Concert Review – Andrew Vincent and The Pack A.D. @ Pop Montreal [Oct 1st, Petit Campus]

Posted on by Wade in Concerts, Everything, Pop Montreal | 1 Comment

Andrew Vincent writes funny, sincere songs that we as Canucks can relate to. Take for instance his song Canadian Dream. Every time I hear it I think of my friends back in New Brunswick, my days at University and moving to a new city. Andrew was playing in Montreal as part of a Kelp Records and Mint Records showcase.

When I arrived at Petit Campus, Andrew was on stage with his ukulele and was being backed up by Joh Bartlett on drums. Even in the quietness of his songs, they still managed to rock and get me tapping my toes. Lyrically, Andrew just seems to be able to connect with his audience. For example, his song, Going Out Tonight can conjur up memories of getting drunk with buddies and just hanging out on a Friday night. I posted Canadian Dream at the end of this post. You owe it to yourself to give it a whirl.

In preparing this review, I emailed Joh Bartlett at Kelp requesting an MP3 from Andrew Vincent to post with this entry. Here is the response I got back:

I’m out @ hockey, but AV if you’re at a computer, can you send this??

Yes, indeed. THAT is the Canadian Dream. Good work Jon.

After Andrews’ set I was ready to jet to another venue when I ran into Yvette Ray, the publicist for Mint Records. She sends us periodic updates about new Mint releases and tour dates from time to time. I also believe that she is the only band representative to contact us here at the Panic Manual and tell us to pull an MP3 from our site. I think she is over it now since she offered to buy me a drink. She convinced me to stick around and check out The Pack A.D., who were closing out the night at Petit Campus. Before this night I was familiar with the music of The Pack A.D. and I wouldn’t have said that I was a big fan.

As soon as The Pack A.D. took the stage, I knew that this was going to be a different show. The drummer Maya Miller yelled something like “We’re drunk, and it sounds awful, but screw it, we’re going to play anyway”, and with that she proceeded to beat the shit out of her drum kit while Becky Black beat the shit out of her guitar.

The show that The Pack A.D. put on for the 30-40 of us in attendance was amazing. Maybe this is typical of their show, I don’t know, but it was pretty cool. I don’t know what songs they played, but it was loud and there was lots of feedback. Becky whaled on her guitar and screamed into the microphone, song after song after song. At one point half way through a particularly loud song, she stopped playing, lifted her guitar off her shoulder and hurled it across the stage. She then calmly walked back, picked up her second guitar and finished the song. Yeah.

Their performance demanded the attention of everybody in the room. It was as if I was driving past a car wreck, and couldn’t look away. For a two piece it rocked.

Thanks to Jon, Andrew and Yette for the MP3’s

Concert Review – Julie Fader @ Pop Montreal [Oct1st, O Patro Vys]

Posted on by Wade in Concerts, Everything, Pop Montreal | 5 Comments

The show was supposed to take place at a venue called O Patro Vys at 327 Mont-Royal E. When I got to this address, it was apparent that it was not the O Patro Vys. I asked some guy outside smoking if he knew the club I was supposed to be at, and he pointed me across the street, about a half block away. This brings me to another observation about Montreal…people there are really nice. Everybody I talked to was very personable to this white anglo, no matter where I was; at the hostel, on the street, in the train station or buying bagels.

I get to the venue, I order a Cheval Blond and I grab a seat. I had a look around and I noticed Patrick Watson over in the corner. A word to the wise, if you go to a show here in Toronto and you spot Gentleman Reg in the audience, then you can be assured of two things. First, the show is going to be pretty good, and second, of all the other live events going on in the city that night, you chose the right one to go to. I guess in Montreal Patrick Watson acts as a similar barometer for live shows.

Julie Fader, for those of you who don’t know, is the new “it” girl of the CBC Radio 3. During their Polaris Prize coverage a couple of weeks ago, they practically stalked her. She has played with the Great Lake Swimmers, Chad Vangaalen, and Sarah Harmer, and her solo album, Outside In, was produced by Graham Walsh of Holey Fuck. I guess she has a good story.

As for the show, well, let me see. Hmm, I don’t really remember. I recall that she was wearing a white T-shirt and jeans. I remember that one of the other guys on stage was wearing a white Just Friends T-shirt. Did I mention the Cheval Blond and that Patrick Watson was there? Shit, I’m sorry. I don’t remember anything about the show except that I really wanted to see it since the CBC made such a big stink over her. I did leave the venue feeling satisfied, with no negative comments running around in my head. I know that isn’t a ringing endorsement, but really, I can’t remember anything specific about the show. Oh Pop Montreal. Oh Cheval Blond. There was also a lemon in my beer.

If you get a chance, you can buy her new CD from the Hand Drawn Dracula site. The album is assembled by hand and printed on uncoated 18pt 100% Recycled C1S paperboard.

You can catch Julie back in Toronto on October 30th at the El Mocambo with Library Voices and In-Flight Safety

Concert Review: Manic Street Preachers, The Phoenix, Oct 4, 2009

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts | 4 Comments


Toronto – What a show. What a freaking awesome show. It’s been ten years waiting for Toronto fans of the Manic Street Preachers, but after the show they put on Sunday night, it was certainly worth the wait. First and foremost, here is the set list:

Motorcycle Emptiness
No Surface All Feeling
Peeled Apples
Your Love Alone
La Tristessa
Jackie Collins Existential
Let Robeson Sing
Marlon J.D.
From Despair to Where
If You Tolerate This..
This Is Yesterday (Acoustic)
The Everlasting (Acoustic)
Send Away The Tigers
You Stole The Sun
Motown Junk
Me And Stephen Hawking
Little Baby Nothing
You Love Us
Design For Life

Okay, so there was no “Everything Must Go”, “Kevin Carter”, “Australia” or “Masses Against the Classes”, but every show will have its exclusions and inclusions. There’s like 20 years of material – deal with it. Lets just focus on the show.

The Phoenix was not even packed! That’s pure absurdity consider this place would probably fill up for some band like The Bravery or something. More room for the fans I guess. The people who were there were 1 of 2 groups – people who were lifelong fans of MSP and knew lyrics to practically every song (at least till Know Your Enemy) and people who were dragged there by former group of people. It was mostly an older crowd, and I am sad to say I am probably more lumped in with the “older crowd” nowadays then the “young-uns”.

As for the show itself, what can you say? they gave it their all and seem fully appreciative of the support the crowd gave them. The crowd was nuts for every song, specially the older ones. The Manics were always for the people, their music has always taken a point of view from the common man, no matter how many obscure literal references each song was. There’s definitely some sort of unifying feeling you get when you are yelling out lyrics “If you tolerate this..then your children will be next” or singing along to an acoustic version of “The Everlasting”.

Opening with Motorcycle Emptiness was completely great and set the tone for the show. It was basically Manics telling the crowd “Don’t worry, we are here to take care of you.” The crowd instantly knew that (most of) their favorites will be played through out the night. The rest of the 100 minute show was largely a singalong for the fans. Material off every album except Lifeblood was covered, although “Everything Must Go” probably should have gotten a few more numbers in. Anyways, despite looking a bit like a cooler Jimmy Kimmel, James Dean Bradfield and Nicky Wire both rocked it hard and really, they had a pretty easy job considering how much the crowd lapped everything up. Set closer “A Design for Life” was epic, with JDB standing out onto a speaker near the corner and letting the crowd sing most of the chorus.

Easily my favorite show of the year, and even the casual observer would have to be impressed with the workmanship and anthemic songs of the Manic Street Preachers. Please come back soon, I don’t want to be near 40 when I see you again.

This show gets 10/5 stars.

Concert Review – Silly Kissers @ Pop Montreal [Oct 1st, Preloved]

Posted on by Wade in Concerts, Everything, Pop Montreal | 1 Comment

The thing I was looking forward to the most by going to Pop Montreal was being able to check out some Montreal bands. Enter Silly Kissers. Their show was at a clothing store called Preloved. At Preloved, as the name would imply, they take old ties, curtains, sweaters and couch fabric and turn them into new pencil skirts and sweater vests. For all you up and coming bands out there, here is a lesson, retail stores make shitty venues. Unless you are in the front row, you can’t see crap. I got stuck in the back next to some pants that looked like they belonged to Two Face, so I quickly made my move out into the street. The place was packed with early, early twenty-somethings wearing stupid cloths and oversized glasses.

The only thing I knew about Silly Kissers going into the show was that I really liked their song Halloween Summer, which features six girls in the video (HERE). I was pretty surprised when a bunch of dudes and one girl made their way to the front of the store and started playing.

I found out later from one of the guys in Hot Panda that one of the fellas in Silly Kissers is from Edmonton and that they know each other. I was informed that Silly Kissers are nothing but a bunch of punk kids, a conclusion that I had already made up on my own.

Their music was upbeat and a couple of songs were even danceable. After their second song, a tall goof ball in the front row screamed “Play that song that everybody likes”. I thought to myself that no truer statement had ever been yelled at a concert. They then played Halloween Summer and the kids in the front danced, and then I left. I did buy one of their homemade CD’s on my way out. It is pretty good. It has that lo-fi sound that I really dig.

After the Silly Kissers, I got rejected at the Matt and Kim show and then stuffed a Schwartz sandwich into my face before going home to bed.

Apparently, these guys are opening up for the Gossip when they play Montreal on October 13th, and will be at CMJ in New York on October 21st. Check ‘em out.