BIG WRECK: NV Music Hall (November 15th 2019)-Thunder Bay

Canadian Rockers Big Wreck rolled into Tbay on a Friday night and proved without a doubt that Rock (for one night that is!) is alive and well in this town which may come as a shock to some.

NV Music Hall was packed (Sold Out) and I mean packed for BW leader Ian Thornley who returns to Tbay supporting the latest release  ‘…but for the sun’.

(above shot of Big Wreck in Tbay- Cabin Media took the pic-Nov 15/19)

Taking the stage just after 10pm Big Wreck came out of the gates with the opening track from there latest release called ‘Voices’ followed by ‘In My Head’ which features some really slick off the top soloing by Ian.

And we’re off!

‘That Song’ which was one of the biggie singles from the debut album In Loving Memory of(1997)   proved to be the first of more than a few crowd participation numbers which was actually quite good to see in this town as crowds at shows here (especially at the stuffy Auditorium) can be mellow to say the least.

Shows you the depth of material built up in the BW catalog that they can dial up and blast out one of there most popular tunes third song in the show!

That’s saying something!

(above photo was taken by my pal Jeff Yahn whom I call the Yahnmower Man! Great Shot!)

‘Locomotive’ one of the best if not the best rock radio track I have heard this year soared as Ian and fellow 6 stringer Chris Cadell did some dual slide guitar throughout this track which at times sounded like a Locomotive coming off the tracks! This song was so good that I told Tbone when it ended that I would be ok to hear it played again and again. So good!

Tbone said it best that Thornley is a musician first and foremost as his guitar chops and vocals prove that point! Hell if you don’t believe Tbone ask Myles Kennedy(AlterBridge/Slash) who says Ian is one of the best in the biz!

‘Too Far Gone’ (with that cool ZZ Top guitar jam out at the end of the song) which was another newbie was played as six tracks in total were played from ‘…but for the sun’ that proves that BW is moving forward with music but with also keeping everyone happy about still dipping back in there past and playing the songs that brought them to a prominent level in Canada.

For us Canucks, two Tragically Hip tunes were played the first being a snippet of ‘Ahead by a Century’ which led into ‘Wolves’ which was a cool move. The element of surprise so to speak.

The show had a great pace to it. Some of the songs that the band stretched out(Albatross that featured a double-neck guitar* along with a snippet of Amazing Grace) which would be followed by shorter numbers like the brilliant ‘Inhale’ which features big bombastic riffs of Zep like rock that just soars.

‘Blown Wide Open’ ended the set amidst a bit of feedback of the instruments but before long BW was back out onstage for a encore that featured the second Hip cover of the night that being ‘In View’ which had Drummer Chuck Keeping and Bassist Dave MacMillian holding the rhythm fort down exceptionally! Cool that ‘In View’ was played in full!

Speaking of which there is no musical weak link in Big Wreck as each player is phenomenal on there instrument!

The boys ended the night with ‘The Oaf’ which has that Who like synth opening yet Ian does it on his guitar and the final song must have clocked in at over 10 minutes! What a way to wrap up a solid night of rock!

Openers Texas King hailing from London Ontario are an energetic band on the up and up with there current single ‘Chandelier’ denting the charts in Canada. Never heard of these guys before tonight but if they ever make it back to Tbay they are worth going and checking out as they work every inch of stage afforded to them. Texas King sound is like a Red Bull-Steroid infused shot of Counting Crows!

Good to see BW play in front of a lively crowd here in town as at the last Big Wreck show here back at the local outdoor Bluesfest the word I heard was that Ian was not amused by the lawnchair crowd sitting on there hands so to speak. I wasn’t there so I can’t say for sure. I will add that maybe a jam-filled club is more up Ian’s alley than a bunch of lazy’s in lawn chairs!

I have to thank local promoter Frank Marino who went beyond the call of duty to take care of me and Tbone and for getting us into the show! Thanks a bunch, Frank. It was a blast.

Tbone though was in classic mode as when we arrived at the venue we were still a half-hour away from the door opening. No one here in town is ready for winter about to descend in Tbay so we were  not dressed for the elements.

Tbone took matter into his own hands and sent Frank this message!

Ha! Tbone is a great typer but his fingers were frozen. Within a few seconds the door swung open and a staffer asked if there was fella named Troy present!

Bam we went from the back of the line (about 40 people) to the front! Cold to Heat in seconds!

Felt like a Big Shot for about a minute!

*-kudos to the Guitar and Bass Tech fella’s that continually changed out guitar after guitar after each song!


26 thoughts on “BIG WRECK: NV Music Hall (November 15th 2019)-Thunder Bay”

    1. Thanks Pete! Great show period! Thronely just goes about his business doing what he wants to do and there’s an audience as was evidenced here this past Friday.
      Tbone is classic man. An endless parade of material to work with when it comes to him! lol


  1. Brilliant! These guys are one of my favourite ‘new to me’ bands this year. Completely blew my socks off (and being sockless in this weather is no laughing matter!) and I’ve been hitting up the new album a fair bit.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I saw the band and agreed with everything except the Hip covers. I love the Hip but Ian was way too sedate for me on his Hip songs. I was used to seeing Gordie improvising and acting like Joe Cocker on cocaine. For me, maybe a very short intro and a “we miss you Gord” or something would have done the trick. For some it has been a long time since Gord left. For me it still seems like yesterday. You liked them and many at my show liked them so what do I know.

    I guess while I’m on a downer topic, I was surprised there was no mention of Brian Doherty. Again, a “miss you Brian” would have been welcomed.

    I enjoyed the show but since I’m not a big shot like you I went in with the masses. I missed the openers but I bought their cd, and the dude at the table signed it.

    Then I peeked into the 2 openings from lobby. Both had people crammed right to the door. I stood against the open door. If you ever want to know what a football tackling dummy feels like, go to full show at the Guelph Concert Theatre and stand against the door.

    Great review.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HAHA..Joe Cocker on Cocaine. Brilliant. Looking back I wonder if the Amazing Grace intro Ian plays is the tribute? Don’t know that for sure as I’m just specualting.
      Texas Kings were a good opening act. Lots of Red Bull energy up there on stage.
      Thanks for reading Pal!


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