuesday May 31st in Yorkton, Saskatchewan.
The Cancer Bats formed in 2004 by Vocalist Liam Cormier and Guitarist Scott Middleton, as they pursued their vision they went through several Bassists and Percussionist but soon found the perfect match with Mike Peters on the Drums and Jaye R. Schwarzer on Bass. The show was not sold out but you would not have known the difference! There were people all over the place filling up the MOD clubs open space to a pretty decent fullness with mixed ages where everyone was predominantly white, I even saw a couple of gray suits. The opening bands were ‘Barn Burner’ and ‘3 Inches of Blood’ we did not make it for Barn Burner but we arrived just in time for 3IOB, new FridaeTV writer and photographer Joanna had to shoot them because I had to run across the street to the Revival for a charity benefit. Huge thanks to the kind folks over at Live Nation for always being super fabulous!
The Cancer Bats are known to be unpredictable when it comes to performances and this show was no exception! The show was filled with new tracks, oldie goldie’s like ‘”Pneumonia Hawk” and “Grenades” which I hear are rarely played live so it was an extra special moment for the Toronto fans. The set started in with ‘Lucifer’s Rocking Chair’, Vox Liam Cormier popped onto the stage with this abundance of energy that I haven’t seen in a Canadian front man since Hail The Villain’s ‘Bryan Crouch.’. Not only did singer Cormier entertain the crowd, the rest of the band followed suit jumping around in their sections. My inserted photos are proof these larries were so hard to get clean shots of with my Divacam. Mike Peters was smashing away at his kit bringing the beat, as the set progressed I hoped at any moment Schwarzer on Bass and Axe handler Middleton would switch it up a little more. They had the fire but didn’t know how to spread the flames, consistently staying in their corner for majority of the show. Aside from that there is nothing negative to say about this bands performance, they are fluid instrumentalists and their blended infusion of Hardcore punk metal rock is just what a person needs in their lives. Mid set there was a surprise guest appearance by AlexisonFire/BlackLungs Vox Wade MacNeal who lent his vocals for the track ‘Deathsmarch’ where he screamed his face off and then dove into the crowd! Everyone loved it, myself included! Most bands have at least one cover track in their set and the Cancer Bats chose the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” it was a ridiculously amazing rendition that drove the crowd to continue this whole other level of excitement MacNeal unleashed in the people!
I don’t know how people could stay at the front of the stage especially after the mosh pit was in full force! The band was drenched in sweat after the first verse in the opening track and by the time they played the last tune of the set ‘Hail Destroyer’ they were showered in sweat! Cormier was head banging with sweat flying from his face and faux-hawk hair onto the crowd. I guess they like sweat showers and getting kicked in the head and face; most of them were males moshing as usual but I saw a few females in there. The minute the third media track wrapped I had to get out, it was so hot had to braid my hair to stop it from frowing out frizzy! The breath of fresh air was welcome as I checked my camera before returning back to the main room, absolutely no way was I going back into the line of fire! I stood at the back of the venue observing and listening as I turned to my left and right there were a few creeperellos watching me more than the Cancer Bats dismantle the stage for all their family and hometown fans. Would I see this band again? Of course! I need to see the Cancer Bats again, they are on the verge of greatness! Anyone who loves some serious heavy metal rock punk fusion this band is not to be missed! Cancer Bats are Fridae approved!
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By: Fridae Mattas
Well my friends, here we are again! The show was Tuesday, February 8th 2011 and this time the artist was chart topping Grammy award winning American rock band Linkin Park, who made a stop at The Air Canada Centre on their ‘A Thousand Suns’ tour. The band is touring in support of their new record which dropped September 8th 2010 and debuted at #1 in both The United States and Canada. This band was a favorite of mine back when they first released ‘Hybrid Theory’ I loved their blend of NuMetal, Rap Rock, it was fresh and innovative compared to the poppicity that was dominating the charts at the time. I was excited when I found out I was approved to cover their set because it was my first time actually shooting a band at The Air Canada Centre. Everything went without a problem I was expecting the unexpected because you never know who is going to be moody that day.
The general admission floors were sold out but still a few empties in the leveled seating. It may have not been a sold out show but 11,500 people in attendance were more than enough to give the band nervous butterflies. I noticed there were many families, a few couples and a lot more males than females at this show. When I was at my seat the guys sitting behind me were too funny, they were screaming louder than any of the females around us. Even the girls I came across in the front row who freaked out and asked me to take a picture when they saw a stage tech hanging up the Canadian flag they gave the band, didn’t scream as loud as the guys! While we waited I was talking with a few of the photographers, they were all ready to snap pictures of lead singer Chester Bennington because that is what their editors wanted. I find that wrong on so many levels, all of the members in the band are talented and deserve to be photographed. When I am shooting a band or group, regardless of stature I always try my best to capture every single person performing on the stage. I don’t choose favorites; there is no special treatment, everyone is treated equally.
Edgefest 2008 at Downsview Park in Toronto was the last time I saw Linkin Park live, that was beyond chaotic and extremely moody and muddy. Thankfully, this time around it was smooth sailing, my lens was perfect and the stage was just a couple of inches taller than I, shaped kind of like a deformed V becoming my favorite immediately! I could freely wander to shoot different angles within the media pit making it easier to capture everyone in the band. What I love about Linkin Park is they always showcase all six members, you can see Drummer Rob Bourdon from all angles of the ACC, he was not shoved in the back as most Drummers are. Super beat dropper Turntablist Joe Hahn had his own riser as there were many different levels to climb and wander on. The other larries MC Mike Shinoda, Vocalist Chester Bennington, Lead Axemaster Brad Delson and Bassist Phoenix (Dave Farrell) had enough space to do whatever they wanted. First song in the set was ‘The Requiem’ off the new disc molded in with ‘Paper Cut’ first track off of their major label debut “Hybrid Theory”. As ‘The Requiem’ played, this light emulating the Sun rose up in front of what looked like large speakers used as the projection screen. On the “screen” there was a pyramid looking structure that morphed into a Parthenon style building followed by a clip of a man jibbering about fighting against the machine. Media was not allowed to start shooting until the whole band was on stage; I was ready, they had the same rules as the Edgefest set and I completely understand why. The atmosphere at this show was so much more relaxed and welcoming, the crowd was amazing but they were not as hype as the Three Days Grace crowd at the Direct Energy Centre last November and that was a limited ticket event of 3000.
Vocals were phenomenal very much improved, the screaming was fantastic I love his voice when in scream mode and his pitch was almost always perfect. There were a few cracks and shakes in a few tunes but I expected worse. Amazed at how powerful his voice still was after so much touring, the North American leg of the “A Thousand Suns” tour kicked off January 20th 2011 in Sunrise, Florida. A month into the tour and his vocals are still so crisp but unfortunately all of the touring has caught up with him; Linkin Park cancelled last nights show in Cincinnati, Ohio the 3rd of the week due to Chester being ill and under doctor’s orders to rest. I wish him a quick recovery, for more details about the remainder of the tour, refunds and Bennington’s condition check the bands website. Chester is everything a front man should be, even though he has co-captain Mike Shinoda also entertaining the crowd he still gives his all in every performance, you can hear it in his voice he feels the music with his heart and soul. Surprisingly he played a few instruments in this set, banging on drums during ‘When They Come For Me’ and playing the guitar near the end of “Iridescent” a tune from the new record. Linkin Park has undeniable chemistry, all five hundred of them! Jokes, they are only a sextet not that hard to remember! The new disc is stylistically different than their older material but a few of the tracks still have that original Linkin Park sound. They did well incorporating different songs from all of their albums in the 24 track performance, the set included the major heavy hitters like “Crawling”, “In The End”, “What I’ve Done”, “Breaking The Habit”, current single “Burning In The Skies” which is pretty poppy but sounds like a softer version of “New Divide”, you can always catch the full set-list at the end. During a few of the Ballads I was getting antsy, my A.D.D was kicking in, even though I had plenty of space at my seat to roam the songs were just boring me, especially the newer tracks just a tad redundant.
Guitarist Brad Delson has a laid back vibe about him, he just casually migrates around the stage with guitar in hand strumming away. In a recent interview I read he said “I don’t like to show off.” in regards to a question asked about his performance and not doing any guitar solos. Honestly mang, it’s not about showing off, its about the presentation to the people. Showing them how much you love playing your music and giving the people their monies worth so they will want to hit up another show and continue to buy your music. All people want to see a guitarist do at a live show is…Shred! There is no Axe Ballet going on here at this show, the front men fully take on the role of entertaining the crowd and do an excellent job at it. Drummer Rob whips those sticks quicker, he has gotten so much better in handling them and timing was perfect. I must say Bassist Dave Farrell whose birthday it was on the day of this show needs to lighten up, there was some serious worried tension on his face but I noticed as the ninety minute set progressed he started to loosen up just a little bit getting into the music.
After they played ‘Shadow Of The Day’ the last track in the first set of encores, Shinoda (whose birthday was on the 11th), jibbered about touring and how they all celebrated birthdays on the road most of the time. That is when Bennington took the lead telling the audience it was Dave’s birthday and asking them to help sing the birthday song wishing Bassist Dave ‘Phoenix’ Farrell a Happy Birthday. Chester suggested the crowd either could use his name “Dave” or newly created nickname “PhePhe” or “FiFi’ (however they spell it) when singing. The audience without hesitation followed his instructions and the whole ACC erupted in the Birthday song.
Mike Shinoda is the Rapper, Vocalist, Keyboardist, Guitarist and founding member of Linkin Park, once called ‘Hybrid Theory’. His flow has enhanced but still sounds a little delayed when he spits, if he was not in this band or had his side projects I don’t think he would have made it as a solo MC. But his Rapping skills are far superior to his actual singing voice, that needs extreme work. A few of the harmonies sounded off, I am pretty sure he was the cause. Shinoda when performing doesn’t fly around as quickly or as much as Bennington but he does float around with his own low key swagger, he also rocks out on the axe for a few of the tracks after all he is the rhythm guitarist. Last but not least a few words about the man behind the turntables Mr. Joe Hahn who was jamming out whilst scratching and dropping those beats with enthusiasm, he kind of reminded me of a young Mr. Miyagi having a party. If you have a chance to see this band live, take it and GO! They closed the set with “Bleed It Out’ blending into the first verse and chorus of one of my favorite tracks “A Place For My Head” before going back and finishing off ‘Bleed It Out’ followed by the thanking of the fans and how incredible and beautiful they were. Linkin Park is most definitely worth the live experience. They could have used some fire to spice things up but the lighting they did use was fantastic kind of a mini lazer show. As usual their magnetic appeal and distinct sound is intoxicating, every band needs to pay attention and step up their game because if you can’t deliver a show to remember you won’t last very long. I would see them again, LINKIN PARK is FRIDAE approved!
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TORONTO – SET LIST
01. The Requiem
02. Papercut (Mario Savio Intro)
03. Lying From You
04. Given Up (Extended Outro)
05. What I’ve Done
06. Empty Spaces
07. When They Come For Me
08. No More Sorrow
09. Jornada Del Muerto
10. Waiting For The End
11. Burning In The Skies
13. The Radiance
14. Breaking The Habit
16. The Catalyst
18. Faint (Extended Outro)
19. One Step Closer (Extended Outro)
20: Wisdom, Justice & Love
22: Shadow Of The Day — Happy Birthday to Phoenix after song
24. In The End
25. Bleed It Out/A Place For My Head