october 10, fishbone
Following a mildly satisfying set by local ska-metalheads the Salads, the hungry Lee's Palace crowd anxiously awaited main course Fishbone. Despite the departure of original drummer Fish, negligible radio support and being dropped from their label, the L.A. survivors are holding things together. What's kept Fishbone going all these years is fan support fed by legendary performances boasting formidable musical chops and the frenzied stage-diving antics of charismatic frontman Angelo Moore. Thursday night Fishbone did not disappoint, cooking up a barrage of ska, funk and punk at a dizzying rate. Bands may come and go, but the 'Bone is here to stay.
october 12, heelwalkers
An unexpectedly late start for the Tift Merritt show at the Horseshoe provided the opportunity to check out the Heelwalkers a few doors down at the 360. That the sound bleed-over from the dual guitar thrash of the Nova Scotian numbskulls was making conversation difficult for those sipping café au lait outside the Rivoli showed definite promise. But inside the club, the few people milling about weren't thrilled by the deafening blast. Neither were the two curious Warner reps by the bar who blew their cover by chugging Heineken, which, at the 360, stands out like a three-piece suit in a mosh pit. Evidently, after inking a deal with Buck 65, they wanted to see if there were any other Halifax artists worth scooping. They split after just three tunes.
october 12, hidden cameras
The Hidden Cameras' ecstatic, over-the-top revival-meeting-cum-pep-rally-cum-orchestral-extravaganza took on a decidedly queer (in all senses of the word) vibe when set in the rickety, straitlaced Victoria Chapel at U of T. Penis pennants battled crucified Christ oils for wall space, the usual balaclava-clad go-go boys shared the stage with half-naked pom-pom-toting cheerleaders and a bizarre golden charioteer, and Joel Gibb and his band of merry pansexual anarchists (plus a massive choir) showed off a whack of new material (most of which will hopefully appear on the Cameras' upcoming Andy Magoffin-produced disc).
The churchy acoustics magnified the band's folky orchestral sound to magnificent proportions -- even Gibb's semi-solo set with Gentleman Reg, a string duo and an organist was beautifully overpowering. The Cameras lured the entire chapel (which included Mia Sheard and a slew of art scenesters) outta their pews and into the aisles, turning tacit admirers into dancing fools. The floor of Old Vic was literally shaking. Give these guys a deal.