Earlier this year, my husband’s favorite band, Junkyard, were announced to be playing at The Rockpile in Toronto. Since Chris (my husband) had been spending so much time in Canada, while we were working on my immigration to the US, and Junkyard being his favorite North American band, we figured it was a given that we would make it to that show. Well as luck would have it, my immigration was approved, and although the Junkyard concert was ranked of very high importance, after 18 months of waiting, moving was a priority. The show was scheduled for May 23, and my move was scheduled for May the 13th. Although mildly disappointed that we wouldn’t see Junkyard until the fall, the excitement of finally being able to be with my husband after all this time, overshadowed all else.
So that being said, 10 days ago, I moved from the suburbs of Toronto to a small town in the midwest. One thing I will most definitely miss is living so close to all the fantastic concert venues, both big and small in Toronto. Living in rural Indiana is beautiful, but certainly much more of a challenge, to get out and see live music, but music fans that we are…we will make the effort!!
Anyway, back to my story… So last week we heard some sad news for Toronto. Junkyard and Little Caesar had to cancel their show at The Rockpile, due to unforeseen issues with customs and border patrol. (Unfortunately an all too common problem.)
I guess it’s a good thing we didn’t hold off my move until after that show.
Well shortly after that an announcement came from the Junkyard camp, that they would be adding a last-minute show in Indianapolis. Well guess where that’s close to…? You’ve got it… That’s close (ish) to Monticello, Indiana. I’ve been spoiled for all of the years that I’ve lived just outside Toronto. It’s pretty much a 40-minute drive or less to any of the many concert venues, and that certainly is not a luxury we have, living here in rural Indiana.
So we left for Indianapolis as soon as Chris got home from work (after collecting up all of the memorabilia in need of signing, of course), it being an almost 2-hour drive. We arrived at the club, and at first had trouble locating where the show would be, but then realized it was in the basement of a club called Taps and Dolls. We headed downstairs and into a very small, narrow basement, with the stage set up towards the back corner. We were greeted by a doorman, who told us that the doors were not actually open yet so we had to go back upstairs, so we headed two flights up to Taps and Dolls to have some drinks.
I must apologize right off the bat, to American Bombshell. Our redirection upstairs, caused us to lose track of time, and by the time we got back down we had completely missed their set. We heard they were fantastic, and they seemed to have quite a good amount of fans there. If I’m not mistaken, I think they are an Indianapolis band.
After a few drinks upstairs, we headed back down and around the back of the venue which appeared to be the entrance rather than the other door that we had gone in the first time. One of the great things about the Hollywood bands that were huge in the 80’s, is that they are so humble now and so friendly and always eager to chat with the fans. There were countless band members out back in the parking lot, all happy to strike up a conversation. Patrick Muzingo (Junkyard drummer) and I chatted about our cats, having made a connection on Facebook last year when we both lost our cats at about the same time. All the members of Junkyard were milling around out back, taking photos and chatting, including Todd Muscat‘s fill-in (for a couple of shows) bass player Gaz (Suckerpunch with Pat and Tim from Junkyard, & The Quireboys) who is exceptionally nice! (That’s because he’s English, right Mum?)
I had asked Chris on the drive over, who the number one person was that he wanted an autograph from and he said it was Alex Kane (Little Caesar, Life, Sex and Death & Antiproduct) He had brought some rare memorabilia and when Alex saw it, he was suitably impressed, and of course more than willing to sign it. We chatted with Alex for a while, and also with the bass player from Little Caesar, Pharaoh. (What a great name!)
I’m amazed that Chris still has anything left that he doesn’t have signed by Junkyard already (being that they are his favorite North American band), but he did manage to find a few things to bring, and I believe he got everything signed that he brought.
After lots of fantastic schmoozing time…we made our way downstairs. The room was full, but it was still easy to get right to the front. There something about having a pink mohawk that seems to encourage people to let me up to the front…LOL. Almost immediately, Little Caesar started. I hate to admit it, but I didn’t know much more than their cover of “Chain of Fools”, but wow, are they fantastic! My husband is the aficionado of all 80’s Hollywood bands (after the 80’s, I ventured off into a heavier genre), so I am learning, as I go, but he is the authority and did speak very highly of them prior to the show. I was not disappointed. Alex Kane was right in front of me, and so much fun to watch. Musicians of this caliber are so entertaining! It just looks effortless the way they play.
There’s something so very awesome about being right up front in a small venue like that when you are literally within spitting distance, where the artist can just reach out and touch you at any moment! Ron Young (singer of Little Caesar) did just that on a number of occasions. Reaching out grabbing hands, fist pumping, and constant eye contact, and flawless vocals! My only complaint would be that he should have been turned up louder because he has a great voice and I didn’t hear it nearly as loud as I wanted to.
After a fantastic set, Little Caesar left the stage, and it didn’t take long for Junkyard to get set up and play. We had gone outside for a few minutes to get some air, as it was smoking hot in that basement! When we came back in, we didn’t want to butt back into our fantastic viewing spot, but again, having a pink mohawk really comes in handy because people recognize you, and they called me over, so again we were in touching distance and at times I was almost too close to take good pictures! Crazy right?!
Junkyard were great! My first time seeing them was last year at the Rock ‘n’ Skull Festival in Joliet, Illinois, and again, it wasn’t until I met Chris that I really started to listen to them a lot, but I can definitely call myself a fan. Not only are they a great bunch of musicians but they are also great people! The set list was fantastic, including favorites like “Simple Man”, “Blooze”, “Misery”, “Hollywood” and they closed the show with ZZ Top‘s “Tush”, for which Ron Young joined David Roach on vocals.
We had a fantastic night! So sorry to all my Toronto peeps, who missed out large, but boy did we luck out! Thank you to Little Caesar, and thank you to Junkyard. You guys are all awesome, and we are so fortunate that you are here for us to let rock ‘n’ roll live on as we love it!