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4/20 Show at the Mansion House with Breakthrough Productions:

Ben Krawec
April 23, 2011

Duel For a King, Kitchen Kore Krew, Stuck on Planet Earth, Slave Agent

Ok, first and foremost I would like to thank Justin Weaver for being awesome enough to give me a chance to to celebrate my love of cannabis while celebrating my love of awesome music. Before going into the musical side of things, I'd like to point out the context in which the music was listened to, which is important because ultimately music is about feelings and there isn't much in the world that is more essential to feelings than context. 4/20 is a special day for us, in a world in which everything sacred is either rigid and boring or commodified and ridiculous 4/20 is meaningful and special.
Its not something old that has been passed down from parent to child since time immemorial, nobody stuffed your confused 8 year old ass into an itchy and uncomfortable sweater for reasons nobody bothers to explain in detail in order to celebrate 4/20. Nobody makes you sit pretend to like a certain kind of food while making polite discussion with an aunt you haven't seen all year for good reason. You don't stress out over 4/20 in the shopping mall or get up early to go to a boring church service that everybody only goes to because that's the way its always been done. What you do do, however, (besides giggle about 'do do') is go visit your friendly neighbourhood pot dealer, whom you're probably on good terms with or he wouldn't trust you enough to sell you his wares, compensate him for risking his freedom that you may enjoy a joint now and then, then you go find out where all the people you like are gathering together and you all smoke each others' pot.

Its a very warm and fuzzy gathering of people who aren't obligated to hang out, we get together and get high together because we like each other and don't really need much more of a reason to celebrate. That is the kind of day on which I went to go see this show. The whole thing was totally in keeping with the true meaning and spirit of 4/20.

The first band to go on was local metal band, Duel for a King, who are actually pretty cool guys even when they're not on stage. They played a really great blend of melodic sounds that are normally more
associated with power metal and progressive metal with more of a metal-core edge. Normally I write notes during the show and flesh them out when I write the actual article but the jot notes I've got say things about as well as they're going to get said:

- Man, that guy's got serious lungs. Impressive vocals.
- Sound similar to Lamb of God, but cooler
- This shit angries up the blood, even on 4/20. That's talent.
- Wow is that guitarist talented. They sound more like something you'd expect from a band with two lead guitarists.
- I like that cool 'galloping' effect the guitarist uses
- They're causing the bench to vibrate in a pleasing manner
- I hope they play another show soon, that was awesome

The next to go on was Kitchen Kore Krew, who used the same awesome guitarist as Duel for a King. I recognized a couple of the faces in that band from a number of other, far more serious acts so while I
would absolutely LOVE to see this same line up again I'm not getting my hopes up that they'll allow this project to take priority over their others. If anybody ever hears of them playing again I'd love it if you'd let me know. These guys were absolute pinnacles of maturity and shining examples of entering adulthood gracefully, well into the spirit of the season with songs like, "A Million Million Chicken wings," "Butt Chugging," "Baboon Poon," and "Jobless Dirtbag," which made me want to laugh really hard and cry my eyes out at the same time because I'm pretty sure that last one was about me.

Stuck On Planet Earth is a really cool alt. rock band from Vaughan. They didn't draw as large a crowd as they should have, they were an excellent band reminiscent of Nirvana, the Foo Fighters and Alice in
Chains and they played with a lot of heart and energy despite the small audience. Honestly, I think the only reason they didn't have a packed floor to play to was because they were slightly out of their
scene. The majority of people that showed up to the show that night were metalheads and for some reason being a fan of one genre of music precludes you from enjoying others. That's a crock of shit, by the way. There are far worse things in the world than listening to something outside your usual genre. These guys are solid proof that rock is not dead, it just needs a revival and they're doing a great job at being a part of it.

Slave Agent rocked faces off in a seriously badass fashion. I know I've said before that they sound like the 80s all over again, and I still think that holds true, but the 80s fucking rocked. I'm glad
that we have bands like Slave Agent around to revive those old sounds, because I wasn't even born until bands like Exodus and Testament had already made it too big to be seen in a place like the Mansion House.

I'm never going to get to leap up on stage and belt out the lyrics to "Breaking the Law" with Rob Halford and the guys from Slayer are getting to be too decrepit to rock out properly so I am genuinely
pleased that we've got folks like Slave Agent who can carry on this beautiful tradition of mosh pits and bruises. I don't think I've ever seen such a fun mosh pit at the Mansion House as I saw that night, and
that wicked awesome cover of "Breaking the Law" made my night. Rock the f**k on, guys.


- Ben Krawec -