Three days with Lionsault. No, I’ve not been attending some sort of Chris Jericho wrestling camp. I’ve been hanging out with the band that has been reviewed here on Decibel Geek (Album Review) and also featured on the weekly podcast (Episode #239). When I say hanging out with, I don’t just mean attending their Southern Ontario shows as a part of their Sick As It Gets Summer Tour, chatting before or after gigs. I mean that of course, but also taking the three band members to their first ever Toronto Blue Jays baseball game during a day off from the tour. I mean having drinks on the rooftop tiki patio of the Bovine Sex Club. I mean conducting a very loose and unprepared audio interview while traveling in a car. I mean they lived at my house for three days!
Here’s my basic rundown of the experience, in which I’d like to think we became friends that will be sharing music experiences for many years to come. Also included are some poorly taken cell phone photos, the audio interview, and some cell-phone shot video of their shows. Hope you enjoy reading and please share the Decibel Geek and Lionsault word with all your friends, family, and co-workers 🙂
Lionsault and Decibel Geek
Some time ago a young man named Taylor Sheasgreen reached out to me via a Facebook message. He was extremely humble and apologized for being “a random guy contacting me”. He had done so on the advice of my good friend and rival website editor Olivier over at Sleazeroxx.com. He asked if I would listen to and possibly review his band Lionsault‘s debut CD Are You Feeling Lucky? I liked the album and was sure to let him know. You can read my review here: (Album Review). From there, attracted by the Lionsault name, wrestling fan and podcast co-host Aaron Camaro checked out the review. Also enjoying the music he chose to feature the band’s “Living with the Devil” single on an episode of the weekly podcast: (Episode #239).
Taylor again messaged, thanking me for all of the excellent promo for his little band from a tiny city in the Canadian province of New Brunswick. I warned him that I wanted to witness Lionsault live and that I may just show up in Miramichi one day! When he started to plan a tour into Ontario for Lionsault he again reached out to let me know. Fantastic news indeed, I marked two of the dates as possible attendance for me.
As the time approached Taylor and I planned to meet during the band’s day off from shows on Monday, July 4 for an interview while they were in Toronto.
Lionsault and Decibel Geek’s Hotel de Meister
This was the first tour for Lionsault. In the past, Lionsault traveled a few hours away to play shows in neighboring Provinces, but not a full extended away from home tour. The whole thing was basically organized by Taylor Sheasgreen. He spent countless hours reaching out to venues and bands to set up these shows. He reached out to me asking for some quick advice on the day that the tour began. He forgot to confirm places for the band to stay! A couple of the bands sharing shows were able to help out, but they were a bit stuck for Toronto. Ahhhhh, welcome to Hotel de Meister. We’re not upper scale, there will be no mints on your pillow. However, cat turds are fully possible.
With the first two shows being in the Maritime Provinces a few days ahead of the big road trip, Lionsault hit Ontario on July 1, 2016, for their show at Two Doors Down in Brantford that same night. All reports from the band were filled with excitement at the size and reaction of the crowd, who mostly were unfamiliar with Lionsault.
The next night was my first of two I would be attending on the tour. After a lengthy public transit venture from my town north of Toronto to Hamilton, I arrived quite early for the show at Doors: Taco Joint & Metal Bar. Walking in, a young man who dwarfed my small stature approached. Nice to finally meet Taylor Sheasgreen in person. Taylor took time, calling over his bandmates and making the introductions. Lots of time before the show provided me an opportunity to get to know these intrepid young folks a bit more. With Taylor himself working the door to collect the $5 cover charge, the place began to realize a decent attendance.
The club itself was a small funny little place in an old house. The entrance brought you downstairs to a dungeon-like bar, with stairs leading up to the band area. The floor (I can’t say stage since there wasn’t one) was found in what was presumably the old living room complete with fireplace.
Lionsault did not disappoint! The whole band sounded fantastic despite the mike problems afflicting Kortni early on. As Lionsault began to play their opening number of “Shoot ’em Up” the crowd filled in around the floor. Drummer Chase Nicols, brother of vocalist/bassist Kortni pounded steadfastly on his kit while Sheasgreen whipped his lengthy head of hair around in a headbanging whirlwind. Next on the roster were “Vixen” and “Light It Up”, for which you can find a self-produced/created by Chase Nicols video. Lionsault belted out “Counting Down” ahead of “Living with the Devil”, which I caught on video. Video with a crappy cell phone audio, however. “Running Wild” and “High Stakes” closed out the altogether too short set. With four bands on the bill, 30 minutes would be all the time allotted, unfortunately.
The Tour Continues…
July 3 saw Lionsault in Owen Sound Ontario, a lengthy drive from Hamilton. An early, all ages show, Owen Sound again went well by band reports. They departed Owen Sound after the show making their way to Casa de Meister, about halfway to Toronto. Arriving at about 2:30 or 3am, I set them up with the meager provisions that I had available.
The band slept late, most likely exhausted from the driving alone, never mind the high energy expended during the shows. When everyone had finally arisen from the dead and showered to breathe life back into the body, we unloaded their gear to make room for ole Meister in the small SUV. On the trip to Toronto for their first ever Toronto Blue Jays baseball game, we conducted a very loose, unscripted and unprepared fun audio interview. You can listen to the 25-minute discussion through the SoundCloud link at the bottom of this blog.
I shared with them my Blue Jay pre-game ritual of a hot dog and fresh cut fries at Don Juan’s Food Truck located on Front Street outside the Rogers Centre.
We discussed many things throughout the day. I learned just how badly one person can want a dollar store pocket electronic organizer. The absence of black squirrels out there which we are almost overrun with here. The answer to the question asked while at the top of the CN Tower, “I wonder if you can see the CN Tower from here?“. The difference in speaking accents from their province to mine. A totally ingenious marketing plan to let people know of their shows. All the ins and outs of a band booking a totally DIY tour for their very first time.
A great day all around and the Blue Jays even won the game!
Lionsault at The Bovine Sex Club Toronto
Being basically the organizer of the whole show at the Bovine Sex Club (along with others on the tour), Taylor was alert and sensitive to making sure things got off on time. The band, drummer Chase, vocalist/bassist Kortni and guitarist Taylor delivered another great show. In fact, this one was even better than the Hamilton event. I will attribute much of that to the fact that the Bovine is known for live music. They have an existing PA and a soundman. Taylor‘s guitar tone was again fantastic and the man can lay down some blistering solos as well. The pounding backbeat supplied by Chase drives Lionsault forward while Kortni‘s thundering bass reverberates around the room. The throaty yet tender at times vocal prowess of Kortni was heard clearly in the mix here tonight. None of the sound issues heard in Hamilton were present.
Again the high energy on stage from these young folks was a sight to behold. I can’t believe Taylor doesn’t have some kind of whiplash injury! He does neck stretches he told me later on. I did also learn that he had been a professional wrestler at one time. The band is tight on stage and clearly, are very well rehearsed. Unfortunately, however, for this show they forgot to erect their Lionsault stage backdrop. Nonetheless, the set was the same and had my fist in the air from start to finish.
One Disappointment and Hope
My one huge, huge disappointment in this set at the Bovine was that it was again only 30 minutes! For the rest of the shows on the tour, Lionsault has been playing 45-minute shows. I guess that’s made possible with fewer bands on the bills or earlier start times. I had hoped to catch a longer set. Apparently, the longer set includes a Motley Crue cover song along with other original tracks from Are You Feeling Lucky?.
The connection of music unites me to people more than many can understand. A band’s music means a lot to me. Maybe more than is healthy. Sometimes I travel to see a band, sometimes they come to me (my area…lol). The emotions sometimes overwhelm me. I have gotten teary eyed more than once during a performance. As Chase walked with me to the Lionsault mobile on my route to the public transit that would carry me home, we parted ways after a few minutes. I was sad to say goodbye. I know, what a loser! In any case Lionsault, check the front row next show….you just never know where or when The Meister will appear!
CRAPPY CONCERT PHOTOS BY: The Meister