By: Nicole Wolfe
When: September 26, 2015
Venue: The Roxy Sideroom
Where: Barrie, Ontario
What do you get when you put seven indie rock groups under one roof? In the case of ROCK-A-PALOOZA 2, the roof was blown right off of the Roxy Sideroom! This event was hosted by 53rd & 3rd Promo, and featured an eclectic mix of rock, metal, grunge and punk. There was no room for ballads or love songs at this event. Fans eagerly thrashed around to several high octane set lists from bands who came prepared with plenty of gas in the tank!
Local band, The Noolands were the first to take to the stage. This show was their first time performing live, and did they ever live up to their anticipated hype. It was fun to watch them continually rotate through different instruments during their set as they each took turns playing drums, keys and guitar. The Noolands did a great job warming up the crowd for the bands that followed. Fans won’t have to wait long to see them again. They will be playing at The Beach Bar and Grill on Saturday in Innisfil. Welcome to the world of rock, boys! May the ride be as exciting for you as it is for your fans.
From the Ruins, another local band, followed next. This band exuded confidence and class on the stage and their sound was phenomenal! Dual guitars showcased their talent with grungy melodies and their harmonized vocals were haunting. Their sound was reminiscent of Australian band, Silverchair. From the Ruins will also be performing again soon, on October 23, in Orillia. This band is one to watch in the future. I have my suspicions they are just a break out waiting to happen!
Before the show I had the opportunity to sit down with the next band, Toronto based, The Sole Pursuit to discuss their new LP, Infinite Regress. Stay tuned on the Canadian Beats website for this video interview. The 4-member band played an amped-up set list that has stripped away any mid-tempo songs and ballads in favour of an aggressive rock/punk set. The Sole Pursuit puts on a polished but fun-loving performance. The energy of bassist Dylan Burrett is infectious, the shredding of guitarist AJ Perry impressive, the complicated and tight drumming of Adam Hay resonates through the body as he keeps tempo with finesse and the lead vocals of Kyle Dawe are raw and engaging. The Sole Pursuit is just finishing up the Eastern Canadian leg of their nationwide tour and will resume the Western Canadian leg in a few short weeks.
Die Sci Fi, a heavy-rocking 3-member band from Alliston, followed. The sounds of the evening got a little bit darker and heavier. Their punk rock songs featured contagious vocal lines and aggressive guitar riffs. Their performance drew the crowds in closer to the stage. One could not help but groove to their songs. Die Sci Fi is currently booking for the fall and winter so stay tuned for more concert dates soon.
The next two bands to take the stage are just finishing a very successful tour together. ROCK-A-PALOOZA was the final stop on the Tabarnak and Back Tour for Voltang and Kill Matilda. Voltang, heralding from Hamilton, delivered a high energy performance on stage. They pulled out all the stops when it came to the grinding veil of riffs and sultry guitar shredding, heart pounding drums, fat bass lines and gutteral vocals. Their style definitely airs on the side of raunch and their t-shirts, proudly displayed at the merch table, proved it. Voltang is set to embark on an extensive, Ontario-wide tour in the fall including a chance to open for the Misfits in Toronto.
Kill Matilda was the first of two bands to perform, that featured hard rocking heroines on lead vocals. Fresh off of their tour with Voltang, this Vancouver based group commanded attention with a performance that peppered hints of classic punk layered with gothic rock ’n’ roll goodness. Lead singer Dusty shone as she belted out the plethora of Kill Matilda’s songs. They are also heading out on tour in Western Canada, for October, with the Nailheads.
The headlining act, The Anti-Queens closed out the show in style. These two ‘Queen Bees and a Prince’ performed their hearts out in their classic punk/grunge/rock styling. The lyrics of their songs match the evocativeness of their performance, and the audience happily sang along to them. Watching The Anti-Queens on stage stimulated my senses almost to the point of opulent overload. They looked the part of traditional grunge rock with ripped fishnet stockings, leather, and dyed hair. Their sonic landscapes were bursting with heavy reverb, filling their songs with angst and aggression. They brought the crowd right to the edge and rode out that intensity throughout the entire set.
ROCK-A-PALOOZA has established itself as a force to be reckoned with on the local indie punk/grunge/rock/metal scene in Barrie. A huge thank you to 53rd & 3rd Promo for supporting this event. Come out and support local indie talent by attending one of their concerts in the near future!
To see the rest of the photos from ROCK-A-PALOOZA 2, head to our Facebook page! Don’t miss out, because there are lots more!
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I’m Nicole, a biology teacher by day, but my life revolves around music. I’m that girl that you will always find with the concert t-shirt on and ear buds in. It is rare that you find me without some type of music playing in the background. I connect all of my life experiences to music. It truly has its own language in my heart. There is nothing more exciting than taking in all that a concert has to offer. I love to support local Canadian acts and attend as many shows that I can.