Ottawa’s 2 Sons show a rare sighting. One Bad Son and Rival Sons review
Oct 31 2013 – Oct 24-31, 2013 will be a week to remember for classic rock fans and could be one of the finest in memory for T-Mak World. The week started on Thurs Oct 24 with Montreal’s The Damn Truth opening the week by warming up the crowd for Rival Sons at the Phoenix in Toronto (see review here). On Fri Oct 25, One Bad Son were at the Tattoo Rock Parlor to open for Crash Karma on the final show of the tour (see review here). Floyd Factor also played Dark Side of the Moon at the new Rockpile East (see review). Two great lineups over 2 days. The week culminates with TimeGiant playing the Halloween Night gig at The Rivoli.
However, the fans of 106.9 The Bear in Ottawa had our ultimate lineup and the highlight of the week, One Bad Son opening for Rival Sons at their Halloween party on Saturday Oct 26. T-Mak World was lucky enough to be able to catch the show at one wicked venue in Ottawa called Tailgators, a mix of pool hall, sports bar and concert venue all in under one roof.
One Bad Son opened the Halloween night party already in form by starting the show off wearing masks. Friggin amazing!! As anyone who has seen One Bad Son is aware, the band huddles to start the show while playing a mini-jam that explodes into a smash mouth opening that was definitely special with the band wearing masks. Best costume of the night went to guitarist Adam Hicks who looked like one of the boys from Duck Dynasty mated with Michel J Fox’s Werewolf character.
The band seemed to feed off the energy of Halloween and the fact that the venue, Tailgators, had an amazing setup. The band’s proximity to the audience allowed for the unique interaction with all members of One Bad Son able to interact with the crowd, no more so than lead singer Shane Volk. If you have not caught a One Bad Son show, one quickly notices how at ease Shane is conversing with the audience and he is a very captivating story teller. And of course he has great pipes. Also great about the setup for One Bad Son was the stage was big enough for bass player Adam Grant, drummer Kurt Dahl, and Adam Hicks all to have enough room to rock it heavy throughout the whole show simultaneously and not wait for solo time. Some major headbanging was wicked to the point the crowd joined in.
Like the recent show in Toronto, One Bad Son band played songs from their latest album, a couple new songs that makes a fan drool thinking about the next album release. The crowd was completely into the 3 singles that have charted and were singing along with Volk. It is definitely great to see others appreciating this band the way T-Mak World has since discovering them at CMW 2012.
One Bad Son ended the night with an out of this world cover of Zed Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song in which they took the song and they transformed it to a song of their own.
Next up Rival Sons. Like One Bad Son, Rival Sons nailed it. Like One Bad Son, Jay Buchanan and his mates in Rival Sons, Scott Holiday on guitar, Mike Miley on drums and David Beste on bass, feed off the Halloween theme as well as the proximity to the audience.
From the start of the show, one also had the feeling that Rival Sons knew that they had a tough act to follow and an audience that was still buzzing from one awesome performance. This was a definite case of 1+1=3. The brains behind this pairing should be congratulated for this 1-2 punch.
Like other great bands, Rival Sons has a front man who is best compared to Jim Morrison and the more one watches him the comparison becomes evident. For those not old enough to have seen Morrison live we now get to experience what is was like.
Like other recent great front man, Buchanan seems to transcend to another plane while performing. From the trance like movements throughout the show, to removing his shoes to sing songs in his bare feet part way through the show, one imagines Jay has transcend to a beach at night with a fire and he is entertaining the masses. Like Shane Volk, communication with the audience is key for Buchanan whether in his messages in between songs or how he engages the audience with his movements and he is a master at his trade.
While one naturally would like to remain focused on Jay for the whole performance, guitarist Scott Holiday gives way too many reasons to look away from Mr Buchanan. His style is definitely unique and his own. His technique reminds of many of the great guitarists of all time and best exemplified in the classic Manifest Destiny Part 1.
Manifest Destiny Part 1 video
One accidental highlight of the show was when guitarist Scott Holiday had some technical difficulties. Yeah, it is never a highlight when a band has technical difficulties, in fact the opposite. But when the lead singer recognizes the situation and handles it elegantly by going into an ad lib of stretching the beginning of the upcoming song until his mate is back online that is the accidental highlight of the week. Wow what a save by Jay. Way better than the lead singer talking to the audience or an adlib drum solo. It makes sense considering the venue was a sport bar that Jay would out save anything seen that night in the NHL. It is also a situation that while not wished upon anyone, was wicked enough that it would be good to see again, but not likely to happen again. If Scott gets wind of this, my plea to him is once in a while make this a habit, it will be a treat for the audience.
If there was a disappointment of the night, it would be that with 2 great bands that are very complementary and comprised of very charismatic talented singers in Shane and Jay, great lead guitarists in Scott and Adam (Hicks) as well as wicked bass players in Adam and David and the and drummers Kurt and Mike, one wished the show ended with both bands on stage jamming to a classic song such as Led Zeppelin’s Battle of Evermore or Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb with 2 vocal parts and great guitar solos. Now that would be mind blowing and 1+1 = priceless.
Verdict: 5 out of 5! ….. Obviously. The best bar double bill we have ever seen.