Show Review – Rancid, My Chemcial Romance and Blink 182


Show Review – Rancid, My Chemical Romance and Blink 182

Wednesday August 31, 2100

Rogers Arena Vancovuer BC

by Jade Sperry

JadedPhotography

Rancid. Photo by Jade Sperry.

The Honda Civic Tour rolled through Vancouver this past Wednesday and the arena was set up for concert bowl due to the apparatus of the lighting system – it would have been in the way of the show. Four great bands in order of first to last – Against Me!, Rancid, My Chemical Romance and Blink 182. I’d seen the Florida US band Against Me!, so I decided to check out the mech table of all the bands. Tons of stuff for sale if you are a teenager or in your 20’s. I do have to say the posters were pretty special. Good pictures.

Rancid came out and performed a stellar set that they played hard and with fantastic energy. I loved this band in the 1990’s and saw them a handful of times but in all honestly, I drank a lot back then and really don’t remember the shows I did attend – the only proof was the ticket stub in my pocket. But, they did a favorite of mine just toward the end of their forty minute set called “Radio” Awesome!

My Chemical Romance took to the stage next and they looked well rested and ready to rock Vancouver for the next hour. Teenage girls still scream at the men onstage. Although I was really there to see Rancid (sober) they really rocked the crowd. One friend of mine in a band from Vancouver called Philoceraptor said that “the My Chem boys really rocked the place out.” And I totally agree. A good light show with video screens on either side so that if you were at the back of the arena, you could look at the video screens. Since many people requested that I get a set list, here it is to the best of my recollection in a crowd of screaming, dancing teens:

Na Na Na

I’m Not Okay

Planetary Go!

Mama

Helena

This Is The Best Day Ever

You Know What They Do To Guys…

Famous Last Words

Scarecrow

Destroyer

Welcome To The Black Parade

My Chemical Romance. Photo by Jade Sperry.

With no encore. No band on this circuit did an encore except for Blink 182. Speaking of which, they followed MCR and hit the stage about 1030pm. I have to admit I was really tired by this time but I had to see Blink 182. I’m not sure of the songs they played in order were but my favorites performed were “Does My Breath Smell”, “All The Small Things”, “Feeling This” and “I Miss You”. Every song was bang on and in between the songs the band members took pictures of themselves and joked around with themselves and the audience. A fantastic show with high energy and good lighting for photographers as you can see from the pictures that are on my Flikr page.

Blink 182. Photo by Jade Sperry.

The remainder of the tour dates are as follows:

9/7/11 Minneapolis, MN- Xcel Center
9/8/11 Des Moines, IA- Wells Fargo Arena
9/9/11 Kansas City, MO- Sandstone Amphitheater
9/10/11 Indianapolis, IN- Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
9/11/11 Detroit, MI- DTE Energy Music Centre
9/13/11 Cleveland, OH- Blossom Music Center
9/15/11 Pittsburgh, PA- First Niagara Pavilion
9/16/11 Saratoga, NY- SPAC
9/17/11 Philadelphia, PA- Susquehanna Bank Center
9/18/11 Virginia Beach, VA- Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
9/20/11 Charlotte, NC- Charlotte Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
9/21/11 Atlanta, GA- Lakewood Amphitheater
9/23/11 Miami, FL- Cruzan Amphitheater
9/24/11 Tampa, FL- 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre
9/26/11 Houston, TX- Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
9/27/11 Dallas, TX- Gexa Energy Pavilion
9/29/11 Albuquerque, NM- Journal Pavilion
10/1/11 Anaheim, CA- Honda Center
10/2/11 Sacramento, CA- Sleep Train Amphitheatre
10/4/11 Concord, CA- Sleep Train Pavilion at Concord
10/5/11 San Francisco, CA- Shoreline Amphitheatre
10/7/11 Las Vegas, NV- Red Rock Resort, Spa & Casino
10/8/11 Los Angeles, CA- Hollywood Bowl
10/14/11 San Diego, CA- Cricket Wireless Amphitheater

For more tour information visit the Tour Page

FOOTNOTE:

Posted on the My Chemical Romance page is the awful circumstances that led to the drummer, Michael Pedicone, being fired from the band. He was caught red handed stealing from the band. That’s pretty bad and I feel sorry for the band. He was an excellent drummer. This was posted by Frank on Friday September 2, two days after the show in Vancouver.

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EP Review and Interview with … Letters To Elise


EP Review and Interview with Edmonton band Letters To Elise

EP Title: When It Meant Something

Release Date: April 12, 2011

by Jade Sperry

Jadedphotography

Letters To Elise have music that is a good mix of power pop, punk rock, synths and guitar driven songs which have infectious and catchy hooks. They also have a radio-friendly feel to their songs in general. This five song EP has good time changes (the song “Fake”), a soulful ballad that Brandon nails vocally (the song “Seven”) and is generally well mixed and mastered.

The band members are as follows: Brandon Pomerleau (lead guitarist/ vocals), Chris Marchlinski (rhythm guitar/vocals), Mike Iwanyshyn (keyboards), Patrick Moniz (bass) and Tyler Mensenchuk (drums). Patrick was kind enough to take some time out to answer some questions about the band and the music.

Jade:  What personal goals has the band as a whole achieved in the last year?

Patrick:  As a band, the goals that we have achieved would be the writing and releasing of our EP When It Meant Something. All the songs tell a separate story of something that has happened in our lives that was good and the bad times. The song “Seven” for example is probably our deepest and most meaningful song to our guitarist Brandon cause of the story behind the lyrics. “Fake” is an example of someone who is not always truthful to your face and is the kind of friend that might have stabbed you in the back or lied to your face. We made these songs hoping that maybe one of our fans or someone that happens to over hear it can listen to these songs or this whole EP, and relate to the music on a personal level.

J:  What personal goals has the band as a whole achieved in the last year and what goals in relation to the band are you setting now to work towards over the next year?

P:   Our goals for the future is to further promote our latest EP When it Meant Something which is currently available on iTunes and through the band at our shows. We don’t want to limit people so they feel forced to come to our shows just to buy a shirt or a CD. We have set up an online store, were you can buy the CD’s, posters and T-shirts. Other plans that we have is to hopefully tour in BC and get our single “Fake” on the Radio for some further promotion . The more publicity and interviews we get the more achieved we feel as a band.

J:  As a band, what has been the best thing that has happened, and the worst thing?

P:  The best thing that has happened to us as a band that we can all agree on was opening for Stereos in Calgary. The day we got the call we were so happy and stoked! Stereos was this unsigned band we used to do shows with when they were just a local Edmonton band. So we headed out to our jam space and made the plan. I don’t think any of us slept that night because we realized that it was a huge opportunity to play with them.. The next day, we all rushed around to prepare for the show. We packed up all of the equipment and headed out. Sadly our keyboardist Mike wasn’t able to join us on this date due to school.

Letters To Elise.  Photo courtesy of the band.

J:  How do you see the current state of the Corporate Music Industry? Do you think it has changed since the “old” days before the internet? And, how do you feel about the DIY bands that are becoming mainstream? (arcade fire for example).

P:  The Music Industry today has evolved in many ways. It definitely is not how it used to be when I was a kid. The Industry itself helps bands by telling them what the fans and people wanna hear, kind of like a guideline. But, a DIYB (do it yourself band) has the control and will eventually figure out the right way for the band.

J:  Do you feel that the band has control over how your music reaches the fans? And if yes why do you feel this way and what factors into that?

P:  I feel that it’s the bands’ responsibility to reach out to the fans by sending out a “Hey, what’s up? We are Letters To Elise, this is our music, have a t-shirt…Cheers!”. If we weren’t doing half the work we do to get our music out there we wouldn’t make it and most local bands wouldn’t make it. And we feel this way because we are a DIYB. We have full power over how the songs are heard . It’s all that good stuff.

J:  How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard your music before?

P:  Our music has more of a rock feel to it but also has a pop twist in there too. I tell people when they ask what we sound like and that is the band Yellowcard. It seems like the only band we as a band have come close to. Not on purpose, it was just something that we found fit our genre pretty well. We go for a sound that when people hear it, they go to their friends and say that they’ve never heard anything like it before. Or they might hear a hook that makes them listen to it over and over. It might be a lyric line that they can listen relate to and want to hear over. On one of our T-shirts has the phrase ” I Wanna Scream Fake at the Top Of My Lungs” which is a line in the single “Fake”. All of us know and remember the chants at our shows. We want people to hear the music and know that’s that what we represent and what we stand for.

J:  Who are the primary songwriters in the band?

P:  Chris and Brandon are the primary song writers in the band and they are the ones who bring in a guitar riff. Then we build that guitar riff into another part, and from there, we have a verse and a chorus of one song. Tyler will then get a beat over it and I come in and put a bass line down and Mike puts another masterpiece down on his keyboards. The song is then musically complete from start to finish and that’s when Chris and Brandon work on lyrics.

J:  How did you come up with the band name?

P:  The band name actually came from a Cure song called “Letter to Elise”.

J:  What is your opinion on the music scene in Vancouver? Do you feel that there are enough venues for bands to book shows? And is there a lot of competition as well?

P:  The Vancouver music scene to my eyes is blowing up slowly each day in a good way. I myself know a couple artists down there and they’ve got their song out there on Virgin Radio and Hot 107. A friend of mine is one of the members of a group out there called Dirty Radio. Their song is “My <3”. That song plays on Hot 107 every second day! I’ve flown down there and checked the venues out. There’s more venues in Vancouver than in Edmonton. The same problem exists in both cities – the venues are always booked up everyday of the week. If you walk down Granville Street in downtown Vancouver, they have street performers everywhere. On this corner someone’s rapping, and then on that corner you got a guy with an acoustic and a bongo and it just keeps going.

Thanks very much to Brandon and Patrick in answering these questions. Cheers guys!

The EP is a solid piece of work and the track listing is as follows:

  1. Addicted To Your Name
  2. Fake
  3. Seven
  4. Not Without A Fight
  5. Mannequin Down

Every song is personal to the band in some ways as Patrick said. One band that came to mind when I was listening to the first song on the EP called “Addicted To Your Name” is the band Neon Trees. This song is vocally delivered well by Brandon in that he gets the emotions across to the listener. A steady beat, good mix of guitars and keyboards and a catchy melody. “Fake” has good time changes especially when going into the chorus and coming back to the verse. I like the vocals and the effects over the vocals as they are subtle. The song “Seven” is a ballad with heart and soul. Brandon’s vocal work is done extremely well. The music is mellow, slow and languid and the song has depth as far as lyrics go. “Not Without A Fight” starts out with pounding drums and guitars whaling. The verses are stripped down, the time changes are good and the song flows. The last song “Mannequin Down” starts out with keyboards followed by a steady beat of the drum. The guitars are subtle. And the song just gels and all five members play as one unit.

Overall, this is a very solid band that has the drive and the talent to hit the next level. If you’re into bands like Neon Trees or Yellowcard, you need to check out the music and judge for yourself.

The Mip Power Trio on tour in BC


The Mip Power Trio on tour in British Columbia

The Mip Power Trio to Headline Smithers Midsummer Festival

and at various BC Locations

Toronto ON – June 25, 2011

Independent rock band The Mip Power Trio has been described by BC Musician Magazine as “a high-energy 3-piece band that mostly rocks with a quirky edge”. Smithers BC born Mip is excited about “getting her feet dirty” dancing and revisiting her festival roots with her two Toronto band-mates Jaash Singh and Greg Kowalczyk.

The Mip Power Trio will be a headlining act at the Smithers Midsummer Festival this year along with such luminaries as Watershed, Aurora Jane and Mip’s childhood hero Rick Scott.

The tour dates are as follows:

July 2, 2011 – Smithers 28th Annual Midsummer Festival, Smithers BC

July 3, 2011 – Smithers 28th Annual Midsummer Festival, Smithers BC

July 8, 2011 – Falconetti’s Eastside Bar and Grill, Vancouver BC, Opening for Joseph Blood

July 10, 2011 – Cafe Deux Soliels, Vancouver BC, Featuring Erica Mah

July 12, 2011 – Fort Street Cafe, Victoria BC, Guest to be announced

If you would like more information on The Mip Power Trio or if you would like to arrange an interview with Mip, please contact Marie Perry (647-678-3367) or email her at:

mipsmusic@gmail.com

The Mip Power Trio links:

Website

YouTube

Facebook

Twitter

MySpace

CD Review – The Strokes – Angles


CD Review – The Strokes – Angles

Release Date: March 22, 2011

by Jade Sperry

JadedPhotography

The Stokes are back with a 10 song collection on the new CD Angles.

Track listings:

  • Machu Picchu
  • Under Cover of Darkness
  • Two Kinds of Happiness
  • You’re So Right
  • Taken For A Fool
  • Games
  • Call Me Back
  • Gratisfaction
  • Metabolism
  • Life Is Simple In The Moonlight

As everyone pretty much knows The Strokes were formed when teenagers Julian Casablancas (Vocals), Nick Valensi (Guitar) and Fabrizio Moretti (Drums) started playing together at school and, after hooking up with Albert Hammond, Jr. (Guitar) and Nikolai Fraiture (Bass Guitar), they adopted ‘The Strokes’ as their name in 1999, playing local gigs to growing crowds. And they have maintained their fan base to date. Their new songs are collectively a solid set to get people excited.

First off is “Machu Picchu”. This song is a mixture of reggae inspired riffs and dreamy chord structures which The Strokes do so well . The melody of the song is good and the time changes are simple but effective. And Julian’s vocals fit the song very well. It speaks of jealousy and how to not fall into the trappings of disposable things. The fourth song, “You’re So Right” is a really well written song and kind of reminds me of the future of songwriting in some ways. The music reminds me of a twisted and updated Joy Division sound while the vocals are robotic and trace-like in some of the spoken words. Wow. At just over two and a half minutes this song is punk and electronic and Julian’s vocals punctuate in the right places in the verses – the chorus is stark and pleading. The lyrics are very 1984-like and remind me of a futuristic society and how their music might sound. The song is also forlorn in its subtle use of minor tones under the melody. My favorite track is the fifth song “Taken For A Fool”. Scathing lyrics that bite, a good melody, simple chord structures that flow and vocals that perfectly match the music. Loneliness, fast paced lifestyles, the small faults of others, toxic radio and not needing any more woman right now are talked about in a stream of consciousness kind of song. Other favorable mentions are the songs “Games”, “Call Me Back”, “Metabolism” and the final song “Life Is Simple In The Moonlight” which has a beautiful melody.

And The Strokes are now on tour. This article is hot off the press about The Strokes playing a show at SXSW concert which you can find here @ REUTERS.

Video – The Stokes – The making of Angles Part I January 2010

EP Review – Philoceraptor – Philsoraptor


EP Review – Philoceraptor – Philosoraptor

Released: November 2010

by Jade Sperry

Jadedphotography

Philoceraptor are a Vancouver trio who make some of the most interesting music in local bands here in the Lower Mainland. The band members are: Justin Penney (guitar and vocals), Phil Jette (drums) and Steve Mann (guitar and vocals). This is the band’s second EP release and it’s a stellar EP that has five songs that were produced, mixed and recorded by Matt Gauthier (who has recently relocated to Southern Ontario). The EP was recorded at two studios in the Lower Mainland – The Track Factory and Ocean Studios. Harris Newman of Grey Market Mastering in Montreal Quebec mastered the EP.

philoThe opening song “Races” has a garage/punk sound with a surfer rock feel to it. It has a good beat and the melody flows really well throughout the entire song. For this writer, this song speaks of becoming “black and blue” which could mean physical bruising from just running and going full tilt, burning out essentially. “Clever Girl” has a fast melody, good time changes and is lyrically about a girl that has captured the attention of one (or more) of the band members (you know that I’ll be seeing you/you’re twice as hot through jealous eyes.). “Gay Boy” is a cheeky song that has some humor in the lyrics. The melody is soft but this song is played hard through the bridge and chorus. Good drumming, vocal work and harmonies. Finding yourself in a gay bar when you aren’t gay and looking for company can be embarrassing. “Menthol Sweet” has a melody that is more radio-friendly than the other songs. Raw and desperate vocals mixed with the drums is always good thing. This song also has a surfer rock feel that is kind of happy (guitar work) and speaks of “never having the time for someone else” because that person has a full life. The final song, “Surfer”, is a song that just makes me want to get up and punk out by dancing in my living room. Lyrically, it speaks of making excuses to be with another person in an intimate encounter that could be a mistake of sorts. The music is choppy, fast and has some good time breaks and changes in the chorus.

All in all, this is another strong showing of Philoceraptor and what they do best – rock out and have fun doing it. You can download the first and second EP’s at the band’s Bandcamp page. They are both a free download but if you can afford to pay a small amount of money, the band would really appreciate it. And you can also find them on their MySpace page for all info and upcoming shows that the band is playing.