As with any time you hit the town, it’s always good to pre-drink. Thus, I began the night drinking in a parked car owned by James Manning’s (Dancing With Paris) girlfriend. After establishing a decent buzz we proceeded inside to meet up with some more friends and enjoy the ska and punk which the night would provide us with.
The first few bands were your run-of-the-mill ska bands, but decent nonetheless. I haven’t been at a show like this in a while; a big punk show. It really brought me back; the sweat, the crowd going crazy, stage dives, huge mosh pits and, of course, people passing out from heat exhaustion. The Pheonix Concert Theatre was packed and saw the biggest 19+ crowd I’ve seen at an all ages show in a long time.
I have to tip my metaphorical hat to Dreadnoughts. Using a mandolin, banjo, fiddle, accordion and your regular instruments to achieve their sound is brilliant. I’m almost positive I’ve seen these guys play in the past. Regardless, I recommend you check them out.
Second to last was Toronto’s own The Creepshow, Toronto Psychobilly at its best. This band puts on a wicked live show, and the energy from the audience is amazing. Everyone went wild and with good reason. Great stage presence, a bunch of new songs and a tight set, it’s no wonder they draw huge crowds that sing along to every song. Anywhere you are around the world, The Creepshow will be there soon and I highly recommend going to the show and buying the new album.
Montreal’s The Planet Smashers finished off the night with a bang. I’m pretty sure the last time I saw this band was years ago at a much smaller venue than the Phoenix. That being said, this show was much more enjoyable. The crowd, that hadn’t lost their energy from the previous bands, went ape-shit for The Planet Smashers. More crowd-surfing, bigger mosh pits and a good vibe all around; TPS is definitely a huge party for your ears. If you’re not at the next Planet Smashers show in your town, you’re really missing out. All-in-all if you weren’t there, you missed out. How do you live with yourself? It truly was a great show and it surprised me how many people still listen to punk, ska, psychobilly and everything else in between. I figured the whole scene died out years ago while I was still in high school; in any case, I left the show happy due to a plethora of reasons and you just may too.
I want to send a shout-out to Mike Magee, the label rep from Union Label group who hooked me up with the show review and invited me to the after party; dude, you’re fuckin’ rad and we’re grabbing some reasonably priced beer next time I’m out your way instead of the over-priced booze we have here in Ontario. Also in attendance was vocalist, James Manning and bassist, John Dow of Dancing With Paris; a few members of The Johnstones and, of course, Cole from the now disbanded Rosesdead (who works at the venue).
The Creepshow, The Planet Smashers, The Dreadnoughts; check them out now and if you're down with awesome acoustic, check out Sarah Blackwood's (The Creepshow) solo material. [ END ]