Tag Archives: Alternative Rock Music

LIVE REVIEW: SUM41 AND SIMPLE PLAN THE BLAME CANADA TOUR 2022

Canadians know how to rock – period! Sure, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Sidney Crosby and all other Canadian hockey stars can “rock” the ice rink, but, damn, Canadian rockers can take down the house too. Sold out summer stage The Stone Pony at Asbury Park, NJ just barely survived full onslaught of variety of punk rock. And if anything, we Blame Canada. Canadian rockers SUM 41 and Simple Plan just wrapped up their co-headlined North American The Blame Canada Tour 2022. So we caught up with them on hot, steamy night by the famous Jersey shore in the famous Jersey rock venue to witness one of the last shows in the tour.

Written by Andris Jansons

Night started off with very colorful performance of American band Set It Off. I was able to witness the band wrapping up their set. Some very joyous music, as colorful as the bands members themselves, and setting off many positive vibes.

Simple Plan came on stage as sun started slowly setting. With no backdrop banners, some contrasting clouds and blue sky set the beautiful natural backdrop. For a Simple Plan this tour served as a way to commemorate 20th Anniversary of their debut album No Pads, No Helmets …. Just Balls, and the band opened their set with the song taken from that album called I’d Do Anything. Other songs from album that were played were Addicted, I’m Just A Kid, The Worst Day Ever and Perfect which served as a conclusion for their set.

Photo by Andris Jansons

Se full photo gallery for Simple Plan here.

Bands vocalist Pierre Bouvier kept constant contact with the crowd and made quite a few references of the previous times band played in New Jersey. He even let the fans play with his balls …. Ughh, the inflated beach balls that is. Why, what did you thought? One lucky fan even received signed by Pierre beach ball. Later during I’m Just A Kid song the bands drummer Chuck Comeau addressed the crowd about pandemic and tour postponements and decided to crowd surf, but not before putting on a yellow hazmat suit with hazmat facemask, and when fans “returned” him to the stage he got disinfected with some smoke guns. A little lighthearted step back from all the stress we suffered in the last two years.

SUM 41 barged on to the stage like a Nor easter winds from the Canada in the middle of January. We, Jersey people know that all too well. Fittingly, just before the band came on the AC/DC’s TNT blasted from the speakers, just to give way for SUM 41 to blast first three songs – Motivation, The Hell Song and Over My Head (Better Off Dead). All three songs felt like one, relentless onslaught of hard-hitting punk rock with Dave Baksh shredding like a true metaller and vocalist Deryck Whibley delivering aggressive vocals. Same goes for everyone else on the band. Everyone was fully immersed in the moment and performance.

Photo by Andris Jansons

See full photo gallery for SUM 41 here.

SUM 41 dedicated this tour to their 21st Anniversary of their debut album All Killer No Filler. And while they played four songs from that album, rest of the set was nicely filled with the material from most of their discography.

Band delivered a hard-hitting punch for the night as crowd was going off in the pit and crowd surfers came forward like ocean waves crashing the Jersey beach.

Both Canadian bands are now scheduled to travel to Europe for better part of September and October, and later SUM 41 will join Offspring for their Australian Tour.

SIMPLE PLAN Highly Anticipated New Album “Harder Than It Looks” out now

Harder Than It Looks, the highly anticipated new album from multi-million selling and streaming rock band Simple Plan is out now. Featuring recent singles, “Wake Me Up (When This Nightmare’s Over),” “The Antidote,” “Ruin My Life,” and “Congratulations,” Harder Than It Looks has garnered millions of streams across platforms and captured the attention of Billboard, SPIN, Teen Vogue, Audacy, and more. To stream or purchase Harder Than It Looks, please visit: https://orcd.co/harderthanitlooks.

The band shares: “We poured our hearts and souls into these new songs and we’re so proud of this record.

More than 20 years into our career, we love being in this band more than ever and still have the same passion for playing music and writing songs together that we’ve had since day one.

We made a classic, quintessential Simple Plan record that our fans will absolutely love and it was amazing to go back to our roots and unapologetically embrace what has made this band special to so many people: fun, catchy, honest and emotional songs that will make you feel less alone, put a smile on your face and give you hope.

Fans can look forward to hearing new music live as Simple Plan hits the road for the Blame Canada Tour with Sum 41. For a full list of dates, please see below or visit www.officialsimpleplan.com

Additionally, in light of the recent crisis in Ukraine,Simple Planhas been offering support to the people of Ukraine with their new single “Wake Me Up (When This Nightmare’s Over)”. The new music video was directed by Ukrainian filmmaker Jensen Noen and was filmed with a Ukrainian cast and crew. VFX and post-production work were also performed by Ukrainian artists. All money generated by Youtube views will go directly to Ukrainian relief efforts, through the UNICEF Ukraine Emergency Appeal. The group is also pledging to donate a portion of the proceeds from tickets sold throughout the current tour through The Simple Plan Foundation.

About Simple Plan:

From their new millennium rise to MTV superstardom through pop-punk’s modern resurgence that has introduced their iconic, multi-platinum sound to new audiences around the world, SIMPLE PLAN have been an indelible part of pop culture for more than two decades because they’ve never lost sight of what got them there in the first place: their fans.

The quartet, formed in Montreal in 1999, enjoy the rare sort of artist-audience dynamic that’s never dulled over time–if anything, it’s only grown, as both the band and their fans have learned that life as outsiders is anything but lonely.

Free agents for the first time in their storied career, the band kept their circle tight during the recording process, enlisting longtime songwriting partners like We The Kings’ Travis Clark and producers Brian Howes and Jason Van Poederooyen (who worked on the band’s 2011’s album Get Your Heart On!) and Zakk Cervini (blink-182, Good Charlotte) to be part of the 2019 sessions. Bouvier himself even got in on the action, receiving producer credit for the first time after years of meticulously crafting the band’s demos.

In a time when artists are more in control of their careers than ever before (“No one is ever going to care more about the band than we do,” Comeau says proudly), the sense of freedom the quartet enjoyed while making the album let them follow their own convictions: No looming deadlines, no pressure from external forces to deliver anything other than the record they wanted to make. In doing so, they rekindled a spark they didn’t know was missing.

Throughout our career, it’s taken a while to be mature enough to understand that our sound is an asset, not a liability,” Bouvier says. “On this album we said: ‘Let’s just embrace who we are and not be afraid to do what we do best.’ Making a good Simple Plan record is just as hard as making something off the beaten path.”

Thus, HARDER THAN IT LOOKS: an album title that, true to form, elevates the adolescent joy hard-coded into Simple Plan’s DNA since day one while at the same time reinforcing a sense of self-awareness that’s guided them through a career full of ups and downs.

We feel so lucky to be a band with fans who love our old and new material,” Comeau says, noting 2022 marks the 20-year anniversary of their debut album No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls. “We’re very proud of our past, but we’re even more excited about the future. We’re still ambitious, driven and curious to see what the next 20 years will bring. We truly always feel we’re 3 minutes away from the best or biggest song of our career.”

Simple Plan is:

Pierre Bouvier (vocals)

Chuck Comeau (drums)

Sebastien Lefebvre (lead guitar)

Jeff Stinco (rhythm guitar)

Pixies Share The New Single “Vault Of Heaven”

From The New Album ‘Doggerel’ Which Follows On September 30

The return of Pixies has been rapturously received, the alt-rock trailblazers reconnecting with long-term fans and introducing themselves to a fresh new audience. In recent weeks, they’ve headlined large outdoor venues across the UK, performed as special guests to Pearl Jam in Hyde Park, and played one of their most intimate shows in years at Manchester’s Band On The Wall. The shows come ahead of the release of their new album ‘Doggerel’ on September 30, which was previewed by its lead single ‘There’s A Moon On’, which was instantly A-listed at BBC Radio 6Music.

Pixies’ momentum continues as they today share the follow-up single ‘Vault of Heaven’. The track has just premiered on Steve Lamacq’s 6 Music show and was given its live debut at the Band On The Wall show.

Mixing dusky, Morricone-style desert noir atmospherics with a chiming, melodic guitar motif, ‘Vault of Heaven’ also takes a leftfield turn as flourishes of female backing vocals provide an almost hymnal touch. Black Francis’s lyrics combine elements that are both abstract and every day in a surrealist narrative, in which the protagonist aims for salvation but only ends up falling flat on his face.

‘Vault of Heaven’ is released alongside an official video which brings its absurdist tale to life. It begins with a semi-clothed Zorro-esque figure who is heading into Los Angeles on the back of a toy horse. He arrives at a 7-Eleven, where things get stranger still with the help of bizarre Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe lookalikes. The visual was directed by the filmmaker and musician Charles Derenne.   

As we’ve heard from both ‘Vault of Heaven’ and ‘There’s A Moon On’, ‘Doggerel’ is a mature yet visceral record of gruesome folk, ballroom pop and brutal rock. Its stories are haunted by the ghosts of affairs and indulgences, driven wild by cosmic forces and envisioning digital afterlives where no God has provided one. Pixies – completed by Joey Santiago (guitar), Paz Lanchantin (bass) and David Lovering (drums) – recorded the album with producer Tom Dalgety (Royal Blood, Ghost) in Vermont.

‘Doggerel’ is available to pre-order HERE. The band’s official store offers a range of physical product, merch and bundles as well as two exclusive formats: an orange vinyl and a red cassette. 

Pixies’ huge world tour rolls on through to the close of the year, taking in Europe, North America, South America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. The final show of their summer tour comes when they headline the End of the Road festival on September 3rd. Please see their website for a full list of all international dates.