Show Review: Full Year & 63 Monroe
Date: April 16 – 2016
Location: Call the Office, London, ON
It still thrills me when a show provides more than expected. There are a handful of bands I look forward to and if I go without for too long, well I just am not the unpleasant person I usually am. I get downright grumpy. I am a toddler in my terrible two’s for the parents in the know, when it comes to not getting my fix. I am also thankful my “fix” is live music.
So when I read that 63 Monroe would be playing the local punk dive, which is a great venue, it made no difference how busy our Saturday schedule was with an out of town engagement. We were going to be at this show. It was also labeled an early show as part of the Jack Richardson music awards which is a local event.
Well it wasn’t as early as expected, and that was alright because before the legendary 63 Monroe took stage there was another local band that was opening as a reward for winning a battle of the bands competition. This band is Full Year. They are a pop/punk outfit made up of 3 guitarists, bassist and drummer. Dual vocals as well! From the moment they began with some blistering guitar I got that feeling. That Ritchie Finestra feeling of something great is happening here except what it was is exactly clear…I could not resist the pun(k). This band has a lot of energy and on a very tiny stage to jump and thrash as they did, impressive. The dual vocals are amazing and unique from each other enough that there is distinction, adding more to their sound. I also appreciate any band with pop sensibility in their music, and Full Year is sensible here as well. They did a short rendition of Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles” and it sounded great! Their first 2 songs were from their EP True North and sold me. When they announced they had CDs for sale you guessed it, I bought it. Those songs are “True North” and “Treading Water”. There is a comparison here to Simple Plan and Blink 182 both bands I like very much as well as the evolution of Blink 182 to Angels & Airwaves which sadly didn’t hit as well. Anyway back to Full Year. I have high hopes for these guys and if you get a chance to see them live do so. Buy their music too, if you are into pop/punk rock n’ roll this will not disappoint. Full Year is: Connor Grail, Tyler Greig, Simon Käärid, Blaine Kuzemczak, and Ryne Strachan.
As I have written previously about 63 Monroe (63 Monroe & KISS Pinball)I will keep this short and sweet. Once again they delivered a blistering and amazing show. While I razzed Brian, their guitarist prior to the show about stage presence I think he is amazing the way he plays with ferocity second to none and often facing his amp which is a great stage presence. Steven R. Stunning is a killer frontman and vocalist, and fine guitar player too! Latest drummer Jeff did a fine bit of work behind the kit, well done! Pete on bass is always a highlight; this guy delivers as solid a punk rock attitude while smiling almost the entire night which I think is punk rock when the band seems to be having their own fun! Not too mention Pete is a terrific singer on “High on Rebellion”. If you get the chance to see 63 Monroe, do yourself a favour. Heck if you live anywhere in SW Ontario, get to one of their shows. A nod goes out to the band for once again playing “Trouble” a cover from P!nk.
– Blair De Abreu