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Rebel Emergency hosts "Rock Your Stockings" Christmas Bash at Sound Academy (Photos and Review)

03-Jan-2010 07:00 PM Contributed by: pete Concert Reviews
Rebel Emergency
Rebel Emergency
Street Pharmacy
Sound Academy in Toronto, Ontario on December 23, 2009
Full Photo Set (20 photos)

I've run into Geoff Star (guitar) and Roddy Soul (vocals) from Rebel Emergency more times off stage than on, but even so, I have seen them perform once at an Artist Sanctuary event and once when they opened for illScarlett. I like a few of their songs from their self-titled EP released in 2008, but more recently they released their debut full-length album Love Ain't Free. I hadn't heard any of the new material until a few days before their Rock Your Stockings Christmas Bash at the Sound Academy. read more (534 words)

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. read more (533 words)

Hey Rosetta! Celebrate the 62nd Anniversary of the Horseshoe Tavern

08-Dec-2009 03:00 PM Contributed by: pete Concert Reviews
Hey Rosetta!
Hey Rosetta!
Julie Fader, La Strada
Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, Ontario on December 4, 2009
Full Photo Set (25 photos)

It doesn't feel like it was that long ago that I witnessed Hey Rosetta! at Lee's Palace create an unbelievable and visible connection between the band and the audience. In that article, I stated that the next time Hey Rosetta! was in town you should buy your tickets early. Well, this is the time of year when the Horseshoe Tavern celebrates their anniversary, 62 years in business this year, and they booked Hey Rosetta! for two nights back-to-back. Both nights sold out well before the show dates. read more (422 words)

Arkells Play Two Sold Out Shows at Lee's Palace, Toronto (Photos and Review)

02-Dec-2009 05:00 AM Contributed by: pete Concert Reviews
Arkells
Arkells
Sweet Thing, The Novaks
Lee's Palace in Toronto, Ontario on November 27, 2009
Full Photo Set (32 photos)

The Arkells have had a pretty massive 2009 that was induced by the release of their debut full-length album, Jackson Square, almost exactly a year ago. With a combination of radio airplay, word of mouth, and hard work, they've grown their fan base significantly over the year. Back in Southern Ontario for the holiday season, they played two sold out shows back-to-back at Lee's Palace. read more (637 words)

Stone Temple Pilots at Kool Haus, Toronto (Photos and Review)

24-Nov-2009 12:45 AM Contributed by: pete Concert Reviews
Stone Temple Pilots
Stone Temple Pilots
Crash Karma
Kool Haus in Toronto, Ontario on November 17, 2009
Full Photo Set (19 photos)

It's been many years since I've sat down and listened to a full album from the Stone Temple Pilots, but it didn't really matter because every song from all five of their full length albums seem to have been burned into my memory from repeated listening. Seeing them at the Kool Haus proved to be a reminder of just how much I listened to their music 10 years ago, as well as how much I like so many of their songs. read more (602 words)

Pilot Speed at The Berkeley Church, Toronto (Photos and Review)

20-Nov-2009 12:30 AM Contributed by: pete Concert Reviews
Pilot Speed
Pilot Speed
Elias
The Berkeley Church in Toronto, Ontario on November 13, 2009
Full Photo Set (20 photos)

The last time I saw Pilot Speed was in June 2007, about a year after they released their sophomore album Sell Control For Life's Speed. It was a memorable show and even though I didn't place it in my Top 10 of 2007, I did include it in the five additional honorable mentions just because it was a real standout (I photographed about 175 bands that year, so that's still in the top 9%). This year they finally released their third studio album entitled Wooden Bones. In support, they toured the U.S. in late June and July, then Western Canada in early October, and then hit Toronto in November as part of six dates around Southern Ontario. read more (602 words)

The Swell Season at Massey Hall, Toronto (Photos and Review)

07-Nov-2009 02:00 AM Contributed by: pete Concert Reviews
The Swell Season
The Swell Season
Massey Hall in Toronto, Ontario on November 3, 2009
Full Photo Set (7 photos)

The creation of The Swell Season can be traced back to John Carney, ex-bassist for The Frames, who asked his long-time friend Glen Hansard (vocals, guitar) to collaborate on the story and music for a film. When the hired lead actor and associated financial support pulled out of the film, Carney convinced Hansard to play the lead role along-side of the then 17 year-old Markéta Irglová. The movie, Once, went on to be an international independent hit, and the song Falling Slowly from the soundtrack won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 2007. It was out of this sequence of events that The Swell Season came to be. read more (590 words)

The Johnstones Can't Be Trusted

03-Nov-2009 05:00 AM Contributed by: pete Concert Reviews
The Johnstones
The Johnstones
The MOD Club in Toronto, Ontario on October 29, 2009
Full Photo Set (18 photos)

It was probably more than two years ago when one of the members from The Johnstones first contacted me about their band. I checked out their MySpace and was interested, but already had something scheduled the night they were playing. I kept them on my radar and would sometimes notice upcoming concert dates, but our schedules just seemed destined to conflict. I even met Ryan Long (vocals, drums) and Jarek Hardy (guitar, vocals) at the Artist Sanctuary in July. Then, when I saw they were playing a late afternoon slot during the War Child Busking For Change event not far from my day job, I made sure to get there in time for their set. Even though that was unplugged, it was a lot of fun to watch. And just a few weeks later, I ended up at this CD release party of theirs at The MOD Club, which was effectively the start of a month long tour through Canada and the States. read more (554 words)

Said The Whale at El Mocambo, Toronto (Photos and Review)

31-Oct-2009 06:40 PM Contributed by: pete Concert Reviews
Said The Whale
Said The Whale
El Mocambo in Toronto, Ontario on October 28, 2009
Full Photo Set (16 photos)

Everyone knows that music has the power to change moods, often for the better, and on Wednesday night I got to both observe and experience that effect in response to the show put on by Vancouver-based Said The Whale. Although I'm not sure if all the lyrics have positive slant (I just don't know them all well enough to say), there's something about the music that makes people release endorphins. The set included a good number of songs from their October 13th release, Islands Disappear, an album that has grown on me extremely quickly for one simple reason: It's a really good listen from start to finish. read more (284 words)

The Temper Trap at Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto (Photos and Review)

27-Oct-2009 12:00 AM Contributed by: pete Concert Reviews
The Temper Trap
The Temper Trap
We Are The Take, Cut Throat Britva
Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, Ontario on October 20, 2009
Full Photo Set (29 photos)

Recommendations go a long way when they're from someone whose opinion you trust, so when a fellow photographer and music lover recommended that I go see The Temper Trap playing Bookie's Nu Music Nite at the Horseshoe Tavern, I added it into my calendar right then and didn't really think about it again until the day arrived. I was happy to see that We Are The Take were going to open the night, so I made sure to get there as early as possible, and even stayed after The Temper Trap to watch part of the set by Cut Throat Britva. read more (651 words)