The Life Of An Opening Act-Part 2

I got to the show early. The opportunity to see Danko Jones in my hometown for next to nothing at a smaller venue could not be passed up.

This gave me the opportunity to speak to both opening bands. The first is a band from my hometown called The Wormwood Scrubs. They are really friendly, and have a wide mix of sounds from punk, to 60’s surfer rock, and a little hint of Brit Pop. They are a KW band, but the lead singer and drummer, Steven and Shaun Foy were born in Liverpool, England. The British accent gives the local band a unique flavour, and the rest of the band, Brandon Sanders(bass), JE Dawe(lead guitar) are tight, and sound great. During the interview I ask what bands influenced them. The Clash, Green Day, Rancid and NOFX were all mentioned. Personally, I get a positive vibe from the band, that most punk bands do not have. I asked them about if any upcoming songs will have that anger or angst often associated with punk. Brandon stated “What do we have to be angry about?” Perhaps positivity is the new punk, grunge or whatever genre is next. I was informed the band will be releasing some material soon that is heavier and I look forward to this. One song from their setlist that is not on the cd I bought that night is Too Late To Go Home. It kind of reminds me of Rollover DJ by Jet, and I really dug it. They performed a 9 song set, with 5 songs on the cd I bought, and 4 songs, possibly on an upcoming album. To sum up the talent of the band, lets put it this way. The first time I heard Take It Back by The Temperance Movement, I thought it was The Wormwood Scrubs. High praise indeed. I have yet to review the Temperance Movement, but suffice to say they are incredibly awesome. I am happy that there is at least 1 local band that has a bright future.

The bands Facebook page has videos of live and recorded performances. I suggest you check them out.

The next band is Say Yes. This is a new Canadian Supergroup of sorts, featuring Jordan Hastings(Alexisonfire)-drums, Adam Michael(formerly of Saint Alvia Cartel)-guitar and vocals, and Michael Zane-bass and vocals. The band states they were influenced by Black Sabbath, and they would classify themselves as a stoner rock band. This talk was before I had heard their set, and afterwards I was shocked. They had some sludge to their songs later in  the set, but not your typical stoner rock sound. It was a mashup. Possibly because one member came from a harder rock band, one from punk, and one from a combination of many styles. Unique would be my description, but in a good way. The raw emotion of the punk upbringing I feel helps with this uniqueness.

I asked Say Yes if they could cover a band, what band would it be. They said Van Morrison. Then they laughed their asses off. There is an inside joke about how they would always be asked to play Brown Eyed Girl, and that they really would do Black Sabbath or Deep Purple. Don’t get me wrong, Sabbath is my favourite band, and Deep purple is right up there, but these guys shouldn’t be fit into the mold of thousands of bands out there that want to emulate Sabbath or Purple. After listening to their set, the cohesiveness came through, as did the excellent musicianship. The guitar sounds were sometimes ones I don’t think I’ve heard before. It is hard to explain. You’ll have to see them live to get what I mean. Another great Canadian band on the upswing.

I bought cd’s from both bands and they will be done in a future post. At this rate soon both of these bands will not be opening acts any longer.

21 thoughts on “The Life Of An Opening Act-Part 2

      • I’ve found they genuinely like feedback too. I saw a Cambridge band play, the Candidates. The drummer was playing so hard he broke his pedal. He considered the performance a near disaster. I said, “Dude, no. You were playing HARD! The pedal failed because you guys were rocking so fucking hard! It was brilliant!”

        Liked by 1 person

      • That is an awesome story. I am going to be doing an ongoing segment on previous concerts I have never posted. I would love for you to do that and include that one. If you want to include any, no matter how short, I would be honoured to include it as part of my Opening Band segments.
        I love when a band is giving their all. I watched a youtube clip of Led Zep live, and one person commented. ” To all you young wanna be drummers. That is how it is done.”


      • Did you prefer to interview the band before or after their set? Before usually means easier access, if the band prefers to hang backstage after. However, after gives you the ammo of asking questions based on what you heard.
        If it was before, did you get a sense of the band sounding different than you expected based on the interview?


      • After…I was at Brian Vollmer’s house before his big CD release party in 2007, and he was clearly busy. He was getting ready for the show, he was making calls, selling the last few tickets, it wasn’t the right time to chat. But I appreciated it none the less. His wife Lynda is extremely welcoming…just an awesome lady.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Awesome. I am trying to set up a few interviews with bigger names, but they are tougher to get. I always get asked, what I write for. When I say my blog, there is usually a long pause, and a “The band is really busy.”
        Maybe some day Tony Iommi will invite me to his house or Neil Peart will take me on a motorcycle trip with him. :)))))


      • I always start with how many hits from how many unique readers I get. Add 10 or 15% to that number, and tell them that’s your daily or weekly reach…works for me.


  1. That’s crazy – I went to elementary school with Adam and middle school with Jordan and haven’t seen/talked to either in 20 years. That’s awesome their band is doing well (and that the guys are still down to earth) – good tune too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awesome. I never got the chance to talk to Jordan as he was backstage during the interview. Suffice it to say he is an amazing drummer though. I also saw him open for Billy Talent when he was in Alexisonfire, and I just found out they are re-formed for big shows. They will be at RiotFest in Toronto in September and I am stoked to see them.
      Adam and Michael were both intelligent, articulate and passionate about music. They have a positive energy that is catchy. I get the feel that the band are long time buddies that really enjoy each others frirndship, and this is reflected in the live show. I suggest to touch base with the bands Facebook page and let them know about you.
      If you want I can send an email to.the band for you as well. Let me know.
      I love this kind of stuff.


      Liked by 1 person

    • When I was younger, I wrongly assumed that opening acts were not worth seeing, so we got to the show when the feature act was on. We often stayed in the bar when the opener was on.
      I now get there early and catch all the acts. I’m not sure how many of the hundreds of openers went on to bigger things, but I probably missed out on lesser knowns like Metallica, Stevie Ray Vaughan, etc when they opened back in the day, so I don’t want to ever miss out again.


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