live review

Down/Voivod @ Kool Haus, Toronto ON, Sept 18, 2009

With considerably less than a packed house at The Kool Haus, Down took no notice, and put on one hell of a show for the rabid Down fans that were in attendance. Despite the small mountain of contraband booze (among other substances) that piled up outside the entrance, the crowd were treeated to a set list that would make any long time fan of the band drool, including a wide range of songs from their 1995 debut scattered with selections from their two more recent albums.

Adam Wills and Sean Palmerston discuss last Friday’s Toronto performances by Down and Voivod

Nadja/Picastro @ the Tranzac, Toronto, ON, September 11, 2009

The lack of visual stimulation didn’t stop the audience from listing with rapt attention to the audio stimulation. They played what I believe was three songs (sometimes it’s a bit hard to tell when it’s an almost constant barrage of noise). I was pleasantly surprised how well the music translated into the live setting as I always wonder with this type of music, as on occasion it doesn’t work.

Nebula, The Entrance Band, Skull, Eaglefight @ The Casbah, Hamilton ON, August 19, 2009

The band was set against a bright backing light placed on the stage and played amidst a good amount of swirling fog. While still fairly “psychedelic” in both appearance and sound, Nebula brought a rougher and more road rock edge to their live performance than their more ambient fellow Californians. The songs were shorter, and at times sounded almost as though they were about to veer into more groovy, rock-radio friendly territory. It was a necessary shot of adrenaline after a fairly long and sweaty night, and the band ensured they kept things moving.

Progressive Nation tour @ Molson Amphitheatre, Toronto ON, August 14, 2009

This past Friday marked the Toronto stop of this year’s Progressive Nation tour, the now-annual summer festival curated by and starring Dream Theater as headliners – basically their chance to take out some of their favourite bands on tour with them across North America playing outdoor amphitheaters.

Sean Palmerston reviews the recent Toronto stop of this year’s traveling Progressive Nation festival.

Hammers Of Misfortune, Ludicra, Crux Of Aux, Slaughter Strike @ Casbah, Hamilton ON, August 8, 2009

Truth be told, it has been a pretty shitty summer weather-wise here in Southern Ontario so far. Instead of our usual hot, humid summers it has been the kind where you can count the truly sticky days on one hand. This Saturday was another drab, dreary one here in the Hammer, with rain coming and going all day making for a generally blah day. Thankfully, the evening’s entertainment inside at the Casbah did more than make up for the crappy weather outside. In comparison, the four bands that played the venerable King Street West venue left those in attendance positively steamy.

Clutch @ The Odeon, Saskatoon SK, August 2, 2009

Clutch’s current musical incarnation, which dates from 2004’s Blast Tyrant to this year’s Strange Cousins From the West, has been a remarkable creative renaissance, with blues superseding stoner rock, and not surprisingly, when the final third of the show focused on the newer material, things truly took off.

Adrien Begrand reviews Clutch’s most recent tour stop in his base city, Saskatoon, SK.