The Afterbeat, Take Three
So I went to final stop on the Ontario Afterbeat tour. It was pretty much the same line-up as the night before in Toronto, minus one band (Stereo Drive-By). There isn't much difference that I can write about the two shows other than I could finally hear the organ player for The Afterbeat for their entire set. It was nice to be able to hear him in all their songs for a change. It was a great night. Thanks to Jess of Channel 62 for putting on a great show in one of the smallest venues in Ontario.
This was Stereo Drive-By's debut performance. It is pretty much Sugarkill but without the female lead vocalist. Not to much surprise, they have a very similar sound to Sugarkill. Can't say that I'm a huge fan, but I wouldn't be disappointed to see these guys again after they have a few more shows under their belt with the newer material.
The Donuts seem to be getting as a bigger 19+ fanbase as well. The dancefloor was filled with people busting a move to their music. They are on the brink of getting big in Toronto, and it is no surprise why. They play great music live, with a sound that is unique and not played by many bands in Ontario.
I enjoyed The Afterbeat's set just as much as I did when I saw them earlier in the week. I still found it difficult to hear their organ player. It was a bit better, but not by much. Thanks to Mike for playing No More for me, even though it wasn't on the set list. It is a great tune, and a shame I won't be able to hear Jess play it with the band.
The Makeshift Heroes always bring out a lot of people to shows, even 19+ shows. Everyone seems to have a good time. Whether it is the band themselves, or the people on the dancefloor. Having played so many shows in Toronto, people are singing along to each song, and it just adds to their show in my opinion.
Kick-off of The Afterbeat tour
Chris Collins from the Cheap Suits plays a solo show every once in awhile, and it is always a good time. From playing Cheap Suits songs on his own, to playing covers, to heckling himself on stage their is an entertainment factor that is brought to the stage. It is a shame the rest of the band couldn't join him on this night, but I enjoyed just seeing him perform.
The Afterbeat has gone through some major line-up changes over the past year. To the point, that only the lead singer and trombone player ares the only remaining members. No attractive ladies on trumpet and keys. Thankfully, it doesn't affect their sound too much. I must say though, I found it really difficult to hear their organ player tonight, to the point I thought he wasn't even plugged in for certain songs.
After hearing the line-up for the show, I knew Skaface and The Afterbeat would go hand-in-hand. Both bring a 2-Tone sound with them. Although, The Afterbeat seem to be pulling away from it, into a more 3rd wave sound, I think both bands on the same bill was a good idea. Skaface definitely got more people out of their seats and onto the dancefloor.
The Heatskores were on the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to your definition of ska, but they brought out a lot of people, lots of which came to groove to their music. They were as good as ever on this night. Like every other time I've seen them play, full of energy from the first note to the last note.
It is a shame more people didn't come out to this show tonight. It was a great line-up that didn't disappoint.
Action League Now!
This was Action League Now!'s first show. They have a few members from The Hebrew School Dropouts in their band. I was blown away at how well they sounded as a band, especially since it was their first show. I don't think I've ever seen a band sound so good as their first show together. I was told later they practiced a lot before taking the stage for the first time, and it shows. I was equally blown away by the amount of fans they had already established. I suspect they are going to be a force to reckon with.
It is not every day that you get to see the creator of a genre. Tonight was a special night of a fan of ska music and all of it derivatives. For those of you that don't know, Lynn Taitt is the father of Rocksteady. Rocksteady is what ska music evolved into.
As a band, it is opportunities like this that you always look forward to. The Donuts did not disappoint. They didn't seem as loose as they normally did, but I blame that on playing a much more classier venue, and because of the line-up they were on. It was definitely weird watching them play as everyone else sat down.
Jay Douglas has one of the best voices I have ever heard live. For me he has only been rivaled by Frederick Hibbert and Larry McDonald. There is just so much soul in it that you have to hear it to believe it. If you ever get a chance to, go see this man live. He puts on a great show. He started his set, by singing as he walked/danced up to the stage. I don't think his smile left his face as he performed.
Jason Wilson & Tabarruk are one of the tightest bands you will ever see live. They all excel at their instruments. They all seem youngish (mid-20's to mid-30's), but with their talent they would have had to have been playing since they could pick up their instruments. Their horn section is to die for, and Jason Wilson is just a treat. Just seeing his resume makes one jealous. Working with greats such as Jackie Mittoo is definitely an accomplishment.
Although it is harder to gauge one greatness on an instrument without playing it yourself, but watching Lynn Taitt was just something. There may not have been much movement other than his fingers, but he was just grooving on stage as he has for decades. You almost got a feeling that he was humble from the lack of body movement from him. Almost always looking at his guitar as he played, with the odd glance at his fellow musicians on stage. He is a great guitarist who not only started Rocksteady, but finished it too when he moved up to Canada in the late 60's. He just liked it too much up here.
Acoustic Ska At Its Finest..
I had been waiting two and a half fucking years for this show. The only time I had been able to see King Kong Girio live was when he opened for the Cheap Suits at their CD Release back in 2003. It was a coffee house type event, but Mitch and Lorraine performed for longer than the other acts, since they were hosting it. It was cool to hear some of the songs from Lo and the Magnetics done acoustically. You Won't Say It is one of my favourite ska songs, and every time I get to hear it live, it is always a pleasure.
Lo and the Magnetics Return!
This show was put on by Skacake Promotions. Stacey does a great job at putting on shows, so make sure to support her shows whenever you can!
This was my last opportunity to see One Size Fits Most, but was the bands second last show. They seemed to add a new member with each show, so it is probably good that they decided to call it quites, otherwise they'd be every soundman's worst nightmare. With 7906786876 people on stage, it is hard not to get pumped up and play with a lot of energy.
The Donuts have gradually started to get a bigger and bigger following with each show they play in a particular city. It is really nice to see more people singing along to their songs...other than just me of course. They have worked hard, and it is starting to pay off for them.
I don't think I have seen any band as many times as I have seen The Makeshift Heroes. It is shocking as to how consistently well they play with each performance. I have said it many times before, but they have a very loyal following, and they were out in full force for this great gathering of bands.
The Cheap Suits were the old kids on the block out of the Toronto bands. They have been kicking it since 98, or something like that. They may not have as big of a following as they use to, but they sure still have many fans that know the songs to their hit songs, and they can still get many people out on the dancefloor having a good time. I think it was a really good show for them to show they still belong here, and should still keep it going.
This was the first all ages Lo and the Magnetics show since The Skatalites performed back in September 2004. The youngin's have been missing out for quite some time now. They have really cemented their sound in the few years that they have been together. It is always nice to see them pull some Kingpins tunes out, as I don't think anyone will ever get tired of them. Now if only I could hear them perform "The Ten Commandments of Ska" live, that would make my day.
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