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….
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