After recently attending the Jaggermeister Music Festival at their stop in Toronto at The Sound Academy I would like to recommend this concert tour to every well-natured rock fan that enjoys a good show. Head lining were Papa Roach and Buckcherry both who have an amazing stage presence. Opening for the headliners were My Darkest Days (well-known for their song “Porn Star Dancing”) and Bleeker Ridge, both local Ontario bands starting to make it big in both the United States and Canada. It was a great crowd with a lot of dancing, crowd surfing, and various mosh pits. If you can attend this tour at any of its various stops throughout Canada and the U.S. it’s an amazing show and Buckcherry will teach you various rock star oriented “history lessons.” I happened to hear about this widely attended event through another concert held at the Historic Red Dog in Peterborough that both My Darkest Days and Bleeker Ridge attended and decided it was a concert worth going to.
However, what is a concert without a story? We all go to concerts and we all come back talking about what we saw, what we did, how we felt, and we talk about it for days on end until our friends are pretty much sick of listening to us! So without further adieu here is my story:
After the most delicious dinner at the Pickle Barrel, being the most delicious dinner I have ever had in Toronto, we set off to explore down town, then relaxed at the hotel for an hour before grabbing a cab to The Sound Academy on Polson Street. We met some of the coolest people in line who were introducing us to some new Spanish covers of famous songs. We got in and scoped out a decent spot on the floor that didn’t smell too badly of cheep beer and bad perfume. Then it happened: Bleeker Ridge got up on stage and my heart melted. For those who are unaware I have a very large crush on the bassist for Bleeker Ridge (who also plays in a band called Adrenachrome) and I don’t even know his name. Bleeker Ridge may have been a large part of the reason I attended this concert. They played a large selection of songs including, but not limited to, “Sixteen Hours,” “Pick Me Up” (my personal favourite), and of course “Small Town Dead.” The tight-knit group started as a quartet consisting of two sets of brothers from a town called Orillia, ON.
They were followed closely by a band I’m proud to say is from my home town of Norwood! My Darkest Days played all their big hits such as “Move Your Body,” “Every Lie,” and “Porn Star Dancing.” They unfortunately did not play “Set it on Fire” but I was singing it along with another crowd member while Buck Cherry set up anyways. They have an amazing stage presence and Matt Walst has hair that appears to be ever-changing between concert events. I would like to give Brendan McMillan super props for his stylish hat and amazing stage moves. With My Darkest Days came crowd surfers and mosh pitters but nothing that seemed to really catch besides the men ripping off their shirts and dancing with random women. I happened to be one of the random women at some point so to the lovely blonde man who came out of nowhere: you are far too tall to dance behind me then cut in front of me. He was part of a large group that was doing this and we may or may not have got in front of them and pushed them back… they would later form a mosh pit in their spot… way in the back.
Next came Buck Cherry who came on stage fully clothed including vests and would later leave shirtless. For a man of his age he is still looking great. He was absolutely hilarious, however many of the stories he told and remarks he made I cannot repeat in writing for fear of damaging young eyes. It was an amazing concert classified as an all age event however I would not bring anyone under the age of sixteen. He sang classic songs like Save Me and of course Crazy Witch (but we know what similar word is actually in the title…). With Buck Cherry came more crowd surfers (who were escorted out of the venue by charming men in security jackets), the smell of (*cough*) prohibited items, fist fights, and violent “moshers.” These people were getting everywhere. Barb (one of my accompanying friends) had spine problems as a child so Sam (my other accompanying friend) and I were creating a “Barb Barrier” to ensure no one got pushed into her. We unfortunately missed the crowd surfer who landed on her head. I would like to take this moment to thank the lovely gentlemen standing behind us who figured out what we were doing and joined in to shield her. Also, as a tattoo enthusiast I would like to take a special moment to note Buck Cherry’s amazing body art, especially on his back. It’s a King of Hearts like you’d find in a deck of cards with a banner across it that says “Desire.” It’s a well done piece and still looks really good even after years of exposure.
Lastly came Papa Roach who I will regretfully admit I wasn’t into so forgive me for this one being very vague. The band played their old stuff and their new stuff and I even got to wave the Zippo app on my iPod that I never thought would come into play. He brought with him a funny blue haze that came with the smell of the prohibited items once again and moshers who weren’t really moshing to mosh-appropriate music. I ended up in one of these mosh pits however I was grabbed and lifted out. I don’t think I have ever been picked up out of such a large crowd. Later in the midst of a safer crowd a surfer hit my head and knocked out one of my favourite earrings. However, my earlobe is still intact so it could have been much worse and I replaced the earring the next day.
Overall Jaggermeister Music Festival was one of the best concert events I’ve attended. It falls shortly bellow Music Fest in Belleville, but it’s going to be very hard to top Big Sugar, Finger Eleven, and ZZ Top in my eyes. I look forward to reporting on many more events and would love to share tour information. I hope anyone who can make it out to JaggerFest enjoys it as much as I did. It was definitely an experience worth having.Kayleigh Hindman, for The Work of Art Blog For more reviews, click here.
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