The Baltimore House 43 King William Street
Being involved in the local music scene really means a lot to me and one of my favourite parts of I Heart Hamilton has been booking shows. I was itching to get some more going and it worked out to start 2014 with a bang!
I’ve had my eye on The Baltimore House since day one – I love the venue and I had been thinking about approaching them to collaborate on a show for quite some time. My wheels starting turning in the summer about booking some shows there.
I knew I wanted some killer local rock’n’rollers for this one. I was super stoked to land Weekend Riot Club, Thought Beneath Film, Ascot Royals, and Redanda. Thinking of the logistics of Baltimore House and this bill, I almost thought that it may be TOO much. Can we handle all these bands together? Silly question – of course we can!
A little play-by-play by numbers: 1 band incorporated a little stand-up comedy, 2 of the bands had never played Baltimore House before, 3 of the bands played killer covers, 3 of the bands include brothers as bandmates, all 4 bands treated us to brand new material… and all of that equaled one helluva time!
A neat fact I learned from Melissa of Weekend Riot Club – the band’s first show ever was actually on a bill with Ascot Royals. It was fun to bring the two bands together again and have them both play Baltimore House for the first time. This was also my first WRC show since Adam Neumann joined the band as their much sought-after bass player. It’s a great fit – Adam looked perfectly at home with them. The force of this band always blows me away.
WRC also added a comedic element to their set by bringing Zak McDonald onstage to do a little stand up before they played. Zak recently got back from India and the culture shock and lost in translation moments proved to be amusing fodder for his set.
This was my first time properly seeing Thought Beneath Film live, having met them and briefly catching part of their set this past summer. Having listened to them a lot since, I was excited to see them play again. Lead singer Brent Wirth was a guest on my show at CFMU that day and his acoustic performance live in studio was a great lead up to the show.
TBF had the crowd singing along to their catchy melodies and the singing got even louder when they launched into Weezer’s “El Scorcho.”
Baltimore House has been carrying beer by Collective Arts Brewing which all have unique labels featuring different artists – both visual and music. What a surprise, and how serendipitous, that we found one bottle that pictured TBF. How cool would it be to see yourself on a beer bottle? My ideas are flowing now for an I Heart Hamilton custom brew.
The Ascot Royals went through so much last year when all of their gear was stolen. That’s such a terrible blow for a band but the Ascots persevered (true to their latest album’s title, Don’t Let It Stop You) and with the help of the community they are slowly getting back on their feet. They’re the nicest bunch of guys and are so positive about everything. It was a pleasure to have them play another IHH show.
Ascots have added a new cover to their repertoire and busted out Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness.” They have a knack for picking great covers (I’ll always love their Billy Idol). Such a fun set every time.
Check out their performance of “Wolves,” filmed by Jason Blakely – an avid supporter of the local scene and IHH shows! I particularly like that he got this song because there was a framed painting of a couple wolves right behind the drums.
There was a solid crowd in the venue throughout the night and each band had a big group eager to see them. I knew Redanda would keep the energy rolling right to the end.
I’ve watched Redanda really come into their own and I’m loving the new direction in sound. I look forward to hearing the rest of what they’ve been working on at Threshold with Michael Keire.
When Corey and Curtis came on my show at CFMU, they teased that they would be debuting a new cover song they hadn’t played before by one of the big influences, The Strokes. It was a nice surprise when they launched into “Hard To Explain,” off of that classic debut album.
Apologies for the lackluster photos – I was too busy enjoying the night to capture it! Like with every show I’ve done so far, getting to put together a lineup I really love and stand front row, singing along with each band, is just the best.
I’m excited to bring another show to Baltimore on February 28th – I Heart Hamilton Presents: Dark Mean, Quails in the Nest, The Human Orchestra. Tickets are available now and you can mark your attendance on the Facebook event.
See you at the show!