One Bad Son. Remember that name – Canada is now the home to the future kings of real rock.
October 26 2013 – Writing this One Bad Son review is an honor and a labor of love with the utmost respect to Canada’s BEST rock band of the current generation. Saskatoon should be proud of their hometown heroes as much as we in Toronto are proud of Rush.The four guys of One Bad Son are individually incredibly talented but combined are a lethal force of aural pleasure and the stage is where they shine brightest.
Vocalist Shane Volk is up there with the likes of Vedder, Daltrey, Plant and Jim James. Not only does he have one of the strongest voices in the biz but his endearing presence on stage wins over even the harshest critic. Drummer Kurt Dahl is a powerhouse who is intelligent about his drumming and an authoritative backbone of the band. Dahl is not the typical back of the stage drummer and belongs front and center. Bassist Adam Grant reminds me of Geddy Lee in technique and is clearly on top of his game right now. Grant has insane bass power in those 10 fingers and clearly gets into the passion of his trade. Last but not least Adam Hicks – the more I see this guy the more I am blown away. When he casually strolls up to the center of the stage to take command with a solo I get the sense of rock majesty similar to when Jimmy Page would get going – Hicks is one big league riff monster.
Back in September 2012 a band that we briefly saw at Canada Music Week earlier that year sent us their CD for review. We were the first in the world to put up a review of One Bad Sons’ self titled album and you can read it here. That CD really impressed and we scored it a 4.5 out of 5, but little did we know at that time that it would spawn 3 Canadian Top 20 songs. Scarecrows hit number 5, It Ain’t Right hit number 11 and the current single Retribution Blues is climbing the charts and sits at number 17 currently (we predict this song will hit the top 3 in the Canada Rock Charts). One Bad Son were also our Best Band of Canada Music Week 2013 winner.
Enough background let’s take a journey into a show that was monumental for One Bad Son as they slowly but surely get established in the annals of rock legacy. The progression from bar band to arena rockers is a path of indescribable sweat, dedication, talent and showmanship all attributes that One Bad Son have in spades. Every visit to Toronto results in more buzz and the lucky few of us in the know from the beginning are smug in the knowledge of what we are about to witness when the band hits the stage.
A whirlwind of energy and a force of charisma can be used to describe the rock and roll goodness that kicks off with show opener True Grit. One Bad Son take the audience in its grasp and do not let go till the musical orgasm ride is over a short 45 minutes later. The band played 6 songs from their latest CD (including their 3 top 20 songs; Scarecrows, It Ain’t Right, Retribution Blues), 1 Led Zeppelin cover, and 2 new songs.
Retribution Blues featured a mid song scream from Volk that rivals Roger Daltrey at 7:45 of Won’t Get Fooled Again in intensity, power and range. As if that song wasn’t good enough on the record, the live rendition was monumental. Scarecrows, It Ain’t Right, Rustbucket and London Kills were all phenomenal and showed the versatility of the band from power ballad territory to heavy hard headbanging tunes.
Wasting Bullets and Morningside were the unreleased songs and will appear on the band’s new album. The first is a powerhouse cockrock stick of dynamite featuring a numbing Hicks solo in the middle. Morningside starts off slow and very quickly picks up tempo in a beautiful manner. It is an ode to the prairies which will surely become an anthem for rockers from that part of our great country and can best be described as something a hard rocking Neil Young would make. Both songs overall were excellent and you can see the YouTube video of each below.
Quite often bands will do covers of the greats and sometimes do a decent job playing back something from bands like The Rolling Stones, or The Who. What One Bad Son did tonight with Immigrant Song from Led Zeppelin was pure genius. Not only did they do the song justice they morphed it into their own with a trippy tempo slowdown in the middle of the song and at one point only Dahl beating the drum slowly and rising again to a climactic finish. The genius of One Bad Son was on display for all to witness tonight and man what a way to close a show.
It should be said that all this was just for an opening slot (One Bad Son were “warming up “the crowd for the headliners Crash Karma), but honestly I would hate to be in any band that is considered a headliner after One Bad Son – talk about an impossible act to follow. For us One Bad Son has been the headliner each and every time we have seen them plain and simple.
Also kudos should be given to The Rock 94.9 who were broadcasting live before the show as Lee Eckley was the on air doing his show at the front of the club. We have said it many times in the past but we will say it again 94.9 are an incredible supporter of bands like One Bad Son and we are very proud to be their partners in spreading the gospel of rock.
Verdict: 5 out of 5 – This show had everything we love about rock – emotion, energy and intensity. All hail the new kings of Canadian rock, just wait till these guys hit the States and the UK where guitar slinging heroes are sorely needed to revive our beloved real rock. If there is any justice in the world One Bad Son will be opening for the likes of Pearl Jam or Black Sabbath next and headlining their own arena tour after that.
A best of T-Mak World show.