All the awesome photos posted here in this review were taken by Paul Jokelainen who has graciously shared them with me. Please clink the link below and take a moment to check out Paul’s photo’s from various Thunder Bay Concerts throughout the years!
Back in 2005 Rock The Fort was launched at Old Fort William here in Tbay which was a great thing. The first year featured a whole Can Con Lineup featuring bands that fellow Blog reader (from across the Ocean) Mr 1537 has never heard of like Trooper/Nick Gilder/Glass Tiger/Headpins/Prism and others. He will think I’m once again making these bands up!!
In 2006 when the festival returned we went World Wide with the Acts! The Lineup is posted below… June 16th-18th!
6:00 – 6:45 Katrina Chester
7:30 – 9:00 Lee Aaron
9:45 – 11:00 Heart
12:00 – 12:45 The Ryde
1:15 – 2:30 Alannah Myles
3:15 – 4:30 Helix
5:15 – 6:30 Foreigner with Lou Gramm
7:15 – 8:30 The Sweet
9:30 – 11:00 Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe
12:00 – 12:45 To be Announced
1:15 – 2:15 The Northern Pikes
3:00 – 4:30 Quiet Riot
5:15 – 6:30 The Stampeders
7:30 – 9:00 Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings
2005 the lineup did not interest me as these acts have been through many a time and I have seen them at various bars even when some still could sell out the 4000 seat Fort William “DUMP’ Gardens back in the day! Plus Tbone was getting married that weekend as well and I was busy practising the harmonica for my speech at his wedding!
2006 and this lineup intrigued me. Heart had never been here before and is anyone up for a little Vince Neil karaoke?
This show I’m going on total memory so bear with me folks! Along for the shows were of course The Boss and her bestie friend Dawn.
Lee Aaron came out and it was like 1984 all over again when I had her pictures on my bedroom wall of the Metal Queen album where she is swinging the sword and looking METAL! After doing who knows what with her career from 1991 to 2006 she looked and sounded pretty damn good if I don’t say so myself. It was like I was 16 years old again back in 1984 when Lee and her band played the hits like Whacha Do To My Body/Hands Off and of course Metal Queen. Than I snapped back into reality!
Heart the Friday Night Headliner came out and played all there mega hits. Especially when those Wilson sisters were bad ass in the 70’s and tonight they cranked out those tunes like Crazy On You/Barracuda/Kick It Out/Magic Man and also some Zep tracks were tossed in. Course the 80’s tunes that propelled em back to the top were played and were talking about songs like What About Love/These Dreams/Alone. Nancy Wilson is beast on guitar especially doing that crazy ass picking on Crazy On You. Her sister Ann can still belt it out as well… Good Live Act to end Night 1!
By the time we rolled into the Grounds for Day 2 Alannah Myles was playing all those tunes from that debut album of her’s from 1990 that sold mega units along with the video for Black Velvet. Plus opening for Robert Plant at the time didn’t hurt her any. Sixteen years later Alannah is still plying her trade singing for her supper. People liked her….I liked the Metal Queen Better!
Hey! Look its our favourite Can Rock Fella Brian Vollmer and his Helix home boys showing up doing what they do best and that s giving everyone an “R!” Back in 2006 it was just Vollmer and some dudes bashing out the catalogue of Helix tunes. Even though Vollmer is the only original cat left at that time in Helix. He takes his craft seriously and for that you have to hand it to him…
Foreigner with Lou Gramm. Well Lou was here but that was not Foreigner with him. Most people here wouldn’t care but get the billing right people. Lou was good, played the good rocking stuff from his days from his old band and also blasted out Midnight Blue which I thought was a great track from his solo album back in 1987 or so….
Than it started to Rain…and Rain …and Rain….
That didn’t dampen The Sweet with Andy Scott leading the charge and playing basically the Greatest Hits album that we all own. Fox On The Run/The 6 Teens/Little Wily/Ballroom Blitz/Wig Wam Bam. Some dude with frizzy hair like Dee Snider was slamming the bass and was show upon himself. Well ,If I didn’t spot with my little eye seeing the soon to the stage Headliner Vince Neil watching from the side during Sweets set.
More Rain…Rain ….Rain….
It was getting dark. We were soaked/cold and waiting for Vince and his backup band which is basically Slaughter to get there asses out on stage and let’s get this show going.
Nope..whatever the problem was we waited and it was fucking annoying….
Finally there’s Vince and his Hired Crue opening with Live Wire (I think) and Vince was making the crowd sing basically every second or third word. By The sixth song I told the Boss and Dawn we could split as I had enough. Vince was on fire when I seen the Crue back in 1990. 16 years later though it was brutal. Vince’s band was ok. The dude on Guitar was overplaying and hot dogging . Between him and Vince and well lets face it bass player(Dana Strum) still plays that goofy bass that he used back in the Vinnie Vincent Invasion. By this point that Bass Guitar was even irking me! haha…
I Had Enough…
Kudos to The Sweet who I thought were the band of the day!
Back on Sunday and hey Here Comes The Sun! Rain was gone….
Missed the band called “To Be Announced’ Haha… Northern Pikes were good this day. Never seen em before but had one cassette and one disc of theres and they started off with a lot of songs us Canucks have heard. Hopes Go Astray/She Ain’t Pretty/ Teenland/Believe. Good band and down to a 3 piece unit that day.
Well here’s Kevin Dubrow along with sidekick Frankie Banali kicking off with a few open bars of Metal Health (good attention grabber as everyone knows that opening ) than ripping into Put Up or Shut Up from the maligned QR 3 album. Always dug this track and it came across live real good as it wasn’t glossed over with keys like the studio version. Quiet Riot showed up man. They played what they were supposed to play(Cum On Feel The Noise/Mama Were All Crazee Now/Metal Health) and dug deep into the back catalogue with tracks like ThunderBird/Lets Get Crazy/Sign of the Times/Party All Night/Slick Black Cadalliac . This being the third time I have seen them here in Tbay this was the best show I seen from them. Dubrow was in a great mood as the crowd was big (12000 I believe) and yeah man…Metal Health will drive ya mad! Sadly Dubrow passed away less than a year later in 2007.
More Cancon in the form of The Stampeders came out and played there hits and they were ok on a different level. The songs were good but their energy level was nil especially when comparing them to Quiet Riot….
Randy Bachman/Burton Cummings headlined the Sunday night and it was a show featuring many of the hits they did together in the Guess Who(American Woman/Undun/These Eyes) and it was cool to see each other guy jam the other guy’s solo catalogue. They were a good headliner but once again a different vibe….
When all was said and done I thought Sweet/Heart and Quiet Riot were the winners. They showed up did there deal.Collected there loot and split unlike Vince Neil who showed up/collected his pay and I split after 6 tracks!
For the record I have zero interest in ever seeing Vince again not even if Neil showed up with Sixx/Lee/Mars. Gah! Must thank my Brother in Law Lenny who got us Backstage for the Sunday portion of the show. Some day I will write about it but for now…. Adios!