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Die Mannequin at the Hardball Cafe, Milton (Photos and Review)

14-Dec-2009 06:00 PM Contributed by: pete Concert Reviews
Die Mannequin
Die Mannequin
Hardball Cafe in Toronto, Ontario on December 9, 2009
Full Photo Set (19 photos)

Since I couldn't make it out to the Toronto show Die Mannequin had scheduled to finish up their current tour, I decided to drive out to see their show at the Hardball Cafe in Milton to catch a performance before the tour was done.

Backstage

Before the show, I visited with Care F. (vocals, guitar) and Anthony Bleed (bass), and met their two new band members: Daz (drums) and Stacey Stray (guitar). Yes, Die Mannequin is now a four-piece and has been since they toured with Marilyn Manson back in September.

Die Mannequin 

Die Mannequin  Die Mannequin

On Stage

This recent Canadian tour was in support of their second full-length album, Fino + Bleed, released in September. Aside from the 12 track CD, the album contains a DVD with a 47 minute documentary called The Rawside Of... Die Mannequin from the IFC series. (Oh, and on a side note, one of my photos of Care F. from 2008 appears in the CD booklet, behind the lyrics for the song Start It Up.)

The Hardball Cafe is actually quite a bit less like a cafe and more like a live music venue than its name implies. Layout-wise, it's setup pretty well, with a floor area in front of the stage, raised platforms around the side, and balconies on both sides. There were three opening bands scheduled to play, and once the third band was off the stage, it was close to midnight. By the time Die Mannequin was setup and ready to go, it was close to 1:00am - a late start for mid-week. You might think with such a late start we would only get a short set, but that wasn't actually the case.

The set itself was what you should expect from a punk band: pretty much out of control. Aside from some technical sound issues, Care had a cold that was affecting her throat, and even though she claimed it was hindering her vocals, what I could hear through the thick volume level sounded fine. Care leapt from the stage at least a few times to play among the crwod, one time falling backwards off stage into the fans and ending up lying on her back on the floor playing guitar. At one point while she was going rogue, I got hit in the face by a stray piece of broken glass (it hit me flat, so no damage), and that wasn't from any of the fans, it was from Care herself who had been using a beer bottle to play slide-guitar and smashed it when she was done.

As 2:00am rolled around, a few people left the venue presumably because they had to work the next day, but even though the bar stopped serving, the band continued. While Anthony was on his knees working though some serious feedback, Care went stray from the stage again and later showed up standing on the bar at the back of the room. With the musical build-up, it appeared as though it was intended to be the final number, but some almost unintelligible banter between Anthony and Care ended up being a decision to play one more for the dedicated fans that remained at the stage. They belted out a messy, extended, feedback-laced version of Saved By Strangers, proving that four band members can make significantly more noise than just the sum of the parts. After a blaze of heavy distortion, the band left the stage just before 2:30am.

Die Mannequin  Die Mannequin

Die Mannequin  Die Mannequin  Die Mannequin

Die Mannequin  Die Mannequin  Die Mannequin

Die Mannequin  Die Mannequin  Die Mannequin

Die Mannequin  Die Mannequin

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Media: Bad Medicine (video)

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