Concert Review: White Stripes, July 5, Molson Amphitheatre

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Toronto – Shows at the Amp are always kinda nice, unless you are out in the lawns. I like how you get a nice breeze coming in off the lake thru out the show, and how its kinda outdoors, but you are still covered from the rain..unless you are in the lawns, or the 400s. Either way, I wasn’t in either section for the show, so that is a moot point. They really need to have a subway line along the lake shore, as it is an absolute bitch getting there.

Going to the White Stripes concert, I was moderately excited. I am one of those people who prefer their earlier stuff then the later albums, so I was wondering how much of the back catalog they would be playing at a show clearly designed to promote their latest album (r)icky thump. Well, they answered that question by playing “Dead leaves and Dirty Ground”, “Hotel Yorba”, “You’re Pretty Good Looking” and “Jolene” virtually back to back to back. For us long time fans, it was like ‘yeaaaaaaah awesome!!’. For the 15 year olds in their Hollister shirts, it was like ‘whaaaaaaaaaa? they had songs before 7 nation army?’. Quite the dichotomy of fans at the venue, i must say.

The band played for roughly 90 minutes, drawing songs from every album. Notable songs they did not play include “Hardest Button To Button”, “Blue Orchid” and “Apple Blossom”. Compared with their last show here, I think this show was a little better.


Movie Review: Transformers

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Toronto – Let’s face it, I am not a big Michael Bay fan. I’ll admit the Rock was pretty good, but besides that, most of the stuff he has done has been shit. The Island? shit. Bad Boys II? shit. Pearl Harbor? super shit. So when they announced that Transformers was going to be directed by him, I vomited in my mouth. Well, maybe I didn’t, but if I was someone who cared a lot about transformers, I would have. Just like when they announced Brett Ratner was going to direct X-Men 3 after Bryan Singer left the project.

With that being said, expectations were not that high for this movie. I will be the first to admit, the trailers looked good and the special effects looked great so I can’t say I wasn’t at least a little bit excited about it. I mean everyone gets on these nostalgic kicks once in a while. I was fortunate enough to see this Monday night (unfortunate enough to have to travel to Richmond Hill to view it..although I had a ride). Anyways, Richmond Hill is crazy..everyone drives cars! I saw like three cars worthy of Fast n Furious in the parking lot on my walk to the theatre. Crazy, I tell you.

This movie..rocks. It is what it is. It is a big, loud, stupid, summer popcorn movie. Put your brain at the door and just go in and enjoy the movie. It has fantastic action sequences, peppered between scenes that have some tongue in cheek humor and some incredibly cheesy moments. What of the acting you say? nothing special. The kid Shia is a capable lead.. megan fox has a ridiculously hot body, and she doesnt do much other then look pretty and pose in the movie. John Tuturro plays an over the top agent and there are other comic foils. The stars of this movie is the special effect and man, the robots are freakin cool. Expect blatantly obvious product placement, as all the auto bots turn into pontiac/gmc cars.

But whatever, everyone going to this movie is going to see what transformers are included, and how they look. If you are looking for anything more, you will be disappointed. If you are looking for a fun time and some nostalgic kicks, then Transformers will be a good movie for you.


Concert Review: Bishop Allen, June 28, Lees Palace

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Toronto – One of my roommates favorite bands, Brooklyn’s Bishop Allen took the stage at Lees Palace on a cool summer night (til i got into my apartment). I was there, and here is the review.

Well, before the show I had to go for drinks and dinner with my soon-to-be-married former coworker, so a bunch of us had some dinner at some random pub. Tell me this, my Eastern neighbors, why is it that every pub seems to have brown cooks? I swear, almost every pub I have been in this side of the Mississippi has at least one or two brownies cooking the food. I think this is a grossly underused stereotype, I mean we all associate brownies with taxi cabs and convenience stores, but really convenience stores seem to be runned by koreans or something these days, and cabs are just operated by any sort of immigrants…but pub cooks? always brown. I have no idea why. Maybe its cos of the British colonial thing, most pubs have some sort of anglo menu, like Sheppard’s pie and fish and chips (even though its fries). Anyways, whatever.

Lees Palace was about 1/3 full when we got there, maybe. Maybe 1/4 full. This is a nice change. We was able to get seats along the side of the stage and so I was able to sit down for once and enjoy the show. The air conditioning in the place was pretty good, and that enhanced the show quite a bit. In case you don’t know, Bishop Allen is an indie-pop band from Brooklyn. They are releasing an album in a month. Actually they said that during the show, and my friend josh speaks in a not too quiet voice ‘which you have already stole’. haha.

It was a pretty good show, the vibe was really laid back and the banter was kept at a minimal. They played songs mostly from their new album, but also played some stuff from their 2003 or 2004 or 2005 release, which is called ‘Charm School’. They did NOT play ‘things are what you make of them’ which was disappointing. That was my favorite bishop allen song, although ‘Like Castenets’ is rising on my list.

They played for around 50 minutes, then did a quick encore. Then i went and ate a falafel.

Review : 3.5/5

Concert Review: Voxtrot, June 20, Berkeley Church

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Toronto – Wait a minute..didn’t I see Voxtrot a mere 13 days ago? Why yes. Voxtrot returned to their favorite city last night for a taping of the show ‘Beautiful Noise’, which will be aired at 7 pm on Sun TV in Fall. Because this was a television taping, the show was free and the thought of watching a band I like in a church while drinking some beers was too good to resist.

Note to people: Parliament street is not close to Young street. I had to drag my poor friend from Edmonton all the way from Yonge street to get to the venue, and pass by some nice community centers, and crazy black people along the way. I told her it was a ‘keepin it real’ tour. Man that stretch of the city is sketch.

Berkeley Church is kinda small, kinda old and pretty nice. I am surprise that they have a bar inside a church, but I guess it probably makes sunday processions go by a lot faster. Photoderek.com was already outside not enjoying grace potter and the nocturnals. We all decided to hang out in the basement of the church while this band played. Lucky for us, Voxtrot was down there already, doing a photoshoot for something I guess. They didn’t seem too eager to take these photos.

on a side note, photoderek went to apologize to the lead voxtrot dude (ramesh) about trying to sell him tickets to his own show the previous week. so they are all cool now and the feud is no longer there. All in all, they seem to be nice people who are just dealing with the rigors of becoming popular.

the show started out kinda late. there was about 5 cameras , including one on a crane that would go thru the crowd. This was a dangerous camera, and i worried about getting decapitated by it. The show itself was similar/same as the one from a few weeks ago, only with really good sound and crazy lighting. Crazy lighting. I guess it will be on HD TV, so that is necessary. The person who was running the thing made us cheer like crazy so they can do a pan or something, I guess this is where you will see me if the show is on.