As soon as I stepped in the bar I was greeted with not only a smile from a familiar face, but also a shot. Though I didn’t know it at the time, that was a clear indication of what was to come. The friendly atmosphere was a great addition to what turned out to be not just a typical show but an event filled with awards, hugs, high-fives, surprises, laughter, and fist bumps.
Uneeda started the night off with an energetic collection of punk rock tunes. While a lot of bands fronted by women seem to get a lot of criticism for having a shy lead singer, this is certainly not the case here. Alexis Hopkins is a great vocalist who’s definitely not afraid to show it off, belting out the tunes with an immense amount of energy on stage.
They’ve clearly evolved over the years and seem to have now found their niche in the local music scene, creating upbeat original tracks that always seem to get great feedback from the crowd. However, on this particular night, their cover of “Dust In The Wind” seemed to be the favorite as people bounced about and a few brave souls moshed in front of the stage.
Continuing with the punk rock theme were seasoned vets First Offence, who have been around for a full decade with their lovely blend of punk that could be described as a Pennywise and Propagandhi lovechild. This was amusing, as the guitarist had a Pennywise shirt on and bassist a Propagandhi one. Their new drummer pounded the drums like they had royally pissed him off, and it worked very well with the vocal harmonies and fast paced punk songs the band produced.
Bridges were next to take to the stage and ironically they bridged the gap perfectly from punk rock into hard rock. Their music is filled with an abundance of transitions that keeps people interested, and they make great use of the vocal abilities in the band, combining them to form incredible harmonies. If you’ve ever seen Bridges live before, then you know the energy continued throughout their set, with all members manoeuvring about the stage constantly. They finished up their set with a surprise ending – the lead singer shaved off his beard on stage as the band continued to play behind him.
This provided a great transition into the next act, Dodgeband. They ended the night with a good dose of alternative hard rock and melodies. Anyone who had stuck around ventured to the front of the stage and couldn’t help but rock out with the last of their energy, as Dodgeband’s drummer pounded the shit out of his kit, and their lead vocalist sang with such intensity.
It was quite the show to say the least. Much facial hair was honoured with a lovely sash and some women still had their fake beards and moustaches attached as the wee hours of the morning appeared.
Everyone seemed stoked on life as the night ended and I’m not sure if it was the great atmosphere or the copious amounts of liquor consumed, but I like to think it was both. A great start to St. Patrick’s Day weekend, no doubt.
By Christa Cram
COPYRIGHT 2012 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED THE SCENE, St. John’s
Darrell Shelley is a musician, sound engineer and Editor In Chief. He graduated with a diploma in Jazz Studies from St.Fx in 2003. Heâ€™s traveled, Europe, USA, Mexico and Canada. His band Chameleonize has shared the stage with the likes of Steve Hill, My Darkest Days, Billy Talent and DOA and won â€œbest hard rock bandâ€ at the Barrie New Music fest in Barrie ON 2011. As a sound engineer Darrell has worked with K-OS, Teenage Head, Rick Emmett, Bachman/Cummings, Donnie Wahlberg, YOB, Cascada, Down With Webster, Sons Of Otis, Broken Social Scene, The Philosoper Kings, Sugarland and the late great Jeff Healey.