It is not every day that you get to see Blink 182, Green Day, and Everclear all in one show, let alone in a small intimate basement venue setting. This past Saturday that is exactly what happened for the lucky ones who filled House of Targ to the brim Saturday night… well not exactly.
This was the 10th installment of 90’s Punk Rock Cover Night, a night which features members of local bands covering songs from their favourite punk groups of the 90’s for a good cause. Nights 9 and 10 were back to back and raised $2540 for Evelyn Horne Women’s Shelter (offering young women aged 12 to 20 immediate access to safe housing) and For Pivots Sake (a non-profit organization founded by Antique Skate Shop to engage and mentor youth in the Ottawa community). This is an awesome initiative by one of the hardest working people in the music scene in Ottawa—Ska Jeff—hosted at one of the coolest venues in Ottawa—House of Targ. Now to get to the music.
Quinnzelle covering Blink 182 at House of Targ.
Playing this night was Quinnzelle doing Blink 182 songs, Radiodazed covering Green Day and members of The Suffering Booth playing Everclear. Most of the bands focused on playing their favourite songs as opposed to just playing the typical radio hits from the bands. People will surely have mixed opinions about that approach, but I thought it was a fun way to do it, and the non-stop mosh pits for Blink and Green Day corroborate that. That being said every band did sneak in a couple of hits for the fans. Quinnzelle played a couple of my favourites like “Carousel” and “Aliens Exist,” while also giving the crowd what they wanted with “All the Small Things” and “What’s My Age Again?”
Radiodazed covering Green Day and looking the part at House of Targ.
Radiodazed took to the stage to the intro of the video for “Nice Guys Finish Last” wearing Green Day masks to look the part, which was quite a nice touch. The band focused mostly on the early catalogue staying in the 90s playing songs off of Kerplunk,Dookie, Nimrod and more. They did something pretty cool for everyone’s favourite song “Basketcase” by inviting someone on stage from the crowd to play on a fake guitar and sing. The fan, Matt, killed it and was rewarded by being granted the right to trash the guitar on stage. What really blew me away was the fact that this band is the same band that played my University of Ottawa communications frosh week 13 years ago when we all get dressed up fancy thinking we were going to the nicest club in Gatineau after the casino but instead were taken to a dirty dive bar to see a punk band play. I distinctly remember the immense joy I felt when I saw the drummer’s huge red mohawk.
Getting things started were 3 members of The Suffering Booth covering one of my all time favourite bands—Everclear (thanks dad!). They also avoided playing the big hits like “Santa Monica” and “Father of Mine” which left more room for great tracks like “Heartspark Dollarsign,” “Amphetamine,” and “So Much for the Afterglow.” It was a lot of fun to go back to these songs which meant a lot to me growing up.
Ottawa has a new rock band, Galapagos, and they dropped a debut EP earlier this June.
The four-song release, Potential Space, starts off on fire with the song “Bike.” It kicks off the album with a flare for classic emo from the late 90s and early 2000s with a indie and garage flare connecting it back to the current day. Lead singer and guitarist Adam Ferris (also know as one half of the band Waxing Moon) described their sound as… “Think Ryan Adams meets Treble Charger smothered in American Football.”
Galapagos began as a folk duo that played a few shows in the spring of 2016. After starting up again last fall as a trio with a drummer, they wrote a whole batch of new songs. The EP is kind of a long time in the making explained Ferris “after some successful shows this past spring, we decided to record an EP. Due to creative and professional differences, we parted ways with our former drummer during the original recording sessions. The final version of Potential Space was recorded on the afternoon of May 20th, 2017 with Cameron Steacy (Organ Eyes) both playing drums and recording the EP.”
You can hear some of their folk beginnings in the second song “What I Deserve,” but you can also hear Steacy’s influence throughout the EP, especially on “Again” combined with the band’s vision to really make it a fuller sound. Steacy has recorded, mixed, and mastered other Ottawa artists such as The Yips, Bonnie Doon and Fire Antlers.
Potential Space is a great starting point for a band that has already seen several members change over and has grown from two-piece to four. I really enjoy how much diversity they fit into a four song release and see much potential in all the different avenues for the sound to continue to grow. I also really look forward to catching them live as I think the emotions and honesty would translate very well in an intimate setting.
Check out Potential Space below and also keep your eyes peeled for Galapagos in August as they play August 19th at Café Dekcuf with Sweet Rocket and BINOS and August 24th at Pressed with Basement Revolver.
Galapagos also participated in the Shot In The Dark Sessions, be sure to check out their live video session for the song “Bike” coming out online July 24.