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The Place celebrates Easter weekend with ’80s rock

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The rock/pop metal side of the ’80s returned to the Place for Easter weekend to entertain, people looking to relive the ’80s and a lot of younger people who wished they were there for the real thing. But Dave Chomiak’s popular second annual ’80s weekend brought them pretty close.

Def Leppard Tribute Stage Fright at the Place, April 7. Photo by Richard Amery

 I was in time on Friday, April 7 for  an awesome Dokken Tribute : Breaking the Chains.

 And despite the holiday weekend, they had  good sized crowds for the three day event at The Place .


 I missed Thursday night, April 6, which featured tributes to Bon Jovi, Heart and  the Police.


 I also wasn’t in time for a double dose of a great new Iron Maiden tribute, who played the Slice before Christmas., and rocked the Place. April 7 and 8.

 Dokken Tribute “ Breaking the Chains” were in full force by the time I arrived.


 As expected, they played plenty of anthemic arena ready anthems  with big riffs, gang vocals and hot guitar solos and Dokken’s hits including  the band’s namesake “Breaking the Chains.”

 They vocals were on points and the songs sounded like the records.


Dokken Tribute Breaking the Chains at the Place, April 7. Photo by Richard Amery

 One of Chomiak’s  tributes, Stage Fright Tribute to Def Leppard was in a similar vein, but with Def Leppard hits.


Frontman Chomiak and a slightly different line-up including Sheldon Arvay on guitar played note perfect versions of Def Leppard’s many hits including plenty from the album  “Pyromania.”, which turns 40 this year.

  “Foolin” was prominent in the set.


They played the hits including “Hysteria,” and “ Armageddon It.”

 Chomiak's were spot on as were the solos.


 On Saturday, April 9, I missed the Iron Maiden tribute again but caught the Zoo the Scorpions Tribute, who were a highlight of the first annual ’80s  weekend last year. I couldn’t stick around for Live Wire Tribute to Motley Cruë .

 The Scorpions tribute the Zoo were a highlight of last year’s ’80s tribute weekend and were a highlight again.


The Scorpions Tribute The Zoo at the Place, April 8. Photo by Richard Amery

 They played their greatest hits including “Blackout,” the band’s namesake “ The Zoo” featuring a talk box effect, “ No One Like You” and even added their cover of the Scorpions cover of the Who’s “I Can’t Explain.”


They dug deeper for “ Bad Boys Running Wild” and “ Money And Fame”  then  played a celebratory “ Big City Nights.”


 Of course they added the power ballads like   Dreamers” and “ Winds of Change.”

 I left for another gig, so missed “Rock you Like a Hurricane.”


Their vocals were also perfect, they played a few duelling  guitar leads and rocked in spite a a few technical difficulties with one of the amp stacks, showed why the Scorpions are one of the best bands in the world who deserve a tribute and. that the Zoo are the perfect band to do it.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Saturday, 15 April 2023 12:37 )

Weird wild fun with Kitty and the Rooster at the Slice

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 Kitty and the Rooster put on a night of weird, wild, sexually charged fun at the Slice with Jack Garton and Sammy Volkov, Wednesday, April 12.


Noah Walker of Kitty and the Rooster, April 12 at the Slice. Photo by RichardAmery

 They had a great crowd for a Wednesday night, likely as people know Jack Garton and Kitty and the Rooster always mean a good good time in Lethbridge.


I missed opening act Sammy Volkov and Jack Garton’s set, but they joined Kitty and the Rooster for a couple songs at the end.


 Kitty and the Rooster had taken off their rubber cat and rooster masks by the time I arrived. It was great to see them as I also missed the mask portion of the show when they played South Country Fair last summer.


That left drummer/ vocalist/ keyboardist Jodie Ponto and guitarist / vocalist Noah Walker to entertain with beaming smiles and  their unique, quirky brand of  pop, rockabilly, surf, punk and psychedelic music, reminiscent of a weirder, more stripped down Southern Culture On the Skids.


 They played several cuts from their “One Gig Hard Drive” but also had a couple new songs to  test out.

Jodie Ponto, Jack Garton, Sammy Volkov and Noah Walker with Kitty and the Rooster, April 12 at the Slice. Photo by RichardAmery


 “Good Guys, Bad Band” was hilarious highlight, which touched on the blues and which had a few of the dancers singing along. They had everyone clapping along with “The Clap.”


 “Pay A Million Dollars  to Live Like You’re Poor,” from ‘One Gig Hard Drive,’ was the perfect blend of humour and social commentary , which  Kitty and the Rooster do extremely well.


Ponto sang a song about underbutt” from behind her drum kit ad keyboards. Another new highlight was a song abut dicks, for which they got the audience to sing along.


 The duo saved crowd favourite “Sexercise” for near the end of the set before Ponto, glittering in her silver sequinned dress, took centre stage to lead a jam with Jack Garton and Sammy Volkov on a song about mansplaining, for which Garton broke out his trumpet and accordion.

— By Richard Amery, LA, Beat Editor 

Last Updated ( Saturday, 15 April 2023 12:19 )

John Wort Hannam wins Canadian Folk Music Awards for “Long Haul”

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It has been a bit of a “long haul,” but local folk/ roots musician John Wort Hannam won two of the three Canadian Folk Music Awards he was nominated for, April 2,  for his most recent album “Long Haul.”


 And they couldn’t have come at a better time, when Hannam has been going a few rounds with writer’s block.


 He went to  write at the Banff centre Jan. 7-21 to write some new songs but wasn’t able to come up with anything.


John Wort Hannam playing with Ian Tyson’s The Gift. Photo by RichardAmery

“ I went to the Banff Centre to write, but it was pointless. I was over thinking things, he said.


  Hannam took home awards for solo artist of the year and contemporary folk album of the year, but lost the English songwriter of the year to  Abigail Lapell.


“She deserved to win,” Hannam said, adding he didn’t expect to win  the awards he did.


“I won one before in 2010, I think for “Queen’s Hotel’ and I’ve been nominated a bunch of times,” Hannam continued.


“I never expected to win, but it is nice to get the recognition. I’m grateful for it,” he said.


“This is the album I recorded all online with Steve Dawson producing. It was in Pat Ackerman’s studio and we had players from Toronto, Vancouver and Nashville,” he said.

Last Updated ( Friday, 14 April 2023 11:59 ) Read more...

Free The Cynics ready to roll with long awaited new CD and tour

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Thanks to line up changes, recording a new album and Covid, it has been a few years since Calgary alternative rock/ post punk band Free the Cynics have played Lethbridge, or at all.

Free the Cynics return to Lethbridge, April 21. Photo submitted


“We’ve been sticking close to home,”  said frontman Rich Paxton. Paxton and bandmates, bassist Owen Wells, drummer Kevin Kornelsen and new guitarist Levi Gilmer, who just joined at the beginning of January, are excited to return to Lethbridge to share the Slice stage with local band Rainbow Patrol, Friday, April 21.


They welcomed Gilmer to the band after their previous guitarist decided to move to Victoria in December. 


“I’ve really missed it. Being on stage is our bread and butter,” said frontman Rich Paxton, who is excited to release their seventh album “Bloodlines”  on June 16.


Since last summer Free the Cynics released singles “Neon Ballroom,” “ Same Old Dance” and the latest “Dollarama Prima Donna.” 


Two more singles “ Start a War” and “Matriarch will be released before the rest of “Bloodlines,” drops in June. They recorded it with producer Nixon Boyd from the band Hollerado.

“ It’s a lot more streamlined and focussed,” said Paxton of “Bloodlines.” 


“ It’s about relationships and family issues and life and death,” Paxton summarized, noting while he comes up with the lyrics and melodies, the  music is a collaborative effort.


“We brought Nixon in to produce and we told him that was what we wanted to do. We had to cut a couple of really great songs, because they just didn’t fit in. I’ve never done that before,” Paxton continued.


“ The last album was all over the place.  It was designed as a tribute to  (Cynic philosopher) Diogenes. This one is more focussed,” he said.

Last Updated ( Friday, 28 April 2023 16:51 ) Read more...

A cornucopia of country music, Quaint , Quirky and Queer and much more this week

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Quaint , Quirky and Queer continues this week with their cornerstone event, the Quaint, Quirky and Queer Cabaret, April 15 at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.

Gabe Thaine plays the Slice as Prophet Gabriel and  the Bridgetown Scramblers, Friday, April 14. Photo by Richard Amery

 It is only one of many events happening this week for Quaint, Quirky and Queer.

 There is a staged reading of French play Simon A Toujours aimé Danser, Wednesday, April 12 at Didi’s Playhaus.


 Princess Edward and Abel T Suckizone reminisce about the 10 year history of Theatre Outré at Didi’s Playhaus on Thursday, April 13 at 8 p.m.


 But there are a lot of other excellent shows this week beginning with a blues jam at the Slice tonight, April 11. The Owl Acoustic Lounge’s weekly open mic is also tonight.

 HBO3 and Mike Carter host the jazz jam at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Wednesday, April 12 beginning at 8:30 p.m.


Friday night is all right for blues as Eric Braun returns to Honkers Pub to host the open mic on Friday, April 14.

Prophet Gabriel and The Bridgetown Scramblers and Mikki  perform at the Slice on Friday April 14.


 Don Robb and Randy Epp return to the Watertower Grill to play some jazz music, from 6-19 p.m., Wednesday, April 12.


 The Slice has a very cool show, Wednesday, April 12 with  Kitty and the Rooster, Jack Garton and Crooner Sammy Volkov. Tickets are $15.

Soulful Vibes return to  the Owl Acoustic Lounge on Thursday.


 The weekend will be off the hook.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 April 2023 09:45 ) Read more...
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