So, was the S.C.E.N.E. Fest in Ontario going to be complete and utter chaos, with 147 band descending on fifteen downtown stages in St Catherines? No. It was well-organized and great to cover.
Having heard nothing but good buzz about the Underground Operations label, their booth was the first place I hit. After being introduced to the folks from Underground -- whose founder, Mark Spicoluk, used to have a pretty popular band called Closet Monster -- I checked out the first band.
The Mohones opened the main stage, and what a band; a touch of folk (flutes and accordions) mixed with punk. Next, I went down to a pub/bar (where most of the bands played) and checked out These Silhouettes. All in their teens and playing like they've been together for ten years, they started kicking out the jams with their fans singing along. After their show I had a chance to talk to lead singer Stuart Aiken about how, with no CD released (drops this fall), did their fans know all the songs? He replied that the band's MySpace site get thousands of hits daily.
These Silhouettes at S.C.E.N.E. Fest 2007 more photos... photo by clint gilders- staff photographer
I Hate Sally was next and their lead singer Dee can belt it out in a way that would put most guys to shame. She interacted with the crowd showing no fear of the security, who seemed unsure how to handle a mosh pit and a singer who feeds off the energy of the crowd. The crazier the crowd became, the more intense I Hate Sally became. I'd hate to see the equipment repair/replacement bills look like! If they could have gotten away with it, they would have torn the stage apart. Later when talking to Dee, I told her that if I were the band to go on after I Hate Sally I would have packed up and gone home because who could top that energy. Their album Don't Worry Lady has been recently been released in the USA with great sales and it also hits Europe in Sept/Oct.
Machete Avenue was a nice change, very mellow and clean, the singer and keyboard player harmonized well together -- great radio play presence and should be a huge band of the future.
The only reason I wanted to check out Cancer Bats was because every third person there seemed to be wearing a Cancer Bats t-shirt. So off I went. Not you average Hardcore band. There was just something about them that made you keep on watching. I couldn't put my finger on it but the crowd sure did, and wow did it get crazy. The inexperienced security were kicking kids out left right and center with little or no explanation.
All in all, a great fest, but these were the bands I think we'll be hearing more from in the future.