FREDFEST 2014 WITH
VISUAL FEATURE EDITORIAL
All Photography By: Joanna Glezakos
By: Fridae Mattas
Last Wednesday November 7th Dethklok hit Toronto’s Sound Academy for the Metalocalypse fall tour with Machine Head, Black Dahlia Murder and All That Remains. Initially, I wanted to check out and shoot all of the bands but meetings lasted longer than expected and all pf the construction by Union station fucked up the rotation. When I first heard of Dethklok I was more than little confused, were they a cartoon or a band? Well, the answer is both! You can find the bands story on their website here.
I arrived a few tracks into Machine Head’s set, upset that I missed shooting them again, at least this time I was able to see some of the set. They were fantastic, I couldn’t keep my eyes off the stage! The venue was packed yet not sold out, with all the various different people I encountered it came close enough. Such an enormous difference in energies from the show the night before at The Phoenix, this crowd was enjoying themselves and soaking up every second of sound from their favorite metal bands.
I loved all of the guitar solos because they were impeccably well done, the axes were crying with joy and my ears were in absolute guitar heaven, floating on little guitar clouds. Major props to the band for having a moment of silence for Suicide Silence frontman Mitch Lucker. He passed November 1st 2012 from injuries inccured by a motercycle accident on October 31st. What amazed me was the whole Sound Academy went silent for a moment, I have never seen any venue go silent that fast before, good job Toronto! Sady, Mitch was drinking and driving the night of his accident, his extremely bad decision cost him his life. Please be safe everyone, don’t drink and drive, take the bus drink as much as you want, find a cab, ride with a sober friend, there are so many alternatives. The crowd was so into Machine Head, it was fun to watch especially this little Larry who was headbanging hard with his three homies. Cannot wait for Machine Head’s return to Toronto, I hope to be covering them and will arrive extra early, you should catch them on the Metalocalypse tour which is still kicking.
Dethklok hit the stage shortly after Machine Heads’ set wrapped, there were so many photographers at this show I was surprised they allowed that many in the pit. The downfalls were the bright screen behind the band causing them to appear as shadows and way too much fog. In the right places fog can create some amazing stills but on overload it degrades the quality of the photo. I managed a few shots in the three short songs we were allowed to shoot, you can view more photos in the gallery at the end of the review.
The cartoons were funny, the lighting was amazing and the band played well. Vocalist Brendon Small needs to sing with more clarity his enunciation was almost non-existent. I tried so hard to get a clear shot of Drummer Gene Hoglan but couldn’t get the crisp photograph I wanted due to the overwhelming fog. Every set I have covered in the past at this venue has always been too foggy. The rest of the live Dethklok band is Mike Keneally – Guitar, Bryan Beller – Bass/Backup vocals and Pete Griffin on the Bass.
I wanted to be blown away, the conclusion of this show is that Machine Head put on a better performance than the headliners. Completely expecting Dethklok to make a lasting impression I would never forget but that was not the case here. Their fans however couldn’t have disagreed with me more. What can I say, I have been spoiled by covering the best of the best and the only other band I have seen live that had cartoon characters was Hail The Villain. Their previous frontman Brian Crouch puts on a very entertaining set, Crouch has since moved on and formed a new band Six Side Die. They have a different sound than HTV but Bryan is just as entertaining.
Dethklok put on a respectable fourteen track performance playing the soundtrack to the cartoons. Would I hit up another show? Possibly…I love to see how bands improve on their performances and music. The Metalocalypse tour is fun to watch go see for yourself! www.Dethklok.org www.livenation.com
By: Fridae Mattas
It has been fourteen years since Swedish Punk band Refused hit the road together. They dropped one last record “The Shape Of Punk To Come” in 1998 and called it quits. Recently, the band reunited to do a tour hitting up various venues across the globe, one of those stops was Toronto for two nights at The Sound Academy.
The current band is: Dennis Lyxzén – Lead Vocals, David Sandström – Drums/Melodic, Kristofer Steen – lead Guitar/Bass, Jon Brännström – Backup Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Magnus Flagge (aka Magnus Björklund) – Bass/Cello.
We hit up the July 23rdshow, it was packed but not sold out like the previous evening for the first show. The venue filled up nicely and the crowd was fantastic. As a bonus we saw some cool lightning action by the water as we waited for the bands to start. There were a few people I recognized at the show; it was good to see familiar faces. I was texting by the pit entrance waiting for OFF! to hit the stage as the security guard excitedly pointed out a member from Billy Talent as he passed us by, it’s always awesome to see male security guards teenie out! OFF’s set began at about 9:30 and they played until approximately 10:15. I have never heard of OFF! before so this was intriguing to me, I always like to see fresh bands because it leaves me curious to see how they sound without anyone’s opinions trying to cloud my ears.
OFF is a Hardcore punk band from Los Angeles, the band formed in 2009 known to be a supergroup of sorts and consists of; Keith Morris – Vocals (Black Flag, Circle Jerks), Dimitri Coats – Guitar (Burning Brides), Steven McDonald – Bass (Redd Kross) and Mario Rubalcaba – Drums (Hot Snakes/Earthless/Rocket From The Crypt).
The tracks were so short and the vocal mic didn’t have the greatest levels to start, eventually the sound evened out but it really didn’t matter, my three tracks were over. The guitar sounded amazing but was drowning out frontman Keith Morris’ vocals. The band had great energy and I was enjoying their performance but was getting restless because Morris talked longer than he sang, it was boring me. I wandered off to the patio for a smoke, I could still hear the band which was fabulous and could watch the set at the bar on a flat screen TV. The Sound Academy is a fantastic venue, it’s only hindrance is the lack of TTC access.
Set time for Refused was eleven but they rocked the stage earlier than expected. They had this big reveal before the first tune so we had to wait until it was dropped and put away. This was nothing new for me, many bands I have covered do this and of course I don’t mind, everything is for the fans. They were so excited and loving every second of Refused being on that stage. I always try my best not to get in the fans way because they just want to enjoy their favorite band live without big heads in the pit for the whole set. I understand why the three track rule exists but it would be smart to have media do songs 4, 5 and 6, because with most sets the kinks are usually worked out by then. The only artist I have ever covered that has had media shoot songs 4, 5 and 6 instead of the first three was Rapper Nas, very bright on his team’s part.
Refused started in with Worms Of The Senses / Faculties Of The Skull, I wish I could have filmed the reveal but we had to wait. If it weren’t for the fans I wouldn’t have been able to film Liberation Frequency because security thought the three tracks were already over until the fans confirmed they only played two, thank you! They thought the long intro and first two songs were it, many security guards make that mistake and that lack of communication gets very annoying. Thank you so much to AEG/Goldenvoice Canada and new Fridae TV photographer Dipan for taking some cool shots. You can watch the mentioned songs by clicking the title links and can find more photos here.
These extremely enthused and energetic Swedes put on a spectacularly entertaining show, frontman Lyxzén was flying all over the place doing his thing. By the end of the set he was topless, it was a scorcher that day and he first came out in a suit. The band was so impeccably crisp, I loved how the guitars sounded, very clean with a few crazy riffs. The only thing I have to say is the rest of the band needsto match the singers vitality. They seemed a little delayed at first but once they warmed up they got into it a little more . It is hard to be the lead, many artistic performers are shy and others love to soak up all the attention. What I have come to notice is the shyer modest artists are usually the extremely talented, unlike the majority of the “Artists” that crave all the attention and boast profusely about how gloriously amazing they are. When on stage everyone gets nervous, unless you are bored with your job or intoxicated to the point where the whole audience looks like DeadMau5 you get nervous.
The trick is to act, create a character or stage persona to help you be who you want to be on that stage, it makes it so much easier to calm and control the nerves. But having a different persona on stage can come with a price for many artists. For some, after a few tours they cannot find their true self becoming lost in the world they have created. And the lines between fantasy and reality are so blurred they can’t tell the difference anymore.
As the band played on I was pleasantly surprised at how good they were, I have never in my life seen them perform and had only heard a few of their songs. Vocals were stellar, I did not hear him go flat once during the fifteen track set which is extremely rare for a live show. What I liked about this Swedish punk band is their music had melodies and guitar solos, it was not all yelling and auto-tuned pop hooks. The songs have a creative trance like ambiance with a solid structure that draws you in. Refused put on one of the best shows I have seen this year and they didn’t need to use any pyrotechnics to make that possible. They ended off the last Toronto set with encores “New Noise” and “Tannhäuser / Derive”. If you are a punk fan and you have the opportunity to see this band live, I suggest you take that chance before it ends, who knows if anyone will ever see Refused rock the stage again.
By: Joanna Glezakos
On Saturday February 25th presented by Live Nation, August Burns Red with special guests Silverstein, I The Breather and Texas In July took over the Sound Academy. August Burns Red, a Metalcore band from Manheim, Pennsylvania has been together since 2003 they are: JB Brubaker − Lead Guitar, Brent Rambler − Rhythm Guitar, Matt Greiner – Drums/Keyboards/Piano/Programming, Dustin Davidson − Bass Guitar/Backup Vocals and Jake Luhrs − Lead Vocals. I was a little surprised to see the combination of a Metalcore band like August Burns Red playing a show with post-hardcore band Silverstein.
Now I haven’t heard much of Silverstein’s newest work, I did really enjoy their last album but they kind of fell off the radar for me. The band is from Burlington, ON and having played most of their shows in Toronto than in any other city, you would think there would be more support for them. Although it seemed that very few in the crowd were enjoying themselves as much as those pressed up against the barricade, from where I stood at the back of the Sound Academy, many grumbled and booed as the band played. I was pleased to hear a few of older songs, and even a sneak peak of their new album. I must admit one part that I was a bit confused about was when Silverstein decided to trade instruments back and forth with one another multiple times. I remember listening to Silverstein in high school, in what I confess were my more “emo” days but never the less it was nice to see them perform.
Finally the stage was being set up for August Burns Red and the crowd was getting antsy. The people soon squashed forward and began to cheer “ABR, ABR.” Finally after a few seconds the lights dimmed and August Burns Red started to play. I must admit they are a joy to watch every time and never cease to amaze me. Jake Luhrs, is probably one of my favourite lead singers because of his ability to fill a room with his energy. Unfortunately for me, my time in the media pit ended early because of how crazy the crowd got but I enjoyed it just as much from the back of the club. August Burns Red finish their tour in the US on the 24th and will move on to tour Asia, Europe and Australia for the next few months, I would expect a great show every night and they definitely deliver! You can view more photos from the show HERE!
By: Fridae Mattas
It’s 2012 and the first coverage of the New Year was Sunday January 29th when Collie Buddz came around to Toronto’s Sound Academy. I could not ask for a better artist to set the tone for the new year but was not too thrilled about the venue. During the winter months that area has restricted public transportation and not everyone is willing to trek around in the cold to that obscure corner of the city. Always up for an adventure, to me everyday is a new escapade so of course I trekked it. I don’t like winter but the crazy Canadian weather doesn’t keep me from a good show.
Collie Buddz is a Modern Reggae Dance Hall Artist; born Colin Harper in New Orleans, Louisiana raised in Bermuda. Buddz first appeared on the music scene in 2006 and has been lighting up the charts and Womens hearts since. Harper’s most recent record is The Playback EP available for purchase on his website where you can find more information on Collie and the newest sounds like the fresh “I Feel So Good”.
Last April I saw Collie Buddz live for the first time at the Opera House, it was a scorching show with people being pulled out of the venue on gurneys upon arrival. This time it was a much more relaxed atmosphere with even more people, if this show was in the summer or at a venue just down the street there would have been more people guaranteed. It was a good sized crowd when I arrived, the door count was almost at 900 and people seemed to be having an exceptional time.
The show had similar components to last years, more specifically there was no media pit. We were told there would be a pit but it was non existent so once again we were thrown to the Lions but thankfully this crowd was much more understanding. Thank you to the Collie Buddz team, the amazing folks at LiveNation and all the Toronto fans who I came across for being so awesome! I handled it with ease this time but I don’t know about the two photographers from the other media outlets. Once I made my way through the ocean of people to the stage I didn’t see the photographers again that night. I planned to leave the front lines but was trapped in the crowd and a few fans looked like they were going to faint so I didn’t want to be in the direct ring of fire. I actually thought someone did pass out when DJ Peewee handed a bottle of water to a fan. Luckily the person ended up being okay, there was no need for gurneys at this show and despite being trapped again, this time I didn’t have to balance on a speaker for the whole set.
I missed the supporting acts (what else is new) and that really was too bad for me because I wanted to check out the New Kingston Band. The trio consists of two brothers and a family friend, Stephen Suckarie – Lead Vocals/Guitar, Tahir Panton – Keys/Vocals and Courtney M. Panton on the Drums (He is too sick with those sticks). In addition to New Kingston being the opening act they are also Collie’s live band keeping it in the family with the Panton’s Father; Courtney Panton Sr. on the Bass. I definitely need to see New Kingston perform because most of them put on commendable performance as backing musicians, there were a few timing issues but I am sure they are tighter with their own music. Buddz let Suckarie sing a little lead during the set and his voice sounded pretty good but needed a little more push, I think he was surprised and nervous to be put on the spot. As a guitarist he’s actually quite skilled and with a little more practice, he could probably give a few well known Axemasters a run for their money. Tahir on the Keys was boring to watch, he didn’t smile often nor did he change his facial expression. Lacking the enthusiasm, it seemed like he was not enjoying himself at all.
DJ Peewee introduced Buddz to the stage but before Buddz made his appearance, Peewee built the momentum by interacting with the audience like every good Hypeman should. The minute Collie popped out on stage the crowd erupted, he captivated Toronto instantly with his charisma and golden boy grin. Everyone who successfully managed to get their greenery into the building sparked their blunts! I was not surprised at all! A Collie Buddz show would not be complete without various types of herbal essence floating through the air. He should come and perform for the Toronto Freedom Festival, that would definitely be of epic proportions.
It was a simple stage show that felt more like a huge house jam and kept the same vibe throughout the entire performance. Harper banged out most of his hit singles like the track he recorded in Toronto “Come Around” (He didn’t even need to sing, the crowd sang it word for word.), “Sensimillia”, “Tomorrow’s Another Day” and “Mamacita”. Collie is a very unique performer, a Singjay similar to Sean Paul but has a different delivery style. He Raps and Sings with island flavor, has great range and when he needs to bring the vocals to a more solid gritty tone he does so with ease, passion and fervor. You can tell he loves to perform but still seemed a little reserved and shy.
During “Mamacita” there was a little dance break where Blacka Di Danca (A Choreographer/Dancer) flew out like a fluid stage glider ready to teach some dancing. At the Opera House show it was Collie who broke it down but this time he volunteered Peewee to do the honors for Toronto. Obviously he didn’t have the skill Blacka does but he didn’t do too bad at all. It’s always a good show when the artist and the team make the audience feel like family and at a venue of this size you have the capabilities to do that on a more intimate level than if it were an arena show. Next time I think two fans should be brought on stage and have Blacka teach them a few steps with Peewee and Collie.
I noticed Collie took his sunglasses off more than usual or it could be that I actually had a chance to be more observant because I wasn’t focused on how much face-diving into the crowd would hurt if I lost balance on the speaker. The venue it self has great sound and lighting with such a beautiful space. They even minimized the use of red in the lights alternating between the primary and secondary colours more often.
Among the all male crew in Harper’s stage entourage, there is a female but only one, Lady Alexis. She is Collie’s sultry back up singer and has an incredibly sweet tone in her voice but needs a little more confidence, let it go girl you can sing. When it was her solo she sang an Adele tune dedicated to the females in the audience and sang it very well but I could tell she was nervous. It was more evident during “No Woman No Cry” likely due to the fact she was placed centre stage after Collie gave his respects and reminded the people that Bob Marley will always be the King of Reggae. I would love to hear Lady Alexis’ original material and see what she can do as a soloist because she does have the vocal talent. I finally manged to find a path to escape the front lines when the crowd calmed down for a few seconds before ‘Blind To You’, one of the last songs in the set and a definite crowd favorite. Collie Buddz and his team gave a very entertaining performance, I did not hear one fan complain except outside a few guys were dancing around and one said “I wish the show wasn’t over!” which is a compliment. Next time Collie Buddz come around I want to film a tune, until then you can find more photos of the show on FridaeTV Facebook. If you like quality entertainment from a true artist, you need to experience the Collie Buddz electricity live for yourself.
SUMMER SLAUGHTER TOUR PHOTO EDITORIAL
Written By: Fridae Mattas
All Photography By: Joanna Glezakos for FridaeTV
A few weeks ago The Summer Slaughter tour came to tear up the stage at Toronto’s Sound Academy, I could not personally make the show but FridaeTV photographer Joanna Glezakos was able to capture some incredible shots to show you just how The Black Dahlia Murder, Whitechapel and Darkest Hour look like when they are rocking out! I do wish I could have made it because I really wanted to hear and see all this shredding myself! Huge thank you to the amazing people at Metal Blade records, I do hope to catch these bands live someday soon! To see all the shots Joanna took click here.
Not everyone knows who this band is but those that do either love them or hate them. The lyrical content in their songs sometimes strikes a chord with people and becomes controversial topic. Their new disc “American Tragedy” is the first record without founding member Aron Erlichman “Deuce/ The Producer”. On April 3rd they hit the Sound Academy on their North American tour in support of their new record; it was released a few days after the Toronto show and is now available for all of you to buy. Hollywood Undead first made a little splash on the scene when they signed with MySpace Records in 2005, soon after they left the label due to the censorship of their material and signed with A&M/Octone records finally releasing ‘Swan Songs’ in 2008. What drew me to this California native band was their fusion of Hip Hop, Rap and Rock, my ears liked the way they sounded. Many compare them to Limp Bizkit but I beg to refuse, Limp Bizkit is just that…Limp! I can’t stand that band’s music most importantly Fred Durst’s voice is so ugly to my ears.
They opened the thirteen track set with their hit tune “Undead”, I actually really like the beat of that track, the lyrics eh they are honest but need work. When they first popped out on stage I was so lost because I had no idea who was who and the fog was taking over. There are six in the band and after a few tunes I was getting more familiar with their masks which looked spectacular when the light reflected off of a few making them glow. A few of the members apparently were in gangs, have been in and out of the bin and the masks they wear are for hiding identities. In reality, they wear the masks for aesthetic purposes so the fans can have individual character types to identify with. The masks are usually worn every show for the first few songs and then they take them off. Recently the masks were pimped out and look eight thousand times better than the ghetto ass Jason masks they originated with.
While I was shooting in the pit, it was hard to get clean shots because they used way too much fog! I couldn’t see shit but thankfully the security team was there and had my back as they pulled crowd surfers over and over again. They all had great energy, the new guy Danny didn’t do too badly on vocals; I like his voice better than the singer they booted.
The current band is “Charlie Scene” Jordon Terrell – Vocals/Guitar, “Johnny 3 Tears” George Ragan – Vocals, “J-Dog” Jorel Decker – Vocals/Bass/Rhythm/Keys, “Da Kurlzz” Matthew St.Claire – Drums/Screams, “Funny Man” Dylan Alvarez – Vocals and Daniel Murillo “Danny” Vocals. The set was mixed with a few new tracks and the first albums key “Swan Songs”. The show was not sold out but people were there, I honestly thought nobody was going to show up at all because of the extreme schizo weather we were having in Toronto.
I left my house it was warm with a side of sunshine, I got off the subway and it was pouring rain, a half hour after I got to the venue I went for a smoke and tada! It was snowing these ginormous flakes, even better was when I left the venue it started to hail! Only in Toronto can we find all of that weather in a matter of hours! When I went back around into the venue to see the rest of the show after my three media tunes were over the masks were off…That confused me because now I had to figure out who was who all over again. Most of them I wish would have kept the masks on especially when they sang lyrics like “Girl, come and smoke my poll like a Marlboro” Yeah…No thanks! By the end of the set some of them were getting tired and lazy but the crowd didn’t seem to notice they loved every minute. Their flow wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be and they played their instruments fluidly.
The set closed with ‘Hear Me Now’ as the encore which made the crowd fanatical, what else is new!? The fans went nuts during all of the songs, singing along, moshing, crowd surfing the usual rock show antics. The lighting was done well, they had smoke shooting out during certain tracks blending with the lights emulating the look of fire but it was just lighting tricks. The only thing I would have preferred was less red lighting and more blue or green but what can you do when it’s not your show. All in all I enjoyed their clowning around and they have pretty tight flow for a bunch of white guys, Eminem could easily blend well with this band. If you get a chance to see these larries of Hollywood Undead live go for it! This band may not attract the older crowds but the teens and early twenties love them, you have to try mostly everything once. Hollywood Undead is Fridae Approved!
Enter for your chance to win 2 VIP Backstage passes and 2 tickets to Toronto’s very own Canada Rocks 4 Japan benefit concert Thursday April 14th.
TWITTER TICKET contest: Giveaway for 2 TICKETS is on www.Twitter.com/FRIDAETV this Sunday April 10th. At 3pm on Sunday I will be asking a question that has to do with the benefit concert, you must Follow and RT your answer to win the tickets. Winner will be announced on Monday April 11th 2011 and will be chosen at Random.
FACEBOOK VIP BACKSTAGE PASS Contest: Make your own Canada Rocks 4 Japan event page, like both pages FridaeTV and CanadaRocks4, make me admin to the event and invite all your friends! The person with the most attending wins those 2 coveted VIP Backstage passes!! GOOD LUCK!! This Contest closes Midnight Tuesday April 12th pacific time, winner announced Wednesday at noon.
*Please note transportation to and from event is not provided, the contest is for tickets and VIP Backstage passes only.*
COPYRIGHT ©2011 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved.