I’m grateful for the amount of shows I get to see every year. Most are bands that I know and want to see. Some are completely unknown to me, and I get to experience them with fresh eyes and ears.
About once, every year and half…I will see a performance from an opening band that if the show ended at the end of their set…I would be content, an evening well spent. That is how I felt about The Picturebooks.
The first thing you notice, from the bare stage, is a set of drums with no cymbals or high hats.
When Fynn Claus Grabke came on stage, he seemed larger than life. If it wasn’t for the icy streets, I would have guessed he arrived on his custom chopper parked in front. I can picture him taking off his helmet, shaking the dust from his long hair, taking a long sip of beer on his way to the stage before strapping on his guitar and starting the show. From bike to stage…these are the places he belongs.
Then, his riding partner Philipp Mirtschink pounds the drums like a blacksmith pounding on steel to craft an unbreakable sword.
It was something to see, feel and experience.
If Jack and Meg White both wore beards…and cranked up the amps…you would start to understand what we saw.
Fynn surprised us with his command of the French language. It did not compare to his command of the stage, but impressive nonetheless.
Hearing songs like “PCH Diamond” with the slide guitar and beating drums got us off to a good start.
They played songs from Imaginary Horse and Home Is a Heartache along with a glimpse of their next release The Hands of Time with “Howling Wolf.”
At the end of “Your Kisses Burn Like Fire”, everyone’s hair was horizontal, pointing to the back of the room.
It was their first time touring Canada, from West to East and they promised it wouldn’t be their last. It’s a long way from Germany, but they are welcome back anytime…and I will be in the audience, as will most here tonight, I would venture.
The fact that they sold out of vinyl after only 4 shows is a good indicator that they made an impression.
It takes guts to pick an opener that packs such a punch, you are left gasping for air. But Monster Truck are up to the challenge of sparring sonically with heavyweights.
Monster Truck have been opening for big bands for a while, with good reason: They rock!
Now it was their turn to shine, and they did not disappoint.
I felt Monster Truck had the home ice advantage. The crowd was fully engaged. We had a crowd of true rockers in the house…on stage and in the audience.
While Sittin’ Heavy would be the album to produce the most of the hits tonight, it was great to hear a few of the new ones such as “Denim Danger”, “Devil Don’t Care”, “Evolution” and of course the song that became tomorrows ear worm…”True Rocker.”
There was a point during my interview with Jeremy Widerman that he spoke of being in the zone. The way he moved, and the energy he exerted…I knew he was in the pocket and he glided on that stage as if he was on skates. Pure energy.
Jon Harvey gave us a true performance worthy of legends past, such as dear Lemmy.
Both Brandon Bills on keys and Steve Kiely on drums where behind their gear, yet they also contributed to this sonic boom of good times.
Monster Truck proved that they can command the stage as headliners…and produce headbangers. I don’t think any of us were immune to the urge to stomp their feet, bob their heads or simply smile as the chords combed through our hair.