REVIEW: Homegrown Chatterboxevents Opera House



The legendary Toronto Opera House on Queen Street East was filled with hard rock fans, warm hues, lazers and Rock n Roll intensity, with spirits Alive on Sat a May 14th, a chatterbox event thru promoter/musician Paul Taskas. This lineup of stellar Toronto area rockers was nothing short of amazing.  Most acts had a Peterborough connection and kicking off the tone for the night was the marvelous Plaid on Flannel.  Lead singer and guitarist/songwriter Nolan Randall originally from Peterborough's High Water Band, rocked lead position featuring original songs from his 3 CDs: “Fairbairn Meadows”, “Mission of Mercy”; “Primitive Normative” & songs from their bands 1st and current CD “Rising Above”, which was released at this Opera House event.  Featuring on keys/vocals Jen Doyon, Les Cassling on bass, Minas Hatzigiannatzoglou on drums, who introduced an 80’s rock feel to the evening. You will want to catch their next show on June 4th at the Supermarket Restaurant and Bar or visit www.plaidonflannel.com
  
Little Sunday are Best New Rock and Breakout Band awarded, and were a mind blowing mix of everything heavy and 90s with songs reminiscent of Stone Temple Pilots meets Collective Soul.  The ultimate hypnotic & euphorial songs featuring Eric Bonatti on drums, JP on guitar, Mario Stamegna on bass & Rick Farrell as lead vocals/guitar, fascinated the audience with their extreme talent and epic facial expressions as this very active and impressive act rocked us through originals off their 5 albums “Day of Hollow”; “Cross The Line”; “Wait For Tomorrow”; “Let It All Out”; With focus on their recent CDs “Peace.Love.Good Karma”.  Again a must see show, visit www.littlesunday.com for full details.

One Ugly Cowboy knocked my socks literally off as I wasn't sure how country would be fitting into an ever increasing hard rock night.  Boy was I wrong, the ultimate collaboration of country and hard rock was a perfect infusion with the award winning vocalist/actress Jane Sowerby (Janis Joplin Tribute artist) at the forefront as lead vocals.  This 5 piece musical genius mixed with loud guitar licks from Co-writer/founder Richard Zwic (of Juno awarded Lydia Taylor).  Richard has shared stages with Bryan Adams, Nazareth, Toronto and Head Pins to name a few.  Adding to the richness was Rick Ottenbrite on bass (from Eyes of Alice, El Grande  (ZZTop), who has shared the stage with David Wilcox, Kim Mitchell and Doug and The Slugs), matching great beats was none other than Mike Mann (The Spoons, Juno winning Anthony Vanderburg) on drums and Rob Kennedy (Michael Fury, Refugees) on lap steel/Guitar/mandolin.  Catch their new mainstream impressive album “Get Your Ugly On” and stop by at www.oneuglycowboy.com  or visit their Tillsonburg Turtle Fest June 18th show.

SKROU rocked as always with their 80s hard sound, and their powerful hits got them up dancing.  Formed in 2011 by Sam Kirou, who has shared stages with ANVIL, Helix to name a few, snd who has contributed  and has given back to Canadian cancer Society Relay for Life, Kids with Cancer, Diabetes Society, & Griffin Centre for Children with Autism.  Guitarist John DeFino is no stranger to the stage having shared stage with Max Webster, Goddo and Rough Trade, and who has his own Top 10 song at TicToc "20 questions".  RC Ricci the bassist and back up vocals of the group has played in Tribute acts like Black Sabbath, Kiss, Guns N Roses, & Van Halen.  Featured drum sensation and 25 year multi-instrumentalist, Anthony Terminesi (the terminator) lays down the back beat for SKROU, who are some of the hardest working h
Rock acts in Toronto. SKROU was named by taking out “am” from Sam and taking put the “I” out of Kirou.  This was my first inside view of these intense artists full of passion and stamina.  Flare is the best way to describe this massive sound of impressive musical backgrounds.  You should experience them live so visit www.skrourocks.com or check out Bassist RC Ricci as he creates his own sound with www.toxsyn.com

I simply was stunned as Ashley Curtis took mic in hand while she performed hair Flippin non-stop movements and that voice. OMGG!!!.  She captivated as she looked and sounded like my fave female rocker, Amy Lee of Evanescence. Mack Flynn on bass mixed well with Christian Andersen on guitar.  They truly lit the stage a flame with incredible and strong magical music.  New EP “Consequences Part 1” released,  you will want an autograph as it won't be long for this band jettisons forward as the next musician icons on the horizon visit www.affinityband.net
 
Firing up the Toronto Opera House at 1230am was Peterborough's music celebrity Ian Kurz and his seasoned Canadian Indie hard rockin’ Ian-K.  With songs from EP Unwell and from CD “Never Let Me Go” like Linger (which is a top 50 at National Radio) & Yesterday (is at 13 of the top 20 songs of 2015 at CJIM radio in Montreal).  Ian has shared stages with Our Lady Peace, Platinum Blonde just to list a few of the many he has performed with.   Ian auditioned for Velvet Revolver and co-wrote 2 songs for Slash (unleashed songs). “You Make Everything” was a Top 10 honorable mention as well, at Canadian Music Week 2015.  Ian-K is a Canadian hard rock indie foursome.  Ian Kurz the founder and lead singer on guitar has served as front man for original and cover bands for years in F-Bomb, MIA, 5150, One Good Handgrenade and the list goes on, & was guitarist for Blackout a Tribute to The Scorpians and currently is Paul Stanley in the longest running Kiss Tribute, Destroyer CANADA check out
www.ian-k.com and www.destroyercanada.com  Alongside for the musical ride was 10 year friend and multi-instrumentalist and award winning Adam Sweeney on bass who brought sheer energy, burning up that stage, revving up the audience. Adam has played with James McKenty and The Spades, Aiden, The Joker and created his own sound entitled Blind Revolution where he plays all instruments and sings all vocals. www.adamsweeny.ca  or www.reverbnation.com/blindrevolutuonband Rounding out the powerhouse section was Keith Riddolls, a music educated drum Core performer who has played 2,000 shows across North America with T.O Joker opening for April wine, Blue Oyster Cult and Jeff Healey.  May 14th Ian-K show featuring guitarist Paul Crane, a long-time friend and fellow musician from Blackout on loud guitar.   Follow this new and exciting sound and see them perform,  Thursday May 26th at 930pm at The Atria in Oshawa at 59 King Street East,  a free concert with Oshawa's My Affected Reality.
All in all it was a fantastic show! Thank you Mr. Rock n Roll, Paul Taskas (who also is Paul Stanley in Kiss Tribute, Rock And Roll Over, who perform June 3rd at The Rockpile) and check out amazing shows this promoter has coming up at The Opera House Toronto, www.chatterboxevents.ca


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