Category Archives: Live Stuff….

Well i seen a few faces at these shows and we rocked em all!

Concert Review: Portland Rock City as KISS Says Farewell — Drew’s Reviews

Folk’s check out my blogging pal Drew who hails from Oregon! Drew wrote an excellent review of the second date of the KISS tour last night when the 4 Greasepaints blew into Portland and played the show/collected their Loot and split! Great writeup and while your at follow his excellent written blog cuz Deke told ya so!

OK, let’s just forget the music. You either like KISS and appreciate their music or you just don’t care for it thus don’t listen. Yes, I suppose you can hate them especially if you ever got into a stare down with Gene Simmons. But you can’t really dismiss KISS because no one came before them […]

via Concert Review: Portland Rock City as KISS Says Farewell — Drew’s Reviews


Van Halen: The Ambulance Tour (August 18 & 19th 1995)-Toronto


So Van Halen hits the tour circuit in the Summer of 1995 and announces  two shows in Toronto(both sellouts) that myself and The Boss (my wife Sue)  attended which was  cool for the fact that it’s not to often well ever actually that a band I have gone to see has played back to back nights in the same city!

So if you’re traveling all the way from Thunder Bay why not go to both nights! So we did!

Halen was touring in support of the decent Balance studio record which came out earlier in 95. By the time the tour hit Toronto it was dubbed the Ambulance Tour Drummer Alex Van Halen was sporting a neck brace while Brother/Guitarist Eddie Van Halen was having hip issues from perhaps the  many years of his body taking a hard toll from the stage and beyond….

Opening  was hometown Toronto Act Our Lady Peace that had been playing  a bunch of shows in the U.S for Halen. I knew of OLP by MuchMusic playing there videos but hadn’t taken the bait yet but they played a tight 8 song set which featured a cover version of Neil Youngs ‘The Needle and the Damage Done’. 

After a quick changeover VH hits the stage opening with Right Now which surprised me to be totally honest with you. The tempo of Right Now is kicked up a notch live so it worked out. The show leaned heavily on the current Balance album of course(7 songs deep)   out of the 22 played that night in T.O.

Along with the opener (Right Now)Poundcake/Top of the World represented 1991’s F.U.C.K record while Why Can’t This Be Love/Dreams came from 1986’s 5150 album.

1988’s O.U.8.1.2 had one song featured the  brilliant Mine All Mine which for me was a highlight as I love that dribble like synth ala The Who and Halen just sledgehammer there sound over the track.

So if you’re wondering about the Davey Roth era…..well Jump and set ending Panama were played and a snippet of another track was played as the video below for a ‘PSYCH-OUT-MOMENT’

The crowd went bonkers when Ed/Alex and Eddie did that little snippet than just like that……..done! HAHA

If you recall when  I reviewed a ways back here at Arena Rock Halen’s 1991 show and by the time 1995 rolled around  it was easy to see how Halen had aged in 4 years. Musically a little more serious and Live as well.

Case in Point:

1991- Eddie was sliding all over the stage and doing those crazy Flying Eddie’s   while knocking back a can of Heineken after each song.

1995- Eddie  did very few Flying Eddie’s. As well from what I remember he didn’t chug any alcohol as well. It was an older wiser Eddie. Yeah he still brought his A game in regards to his guitar playing like that would be in doubt!

Sammy Hagar/Micheal Anthony had the energy that night and you know they were the live goofball’s in Halen at that point which countered pointed  the two somewhat crippled Brothers….

The set list was the exact same each night with the only exception was Feelin was flipped out in favour of Aftershock during the back to back nights.

Both shows were good and the crowd was into it. MuchMusic filmed it and televised it. Halen was supposedly going to release this as an official video but by Sam quitting or getting fired whoever you believe the video was canned but thanks to YouTube it’s all there…

If I was to pick which Sammy Halen show I preferred out of the 3 Sam shows I seen in the 90’s  I would probably pick the 1991 performance as Halen was a little more heavier/loosey-goosey in their performance at the Winnipeg show. A few years aged and Halen though still delivered it in 1995 A little more serious  but things were going on internally as well but at that time I like many others had no idea what would happen in less than a year…..

**- So I see there are rumours out there floating about that Mikey may return to Halen? Whadda think? Myself I have a few Theories..

1- Mikey denied it but if he signed a deal he would have to keep his mouth shut regardless. So maybe/maybe not?

2-Eddie Trunk made a great point on his Radio Broadcast that if Anthony goes back it’s not as a member he will cut a deal just like how Roth since he has returned cuts a deal to get X amount of dollars to do shows /album etc. Basically  your people talk to my people etc… Play the concerts collect the Loot..move on!

3-Hagar can now blame Ed and Alex for stealing his Chickenfoot Bass Player! HAHA…

4-I would like it to happen personally as Dave could use the help on the vocals! The lead vocals will still be messy but Mikey will shift a ton of focus on him by just being there and we all know Anthony still has his vocals…

5-Ticket Boost as the 2015 Tour was patchy in some markets! Ask Brian ‘BOP’ Zinger about the London Ontario outdoor show! No new album to plug so the promoters of the London show lost $500,000 as they were expecting 15,000 only 7,500 attended!

OUCH! And…

“Another tour on the receiving end of negative industry chatter: Van Halen,” Billboard magazine says in a July report on summer tours. “One source says that the Live Nation shed trek is suffering from ‘some real bad counts’ — as low as 4,000 out of the gate — and another notes that the outing, which began July 5 in Seattle, is ‘definitely one in trouble.’”

Double Ouch!! But on a Lighter Note…

6- Most importantly The return of the Jack Daniels Bass!

So do you think Mikey returns to the chaos known as VH??


WinterStorm Rock Festival-Troon Scotland!

Hey Folk’s! I’m pretty psyched to bring to you a Concert Review from across the Pond! A good pal of mine, the one and only ‘Tattoo Dave’ who is a Thunder Bayian through and through moved to Scotland a few years ago and set up shop! Tattoo Dave loves Heavy Rock and back In the day we had endless discussions  at work about all things Metal! I will say the great thing about FaceCrack is you can still stay in touch with people so I was pretty pumped when Dave sent me this review of ‘WinterStorm’ to my messenger account. I shot him a message back saying I would like to post it as he reviewed the whole damn festival! Check it out …Writes with a great sense of humour! Plus Davey rates the acts out of 10!
Take it away Tattoo Dave……
Hey brother, thought I would fill you in on the festival I was at with the Sooz(wife) this weekend…WinterStorm in Troon (I’m sure if you Google it you can see a full band listing) and all I can say is WOW…..the good was amazing and the bad was horrific!!!
Let’s start with the bad….and it has one name, GIRLSCHOOL!!!!….It’s like my buddy said after their set “almost 40 years huh, you’d think they would have attempted to learn to play their chosen instruments” ….a 2/10. I will say they have a great stage presence but that is the end of the talent!!
A band called the Sin Dogs came next (ex Nazareth guitarist and Alex Harvey lead guitarist) and what I can say is that he came out in a mood as they had no sound check (it’s a 3 day festival, nobody got one) so he starts the first song and proceeds to accidentally rip the wireless plug out of his guitar and it fell into pieces, he jumped on the Mic and badmouth the Promoters, the Band, the Roadie’s and everyone else before throwing his beer against the stage, getting through 3 CRAP songs and walking off stage to an audience that stopped listening 2.5 songs previous.  1/10.
I held low hopes for the rest of the festival……..BUT….. Magnum came out and for a bunch of guys who must be pushing 70 they lit the place up, I didn’t know this band but I’ve been told they had fame similar to WARRANT or Poison  in the UK/Europe, and I can say that they did make the Friday worthwhile, sometimes the band and crowd just click and Magnum had the crowds full attention from the first song to the last, and the honesty of the band is great as the lead singer said “We can either walk off stage and come back to do one encore or just stay on stage and do two” A 9/10 and I’m hard to please. That was it for Friday, GUN was headlining Friday night but by the time they took the stage it was time to go home and let the pups out for a pee……
Day 2: Bernie Torme (ex Gillian, and some work with Ozzy) and I can say the crowd seems to love it, I’m not a fan of a guy whose instrument is twice as loud as everyone else on stage never mind the 10 minute solos every song (see BLS) I begrudgingly give them a 5/10, the backup band seemed to enjoy themselves…next was Girlschool (see above, pure shite)
Then out came Geoff Tate who’s doing Operation MindCrime on his tour, sadly I preferred Empire but am a fan irregardless…the man’s voice is still smooth and spot on and the band is a perfect fit with one guy doing all backup vocals, guitar, keys and bongos as the other members of the band had their hands full. I was quite impressed but the ungodly theatrics by Geoff were vomit inducing as he looked to be auditioning for a spot in a west end play, the barf bucket was at hand as his daughter slowly paced out on stage wearing a horrible black cape and dollar store blonde wig, she took about 2 minutes to get to her spot and 15 seconds to sing her lines as her DAD over acted and fell at her feet….we all emptied our full buckets and Geoff sang us a few more songs before leaving stage to a massive applause….I gave it 8/10 but the acting got a solid 0/10…..
NEXT… Wayward Sons (lead vocals by Toby Jepson, formerly of little Angels, a popular UK band back in the day) wow…….just wow….I can say if I still smoked/drank I would have went for a beer and a dart when these guys hit the stage because I pre-listened on Amazon music and wasn’t too impressed, cookie cutter rock n roll….BUT….once in a while there’s a band that is ONLY meant for live shows and this band is one of them, I was blown away at the showmanship and stage presence of this entire band, from the kick-u-in-the-face guitars to the gritty vocals I was impressed as hell, the lead singer said it was great to be playing live again as he actually stopped playing for a few years and got a job when the gigs dried up, he said that the album they released in 2017 was their last shot at it and was very thankful to the entire crowd…..a solid 9/10….
Then it was the highlight of the night, The Dead Daises .….sweet jeebus…now THATS how a band should be!!! They had the crowd up and pumping fists and singing along by song number two….John Corabi has vocals for days and a great sense of humour…..the band is as tight as hell. While looking at the crowd in the middle of song 3. I saw not one person who wasn’t in the zone and having a ball, it was up there with the best acts I’ve seen, they played 20 minutes  over and almost had to be torn off stage but the crowd wanted more and Johnny and the boys delivered…..if they come to TBay check em out!!!!
Best £70 spent for these tickets…..already buying tickets for next year.
Oh…..funny wee PS this is the first concert I’ve ever been to that had a bar selling alcohol and another bar selling pies (meat,haggis,fruit,macaroni etc) Best smelling Concert Hall in history!!!


Alice Cooper: Live in Thunder Bay(August 29th 2018)



Back in February of this year my brother Todd was in Colorado skiing with his family when one night the phone rang and Todd asked me one simple question.  “I got a line on front row tickets for Alice Cooper when he plays Thunder Bay in August!”


I had no idea Coop was coming to town as no announcement was made but somehow a few days before the official word came down that Alice was indeed playing our hometown Todd maneuvered quickly grabbed us two front row seats and….


Think about it for a second! There’s my Brother in another country and finds out that Coop is playing Tbay while I’m here in Tbay lazing around on my couch and have no idea!  Never did ask him how that came about..

39 years of seeing live shows and I finally get Front Row! Even though it’s at our local Auditorium where the place is run by Stuffy Suits . I really  hope the  Coop demolishes the Auditorium!

Did He? Keep reading!

Before we proceed I have to Thank my Brother Todd  and Adriana Coslett for additional photos to my Review! Thanks a bunch. I shot lots but I’m a hack with a camera so a few of my shots are here as well!

So Alice Cooper is 70 years young and talk about stamina! This is the second of three shows in three nights that the Coop is playing! Winnipeg-Thunder Bay- St Paul! Which acts still roll at this pace?

Exactly….no one or if they do not many!

Coop doesn’t fool around as opening track ‘Brutal Planet’ proves as Alice hits the stage amidst  smoke and a wall of sparks! To say Alice doesn’t command the stage would be the understatement of the past 5 Decades of Cooper’s career!

All the tricks of Coops Live show were forefront throughout the night! Whether it was whipping Dollar bills at the crowd during ‘Billion Dollar Babies’ or getting sizzled halfway through ‘Feed my Frankenstein’ only for a 10 foot Coop to emerge and stalk the stage while the band played on til the end of the track.


Speaking of the band they were phenomenal! Just over Six Years ago I seen Alice open for ‘Iron Maiden’ in Wisconsin. This band has the exact same band members except for the Lady of the band, Guitarist Nita Strauss who ironically came to the Coop from an all female Iron Maiden tribute act!

The other two Guitarists Tommy Henriksen and Ryan Roxie  along with Bassist  Chuck Garric held down the fort musically along with Drummer Glen Sobel who is a show amongst himself!

Ryan Roxie handled a bunch of solos! Excellent Guitarist!


These guys are not just backing musicians no sir they are right up front with the Boss! Flinging out solo after solo with Nita getting her own solo time along with Glen on the drums!

See that’s the thing with Coop and if you have seen the Documentary ‘Hired Gun’ Coop demands the best out of his band and its also of note that Alice must be  a Great Boss as you have never heard anyone diss there stint in the Cooper band. The fact that this lineup has been intact for numerous years is a sentiment in itself!

‘Poison’/’Cold Ethyl’ with more theatrics along with a recent track from last years fantastic release ‘Paranormal’ was the brilliant ‘Paranoiac Personality’ song.

Here is Alice in a Straight Jacket trying to get out of here in ‘Ballad of Dwight Fry’ which has to be one of my go to Alice Tunes Ever! The song is a well constructed song of a ballad that builds up right into the chorus!

More theatrics follow as a Looped out Nurse(Played by Alice’s wife) pokes and prods at Alice when the Guillotine  appears and off Goes Alice’s head thanks to the chopping block! Bassist Garrick leads the crowd with a chant of ‘I Love The Dead’ while the band thunders on behind him while Coops head is on display by the Guillotine!

Love this stuff!

‘I’m Eighteen’ has Alice stumbling around with a cane and you forget that Alice is 70! Just like that his set is over!

But not before too long Alice emerges(gone is his back leather look in its place he’s dressed in white with blood all over the place!) and blasts out one track and that would be one of the Ultimate Rock Classics in Coop’s catalogue of rock and that would be ‘School’s Out’  which includes half way through  a snippet of ‘Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick In The  Wall’ with huge balloons/confetti  being tossed about the crowd. But before Alice splits for good as the song winds down he introduces each person in the band.  He introduced Guitarist Tommy Henriksen as being from Thunder Bay. Hahaha…which brought a ton of laughs! I will go on record as this show was ‘LOUD!’

Just like that the show is over as Alice heads into the Tbay Night!  As far as Thunder Bay concerts I have seen this has to be one of if not the best show I have ever seen in this town!

Let’s face facts here folk’s! Alice Cooper and his Wicked Band showed up! Played a fast paced high theatrical show filled with Props/Smoke/Pyro/Songs.  Basically Alice schooled everyone  on how to perform at a very high level and give a top-notch performance while leaving the  Auditorium in a mess! Beautiful I say!

I told Todd on the way home that Coop doesn’t fool around with Bullshit Banter to the crowd! Todd replied that by the Coop not talking between songs cuts out about a half hour of the show. Instead of a 2 hour show with half an hour of “Hey Thunder Bay” Alice just hammers out tune after tune!


The Tunes That Blew out my Ears!

Brtual Planet/No More Mr Nice Guy/Under My Wheels/Billion Dollar Babies/Be My Lover/Lost in America/Serious/Fallen in Love/Woman of Mass Destruction/Poison/Halo of Flies/Feed My Frankenstein/Cold Ethyl/Only Woman Bleed/Paranoiac Personality/Ballad of Dwight Fry/Killer/I  Love The Dead/I’m Eighteen.

Encore: School’s Out(Another Brick In The Wall snippet)

Left the show with $200 in Coop Currency and Two Guitar Pics along with a  T-Shirt! Great Night!



The Northern Pikes: Live on the Waterfront(Thunder Bay-July 18th/18)

When Northern Pikes  Bassist/Singer Jay Semko announced to the  3000 plus crowd that gathered down at Thunder Bay’s Waterfront Wednesday Night that it has been close to 30 years when the Pikes second album Songs From The Alibi was released it was in a way like no time had passed but in actuality 3 decades have passed!

The rest of the Pikes that being Bryan Potvin (guitar/vocals), Don Schmid(drums), Kevin Kane(guitar/vocals) played a 60-65 minute set that featured a lot of Pike Hits throughout the years.

Taking the stage shortly after 8pm the 4 men launched into the perfect opener that being “Big Blue Sky” fitting track if any as there wasn’t  a cloud n the sky  and from there it was right into one of my favourites with ‘Hopes Go Astray’.  It’s truly amazing how many of these songs were played out on MuchMusic back in the day.

‘Wait For Me,Teenland,Things I Do For Money,Girl With A Problem,Kiss Me You Fool,She Ain’t Pretty. Tons of Good Ol Fashioned Canadian Rock field the Wednesday Night  Marina Air!

I must add that the last time I had seen the Pikes(2006) they were down to a 3 piece with a keyboardist but now they are back to a rocking 4 piece(2 Guitars/No Keys) as Kevin Kane once played in another Canadian Act The Grapes of Wrath.  Kane performed two Grapes of Wrath tunes one being ‘Peace of Mind’ which itself was played a ton on MuchMusic as well!

It’s amazing how good these guys sound vocally as well as musically. Potvin especially when duty calls can still let it rip on the 6 string and ease of the gas pedal when needed!

A great night of ROCK! Plain and Simple!

Hopefully it doesn’t take these guys another 12 years to get back to Tbay!

Photo’s courtesy of’ Deke’s Budget Hit and Run Photo’s’

#689: “F*** iTunes” [VIDEO BLOG]

Watch my good pal Mikey succumb to the powers of his Ice Cap Drink and have a go at iTunes ….haha. Click’ View Original Post’ below.

GETTING MORE TALE #689: “F*** iTunes”

Once again, here is something that came about due to a conversation with Superdekes over at Arena Rock.  In his review for Bon Jovi’s iTunes exclusive live album Inside Out, Deke said:

Inside Out is an iTunes only live release, which is kinda cool in a way to make guys like Ladano scoff at the no physical product tag! 

He’s right and I scoffed right away.

In jest, I made this video below.  I like to call it “Fuck iTunes”.  Everything is meant in good fun.  Enjoy the video.

View original post

I Mother Earth/Finger 11: Live at Crocks(April 21st 2018)

Kudos to Crocks Promoter Frank Loffredo who in the matter of just  under three weeks has brought in a couple of Can Con Rock Shows. The first being Sloan back on April 4th and now just 17 days later brings in two acts touring Canada together who I have never seen live and that would be Finger 11 and I Mother Earth. 

Not only were they co headlining shows but they were also doing a joint pre show Acoustic Set as well.

So I was stoked especially to see IME as Guitarist Jag Tanna is  monster on the 6 string! (More on that later)

Back at the Sloan show I had a chat with Frank who told me tickets for the IME/Finger 11 show were well past 400 tix sold. For a Thunder Bay Bar show that’s says something in that people will come out and support live music. Helps also that neither of these two acts have been round here recently. Still though…

We arrived as the Acoustic Jam was going on. Crocks stage was stuffed with  both bands about 10 members jammed up there with acoustic guitars and percussion with IME Lead Singer Edwin and Finger 11 Lead Singer Scott Anderson handling all the vocals.

The set features cover songs like Christopher Cross’ Ride Like The Wind/Horse With No Name( America) Lola (Kinks) and Set Closer Solsbury Hill(Peter Gabriel).

A cool added feature to the ticket price I must add. Good to see camaraderie between both acts and props to whose ever idea it was to come up with the pre electric 30 minute jam.

The bands both answered fan submitted questions that were handled by a moderator from Rock 94. I get it that to keep the acoustic portion moving you need that but why this Radio Guy? Rock 94 ass kisses these acts when there coming to town  and once the Tour Bus Tail Lights are out past the Thunder Bay’s city limits you won’t hear much of these acts on radio..

(Ask me how many times I have heard Sebastian Bach/Skid Row on  Rock 94 radio for Bach’s upcoming show at Crocks in June??!)

It would have been cooler to have had a mic set up where actual paid members of the public could have waltzed up and spoke directly to the band not through some third-party Radio DJ doing the submitted questions himself! (no offence Fella you got a job to do I get it..)

Before the main acts took to the stage. A musician named JJ who has his own band The Pillars came out on stage by himself with an acoustic and played about 5 songs one of them being a pretty decent cover of Big Wrecks “That Song’  which JJ told the crowd that both Headliners told him he has to play a different cover song from those old Big Shiny Tunes compilation CD’s from back in the day!

After a quick change over Finger 11 hit the stage opening with Above and from there the 12 song  set moved at a quick rapid rate. Finger 11 is a great live act with Scott Anderson possessing a real good set of pipes. Scott also comes across as real down to earth chap when he addressed the crowd at various points through there set. Course the Biggie Single One Thing was played with the crowd firing back the words right back to Scott! I will add that Drag You Down is one ferocious live track man. So good! You knew that the big hit Paralyzer would be set closer but what I didn’t know was that Genesis’ That’s All would lead off Parlayzer  that would also feature a snippet of Pink Floyd’s Another Brick In The Wall which than led into the ultimate mash-up of  Paralyzer being mixed with a ton of AC/DC’s Back In Black. 

Whoa. A great finale to Finger 11’s Set! What impressed me about these guys is how great of a live act they are and I must mention that Guitarist James Black is a show amongst himself. Great Band!

It’s amazing how quickly the Road Crew can swap out and set up a whole other bands gear in the midst of minutes.  Props to those guys! Can some one cue up Motorheads ‘We Are The Road Crew’ for these men!

I was pretty stoked to see I Mother Earth. I still recall my brother Todd seeing  IME back around 1992 just after the release of Dig at Crocks and when I asked my brother  the next morning how was the show he  said it was awesome. Four dudes up on stage with dreads and ponchos and laying down a heavy groove. I dropped the ball and missed a great show….

Damn It!

I have never seen IME live and if I’m right these guys haven’t been to TBay in about 18 years so it was time for a show!

IME took the stage and you want jamming and a band that doesn’t ‘play it like it is on the record’ philosphy than these guys fit the bill.

I have always dug the fact that these guys added a second percussionist as well they have a keyboardist in tow with them. Make no mistake though the keyboards do not drown out Guitarist Jag Tanna in the least. From opener Not Quite Sonic I Mother Earth played to the capacity crowd like there was no tomorrow. There sound emulating from the stage was huge. Jag’s live guitar tone is awesome. Not to be outdone brother Christian Tanna keeps the band driving forward with the drums.

Good to see Edwin back at the mic handling the vocals. The guy has a good voice that is made for this band so I hope in all earnest they keep this version of the band going! It was cool to hear Edwin  and band play Summertime In The Void a song that did not feature Edwin but he vocally makes it his own tune.

9 songs played and more could have been added I’m sure but as I mentioned earlier this band does not go the play it safe live route. Earth Sky & C was phenomenal as Jag put on a guitar clinic and basically a lot off his playing reminds me of Carlos Santana delivered to your senses with a sledgehammer . His use of tapping the strings is wicked as well. Earth Sky & C defines his playing to a T.

The big album seller in the IME catalogue was Scenery and Fish with the poppy Raspberry with its slick catchy chorus in what you would call “Ear Candy”. Used To Be Alright is another great IME track that has some real catchy playing and than just shoots into another level come chorus time!

The biggie track One More Astronaut had the crowd jumping and it features some great use of percussion mixed in with everything  going around it sonically! Rain Will Fall from the debut album Dig was end of the set closer!

Just like how they started acoustically it ended electrically with both bands taking the stage and delivering a 3 pack of hits.  Levitate/Good Times a cool cover of Supertramps ‘Bloody Well Right’ended the show!

Wowzer’s! This was a killer night. Two bands! One packed out facility and a lot of music was played….

Photo’s taken by dEke’s Budget Photography Skills.INC