SYMPTOMS: uncontrollable urge to raise fist in the air, loud cheering/screaming, regular singing at top of lungs (even though admittedly tone deaf), unbearable sense of loss and emptiness while Diemonds are not playing.
DIAGNOSIS: Diemonds withdrawal
TREATMENT: “Infest The West” with as many live Diemonds shows as possible and play Never Wanna Die at ear-bleedingly loud volumes in between live events.
It’s becoming completely unfair to any and all other bands on the bill where Diemonds are concerned, I’m biased. I already know that the soon to be released (August 14, 2015) Never Wanna Die album will be a contender for my top albums of the year list. Will it unseat the current forerunner of Lady Beast‘s Lady Beast II? That remains to be seen, but it’s a distinct possibility given what I’ve heard from Never Wanna Die in the live setting. I’ve seen Diemonds perform many, many times over the past few years, recently even making a 4.5 hr bus/train/bus public transit trek to see them (Diemonds Are The Meister’s Best Friend). I’ve seen them headline a tiny club (The Bad Pack Attack Barrie Ontario Review) and I’ve seen them blow away bands like Steel Panther (Diemonds Shine Brighter Than Steel Review) and Sebastian Bach among others and tonight they destroyed another legend once again, in possibly the best they’ve ever sounded on stage. Their victim: Lita Ford.
Joining a friend who made the trek down south from Orillia, Ontario we arrived at the Phoenix Concert Theatre to discover a meagre crowd inside the venue. Extremely disappointing to see this weak turnout of the Toronto rock community, although it is a Sunday night and the Heavy Montreal Festival is also in full swing. Fallen Heirs were the first band on stage for the evening’s event. Based in Toronto and formed in 2011, Fallen Heirs sounded really good as they delivered their set of what I believe to be all original material. Not being familiar with Fallen Heirs previous to this, I really enjoyed their set and will definitely be searching out their music for future listening (had I been on my “game” I probably could have fulfilled this quest by simply visiting their merch stand at the show and purchasing a CD).
I was already purporting that I considered Diemonds to be the headliner of the show, but what this young Toronto band laid down on the Phoenix Concert Theatre stage tonight was even beyond my expectations. The quintet consisting of guitarists C.C. Diemond and Daniel Dekay, drummer Aiden Tranquada, Adam Zlotnick on bass and fronted by Priya Panda has been fighting in the trenches for approximately eight years, issuing an EP, In The Rough, in 2008 and their full-length debut, The Bad Pack, in 2012. They have had their music played by Ron Keel on his Streets of Rock N Roll Radio Show, appeared at major festivals such as Rocklahoma (2012) and Heavy Montreal (2012), hold the title of the first female-fronted hard rock outfit to play in the city of Shillong, India and appeared on the KISS KRUISE IV (2014). They have been
sponsored by companies such as Jagermeister and Pabst Blue Ribbon and recently took a major step in signing with eOne Music Canada and Napalm Records. This label signing comes just in time for the issue of their sophomore album, Never Wanna Die, backed by a PledgeMusic campaign and out August 14, 2015. Diemonds literally electrified the stage at the Phoenix Concert Theatre on Sunday, August 9, 2015. The guitar solos trading back and forth between Diemond and DeKay, the pounding rhythms supplied by Tranquada and Zlotnick all served as a playground for Panda in what may well have been the best they’ve ever sounded as they blasted through a setlist comprised of mostly tracks from that forthcoming album (out by the time you read this). On a veritable high that only a great rock show can give, those that don’t get it won’t get it, I literally had to gulp for air after their “way-too-short-in-my-opinion” set. I was not the only one, apparently, as three separate groups that I’d previously told to keep an eye on Diemonds eagerly waved Diemonds CD’s in my face as I passed by them later on throughout the evening. So impressed they were that they had purchased the CD’s right after the set and thanked me for turning them onto Diemonds. Just doing my part to “spread the disease”.
Runaway Lita Ford was next up as the headliner for the event. Having seen Lita a couple of times in recent years through events such as The Monsters Of Rock Cruise and M3 Festivals, I was not a huge fan, perhaps tainted by the purported attitude (which I have actually witnessed some of previously) and really only liking a few of her tunes. Ford and her band did sound great on this night in Toronto with Patrick Kennison on guitar, Marty O’Brien on bass and Bobby Rock behind the kit. The expected hits of “Kiss Me Deadly” and “Close My Eyes Forever” were, of course, included near the end of her set, but I found the rest of the material to be generally a little weaker. Diemonds for President/Prime Minister and/or general ruler of the world!!
What’s next for a literally addicted Diemonds fan? Time to “Infest The West” with their most recent tour that sees the band on the road for two and a half weeks throughout Western Canada beginning August 19, 2015. If I play this correctly I can maybe hit the shows in Sudbury, Barrie, Ottawa and of course Toronto! Will it be enough to satisfy “the hunger”? Let’s hope so, but if not there’s always the fantastic Never Wanna Die album (full review forthcoming) in constant rotation as the only music selection on my MP3 Player. Play It Loud!!