Bringing down the house!

François Lemieux
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West Island finest rockers hold benefit concert in Pointe Claire

The cream of the crop of West Island musicians united forces Saturday night to help West Island Community Shares (WICS) in its struggle to provide recurrent funding to over 30 West Island charities.

Not only was the cause good, but the music as well. Five West Island acts hit the stage as a mean snowstorm was forming outside: the new hard-rock/metal act Radial Velocity, the slick hard rockers Creepin Daisy, the groovy funk trio Play 4 Keeps, the grungy Blank Bullets and the “post-music” funk quartet Smokin’ Roaches.

Radial Velocity

Radial Velocity opened what was their first concert ever. Drummer Louis “Moose” Varga played his heart out with an arm in a sleigh while Leslie "Squirrel" Jank completed the rythm section on bass. The truest “metalhead” of the band, singer John "Z" Zavradinos brought lots of energy to get the party started, moshing his hair relentlessly in true “metalhead” fashion.

Steve Austin Rose rocked just as much and provided the fireworks with fast and slick shredding. The band’s hard-rock/metal with a touch of progressive got a good response. Their first album “Stella” is out now and you can find out more about the band on their Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/radialvelocityband.

Creepin Daisy

Creepin Daisy weren’t at their first show Saturday as they have been “creeping” for five years now. They hit the crowd, which was slowly getting bigger by that point, with powerful rock, displaying some solid hooks and great virtuosity by lead guitarist Scotty Rockets. This combo was particularly effective on “Liar”, the song they used to close their set.

Creepin Dave (Lynch) Daisy takes care of vocal duties while Steve "For Why" Stavros (bass) and the self-proclaimed “Smokestack” (drums) form the rythm section. The band is currently recording their first album now. You can check them out on Facebook but their official website is at www.creepindaisy.com.

Play 4 Keeps

The funk trio formed by Chris Butz (drums), Dimitri Lappos (bass, vocals) and Phil Boucher (guitar, vocals) has only been around for only a year but their musical adventure is going great. They have seriously owned their chops to a level of pure excitement that’s hard to match. Five songs are out on an EP released in June but it’s hard to encapsulate all the energy that these guys are all about into a studio recording. At the end of the day, the best way to experience this band is live and many fans answered the call this weekend.

“We are ever so grateful of the bands for playing for us. It’s inspiring to see all these people so dedicated to helping their community.” Michelle Grant, West Island Community Shares

Everything a concert-goer wants to see, they offer: musicianship, showmanship, wild stage antics, etc. They arrived on stage wearing bubble-wrap jumpsuits Saturday and went straight into a wild rendition of “Funk away.” They didn’t let up until the end and blew the crowd away.

Blank Bullets

The Bullets are coming off a third-place finish in MusiquePlus’ House Band Recherché 2013 show and their quiet-loud dynamic reminiscent of the Pixies and nineties grunge was impressive to see this weekend. The “loud” part was particularly well handled by singer Evan Marois (no relation to Pauline).

The quiet-loud structure present on many of their songs is, in a way, reflected in the contrast that exists between the more laid-back on-stage persona of the three guitarists (Peter Baylis, Joe Peplowski, Vincent Gosselin (bass)) and the front man’s wild antics. Vincent Gosselin's brother Samuel plays the drums. Check them out online at facebook.com/blankbulletsband.

Smokin’ Roaches

The Roaches’ politically-charged funk fuses mainly with rap to create a high-energy mix that borderlines on psychedelic, as evidenced by the crazy stage attire band members wear. The West Island musicians have a clever concept as they take bits and pieces of various music genres that are “played out,” or so they believe, to create something new, unique and fun.

Whether or not music is not as good as it used to be, one thing is for sure, they communicate great energy to their audience and the fans get a kick out of it. The four Roaches Cock A., Ease E., Will E. and Bo Z, won the crowd easily at Le Pionnier and got them dancing into the wee hours of Sunday morning.

West Island Community Shares

WICS was able to amass $361 as a result of the show. Spokesperson Michelle Grant was thankful of the bands and fans that packed the house at Le Pionnier.

“We are ever so grateful of the bands for playing for us. It’s inspiring to see all these people so dedicated to helping their community,” she said.

Geographic location: West Island Community, Pointe Claire

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