So this was my second visit to the illustrious Rising Sun Dojo. Unfortunately, there was no mats on the floor this time. They seemed to up the production of the venue though, with an actual stage, crazy security guards, cool lighting, and fake smoke.
It had been ages since Green Division played a show since their singer is focussing his time on his masters at McMaster. Their was some rough parts to their set from not playing/practicing together for so long, but all-in-all I'd say they did pretty well. It looks like they have lost a sax player, but I don't think it has hurt them at all. They have enough horns as it is.
This was my first time seeing The Expos in such a long time. I didn't catch them at their Hamilton, or Toronto shows for the tour, so it had been longer for me than some of the others in the crowd. It is thanks to them that I was even able to catch this show as they were able to give me a ride to and from the show. On a side note, they have the best band transportation I have ever been in. Anyways, after touring for 3 or so months, they have changed some of their songs up a bit. Adding a new trombone player, and having the trumpet player become more adjusted with the band would most likely result with this I think. The changes aren't drastic at all, but does suit their sound more I think. A definite sign of sound maturity.
Keepin' 6 has played Oakville a few times, and it shows. They had some loyal friends at the front screaming the lyrics along with them. Since Oakville isn't that far from Mississauga, I'm sure these same fans have seen them dozens of times at their shows there. It is nice to see fans make the effort to go to another city to check up on their favourite bands.
Unfortunately, I missed the Usual Bunch of Idiots set, but will hopefully be able to see them at one of the next shows they put on.
The Smashers Invade Waterloo
This was my first time seeing Bruce Nuclear, a ska band based out of Waterloo. Being a young band (like almost every other young band I've seen), it is easy to pick out who their influences are. They sounded a lot like The Planet Smashers to me, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I personally wouldn't mind seeing them have a more unique sound. They definitely did have a local following at the show, which is always nice to see.
Next up was the primarily punk band, with a few ska songs, P.D.H. They definitely got the crowd going into a frenzy. It was a sight to see. I don't think I have been more impressed by a band after seeing them for the first time. They also seem to have been together for awhile longer than other bands I have seen for the first time though. It doesn't really matter though, as what they are doing, they are doing well. I highly recommend checking these guys out, even if punk isn't your thing. These guys would fit on a bill nicely with The Heatskores. It is a shame their singer is heading to Australia for 4 months.
The crowd in Toronto always goes crazy for The Planet Smashers, but I don't think they go as crazy at the Waterloo kids. Maybe it is because they don't play Waterloo that often (only 2 other times in the 5 years that I've been there...that I can think of). Like all Planet Smashers show, they are fun, the sound is tight, everyone is dancing, and they play the same hit songs. A nice change was that for the encore Matt Smasher just sung, as Dave took up guitar duties, and then General Rudie's bass player played the bass. He played bass for them when The Planet Smashers did their UK Ska is Dead tour. I thought it was a nice gesture.
Ska Killers Toasters Canada
The first time I saw Frankie Foo on a bill that wasn't their monthly gig at Grossman's, they seemed to be too much all over the place. This set was a lot more polished and together. This was also displayed at their show with General Rudie. I don't really see these guys getting any better, as they are already as good as you can get in my eyes.
Skratch 3 played a pretty good set. I'm liking their cover of Mr. Jones less and less, even though EVERYONE else loves it. It just isn't my thing. It would also be cool if they played the steel drum more (as voiced by another fan of ska music at this show). It is something that no other ska band has, and it would be beneficial if they "exploited" it a bit more in their songs.
The Toasters have gone through some more line-up changes...again. I don't think I have ever seen a band go through so many members and still be performing for 25 years. This time around, their drummer, and trombone player have been switched out. Although, both musicians did a perfect replacement, I am just more fond of their old trombone player (who was in The Mighty Mighty Bosstones...maybe they are coming out of their indefinite break...). I'd say it was a medium showing for them. I have seen them play to less, but I have also seen them play to a packed Lee's Palace before (Sept 2004). They played their single You're Gonna Pay, along with another new song with is making me excited for their new album that is in the works.
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