Favourite Concerts of 2019

Posted on by Ricky in Everything | Leave a comment

The Comet is Coming

Hard to believe a decade has come to an end, I thought about encapsulating my decade in shows and coming up with a best of, but that’s far too much work and frankly, only I’d care about that shit. So here is some shit that probably only I care about anyways but I guess that’s the point of the blog anyways.

I didn’t see a lot of shows this year, this thing called “work” really got in my way in terms of sucking all the energy out of me during the day, leaving me little reserve to go out at night. Like those famous philosophers Blink 182 used to say, “I guess this is growing up”

Still, I saw some shows, so here are my favorites from what i say

Otokobe Beaver, SXSW
What can I say that I haven’t already said in my review of their show?. Nine months later, the memory of utter chaos and explosive energy that was the show still remains fresh in my mind. Considering I don’t even remember what I ate for lunch three days ago, that’s quite the accomplishment. Luckily for me, they are playing Austin next year, so I can go see them again.

The Comet is Coming, SXSW (x2), Mod Club, Toronto
The only band I saw three times this year, The Comet is Coming makes me wonder if I’m slowly descending into a more jazzy area of my life. They aren’t really jazz, but I don’t know what they are. I just know they are fucking awesome. Here is my take on their show from Austin.

The Chromatics, Danforth Music Hall, Toronto
If you were to put a gun to my head and ask me for a bucket list of still active bands I’d like to see that I’ve never seen before, the Chromatics would be at the top of my list. You could get that list without putting a gun to my head as well. I’ve been following this band for a bout a decade now, as around ten years ago, I was really obsessive about the VALERIE / French electronic music and somehow Chromatics got lumped into that group. The band has been shy about touring but continue to sometimes put out music. Their show here was great, it was amazing hearing songs I really loved live, and as you can imagine, the show’s aesthetics / light show was meticulously crafted. Considering the build up, not disappointing at all.

The Strokes, Budweiser Stage, Toronto
People like to shit on the Strokes these days, but they can’t deny that the first two albums they released were magical. Their show was a great dive into those nostalgic times in university when I was trying to tell all my friends about them and how much cooler they were then those shitty Edgefest Canadian Raine Maida-esque bands they liked. In other news, the Strokes album is almost twenty years old. So by that measure, I’m getting old.

Chai, SXSW
Chai is the Baby Yoda of the music world. Impossibly cute, but underneath it, some crazy powers. Their show was enjoyable and better yet, makes you happy.

How was your 2020?

Burger Review: Bymark Burger, Bymark

Posted on by Ricky in Everything | Leave a comment

bymark burger

Hello, it’s been awhile since we last reviewed burgers here on the site.

As a reminder, this is a series based on a top 10 list of burgers published in Toronto Life.

However, this burger isn’t on the list. To be completely honest, I forgot about this list – I just thought I was really into burgers a few years ago.

This is the Bymark Burger and at $40, it may be one of the most, if not the most expensive burger in the city. It is certainly the most expensive burger I’ve ever had. The thing I’ve learned in life i that when life gives you free work dinners, you definitely order the most expensive burger you’ll probably ever order.

The Burger
– 8OZ BYMARK BURGER, brie de meaux, shaved truffle, grilled porcini mushroom

From my shitty internet research, it appears that the beef is from grass-fed strip loin. The cheese is obviously a fancier version of brie and anything with truffle is obviously next level.

The Verdict
Presentation wise, it was super pretty.

However, I was not impressed. At a 40 dollar price range, this burger came with sky high expectations and it definitely did not meet them. The burger was a decent size and bun was pleasant. However, the patty seemed like it could be salted a bit better and I think could have used a bit more fat.

In terms of togetherness, truffle and brie both have very strong tastes on their own and combined, it was unique but I would say occasionally overwhelming in that sometimes when I had a bite, I could taste the truffle, sometimes the cheese, sometimes the mushroom. It didn’t all come together. As a result, it was an unbalanced eating experience.

Complements:
The burger came with a choice of greens / fries / onion rings. OBVIOUSLY I picked onion rings. Only a monster would choose fries over onion rings.

The onion rings were delicious in all their greasy glory. I wanted more, but it’s a fancy place so I guess four onion rings is enough.

Handfeel
The burger had a good weight to it, but the sauce quickly soaked through to the point where I had to switch to a fork and knife halfway through so that my hands didn’t become super greasy. I personally like eating burgers with my hands so this was disappointing.

Overall
If this was a 20 dollar burger, I probably would have been more generous in my review, but as a 40 dollar burger it didn’t meet my standards.

Burger Scale

Amarillo Burger, Casino El Camino – 10$ USD
The Burger, Wickson Social – 19$
Bombolone Burger, Bar Buca – 15$
Burger, Rasa – 17$
Prime Beef Double Cheeseburger, Museum Tavern – 19$
Skyline Burger, Skyline Diner – 14$
Brisket Cheese Burger, Carbon Bar – 22$
Bymark Burger, Bymark – 40$
Game Burger, Antler – 18$
Vegan Mac Daddy, Doomies – 16$

Review: Bruce Dickinson, November 23, Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Posted on by Paul in Reviews | Leave a comment


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Shortly before the start of Bruce Dickinson‘s one man show at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Saturday night, I witnessed a man in the crowd who appeared to be putting earplugs in … before a spoken word show. It seemed a bit odd.

Granted, I don’t know what this guy’s situation was – maybe he’s got very sensitive ears (the pre-show music – all Maiden of course – being pumped through the speakers was perhaps a bit loud) or maybe those were actually earbuds and he was listening to the game or something. Still, it was a little unusual. I know it’s Bruce Dickinson, but what the hell was this guy expecting?

Truth be told, other than the general idea that Dickinson would be talking about his life and career over the years, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect either, but I had to assume that he’d have some pretty good tales to tell. After all, as far as legendary metal vocalists go, they don’t get much more legendary than the Iron Maiden frontman, so surely he’s got some stories. And over the course of the evening, Dickinson indeed regaled the crowd with stories from throughout his career, from his beginnings in his hometown of Worksop (which to his surprise, at least someone in attendance had heard of) to his time at an English public school (actually not public at all, but a private school – oh, those wacky English) to his early days in the music business as singer for Samson and onto his days as frontman for Iron Maiden and his other life as an airline pilot. So yeah, dude’s got a lot of stories. And he tells them well.

Memorable moments from throughout the night included his accounts of his time at that English public school, wherein he developed a healthy opposition to authority and was eventually expelled (“I pissed in the headmaster’s dinner. And he ate it.”) as well as the stories of his time singing in Samson and their general lack of experience when it came to the business side of the music industry. Also amusing was a segment of the show wherein he critiqued some of his past sartorial choices as he shared some slides of past stage wear with the audience.

Overall, Dickinson proved himself to be a very animated, enthusiastic storyteller. Funny too, albeit a bit corny at times. But I suppose Bruce Dickinson’s allowed to be a little corny if he wants. He’s earned it.

Review: Riptide Festival, November 23, Fort Lauderdale

Posted on by halley in Concerts | Leave a comment


When you combine good music, amazing light and sound set ups, tasty food, and the beach it’s hard to go wrong. Fort Lauderdale’s two-day Riptide Festival capitalized on this equation to put on an awesome event this weekend.

First, if you’ve never been to south Florida – you should make it a destination. White sand beaches, palm trees, crystal clear ocean, great bars and restaurants, fresh seafood and interesting (the good, the bad the beautiful and the ugly sort of interesting) people who come from all over the world. Second, what better time to go (especially for our Canadian and Chicago readers) than late November? I arrived from Chi city in a parka and immediately changed into a sundress. #yesplease

Finally, to close the argument: Riptide. The reasonably-priced festival isn’t overwhelmingly crowded, is jam-packed with interesting food and fashion vendors, is right on the beach and treats its audiences and bands right with great stage, lighting, and sound support to put on a stellar show. My personal highlights from Saturday’s line up were Judah and the Lion and The Killers. I really can’t sing Judah’s praises enough. They are just a delightful, high-energy and uplifting show every time I’ve seen them and they are touring hard so take advantage! These guys are well worth the ticket price.

The Killers, Saturday’s headliner, also lived up to expectations. The band, hailing from fabulous Las Vegas, put on a Sin City-worthy spectacle with an amazing light show and even a guest star from the audience. The band welcomed up a super talented young gentleman named Jason who wowed the audience with his drumming skills and obviously was having the time of his life. The whole show was a real treat and it was only good vibes in the audience who were soaking in the music, the surf and the beautiful Florida night. (Side note: the Killers made multiple promises to be back in Fort Lauderdale in 2020 – even more reason to book a trip.)

So, thanks Fort Lauderdale and Riptide. As we get closer to the Thanksgiving season here in the USofA I am so grateful for the weekend away from the chilly Chicago winter and the chance to see some top notch musical talent in a beautiful place with good people. Doesn’t get much better than that.