This weekend we were able to take in two events in Dartmouth. Friday night at Big Leagues is their open-mic which was hosted by the 3 piece classic rockers, Six Pack Hemi.

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Things were initially running behind schedule so Six Pack Hemi only made a brief 2 song appearance to allow the house audio tech to make sure things were up and running before the first guest band Silkfuse took the stage.

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I don’t envy the audio tech that has to deal with an ever changing environment throughout the evening. Nights like this means he has to mix each band, setup their personal amps, microphones, etc; with no time to do any type of sound check. Things got off to a bit of a shaky start but after a few minutes spent tweaking some excessive stage volume and adjusting the monitor levels, the rest of the set was much smoother and overall quite enjoyable. Hat’s off to to the house audio tech Jerry Hamm, (aka “Hammer”) for being such a laid back individual, not allowing the unpredictability of the night to get to him.

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The next act to the stage was a band called “Sentinel” which we had not seen in the past. After a tune or two it was easy to tell that these guys have played together in the past. Their front man/acoustic guitar player seemed totally at ease on stage serving up strong vocals and solid stage presence. The band was tight and the bass player really stood out making the bass look effortless as well as providing strong background vocals. We would go see this band again without hesitation.

After a solid set from Sentinel it was time for Six Pack Hemi to return to the stage. The bands members are Dave Goyetche on guitar and lead vocals, Rob Roren on bass/vocals and David O’Grady on drums. All 3 of these guys have put in their time playing the club scene and it showed in their comfort level playing together. They finished off the night with a set of classic rock songs that everyone would know, bringing our night to a close. We like the open-mic concept since it provides new unknown local acts a venue to show their stuff. We want to thank all three bands that took part in the open-mic and plan to return for another one of these events in the near future.

On Saturday we stopped in to The Perfect Pour to see another old friend perform in an acoustic environment. Big in Japan started out as a 4 piece hard driving rock band before the economy intervened forcing them to make a few difficult choices. Currently they are functioning as a 2 piece acoustic group, though I have been told they have a gig coming at Big Leagues which will be the full 4 piece performing.

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Brian LeBlanc looks after the lead vocals as well as acoustic guitar, and Jeff Conrad handles the lead guitar parts as well as background vocals. This was our first time catching Big in Japan and we were quite impressed. Brian’s vocals were easy on the ears and the duo seemed quite content in their current format. We captured a video of them playing a Blue Rodeo tune. We hope you like it.

Well that concludes this episode but make sure to check back on the weekend for our coverage of The Steve McCall Band live from The Argyle in Halifax.

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