Landmark Showcase 2013

Saturday at the Alehouse Landmark Events Presented The
Landmark Showcase Competition featuring bands from Kingston and the Surrounding

With 16 bands competing for Recording time, Mastering, A
professional made Music Video, a professional Press Kit, Publicity Campaign,
Non Exclusive Licensing Contract, and more.

The judges for today’s event were

 Paul Galatti – Owner

Supras – Owner Milagro Records

Mariliene Belanger –
Artist Managment/ Entertainment Lawyer


There was quite a wide varied mix of bands, music and
genres. What I liked the most about the competition was the fact that the
judges were not biased so when it came to the different genres especially when
Heavy Metal, Hip Hop/  Rap acts took to
the stage.

It was definitely one of the longest concert/show that I have
ever been to before in Kingston with the competition lasting about twelve
hours. Also for the showcase to be practically on time throughout the day
showed real professionalism by each band and LME stage crew and management.

The stage lighting stayed pretty much the same throughout
the day which was fine. The sound, well it was the typical Alehouse sound, way
too loud early on to the point where I think even matched close to Jucifer. I
felt band for the young children whose parents were playing early on in the
showcase and probably had a bit of ear damage done.

Starting off the showcase was Noteworthy, to me this was
probably one of the hardest slots of the entire showcase. They have a punk
/rock alternative sound which seemed to hit a good note with the judges and
audience. What really impressed me the most was when they finished their first
song they received a wide applause from the entire audience. It was great to
see the companionship between everyone/band at the Alehouse right from the
start. Noteworthy is a younger band that looked like a high school band but
that didn’t seem to mix with their sound very much. However they did lose me
with the last song in their set as it was pretty clear that they ripped off the
riff from Melissa Etheridge’s I’m the only one, and I know I’m not the only one
who picked up on this either, they could have got away with it the first time
they put it in the song but there were a few faces that I could see pick it up
the second time they played the riff.

Basalisk picked up the second slot of the day, their blend
of Progressive Rock and Metal hit the competition hard early on. I was actually
kind of surprised by the slot that they did pick up I kind of figured they
would have played later on in the day. This is where the sound problems I think
had an effect on the band. They are heavy enough then with the sound guy
overpowering everyone’s ears I don’t think it did the band any favours. However
they did blow through their set with authority even brining in a solid backing
of audience members to the front right after their first song finished. They
had a stand in bassist for the show today bring in a member from Sex Ray
Vision. They keys from Matt really kicks in that extra sound especially when
James starts shredding.

Werk Shed was a solid sounding Blues/ Rock band. They definitely
fit the bar band bill, with their blend of audience interaction and classic
rock sound. They may have taken their audience interaction a little too far a
couple of times during their set, but they did explain that they were out
really just to play a set and not so much be in the competition. Their classic
rock sound was a change from what played so far and really stood out as the
only band to venture in the sound. In The middle of their set however they
slowed down the tempo quite dramatically and played a drawn out blues number. When
they finished playing their last song or so they thought, they were told that
they had room for one more which seemed to catch the trio off guard and they
decided to play one more.

Buffalo Tree was the first band of the showcase to fill up the
dance floor. It was quite a surprise to see how many people showed up in
support of the guys, as they had a solid three rows of people dancing throughout
their Rockabilly/country/blues/rock set. There were quite a few people who knew
the lyrics to their songs as well which appeared to have made an impression
with the judges.  The vocals were a
highlight of their set for sure, they energy and enthusiasm which they
contained helped to ensure a second place finish in the showcase.

The Stone Throws received an honourable mention at the end
of the night. They nailed one of the judges voting in their favour right from
the start and even got my vote as well. For a young band, man could they play
and write. I would have and still swear they are playing as if they 25 years
old or over. The writing and arrangements in their songs was F’n amazing. The
lead singer could really play guitar and even snuck in a slide as well. They
knew how to grab the audience’s attention and pulled them right into their set
which quickly got the judges attention. What sold me the most about their
writing abilities was when they mixed in the guitar wave that imitated a bounce
in sound which immediately the crowd caught and starting bouncing along with
the song!

This was the second time that I have seen Statue in Ashes
play and the second time I have paid no attention to them after one song. Their
guitarist ruined their set for me again with his childish antics on stage. Even
looking around I know now I am not the only one who sees this as well.

Nothin’ But Mental really surprised me with their
performance. I will quickly admit that I didn’t really think very much of the
trio before they took to the stage but wow did they ever prove me wrong. Their backing
tracks were smooth sounding and had the smooth vocals to go with it. They were
not fighting the backing tracks and blended their vocals together to actually
make a real tracking song. They were not vocally fighting with each other yet
worked in unison to create a great flow. Their timing was well executed and
there is no one clear leader of the band. It didn’t take them long to get the
girls in the audience movin’. The fact that they could sing and great sounding
vocals and not have that normal raspy scratchy voice or mumble through the
lyrics makes in my mind Nothin’ But Mental stand out among other groups, solo
artists around.

Triumph Over Tragedy these guys probably had the hardest
time trying to get over with an audience. Normanly in a showcase competition
metal bands don’t fare as well comparing to the other bands, but when you add
Screamo to the mix it really puts that extra nail in the coffin. Their stage
appearance was well put together it was their genre companionship with the
other bands on the bill and the audience that really put the nail in their coffin.
The lead singer for sure did his part in leading the band. The guitar work in
the band sounded really good as well.

King For Ransom had a bit of a hard go as they lost their guitar
on the way to the showcase, which proved to be a energy killer as they had to
stop and tune in the borrowed guitar a couple of times during the set. These
guys have to screaming vocalists which didn’t really sound all that great. It
sounded as if they were fighting with each other all set long, and made their songs
really hard to follow along with. If you could make out the lyrics from the one
vocalist then the other vocalist would come in and take over and destroy what
you thought you were hearing. I would either stick to just one vocalist or just
have the other singing backup instead of having two lead vocalists.

The Glorious Sons came in and quickly and easily showed the
judges and audience what they are about. This is now the second competition
that they have won, and it is really no wonder once you watch see them live.
The biggest compliment that I heard the judges say was they sound like the
Sheepdogs but way better. They have a solid setlist to the point that it can’t
be perfected anymore. They had a huge following with them tonight which again
appeases to the judges. Brett made quick work tonight of his wooden tambourine
making it explode off the side of his leg. This wasn’t the first time that
Brett’s energy has blown off and has broken an instrument or a bit of stage
gear.  The guys have such at tight set now
that has pretty much paved the way for the guys. The timing that Adam, Jay,
Andrew, Brett and Chris have is one of the most crucial aspects for the success
of their live shows. The only real time they gave the audience a break from the
energy was when they went into the opening piano portion of “Ruby”. My
favourite song by the guys still stands to be “White Noise”.

Nick Babcock band was up next and what an act they had to
follow up to. They did manage to get a honourable mention at the end of the
night. They had quite a few supporters out in the audience as well but just not
compared to the last band. The tightness of the band scored major points with
the judges. Their songs for the most part leaned towards a classic rock sound
and a couple had a little softer approach. Blues definitely made its way into their
set as well. A major aspect of their set was vocally driven a lot of force of their
sound is based on the vocals. The explanation into a couple of their songs was
quite amusing.

The Easton Ellises were up next but they were not part of
the competition which was made quite clear at the start of their set. I felt
bad for the band as everyone dissipated from the front of the stage once they
began to play. Their blend of electronic dancing tracks infused with Montreal
Rock easily made the band stand out. They even brought along the former lead
singer of Mobile (Mat Joly) to help out with a couple of songs. It seemed no
matter how hard they tried they couldn’t bring anyone to the front of the
stage, it didn’t seem to bother their playing at all but there is no way that
they didn’t notice the lack of an audience. Their timing through their set was
excellent especially nearing the ending of their set when they froze into a
pose for about twenty second as the backing track played on and then all together
they came down to finish off the song. I don’t really know what to call their
genre as I have never really heard anything like this before.

Sovereign Council made a huge impression on me. I couldn’t believe
the amount of people they brought along with them.  Their stage presence and appearance was a
huge hit with their overall set. They have characteristics and the proper
clothing to go with their sound; they didn’t just wear whatever they put on in
the morning. They dressed as a band. For fans of Lacuna Coil this is your best
chance to see anything else like it. They had quite a few people know the
lyrics to every song that they played. Their sound fused together quite nicely
even for gothic/metal music. The keyboardist filled in the voids which would be
left behind and helped to become one of the major driving force behind their sound.
This band proved that two vocalists can work greatly together and not fight
with each other all set long. The deep gothic sounds of Alexander’s and then
the soft perfect backing vocals from Lisa really take their sound and put them
on the top within the symphonic metal/goth genre that they are playing.

Jon Damani made his set quite short by only performing two songs.
The first song he rapped without any backing music then the second song he
rapped with a backing track played from his laptop. It was a little rough for
him as everyone took off from the front of the stage and left him out to dry
solo on stage, yet he still pulled it off as if it was nothing at all.

Blacktop Jumper this was the first time that I have watched
the band play live. Their blend of pop/rock classic rock and alternative was a
different mix from what he have been listening to for most of the day. Louisa’s
vocals were the driving force behind their sound, Dan helped out a bit on
backing vocals as well. Her mild and up tempo vocals put the pop sound into their
songs, and helped out with the higher sounding chords that Ira was playing.
They managed to pull in a couple of people to the front of the stage but still
had a hard go at it. The timing throughout their set sounded really good and
was a plus in my mind. If only the energy from their set went over more on the
audience I’m pretty sure they could have received a better overall placing.

Ah the Jaded Gentlemen one of the bands that I have constantly
tried to avoid, and they gave me no real reason to change my mind. Their sound
is definitely hurt by the lead singer’s inability to keep his breath throughout
their set. He always seems to be gassed early on in their set which then turns
the vocals into a patchy yelling mess. Tonight by the time they were done their
first song he was already breathing quite heavily into the microphone.

Mellonhead took to the stage as the final band of the night.
Here is a band in my eyes who have never got the right push and has never received
the accreditation that they deserve. For a band that has been around for as
long as they have and to never make many waves in the local scene is something that
I will never understand. They lead singer can shred with the best of them
locally; they have a solid set of songs. “Just Come To Me” to me was the best
song of their set, and really showed everyone what they are capable of. The
riffs that they nailed out during their set were a few of the strongest Metal
ones that I heard all day.





              Basalisk                       Blacktop Jumper               Buffalo Tree                The Glorious Sons                Jon Danami
DSC_0199 DSC_0915DSC_0438DSC_0873DSC_0756 

King For Ranson                   Mellonhead                     Nick Babcock Band             Noteworthy                      Nothin’ But Mental


Sovereign Council               The Easton Ellises              The Stone Throws        Triumph Over Tragedy             Werk Shed