I headed up to Barrie, ON Feb 25th to see a few bands play at Timothy Christian School. This was Air Raid 20, sponsored by the Christian mega-station, LIFE 100.3.
Behold! The City
Opening band for the night was Behold! The City, a newer hardcore band based out of Barrie. This group has been making some waves on the Ontario music scene. It was quite evident that they had a large number of loyal fans in the crowd. Forming in 2010, it was surprising the stage presence this band carries onto stage, considering their lack of longevity. Their show featured songs from their independent EP release, Kings and Cowards. The band is off to the states to record their fist full-length this spring for the Red Cord Record label. Jake Wilson, vocalist for Behold! The City gave it all to the crowd during their set. It will be great to see how Behold! The City will progress musically as they mature.
I decided to pass on seeing V. Rose perform, choosing instead to spend time in the lobby for a bit of R&R. While V. Rose may appeal to the tween and pre-tween set, I’m not a fan of soft toned solo female singers. An 7 or 8 year old girl and her mother were standing near me when I returned. She told me that she was disappointed in the lip-synched performance of Rose.
Too bad so many female Christian artists choose the path of least resistance, mirroring only what has been done musically before.
I’ve been impressed with this band since their first release, Reason for Motion. back in ’05. Though the band is based out of Mississauga, ON, it was only the second time I’ve seen them live.
The Manic Drive playlist included some of my favourites; “Music” and “Walls” from their excellent CD Blue. “Save a Life” and “Halo” from the new album Epic. I was disappointed with the Epic release. I found it lacked the stand out tracks found on Blue. Their current single “Halo” is a lightweight song, but I do enjoy their second single, the relatively mellow “Save a Life”.
House of Heroes
The head line band takes the stage. House of Heroes had it’s beginnings in 1998 as No Tagbacks later switching the name to HoH. Their Feb 25/12 show in Barrie was only the fourth date this band has played in Canada. Unfortunate that so many American bands find it difficult to play in Canada. The direct result of difficult Canadian border crossings requirements.
House of Heroes is made up of Tim Skipper on lead vocals and guitar, Colin Rigsby with drums, AJ Babcock on bass guitar, and Eric Newcomer on guitar. Skipper, Rigsby, and Babcock have all been with the band since it’s inception, while Newcomer is, yes, the newcomer to HoH arriving in ’09.
House Of Heroes had completed the recording and mastering of their upcoming album, Cold Hard Want, only three days prior to playing the show in Barrie. The band included a few tracks from this album including what may be their new headline song “Out My Way”.
This alt rock band had always produced an interesting mix of songs. Not content to keep the status quo, they switch styles form acoustic numbers to songs containing a harder rock edge. It’s interesting to have a band that doesn’t feel the need to restrict themselves to a single style. This trait was noticeable during their concert at Air Raid 20. They began their set with “Elevator” containing driving guitars. “God Save the King” had the band dropping down to a blues riff at the midpoint of the song. Their classic song, “Serial Sleepers”, remained in the true alt rock style the band is predominantly known for.
Finishing up with “In the Valley of the Dying Son” from their ’08 album The End Is Not the End. The band played a huge 13 songs set that let everyone satisfied. Hopefully Canada will have a chance to see more of House of Heroes in the future.