Bigfoot Portal Crisis, Among Legends, Slamboni & The Bartops @ The Foxx Lounge Rock Bar & Hotdoggery
Updated: Jan 16, 2019
Four punk rock bands descended on The Foxx Lounge Rock Bar & Hotdoggery Saturday January 12th, 2019 in Barrie, ON. Put together by StS Promotions, this show was months in the making and promised to be one for the books! These bands are not new to the Barrie scene, and have gained a following of dedicated fans who were looking forward to seeing them play.
Bigfoot Portal Crisis was the hometown representative and kicked off the night. I spoke with bassist Barry LaChance just before the show and asked him what his favourite thing about playing The Foxx Lounge was. “It is where freaks can be free! No matter what your taste in music is or how you identify as a person, you are welcomed and comfortable here. It’s home.” As if to prove his point, the venue was already filling up as they took the stage.
It was immediately clear why BFPC has made waves in the local scene as they started their set, perfectly blending punk rock and ska into a unique style that is completely their own. A few songs in, vocalist/guitarist Tyler Desroches asked the energetic crowd if they put ketchup on poutine, to which a mix of cheers and sounds of disgust erupted. Though the crowd was heavily divided on the matter, they all danced and cheered as one when the slow, bass-heavy intro started and broke into a ska song called “Freak” discussing the issue of adding ketchup to Canada’s signature dish - “I’m rebelling society and the government, sticking it to the system with my condiments”.
Bigfoot Portal Crisis is always a pleasure to watch and delivered a fantastic opening set that perfectly set the tone for the night. The outpouring of support for the Barrie natives was incredible to see, and I always look forward to seeing them live. Check out their debut EP ‘Portal Kombat’ on BandCamp and visit them on Facebook. They are currently working on two more follow-up EP’s that will be released soon, recording with The Foxx Lounge owner Shane Heath at One Star Studio in Barrie.
After a short break, Waterloo-based pop-punk five-piece Among Legends hit the stage, feeding off the energy of the near-capacity crowd and the high bar set by BFPC. I spoke with vocalist Mitchell Buchanan before the show to see what we could expect tonight. “We love Barrie! The Foxx Lounge has such a great crowd, regulars we see every time we are here, and you just don’t get that anywhere else, even in your hometown. Sometimes it’s hard to get a read on the crowd, the promoter, or the venue owner, but at The Foxx everyone is so welcoming!”
I have only seen them live once before, but I was still blown away by the energy and sound they produced. It was an all-out pop-punk spectacle as they hit the stage and immediately grabbed the crowd’s attention. The band was tight, comfortable, and determined to have as much fun as possible as they dished out fast-paced riffs and melodic choruses. Halfway through their set, they burst into a pop-punk cover of ‘If You Wanna Be My Lover’ by The Spice Girls, bringing up nostalgic memories of the 90’s. People went wild and were completely unashamed about singing every word as the song went on! I thought it was covered perfectly and stayed true to their musical roots. All in all, Among Legends was very enjoyable to watch and only revved the sold out crowd for the next band.
My first question for the boys in Slamboni was what the hell a ‘Slamboni’ is? Drummer Tim Maxfield laughed as he described a scene in How I Met Your Mother where a character outfits his van like a bedroom to allow him to have hookups on the go, which he dubbed his “Slamboni”. “I thought it was hilarious and sounded so Canadian, so we knew right away this was our name.”
With that mystery solved, it was time for them to take the stage. These guys are no stranger to The Foxx Lounge and love playing the venue. Their set was a great mix of older favourites and brand new music from their upcoming third album to be released this Spring through Trouble Town Records. Blending punk, rock, and ska influences, they have created a sound that is pure Canadian, reminiscent of a beach party. The anthemic quality to their music gives them a big sound that is danceable, easy to sing along to, and a lot of fun! Choppy ska guitar riffs led into powerful choruses, and their new material leans more toward the punk side of their wide musical spectrum. Slamboni played an awesome set and were tight, confident, and interacted well with the crowd. I highly recommend catching these guys if you get a chance to, you will not be disappointed!
The Bartops closed the night off; a tall order after the incredible performances of the previous three bands, but if anyone can do it, The Bartops can! Much of the crowd stuck around as they know that these guys can put on a show! With four-part vocal harmonies, pop-punk hooks that get stuck in your head, and choreographed stage moves, The Bartops are a band like no other in their ability to be just as fun to watch as to listen to. They draw influence for their stage presence from bands such as ABBA, Green Day, and The Beach Boys, and firmly believe that the onstage show is just as important as the music they play, something they believe has been all but lost in the modern landscape of punk rock music.
As their set went on, I realized just how hard The Bartops work to create an amazing live show. Their song ‘Freaky Like A Friday’ from their 2017 album Paid in Applause throws you back to an 80’s style rock and roll style with barbershop “du-wops” and walking bass lines (a la the movie ‘Grease’). I was happy to hear one of my favourite songs by them called “Margaret Anna”, which opens with a vocal harmony that reminds me of east-coast sea shanties. The guitars add a modern twist and in the end you have a song that the whole crowd was quickly singing along to.
Overall, the entire show had a feeling of pure fun and there was a levity in the room that is hard to find these days. Seeing the community come together and building the local scene with so much support is what restores my faith in music. Shows like this are a clear reminder to let loose, have fun, put your drama and worries aside, and most of all, be yourself. Each and every band gave it their all and agreed on one thing – The Foxx Lounge is more like a second home, with all the comforts you need, and a cozy atmosphere that is unmatched!
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