WORDS BY: RAVEN BENWAIT
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ANNA SKLAVOS
Our very own Etobicoke venue, The Rockpile West, opened their stage for Wednesday 13, Eyes Set to Kill, Die So Fluid and special guests. On January 31st, Toronto music fans of all ages lined up in the winter breeze prepared for a night of interesting, diverse music.
Like most concerts, people were entering the venue group by group, but this show was a little different. At most shows you would see a certain type of crowd depending on the type of band – crowds of teenagers for Beartooth, metalheads for Whitechapel, a venue full of Punk rockers for some NOFX. But this crowd was different – there were teenagers, adults and even the elderly. The crowd consisted of all ages because this show was going to have a band for each and every guest.
While people were munching on their burgers and side of fries, Toronto rockers Tether entered the Etobicoke stage with their recent female vocalist Jenna Rose. I’ve got to admit, her powerful vocals went very well with the bands Hard Rock, Punk and Metal mix of music. You could definitely see that Tether was enjoying being on stage. This 5-peice Toronto band has been at it since mid-2013 and has been writing newer music since their lineup change, hoping to release it in the future.
As band number two was setting up their instruments, a few young, enthusiastic women were filling up the floor, wearing shirts that said “Hollywood Sins.” That’s when Hollywood Sins jumped out with their instruments filling the background with screaming fans crowding in front of the stage. The vocalist was constantly cracking jokes to his “sinners” as he asked, “Are there any dirty girls in the crowd?” – There were a few smirks. This led to their song “Dirty Girls,” which the women screamed even more for. I found Hollywood Sins to have a more country rock style to them. Hollywood Sins are said to be “the result of collaboration between Blaine Walker and Danny Quatrale, two visionaries who had nothing else to live for except their shared love of music and a dream.”
Now, at this point the venue was beginning to get more packed as the next band was entering the stage. Insence sticks, mysterious, deadly-looking costumes – what could be coming next?
Apparently it was Toronto’s very own House of Haunt ready to hit The Rockpile Stage. Their theme definitely looked haunted as there was smoke from the sticks along with dark, bold costumes as you can all see in the photographs. Once they began playing music I was a little shocked. Their sound seemed like a mix of Country and Alternative Rock, meanwhile I expected something hardcore like Punk or Metal. It goes to show that you should never judge a book by its cover because you never know what to expect! It was quite interesting that they had a double bass and keyboard on stage, rather than the standard drums and guitars. Vocalist Fang called for all the ladies to come backstage which led to their catchy single “Valentine’s Day” which was appropriate for the time of month. This Toronto band is under the genre of Psychobilly and is known to be a “traveling show of freakish delights.”
Fourth on the lineup, hailing from London, England was 3-piece British band Die So Fluid. This fusion of Metal, Rock and Punk opened up with a great flowing introductory song – “Black Blizzard,” from their album The Opposites of Light. Georgina “Grog” Lisee did not only stand out with her powerful vocals and bass guitar, but her bold fashion statement consisting of long black pigtails and a studded black outfit. Anyways, back to the music… Guitarist Drew Richards and drummer Al Fletcher were a bit quiet, but focused on their instruments which went well with Lisee’s powerful vocals, especially with the crowd’s favourites – “Comets” and “Raven.” Being a new band, Die So Fluid has been doing pretty well, considering how difficult the industry is becoming. They recently released The Opposites of Light, which is an album to check out!
After a long wait, Eyes Set to Kill finally entered the stage. We saw three members, but where was the fourth? Vocalist Alexia Rodriguez was not going to attend the show with Arizona band Eyes Set to Kill due to a sickness. Despite the disappointment, the band didn’t want to let their fans down so they came on stage and played a short 3-song set. They still played an instrumentally powerful three songs, with Caleb Clifton rocking his drums, Anissa Rodriguez slapping her bass and the fill-in guitarist, Manny Contreras with his loud, high-pitched screams, closing with one of their older singles “Broken Frames.”
Eyes Set to Kill is a band that has been around growing for years and most recently in 2013 took off their “masks,” which resulted in a new, heavier album with Century Media Records. Eyes Set to Kill has been around for years and has a great story to tell. Luckily we did catch an interview with them prior to the Toronto show.
Last but not least to step on the stage, from Hollywood arrived Wednesday 13, also known as Joseph Pool, who brought along his crew to assist him. The crowd was enormous and definitely pumped, as the stage was filled with large jet machines and flashing lights. Wednesday 13 and his crew stepped on stage with their flashing, gothic outfits and horror-metal vibe. Wednesday 13 was definitely in the spotlight, as he was constantly engaging the crowd with his music as they all sang along. The band was promoting the most recent 2015 material from Come out and Plague. Throughout their 50 minute long set, the guys included more tunes from older albums like Transylvania 90210 and Fang Band. Two songs that had the crowd screaming were “Scream Baby Scream” and “Bad Things,” with their creative keyboard, smashing drums and diverse guitar riffs.
From Roadrunner records, Wednesday 13 is a solo artist who has made quite a name for himself as a rocking horror-themed musician, with a heavy Metal mixed with a Punk sound. In the past years, Wednesday 13 was also a part of acts like Maniac Spider Trash and Psycho Opera and the Murderdolls. Since then, he has composted a great six albums as of January 2015.
It was sad to see Wednesday 13 step off the stage, as it was the end of the music-filled night. Luckily, the bands all hung around after the show finished, greeting guests and signing autographs. It was definitely a satisfying night of diverse, interesting music. There was something new for each and every person in that venue.