The Merchant Tap House’s Speaker System got put to the test as Grady and The Spades took to the stage Halloween night.
This was probably the best show that I have watched from the Spades and Grady, and I can’t even count how many times that I have seen The Spades play. This was the sixth show that I have seen Grady play, to date I haven’t missed a Grady show since they have started to play Kingston.
The Halloween costume of the night wasn’t too shabby. If I had to award a winner of the best costume it would definitely go to all of the waitress that worked at the Merchant Tap House, if you were not there then you missed out, even Gordy at some points couldn’t take his eyes off the waitress’s either.
First up were The Spades, this is the second time in Kingston that they have supported Grady. The last time was a few months ago at Barnone. The Spades are partially out supporting their new EP that is now available at their shows. If you have been to a Spades show recently then you have probably heard all of the songs off the EP. The Spades played their usual set of songs but in a shorter form then normal. When I first got to The Merchant I noticed that Grady already had their gear setup on stage so I was surprised that they were able to cram The Spades on the stage as well. There wasn’t very much left at all James probably had a radius of about three feet. Chachi was pretty much stuck in one spot behind his keyboard and pedals. The Spades added a new background “Instrument” on stage with them which had a slight impact on their songs. It is a antenna that is wired up and when they put their hands close to the antenna it gives off a small feedback sound. This is the first time that I have ever seen this done before, James also had a small slide guitar that he used as well. The guys came to the stage wearing different masks(see the pics for the masks). It only took a couple of songs before they were overheated from the masks and took them off. After about the second song they had the entire place up and on the floor. It didn’t take long for people to be jostling for a better place in front of the stage. My favourite song from the new Ep that they played was Stanley Kubrick, everyone knows or should know that hearing live music is better live then the album version. When The Spades play this song live it becomes a total new song compared to the album, Stanley Kubrick live just destroys the album version of the song. I found that the song was a lot heavier live and you really pick up the energy that is written into the song as well.
By this time I was pumped for Grady to come to the stage mostly because at the Merchant you feel as if you are on the stage with any band that plays there. Once The Spades backed up the rest of their gear I made my move and stood right in front of the stage and didn’t move from the spot until the end of the night. As I said before this was the best Grady show that I have seen yet. They played songs spanning all three of their albums, they also included a couple of covers including “Groundhog Day”, and Their version of Boots Or Hearts and also slipped in a couple Big Sugar songs as well during the encore. Grady Started off the night playing Whatchewdid and followed with Whiskey River. Blackass Woman was introduced in a different way this time however, Gordie introduced the song by saying that there wasn’t anybody dressed as his favourite costume. There was a couple of times proved that I was pretty much on the stage with Grady because Big Ben had to lift his bass and play it over my head a couple of times (which to me was a awesome experience!!). This was also the first Grady show where I could still hear after their show. I will never forget my first run in with Gordie in Big Sugar I couldn’t hear for two days. I mean I had ringing in my ears for two entire days. But this time I was prepared with my ear plugs but the amperage was low enough that I didn’t need to use them. In addition to their Skull which they keep on the front of Nina’s drum set they have added a smoke machine that has a tube wired up into the skull and Nina has a button to run the smoke machine. At the back of the stage they added their Candy Skull Banner to the back of the stage. Every time that I see Grady Gordie never seems to bring the same guitar rack with him. There are new guitars that I have never seen before and ones that he didn’t bring along that I was looking forward in seeing. My favourite guitar that I used to like watching him play the most was his White double neck that has the Canadian Flag taped to the back of it. During “Diggin A Hole” Nina sung pretty much all of Sharp Dressed Man in the middle of the song, which got the crowd riled up pretty good. The break that Grady also puts near the ending of the song still gets people thinking that it is the end of the song every time that they do it. For the first time that I can remember Grady played Dear Mr. Fantasy to finish out their show. Again this was the best Grady show that I have been to and this was my sixth Grady show.