Teen Aged Prog Band Kicks Ass at Local Music Festival

Last Friday I ventured to a St. Bridget's school yard where there was "The Last Day Music Festival" taking place.  The event billed itself as some of the best youth bands in the city.  $5 cover got me entrance, a Pizza Square and a can of Pop, not bad.  The event was an all ages event so there were a variety of ages present.  I knew some of the people and children present as the event was held not far from the Daycare where I work. 

I arrived to hear a solo accoustic set by a teen whose name I can't remember.  While he played and sang well, to my ears he wasn't very original as he sang with that teen angst style that so many of the newer alternative/pop/punk bands sing with.

Next up was another band whose name I couldn't remember, but they were quite good. These guys had more of an Iron Maiden/Metallica style happening which explained why their two songs took up about 20min total. The drummer was amazing and handled all the vocals, the two guitar players were excellent, and the bass player held down bottom end while doubling much of the guitar parts. All together, a good young metal band.

The following band was called "What the Funk" and featured the drummer from the previous band on bass. The band also consisted of a drummer, horn section, guitar player, bass and a keyboard player who had forgotten to bring his stand and had to play with his keyboard resting on his lap. As their name suggests, they were a funky groovy band who played two songs. One of which was a more jazzy based on where practally everyone in the band took a solo. Overall not to bad.

"Done with Dolls" featured an all girl band which made Avril Lavigne seem like a heavy and deep artist. Yes this band knew how to market themselves as a tween hard rock band, but only they weren't very hard. But I do believe they were the most popular band of the evening.

"Chasing Sam" should've been the headliner and closing act as this band consisted of Samantha the now 14 year old drummer who has been in numerous commercials. The band also had the festival organizer Chris on guitar and vocals, his what looked like to be his 8 year old son on guitar, and some other guy on bass. The sort of reminded me of Catherine Wheel with their more lush chorusy guitar sound, their simple arrangements, and no guitar solos. Drummer Samantha held her own fairly well although I do believe she needs to work on her endurance as her tempo and timing slipped a few times. My main gripe with Chasing Sam was Chris' vocals. He's not British at all but sang/shouted with a heavy cockney accent in the style of Blurs Damon Albarn. Again, these guys shyould've been the closing act as everyone started to make a move to leave after they played. Over all a good band in my eyes.

The last band of the evening was "Antithesis". All I can say is WOW! These guys were weird, progressive, crazy, and man could they play. Think Tool, Primus, with some King Crimson thrown in and you have these guys. Their singer was not afraid to roll around on the stage, scream, shout and sing. Their drummer was subtle in that you wouldn't think he was doing much complicated unless you actually saw what he was doing. But that could be more to do with the sound rather then him. The guitar player and bass player kicked some serious ass with their chops. These two were speedy when needed, mellow when needed, and everything in between. Over all a fantastic band which perhaps one day I'll get to play at a NUANCE show or festival.

A few weeks previous to the show, I talked to organizer Chris and he told me all about the festival. He pays for most of the stuff from his own pocket although he was able to get some nice endorsements. Never the less he takes very little of the income as most of it goes to the bands and back to the school where the festival was held. What I liked about this festival was that it was a music festival with not much else going on. This caused people to actually watch the bands which were focal point of the evening, rather then having other activities and having the music as background music. From a technical and sound point of view, I couldn't believe there were no vocal monitors on the stage. I'm assuming due to the Show Pro endorsement that they also set up and mixed the sound. How could they not have vocal monitors? Also, instruments sans drums should've gone through the mixing board for greater control. But that's just me. Over all the sound was decent and most people seemed to be fine with it.  Everyone seemed like they had a great time which all you could ask for.

Over all, I do comend Chris for putting the festival together as I know how challanging it can be.

I guess Chris heard my band and myself play at the Earl Beatty funfair a few weeks ago as he stated that we could play a few songs for next years "Last Day Music Festival".

Wilton

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