I Am Gary Hampton.

July 23, 2011, 12:18 pm
Filed under: Blogs, Concerts, Music

What a week!

For the past nine days I’ve felt like a new person. Well, I’ve felt like the old me, which has been lost for so long it feels new.

Last weekend I spent some time reconnecting with old friends. I hung out with Rory and Garth in Garth’s back yard as they planned out their new patio, visited my sister’s for some much needed family time, then went to the beach with Rory, Adam and Perla. After heading back to Toronto for a couple of days I was off to New York with my old roommate/current coworker Ethan. Sony had flown us out for their Holiday Preview Event to get a first look at some of the new games and hardware coming out later this year/early next year. I had to stay an extra night due to my British Citizenship and the Canadian Consulate not being open on Wednesday afternoons, but with some help from Alicia I was able to get a spot in an amazing hostel and spent that extra night meeting people from all over the world and making new friends. My flight home was delayed multiple times, but eventually I got home and went back to the office yesterday in time to shoot an interview with Taking Back Sunday.

One of my most read posts on this site was the one I made when I found out the original Taking Back Sunday line-up was reforming, and to a part of that interview was really special for me. John Nolan is one of my heroes when it comes to song writing and to see how incredible humble he is, as if he either doesn’t know or won’t accept how good he is, was great. The interview went really well, and I’m so happy to share it with Brian. Interviewing bands is almost always enjoyable, but when it’s a true and genuine fan talking to an honestly happy band it makes it so much better. Later on that night (last night) was the show, and I met up with a bunch of Stroud kids to spend the night with. Almost the exact same group was at the TBS show about 8 years ago, so it was a cool throw back to old times. Adam and I made our way right up to the front, almost against the barricade. Continue reading

Jay-Z in NY Highlights

Full post to come re: attending both the Detroit and New York dates of Eminem and Jay-Z’s Home And Home tour, but for now, a few picture highlights from Jay-Z’s set at Yankee Stadium last night.

Kanye and Jay-Z

Beyonce and Jay-Z

Beyonce and Jay-Z again

Chris Martin playing piano during Jay-Z’s set

Drake and Jay-z doing Light Up

Diddy and Lebron James walking through the crowd


Brand New in NY

Saturday November 28th 2009. Nassau Coliseum, Long Island, New York. Brand New, GlassJaw, Thrice, Manchester Orchestra and Kevin Devine.

Much more to come regarding the show tonight, including a bunch of photos and videos* from each of the bands, but for now, here are the set lists.

And might I add, such a solid show, incredible night. I’m glad I could be a part of it. You support a band for years and it’s great to see them pull off a show like this in their home city. Anyway, set lists:

Kevin Devine

  1. Just Stay
  2. Carnival
  3. Another Bag of Bones*
  4. Cotton Crush*
  5. Brother’s Blood

Manchester Orchestra

  1. Wolves at Night
  2. I Can Barely Breathe*
  3. I’ve Got Friends
  4. Shake It Out
  5. Where Have You Been? (featuring Kevin Devine and a portion of his song ‘You’ll Only End Up Joining Them’)


  1. Of Dust And Nations*
  2. The Earth Will Shake
  3. All The World Is Mad Continue reading

Brand New/Glassjaw, Toronto 11/21-22/09

Brand New performed two back-to-back sold out shows at the Kool Haus this weekend and I was there to witness both nights. Firstly, Glassjaw killed both nights, setting up in a rehearsal set-up, in the round, with bassist Manuel Carrero having his back to the crowd the whole night. It somehow worked, they jammed out their songs in a different way then on record and proved they were worthy of a reunion. And of course, as always, Brand New destroyed the crowd with decent set lists both night. The only real notable difference between the BN set lists would be the lack of Your Favourite Weapon the first night, made up for with the triple-YFW enslaught the second night.

Set lists for both Glassjaw and Brand New (both nights) are after the jump. More of a ‘review’ to come.

Night 1: Saturday November 21st 2009


  1. (You Think You’re) John Fucking Lennon
  2. Tip Your Bartender
  3. Mu Empire
  4. Star Above My Bed
  5. Jesus Glue
  6. Ape Dos Mil
  7. Pink Roses
  8. The Gillette Cavalcade of Sports
  9. Two Tabs of Mescaline
  10. Siberian Kiss
  11. Babe

Brand New

  1. Welcome to Bangkok
  2. Sink
  3. Degausser
  4. You Won’t Know
  5. Sic Transit Gloria… Glory Fades
  6. The Quiet Things that No One Ever Knows
  7. Limousine
  8. Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don’t Continue reading

Six Years Later…
September 1, 2009, 4:25 am
Filed under: Blogs, Concerts, Music

I recently went to see Moneen open for Taking Back Sunday at the Kool Haus, six years after seeing Moneen open for Taking Back Sunday at the Kool Haus. I was asked to review the show for a friend who couldn’t make it. I had a great time, Moneen was great as always and TBS really impressed me.

Read my full review here: Press+1


Anathallo & Millencolin

Yes, I know, Anathallo and Millencolin aren’t two bands you would generally hear muttered in the same breath, but they are the two bands I saw live this past week and both shows were absolutely amazing for two totally different reasons.

Saturday February 28th 2009: Anathallo at the Drake Hotel, Toronto

Anathallo puts on one of the most brilliant live shows I’ve ever seen. This was my third time seeing them play, the first at a small venue like the Drake Hotel. This seven-piece art/prog/indie rock machine is a sight to see, whether you’re fimiliar with their music or not. Before I go any further I must say ‘Thank You’ to them for bringing percussion ensembles into current music.

The show was great, even without ‘Holiday At The Sea’ in the setlist. (note to the band: next time you’re in Toronto, play ‘Holiday At The Sea’, please and thank you.) They managed to squeeze in a great selection of songs into the short time they had, including some personal favorites ‘The River’, ‘Hanasakajijii Four: A Great Wind, More Ash’ and ‘Kasa No Hone’. They proved once again that the perfection showcased on their albums is replicable for a live show. If you ever get the chance to see them play, don’t pass it up. You’ll regret it later.

The show was enjoyable for more than just the music, the stage banter included an ongoing ‘strike’ system, started off when Matt had his guitar tuned incorrectly for the first song in the set, ‘Italo’, and had to stop a minute or so into the song. Later on he made a joke insulting Canadians (I forgot what exactly it was, if you remember please comment below) and further into the show forgot to transpose the piano for one of their other songs. The best part about it though was that the crowd was into it, nobody was upset at the mistakes, everyone was just there for a good time and that’s what everyone recieved.

To sum up the show: brilliant display of artistic musicianship, positive crowd appreciating said display, and massive percussion breakdowns which make me happier than a kid on Christmas morning.

Can’t wait for next time.

Saturday March 7th 2009: Millencolin at the Opera House, Toronto

Oh, Swedish skate punk. I don’t even know what to say about this show. I can’t recall the last time I listened to Millencolin, but I do remember the era when I was really into them. It was late elementary school/early high school, I would go to as many shows as I could possibly go to and loved acting like a fool, singing along, pumping fists, moshing, etc. There’s something about a small punk rock show that brings people together in a way I’ve never seen anywhere else. Everyone’s there for a good time, everyone has some steam to blow off, and everyone shares this mutual respect and instant brotherly bond. This show re-proved all of that to me.

The best way to explain the show is through a timeline of my day.

11:45am: I discover that the show is happening thanks to a friend’s Facebook status (Hi Shannon!). I spend the next few hours searching for someone to come with.
5:20pm: While checking Facebook statuses I notice a casual friend’s status says ‘In Toronto! Looking for something to do tonight!’ to which I respond with ‘Millencolin @ Opera House’
6:30pm: I head to the venue, planning to meet up with said casual friend who I’ve only ever hung out with backstage at shows.
7:00pm: I find him and join him in line, meeting his friend and some other people they met in line.
7:30pm: Doors open, we go in planning to buy tickets at the door.
7:35pm: Tickets are sold out. The girl we met in line got the last one.

This is where the concept of instant friendship comes into play.  Continue reading

Live List
August 31, 2008, 11:16 am
Filed under: Blogs, Concerts, Music

I’m laying in a hotel bed in Calgary, half awake, recounting last night’s adventure. I flew in with my sister and we went to see Oasis, then braved the pouring rain to make it back to the hotel. I was never a huge Oasis fan, but my sister was and needed to see them live at some point in her life, so here I am in Calgary to help make that happen for her.

The whole thing gave me the urge to make a physical list of bands to see at some point in my life, what I like to call my ‘Live List’. I’ll keep updating as I think harder of who I have yet to see live, but enjoy tremendously on record.

My Live List, alphabetical and incomplete.

  • American Football (a man can dream…)
  • The Appleseed Cast Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto: April 21st 2009
  • Blur
  • Chiodos
  • Death Cab For Cutie
  • Foo Fighters
  • Glassjaw (reunion rumors)Reunion was legit, saw them 3 times in a week including the big home town show, November 28th 2009 in Long Island
  • Lydia
  • mewithoutYou
  • Name Taken (again, reunion rumors)
  • Neutral Milk Hotel/Jeff Mangum
  • Rx BanditsMod Club, Toronto: April 2nd 2010
  • Say AnythingThe Phoenix, Toronto: October 28th, 2009
  • The Snake The Cross The Crown
  • The Tragically Hip Wiarton Airfield, Wiarton: June 27th 2009
  • Weatherbox
  • Weezer
  • Well, ish. Saw the last song of the set, doesn’t really count at all.

This is a strange list, because some of these bands aren’t playing live anymore and some of them may not be my favorite bands, but I guess music, specifically live music, has always been such an important part of my life that I hope to bring this list to a zero and keep my list of bands seen live rising. To be able to say I’ve seen the Get Up Kids, Radiohead, Midtown, Muse, the Movielife, Kanye West, Silverchair, etc, is a great thing. I’m aware that I’ve been lucky in life in that I’ve been able to see some incredible shows and see some great bands before they stopped playing music, and that I have a job where it’s common to take a short break in the afternoon to head upstairs and watch some amazing bands soundcheck, it’s a completely different experience than seeing a live show that I enjoy very much.

Fingers crossed that this list starts diminishing…

Feel free to leave a comment; who’s on your live list?


Ps. So good.