Y’know, it almost feels like I didn’t attend as many concerts as I did last year.  Mind you, if I were to count up and tally every local gig I went to, there’d probably be twice as many shows that didn’t make the cut as there are gigs on here.  And hey, looking at this list, there’s really nothing but quality from start to finish.  As it were, the top gigs I saw in 2012 spanned two countries, three states and five cities, although most of them occurred in Toronto, naturally.  Here they are in ascending order…

10. Accept/Kreator @ The Phoenix, September 12th


Accept was one of the bands that first got me into metal back in the day, and I certainly can’t complain about their latest post-reunion album, either.  The subsequent tour saw them team up with Teutonic thrashers Kreator for what turned out to be a pretty bitchin’ double bill.

CHOICE WORDS: And yes, they still played all the hits, “Fast as a Shark,” “Restless and Wild,” “Breaker,” “Princess of the Dawn,” “Balls to the Wall” and “Teutonic Terror”–the latter of which firmly belongs in the Accept canon.  If they can pull a couple more “Terrors” out of their army helmets in the next studio session, I know I’ll be back for Round 4 — Accept: Third time’s slightly less charming… (

Click for more pics!

On that note, check out my top 10 German metal bands.

9. Melvins Lite @ Opera House, July 5th


The Seattle sludge forefathers/idols of Cobain were sporting a slightly different lineup this time around.  Eschewing their recent double-drumkit attack, they went out as Melvins Lite, a three-piece featuring Trevor Dunn (of Mr. Bungle fame) on standup bass.  That said, I can now attest that this incarnation is almost equally excellent as the full-bodied, five-per-cent-alcohol version. ;)

CHOICE WORDS: Having seen the Melvins last time, I sorta knew what to expect.  They went on right at 10, played for 75 minutes, didn’t really do an encore (although both Buzz ‘n Dale left the stage for a Trevor Dunn bass solo) and left everybody satisfied yet wanting more. — AMATEUR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY HOUR: MELVINS, Retox @ Opera House, July 5, 2012

They also did a bitchin’ cover of Sir Paul McCartney’s “Let Me Roll It.”  I count down my top five Melvins cover tunes over here.

8. Corrosion of Conformity/Torche/Black Cobra @ Opera House, June 21st


Another reinvigorated, stripped-down lineup performing at the Opera House, and just as couple weeks before the Melvins, as it were.  I’ve really dug COC’s self-titled comeback record–and that new EP ain’t too shabby, either!  When they took their act on the road with possibly the best stoner/sludge/whatever lineup to hit Toronto this year, needless to say I made sure to mark it on my calendar.

CHOICE WORDS: Seeing a good chunk of the record in the flesh a few feet from my face only reaffirms its status as a top contender for Album of the Year 2012 in my books.  And it’s safe to say that Mike Dean isn’t lip-synching on stage, either.  His voice is just as raw, his delivery as garbled as it was in ’85. — COC still sounds good to me! (

More pics here!

7. Iron Maiden/Alice Cooper @ Molson Amphitheatre, July 13th

(This was taken by someone with a much better camera than me.)

Another band that I’ve been listening to for a really long time, and for whom I’m guaranteed to be in attendance at their biennial Toronto concerts, is Iron Maiden.  I’ve seen ‘em at the Amp a couple times now, as well as the ACC.  And while I’ve never been able to get floor tickets at the former, you really don’t need to be in front of the stage to enjoy Maiden in concert, lemme tell ya!  They also got bonus points this year for bringing Alice Cooper along as an opening act; twas worth getting there early, that’s for sure…

CHOICE WORDS: Though they didn’t have me leaping out of my seat by starting their set with “Moonchild,” the elaborate stage production coupled with a classic set certainly won me over by the end of the night.  By injecting the aforementioned “Trooper” and “2 Minutes” into the set, along with “The Number of the Beast,” “Run to the Hills” and “Phantom of the Opera,” it certainly made the material from their 1988 release appear more palatable. — Maiden pulls out all the stops to make Seventh Son number one! (

In case you’re wondering how they stack up, I compared Maiden’s back catalogue to Cooper’s–albeit with a 10-year distance–back in July.

6. Witch Mountain/Blood Ceremony/Castle @ Hard Luck Bar, June 13th


The first appearance of Witch Mountain on Torontonian soil–surprisingly, they’d be back by October–was arguably the best stoner/doom gig this city had seen in 2012.  (OK, maybe second best–more on that later…)  Bolstered by support bands Blood Ceremony and Castle, this three-headed Medusa delivered an unhealthy triple dose of female-fronted doom, capped off by the headliners showcasing the just-released Cauldron of the Wild album in its entirety.  The initial live impression might not have been as overpowering as when I first stumbled across South of Salem, which I’d later crown as album of that year, but it was definitely right up there, to be sure.  You can bet their new record figures on my list for 2012, too–more on that tomorrow! ;)

CHOICE WORDS: I was a little disappointed that they only played one song offa South of Salem, opting instead to play their new album in its entirety, but y’know what, that new record is pretty amazing in its own right–as seen last night. — AMATEUR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY HOUR: Witch Mountain, Blood Ceremony, Castle @ Hard Luck Bar, June 13th

On that note, check out my list of the top 10 female-fronted doom bands going!

5. All That Is Heavy II feat. Iron Man, Blood Ceremony, Blizaro, Revelation @ Mavericks, Ottawa, May 12th


Yes indeed, Blood Ceremony appears twice on this list.  (Their gig with Ghost back in January missed the cut, mind you.)  But while they headlined this biennial(?) festival in the nation’s capital, the biggest draw for yours truly, who’s seen BC about a dozen times, was the first-ever Canadian appearance for Maryland doomsters Iron Man.  Hey, if you’re keeping score at home, Iron Man finished two spots higher than Iron Maiden this year. ;)

CHOICE WORDS: New frontman Dee Calhoun is quite the imposing figure, but this band is truly the Al Morris Show, the man channeling Iommi for some serious doom riffage!  And I must say, Mr. Morris and his cohorts were much more animated than the last time I remembered… — AMATEUR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY HOUR: All That Is Heavy II @ Maverick’s, Ottawa, May 12th

4. Church of Misery/Hail! Hornet/The Gates of Slumber @ Studio Seven, Seattle, WA, June 9th


I don’t wanna say that Seattle is like a home away from home–fact of the matter is, I’ve only been there twice.  But as a long-time Seahawks fan, I definitely feel a certain connection to the city.  And while I didn’t fly out there back in June solely to see Church of Misery (along with TGOS and Hail! Hornet), you could say I feel a certain connection to the Japanese serial-killer stoner-doomsters as well.  And since the closest date on their first-ever North American tour was Philly, well, I figured I’d head out to the Land of the Hawks instead…

CHOICE WORDS: This being the last date of the tour, Church of Misery brought Karl Simon and T-Roy up on stage for a rousing rendition of “War is Our Destiny” with the other members of TGOS and Hail Hornet lurking in the background.  This is the great thing about seeing the last date of a tour–the headliner not having any merch left, well, that’s the not-so-great thing. — AMATEUR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY HOUR: CHURCH OF MISERY, Hail Hornet, The Gates of Slumber @ Studio Seven, Seattle, June 9, 2012

3. Saint Vitus/Weedeater/Sourvein @ The Grog Shop, Cleveland, OH, September 29th


Incidentally, Vitus also took the third spot on last year’s list, albeit their all-too-brief Metalliance Tour appearance left me wanting more.  Fortunately, with a new record in the can, the band embarked on their first North American tour in nearly two decades, and a Saturday night in Cleveland Heights was alright with me, merci!  (That said, trying to catch a cab in Cleveland at 1 am isn’t tons o’ fun…)  You could even say the added bonus of Weedeater and Sourvein made the seven-hour bus ride worthwhile.

CHOICE WORDS: Vitus came through with a solid 13-song set that included all the non-instrumental numbers off their new album, a fistful from Hallow’s Victim, and other classic tunes like “Dying Inside,” “I Bleed Black,” “The Troll” and of course, “Born Too Late.”  Unbeknownst to me beforehand, the 29th was Wino’s birthday, and even though he’s now 51, old age didn’t stop him from stage diving on a couple occasions. — AMATEUR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY HOUR: SAINT VITUS, Weedeater, Sourvein @ Grog Shop, Cleveland, OH, September 29, 2012

Leading up to this gig, I reviewed every single Saint Vitus album.  Perhaps that’ll give you some idea of what you missed. :P

2. Dream Death reunion @ 31st Street Pub, Pittsburgh, PA, April 21st


If you’ve made it this far, you’ve probably noticed quite a few big-name metal bands on this list.  However, one of the best gigs I saw all year was when I took a little trip down to Pittsburgh to catch a cult band that only released one album–way back in 1987.  Although they don’t fit its modern-day description, Dream Death actually coined the term “sludge metal,” and like several sludge bands, their sound is somewhat of a head-on collision between hardcore punk and doom.  This home-town, one-off (well, they are playing next year’s Days of the Doomed fest…) gig was sold out in advance, packing a bar about twice the size of the Bovine, and the energy was certainly palpable.  Now this is why I collect Air Miles, right here! ;)

CHOICE WORDS: As Dream Death took an awfully long time to set up, you could feel the anticipation building, along with the urge to urinate–but hey, I was NOT giving up my spot for this.  It was, after all, their first gig in 24 years!  But the band sounded as good as ever, hell, better than some of the dodgy demos and bootlegs in their discography. — AMATEUR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY HOUR: DREAM DEATH/ARGUS @ 31st St Pub, Pittsburgh, April 21, 2012

1. Kyuss Lives @ Cherry Cola’s, January 1st


I may have initially balked at shelling out 200 bucks to see Kyuss Lives on New Year’s Eve, but I eventually came around.  Hey, your average New Year’s evening of dinner and dancing costs at least 50–and they don’t have Kyuss.  It turned out to be a good call, especially since this was effectively the outfit’s last gig before the lawsuits started rolling in.  (More on that below–if you’re on the homepage, that is.)  Vista Chino might end up playing venues the size of Cherry Cola’s, but it just won’t be the saaaame, maaaan!

CHOICE WORDS: It’s one thing seeing ‘em on a massive stage, and quite another being in a tiny bar, where the bouncer knocked over half the drumkit while forcibly removing a patron from the premises.  Unfortunately, I did not have my camera out when that happened… — AMATEUR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY HOUR: Kyuss Lives @ Cherry Cola’s, January 1st, 2012

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MAN OF THE YEAR 2012: Harry Buttman

Last year, I awarded the first annual Gruesome Man of the Year Award to Rob Fucking Ford.  Truth be told, Mayor McGravy was an even stronger candidate this year, what with all those lawsuits, bone-headed comments, confrontations with reporters, tripping over his own feet, general dysfunction at city hall–and oh yeah, almost getting thrown out of office.  Alas, there will be no repeat nominees this year; otherwise, I’d hafta rename this thing the Rob Ford Award.  Here are, however, five figures worthy of your scorn and ridicule praise and adulation in 2012.

5. Josh Homme’s lawyers

On January 1st, I rang in the new year with Kyuss Lives.  A couple months later, Kyuss would live no more.  Thanks to a lawsuit brought forth by Homme and seconded by Scott Reeder, the remaining members of the band (Garcia, Bjork, Oliveri et al) have been banned from using the name Kyuss for any recordings–including a rumoured live record of that NYE concert–and as a result, have changed their name to Vista Chino, which sounds like a pair of khaki pants or something.  Of course, this mess could all be avoided if Homme was to actually rejoin Kyuss, but apparently, he’s too cool for that.

4. Ted Nugent

The Motor City Madman might not have put out a new record this year, under any name, but truth be told, he’s not on this list for anything he’s done with his guitar.  His on-stage antics have gotten him some attention, mind you, albeit not so much for his guitar-work as for his machine guns.  (He recently told Piers Morgan to suck on ‘em, too!)  Alas, after telling the NRA he’d either be dead or in jail if Barack Obama was re-elected, the Nuge went off on Twitter on election night.  Last time I checked, he was still alive and appearing on talk shows, but hey, the year’s not quite over yet…

3. Donald Trump

Speaking of election-night meltdowns, has anyone heard from the Donald since he went nutso last month?  Last I heard, he was either tied up in lawsuits over his dodgy Toronto Trump Tower, or winning money money money from a disgruntled Miss Universe contestant.  Either way, he’s certainly been getting his name out there–and not in the most positive light, either.  Remember his “big surprise?”  Ugh, I’ve seen bigger bombshells fall from his hotel

2. Justin Trudeau

He might not be prime minister yet–or ever, for that matter–but the Son of Pierre sure made a name for himself in 2012.  He started the year off with a bang, TKOing Patrick Brazeau in a celebrity boxing match, then hit the campaign trail hard, committing glorious gaffes, and issuing several subsequent apologies in his quest for the Liberal leadership.  I’m not sure he can win over the West–especially after calling us a bunch of socio-democratic agenda controllers–but hey, doesn’t he look cute in a cowboy hat?

1. Harry Buttman

For being the man largely responsible for us not having any hockey since the summertime–World Juniors notwithstanding–the loathsome NHL commish takes the cake in 2012.  Most other league administrators would be thrown out in disgrace for causing three labour stoppages in less than 20 years, but as Sportsnet Magazine recently stated, what Gary wants, Gary gets–including another season thrown down the tubes.  All I can say is that if he and Fehr can’t come to an agreement within the next 10 days, we ought to invite Bouchard and Ward to the commissioner’s office…

AMATEUR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY HOUR: Kyuss Lives @ Cherry Cola’s, January 1st, 2012

That’s right, I’m officially counting this concert as taking place January 1st, reason being that Kyuss Lives took the stage a couple minutes after midnite.  And also so I can include this gig in My Top 10 of 2012, where it will no doubt end up a year from now.  It’s one thing seeing ‘em on a massive stage, and quite another being in a tiny bar, where the bouncer knocked over half the drumkit while forcibly removing a patron from the premises.  Unfortunately, I did not have my camera out when that happened…

Anyways, I showed up around 10:45, which allowed me to catch most of the opening band, Biblical.  Their frontman used to be in The Illuminati (the Toronto heavy rock band, not the secretive organization), which should give you some idea of how these retro-rock revivalists sounded.  I figured I might as well take a few pictures of ‘em, too.


Like I said before, this wasn’t your typical Kyuss gig.  They played two sets on a stage just big enough for a four-piece band (a quintet could’ve been quite cramped), while passing around an open bottle of Jager.  John Garcia, who didn’t do a whole lotta talking between songs, led us all in a champagne toast a couple minutes past midnite, and introduced his bandmates just like any other bar band–except this wasn’t your regular bar band, mind you!



New Year’s Eve, it’s that time of year again where I bust out my old ticket stubs and figure out what the best shows I saw over the last 12 months were.  This year’s list includes entries from four cities spanning two states and two Canadian provinces–with the bulk of the gigs being in Toronto, of course.  If anything, it seems that I did less traveling to outta-town concerts this year, but the ones I did take off to go see were all quite memorable.

So, with no further ado, let’s get the ball rolling, eh?

10. Blizaro/Blood Ceremony/Castle @ Smiling Buddha, Toronto, August 7th

The best local underground gig I caught this year is worthy of a spot on this list, as it paired two stellar doom bands from the States with our local flute-doom legends.  Not too shabby for a Sunday night…

CHOICE WORDS: “John Gallo and co. mesmerized with their haunting horror doom, as The Professor channeled the voice of Bobby Liebling and the vocals/guitars/keys of Paul Chain for an eerie, epic set of crushing riffs and blistering changes.  If anything, the keys were a little underutilized in the main set, but John made up for it with a 20-minute Moog solo of a second encore.  An awesome way to end the evening!” (THTGIR (RIP) review.)

9. Weedeater/Saviours/Bison B.C./Fight Amp @ Lee’s Palace, Toronto, September 13th

This was the second time Weedeater came through my neck of the woods in 2011 (Lee’s is within walking distance for me, as is the Wreckroom), and while they didn’t bring anybody across the border with ‘em the first time around, they came back in September with arguably the best multi-band touring package to hit Toronto this year.

CHOICE WORDS: “Since I was so close to the stage, I couldn’t squeeze Keko and Dixie into one shot without zooming out quite a bit, thus there are a couple pictures where the latter’s face is obscured by a cymbal.  Man, I must say, though, if there’s anybody who can make red eye look good, it’s Dixie!  (Reason Number 12, if you’re keeping track at home…)” – Amateur Concert Photgraphy Hour: WEEDEATER, Saviours, Bison B.C.

8. Fu Manchu/Honky/The Shrine @ Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto, November 11th

Man, it was pretty cool to see the Kings of the Road back in town again, playing In Search Of… in its entirety.  While there’s a lotta mileage on ‘er, the Fu’s still a well-oiled machine.  And hats off to Honky for being one of the most amusingly entertaining bands I’ve seen in a while.  I was definitely laughing with them, not at them, that evening.

CHOICE WORDS: “I gotta say, it was pretty cool to hear tunes like “Regal Beagle,” “Solid Hex” and “The Falcon Has Landed,” which they probably haven’t done live in a little while.  I mean, this record’s so old that it had Ruben Romano and Eddie Glass on it, and a kid born the day it came out would be taking their driver’s license test in a coupla months.  But still, some tunes are timeless, y’know?” – Fu Manchu – Still Kings of the Road! (

Psst…  More pics here!

7. Judas Priest/Black Label Society/Thin Lizzy @ ACC, Toronto, November 22nd

This was supposed to be Priest’s farewell tour, though I think they’ve since softened their stance.  In any case, we were treated to at least one song from every Halford-era album, along with a solid stage show, complete with lasers!  The supporting acts were nothing to sneeze at, either, although the putative Thin Liz took the stage bright and early at 6 pm, meaning most people missed ‘em.

CHOICE WORDS: “The stage setup was equally immaculate, a chain-adorned platform with props like tridents and disco balls, and a video screen showing past album covers as well as some specific animated backdrops for certain tunes, such as an evil eyeball on “Electric Eye”.  Most impressive was the laser show, seemingly on loan from The Pink Floyd Experience.  Not many bands use lasers anymore–but they should, cuz laser beams are freakin’ sweet!” – Farewell to Judas Priest! – Epitaph tour @ the ACC

6. YOB/Dark Castle/Sons of OTIS @ The Courthouse, Toronto, July 15th

Oddly enough, the best local doom gig of 2011 was held at an upscale downtown dance club, though The Courthouse, with its high ceilings and medieval motif, only added to the ambiance of the evening.  YOB were pretty rad when I saw ‘em open for Sleep in Portland last September, but they excelled in a more intimate setting–and OTIS opening was the sticky-sweet cherry on top!

CHOICE WORDS: “YOB was simply crushing.  I’m almost at a loss for words.  Yes, this isn’t the YOB of old, Mike Scheidt was obviously stoned on something–and the dude’s a dead ringer for Jim Gustafson of 70′s rockers Poobah nowadays–but so what?” – YOB, Dark Castle and OTIS–Oh my! (

5. Pentagram @ Montage Music Hall, Rochester, NY, August 20th

I’d seen Bobby and the Pentagrams about a year and a half beforehand, but having Victor Griffin back in the band gave this gig an added air of authenticity that their prior performance had lacked.  However, I do hafta give their Cleveland 2010 concert the edge when it comes to opening acts: Argus, Keelhaul, Midnight and The Gates of Slumber, to be precise.  Local doom titans Orodruin opened the Rochester show, but it was all downhill from there–until the screams came, that is. ;)

CHOICE WORDS: “From where I stood, Turley’s double Laney attack made my knees shake, whereas Griffin, on the other stage of the stage, was a little low in the mix.  I also got up close and personal with Bobby Liebling, whose wild-man antics are the stuff of legend.  The man is truly a unique talent!” – Amateur Concert Photograpy Hour: PENTAGRAM, Valiant Thorr, Orodruin

4. Accept @ Mod Club, Toronto, 4/20!

Coincidentally, I also caught Accept for the first time in Cleveland, on the first leg of their North American tour last October.  At the time, I didn’t know that they’d be adding any Canadian dates, so I was pretty stoked when I first heard about this gig.  They really couldn’t have picked a better day, either… ;)

CHOICE WORDS: “The nineteen-song set had a couple more new tunes than the last time around, but they also dusted off a few deep cuts that I didn’t hear in Cleveland (“Losers and Winners,” “Aiming High,” “Burning”) to go with all the title tracks (“Breaker,” “Restless and Wild,” “Balls to the Wall,” “Metal Heart”) and other anthems like “Son of a Bitch,” “Fast as a Shark” and “Princess of the Dawn”.  My only complaint was that I didn’t procure one of those Accept picks that were flying around, despite being directly in front of the stage.” – Accept: Just as good the second time around (if not better)! (

3. Metalliance Tour (feat. Saint Vitus, Crowbar, Kylesa) @ Peabody’s, Cleveland, OH, March 26th

Ah Cleveland, The Mistake by the Lake.  Home of the Cavs, the Browns, the Agora, the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame and Rocket from the Tombs (look ‘em up!).  I’ve seen a few great gigs in this city, which is often the closest stop on many US-only tours–like Metalliance, which featured the one-two punch of Saint Vitus and Crowbar with solid support from Kylesa, Red Fang and The Atlas Moth, to name a few.  Sure, Helmet was headlining, but I didn’t bother to stick around.  There was only one bus outta town on Sunday that would get me back to Toronto before dusk, and it left some time around 8 am…

CHOICE WORDS: “Vocals were too low, I was almost singing as loud as Wino–but that mighta had as much to do with him as it did with the sound guy. He looked pretty hammered. Dave Chandler was really great to see live, stole the show IMO. He even went into the crowd during “Born Too Late” and rubbed his guitar’s neck against other people’s heads, haha.” (a post I made on the Hellride Music Forum)

I actually took a few pics at this gig, although my camera ran out of batteries, or memory, or something.  Anyways, here are a coupla shots that I haven’t posted anywhere yet:

2. Sleep/The Sword/Buzzcocks/Bison B.C. @ Olympic Plaza, Calgary, AB, June 24th

When I heard that Sleep was only playing three gigs this year–and one of them was in Calgary!–I immediately purchased a plane ticket back to the old country.  This Sled Island festival was a pretty sweet setup.  I had lunch at a pub where I saw Dead Meadow play in the middle of the afternoon, then moseyed on down to Olympic Plaza where they’d assembled a decent supporting lineup for the Weedians’ performance.  One thing they didn’t do, however, was purchase a powerful-enough PA system, as we couldn’t hear Al Cisneros’ vocals for shit.  That said, it was still quite the weekend.  (I caught The Sword, Red Fang and a coupla cool Canadian bands in a club the following evening…)

CHOICE WORDS: “It probably didn’t help that I was standing right in front of Matt Pike–and his twin Marshall stacks–on the opposite side of the stage.  Pike’s approach to both this, and last year’s reunion gigs, is the same as he takes to High On Fire, where he’s the stalking, menacing centre of attention–Cisneros is much calmer and Zen-like by comparison.  And since I couldn’t hear the vocals at all, it was great to be able to see the fingering that Matt uses on those classic riffs.” – Just got back from Calgary–and boy, is my wallet tired! (

1. Kyuss Lives! @ Sound Academy, Toronto, September 16th

Sure, the Sound Academy’s a shitty place to see a show.  It’s a ways outta the way, down on the waterfront–and for a place with “Sound” in its name, you’d think they could get a better live mix.  Nevertheless, this was still the best gig of the year, in my books.  Had you told me I’d see Kyuss live–twice–in 2011 some five, ten years ago, Ida asked ya for a hit offa yer Green Machine.  Even without Josh Homme, the new (old) lineup still shines–especially with Scott “Hurricane” Reeder on bass for the Canadian dates.  And yes, I paid my 200 bucks to see ‘em again tonite.  Better make that 1 and 1A…

CHOICE WORDS: “Suits me just fine, since Sky Valley is my favourite Kyuss record.  I think it branches out into psychedelic territory more than their other releases–and the band took full advantage of that, playing some longer, drawn-out versions of a few tunes.  Man, I would probably pay just to watch these guys jam for an hour, it’s really that good.” – Kyuss Lives! Long Live Kyuss! (

And there you have it.  I gotta say, I’ve got no idea which gigs will be in my Top 10 for 2012, as there haven’t been a lotta exciting tour announcements made to date.  Looking back, though, I think this past year will be pretty hard to beat.  See ya in the pit!

P.S.: I’ll be putting out my list of Top 10 albums tomorrow.  There may or may not be a radio tie-in with Gruesome Tunes, as well.  Okay fine, there will be.  Stay tuned…

I’ve marked every Friday nite in September on my calendar–except for tonite

After a summer concert season that was a little underwhelming, September is shaping up well for shows in Toronto.  As a matter of fact, the next four Fridays have already been penciled in on my concert calendar.  Here’s an overview of the gigs I’m looking forward to seeing:

September 9th: Sister Caravan, Ol’ Time Moonshine and more @ The Rockpile, Etobicoke

Never been to The Rockpile before, and for good reason.  The place is about halfway to Hamilton from here.  Well okay, it’s not quite that far, but the fact that it’s over by Pearson airport doesn’t make it a very attractive location.  That being said, I am looking forward to the first stoner rock gig at the Etobicoke venue, in particular the debut performance of Sister Caravan, a brand-new female doom power trio.  My buddies in Ol’ Time Moonshine are always a good time, too.

September 16th: KYUSS LIVES! with The Sword(?) and Monstro @ Sound Academy, Toronto Waterfront

I’ve heard conflicting reports as to whether The Sword is actually on this bill.  But if you’re only stoked to see The Sword, you ought to be shot in the face.  Fuckin’ Kyuss!

September 23rd: Tee Pee Records Showcase with Quest For Fire, Naam, Elks @ Silver Dollar, College & Spadina

This is pretty cool.  All of the aforementioned are playing Pop Montreal the nite before, so QFF has taken it upon themselves to book their Brooklyn brethren a gig in Toronto on the way home.  Should be a trippy evening, to be sure.

September 30th: Enslaved, Ghost, Alcest and Empyrean Plague @ Opera House, Queen & Broadview

Enslaved is one of the biggest black metal bands in Norway, but I’m more interested in seeing the Perverted Priest and his Masked Minions–by far the best Swedish pop band since ABBA. ;)

As for this evening, well, I figure I’ll just kick back, relax and watch some football on a Friday nite.  (You’re welcome, TSN.  That’ll be 25 dollars.)