It was that time of the month again. The last Friday of the month can only mean one thing. A night at Grossman's to enjoy a night filled of ska with Toronto's Frankie Foo and the Yoyo Smugglers. It had been awhile since I've been able to attend the show, and it was a really nice thing to see the place more packed than I had ever seen it. Seems like the word is getting out to the 19+ crowd to come enjoy a fun night. Decent price booze, no cover, and a fun band makes for a fun night. This night was no different. I'll be sure to make it out to another one of their shows sooner, rather than later.
Skafest '06: Day 2
Day Two of the Skafest madness was just as good as the first.After playing 2 sets last night in Toronto:
Yvo 3-day set count: 3
Buda Funk Munk started off the second day to a smaller crowd, but still bigger than I was expecting for 11:30 in the morning. They were the first of only 2 bands on this year's bill that didn't have horns! Maybe The Independents could be added next year to add more bands to this category. With them missing a second guitarist, they weren't as good as I have heard them on other occassions, but still decent. The crowd was even nice enough to get the skanking started.
A surprise addition to the bill was The Fad. After playing the previous night I wasn't expecting to see them again today. You could tell these guys were physically tired, but that didn't stop them from putting their heart and soul into their set. One of the most energetic frontman's I have ever seen live. I think they played slightly better on the previous day.
You could also tell that True Trout was tired. They don't seem like a group of people that would get up before noon on a Saturday morning. Again, just like The Fad, True Trout still went all out from the first note. AFter having the chance to see them live a few times now, it is getting easier and easier to get into their set. A lot of kids liked the punk/ska sound and were out there dancing.
Phat Bastard played one of the best sets I'd seen them play. I wasn't the only one enjoying them, as the dancefloor was starting to get as full as it would get for the remainder of the day.
Yvo 3-day set count: 4
Public Access is a hardcore/ska band from Albany, NY. With it being a 9-hour drive, it was nice to see a band make the drive all the way to Oshawa for the show. They have dualing vocals between the two sax players in the band. It is a nice effect that you don't often see.
The Donuts were amazing on this day. It is good to see after all these punk/hardcore ska bands that the kids liked the trad ska/pop reggae. With them playing a lot more shows since last year's Skafest, it has helped people get into the band more. Also, the debut cd is just stellar.
Yvo 3-day set count: 5
I was really loving Angry Agency at this show. They are one of my favourite local bands right now, so I try and rock out as much as they are on stage.
The Flaming Tsunamis had the furthest to travel out of all the bands, a good 13 hours. They didn't play that long of a set (due to the show running a bit behind), and they were absolutely professional about it. You could just tell that the guys were class acts. It looked like some emo/hardcore kids had come to the show just for this band, and were throwing down for a couple of songs during their set. Can't say that I was fan of seeing throwing down at a ska festival...
A lot of kids from the 905 are big Makeshift Heroes' fans. With half the band being in Montreal for school, playing the amount of local shows that they use to play has been a lot harder (obviously). I was sure they would get a great response at this show, and it appeared that I was right.
Yvo 3-day set count: 6!!!
There are times when if you can't say anything good about someone, than you shouldn't say anything at all, this is one of those times. It is a shame Cypher acted the way they did on stage, as they were nice guys to talk to before their set.
The Highschool Football Heroes was another band that you could tell that were made of people that were class acts. The sax player is also in Bomb the Music Industry!, which is pretty cool in my books. He also did all the interacting with the crowd, which is something you don't normally see. Great band, with good songs, it is a shame they live so far away.
The Oshawa kids went crazy for The Johnstones. They played a great, energetic set. The only problem I had with their set was that they played for a good 40+ minutes when the show was running behind. It ended up not being a problem though.
I don't think I was ever really expecting to see The Heatskores cover The Slackers, but it was done on this day. I actually, really liked their take on International War Criminal. It seemed that they were trying for a new sound on this day. It just seemed off to me. I found myself enjoying the second half of their set a lot more than the first half. Can't really say why.
It had been awhile since The Delegates had played near the Toronto area. After such a long day I was starting to wear out. My ears had heard enough, so it was harder for me to get into their set. Not to say that they played bad, it was just hard for me to judge after such a long day.
Skaface played one of the best sets I had seen them play. They just zoomed through their set. Everyone seemed to be on. It was really great to see the all ages kids enjoying them. I can only hope that they get as good of a response at the next all ages show that they do.
After hearing A LOT of hardcore/ska, the refreshing acoustic sounds of Chris Murray was music to my ears. In true Chris Murray fashion, he didn't come with a set list and played whatever songs people wanted him to play. The only song I didn't hear him play was "The Top 5 Reasons The Clash Broke Up". If you had seen him before, you will get that joke. He even played some King Apparatus tunes, Non-Stop Drinking being a favourite among a few of my friends. There is no surprise in me saying, that I really enjoyed Chris Murray, even after 12 hours of ska music. The venue was nice enough to left the show go on for 45 minutes longer than it should have.
The other thing that added to the great atmosphere of the day and gave one's ears a break from the hardcore/ska was DJ Skip spinning first wave ska. He really did a great job, even being quick to play the original version of a song if a band covered it during their set. It was almost like DJ Skip was one sound system and the hardcore/ska bands were another sound system back in Jamaica in the early days of ska. Thanks agian for the ride home!!! If you don't already, make sure you turn your radio dial to 89.5 FM on Tuesday's at 6pm to hear the only ska radio show in the GTA.
Thanks to Joe and his crew for putting on a great show. It can only get bigger and better in years to come!
Skafest '06: Day 1
After last year's skafest, I couldn't wait for it to happen again the following year. With word of it being two days, it was even made it even more exciting.
The Outriders are a new bands hailing from London. Although I could tell they were a newer band, they show a lot of promise, and I look forward to seeing them again. I'm positive they will just get better with time. They got some people out on the dancefloor to start off the night right.
The Knockouts came on second, and got lots more people out there on the dancefloor. It seems that Oshawa (or the people that travelled to Oshawa) likes the pop/ska sound that The Knockouts bring to the table.
It had been awhile since I had seen Sktratch 3. Since I was unable to attend their cd release in January, I had been itching to see these guys again. After constantly listening to their debut album, I felt I could really appreciate their live performance that much more. If you don't have their cd, make sure you pick it up the next chance you get.
The first band to play this years' Skafest that wasn't from Ontario was The Fad. After cranking Vinyl Paradise and Bright Lights from their myspace for a couple of weeks prior to the show, I couldn't wait to see them. Their live energy was exactly what I was expecting...as high as you can get.
After opening last years' Skafest, Keepin' 6 has been gradually picking up new fans. The response the fans gave these guys was insane. They definitely have a bigger following now than they did last year...which is no surprise at all.
The Arsenals stole the show. End of story. The first time I had seen these guys was 7 years ago at the El Mocambo, and then 2 summers ago when they opened for Toots. I really enjoyed the first time I saw them, but didn't enjoy the second time as much. This time around, they were fucking amazing. Playing classics like Dance Crasher, and Monkey Man, how can you go wrong? Seriously, so good. It is a shame their cd isn't available new anywhere. I bought a copy of it off eBay. Just keep your eyes peeled for it.
As the show was running a little behind schedule, I was a little worried I wouldn't be able to see Green Division. Thankfully, I was able to, but had to leave a few songs early. They played a great set and kept the crowd going from The Arsenals' set. Although I wasn't there, I am almost certain that the crowd didn't want the show the end, as I know I wouldn't have wanted it to either. The opening night for the Oshawa Skafest 2006 couldn't have been any better.
Another Show at Sneaky's
So after seeing Angry Agency and The Bastid Sonz, I ran over to Sneaky Dee's to see the rest of the show going on there. I walked in with 3 songs left in The Knockouts' set. Although the amount of people there wasn't too great, there was still a decent amount for a 19+ show. They seemed to be enjoying The Knockouts. The Knockouts also looked like they were having a good time.
The Outbred Inlaws were on next. I had been promising Lee that I'd make it out to one of his shows for the longest time, and it was about time I finally saw him. The Outbred Inlaws have a folk/country influence in their punk sound. Can't say I've heard a band pull off this combination, but I must say I liked it a lot. Definitely a band you could listen to as you drank beers at the bar.
Last up was Phat Bastard. It had been a really long time since I had seen them, so it was really nice to see them again. They are a band I just really enjoy dancing to and end up having a good time whenever I see them. Luckily for me I would get the chance to see them again in two days at Skafest.
Yvo 3-day set count: 1
All of the bands playing tonight came from the London area. To help bring more people out, there was a bus bringing people all the way from London. Unfortunately, the weather conditions in London weren't that great, and the bus was really delayed. This meant that six people including myself were able to watch a very personalized set put on by Angry Agency. The six of us were quite lucky, as it was seriously one of the best sets I have ever seen them put on. They played a lot of newer material (almost treating the set as a practice), and it was just some really good stuff. I had a great listening to them on this night. With a couple of songs left in their set, people from the bus began to pour into the venue.
Bastid Sonz was up next, bring a Sublime sound to the table. This meant, a lot of their songs had little to no ska sound, but more of a rock feel in it. The people at the show were absolutely loving it. I wouldn't say I didn't like it, but they are a band I'll have to see a couple of times before I can form an opinion on it. They were talented, and will look forward to seeing them again.
The Flatliners @ The Edge
You know when a band is about to hit it big, and you had the opportunity to see them play a small venue just before they did? That is how this night felt. With it being announced they would be playing the International Ska Circus kick-off show, touring with The Voodoo Glow Skulls on the way down to Vegas, and then opening for all the dates across Canada for The Frostbite Tour; The Flatliners are working their asses off to get their music out there. It is no wonder they are getting the shows that they are.
There are nights when the sound at the Edge seems like it sucks a lot, but tonight it actually sounded pretty good. With the bouncers ensuring there was no dancing, you could just feel the tension in the air for the kids wanting to move around. With a couple of songs left they did, and almost went a little too crazy. I had a great time, and talked to some people I hadn't seen in a long time.
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