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HockeyFest 2011

Dan Langevin
June 07, 2011

Well of the Saturday and Sunday shows I got to see, Iíd have to day Saturday was an insane rock party and Sunday was the feel great lets get baked and kick back with friends day. It was probably the best way to do it if you think about it, I mean the line up on Saturday was intense from Fozzy firing up the crowd with Jericho climbing the scaffolding half way to the top and finishing a song from 30 feet in the air to the none stop powered out tunes of Finger Eleven. I managed to score a F11 guitar pick and since I was a camera man for the event, Chris Jericho actually took my camera and recorded the crowd and some of his performance which was a great surprise, I also got to see Finger Elevens guitarist show me what a real guitarists act on stage should look like. Dancing and fighting to keep his guitar under control he slips in and out of the strapping while playing one handed hammer-ons on what I can only describe as a floating guitar with a mind of itĎs own. 3 Days Grace who is well known and enjoying major radio play in most of South Western Ontario, followed up with a much calmer feel to their live show. Major props for their fire-works show tho! Every festival could use a good fireworks show! Deep red flames billowed out of the sides of the stage maybe 20 feet into the air as darkness settled and the last drop of the sun dipped behind the horizon, only the festival lighting could now show the sea of eleven thousand fans screaming, in one hand: preferred beer.. in the other? Recording on cell phone!

So many bands contributed to the epic hockey party, but to not single out and mention Hollerado would be a mistake! They are a fresh new sound with an amazing stage presence. The fun banter with the crowd really fired up the friendliness and party atmosphere and the tunes got you jumping and laughing with your friends. Other bands there on the weekend included an always excellent performance from the Trews. The Artist Life was great, Torontoís Vinyl Heart pretty good, Slow Motion had a great show but ended it with a minor injury when jumping around on stage. The Reason, Street Pharmacy, Victory Sweet Victory, Scotty James performing his new album, Inambush, the Envy, Bleeker Ridge. Damn it you canít stuff much more bands in then that! I mean with a 15 minute change over you barely had time to hit the bathrooms and grab a new drink before some one was blasting out a new set!! Sets ran from 20 minutes for early opening bands to 90 minutes for the big bands like Sublime and 3 Days Grace.

Hockey has a way of getting your blood going and firing up your party side so itís no wonder the festival found most of Brantford in itís audience. This was the second year being there for me, last years headliner was Our Lady Peace, which was quite fantastic from a 90ís point of view and this year wasnít any different when it came to throw backs. Second Last band on Sunday was Tokyo Police Club, now Iíve never seen them before and have only heard their tunes in passing radio surfing, so when no one wearing a police uniform came out I was quite relieved that my flash backs to the village people didnĎt become a reality. They were full of good vibes and got the entire audience on their feet and ready for.. Sublime. Sublime had a refreshing presentation of the original tunes mixed with some of the songs coming out on their new album. I must say the new singer sounds incredibly like the old one, and the crowd responded with cheers that outlasted any of the previous bands from the whole weekend. Chants for the band went on till the lights dimmed. Then the 3 piece band filled the festival with memories of old times and great tunes, receiving of course as thanks may-o-joints tossed on stage for later!

Itís a well known fact that Wayneís dad, Walter Gretzky is a great guy, raising a champion like no other, but who would have though he knew how to Rock and Roll..

- Dan Langevin -