• Manitoba Live At This Ain't Hollywood, Hamilton Ontario, April 20, 2013.



    Manitoba Live At This Ain't Hollywood, Hamilton Ontario, April 20, 2013.

    Almost exactly one year after their first appearance at This Ain’t Hollywood in Hamilton, Ontario, Handsome Dick Manitoba, took his crew Manitoba back on tour for a few more quick dates in Ontario. Once again made up of originals Dictators and former Manowar guitar player Ross ‘The Boss,’ former Dictators drummer JP ‘Thunderbolt’ Patterson, Daniel Rey on guitar and Dean Rispler on bass the band once again proved that there’s still a whole lot of life left in bad ass rock n roll.

    The night opened up with a set from Hamilton natives Illusion Avenue, a group of high school age kids before Tongue Fu came out. Lead by TAH’s owner, Lou Molinaro with the mighty Gord Lewis (Teenage Head) on guitar, Peter Arseneault (Doughboys) on guitar, Gene Champagne (Killjoys) on drums, Dave Elley of (Orphans) bass and Greg Brisco of (Dinner Belles) on keyboard, they delivered a solid half hour plus of solid, full steam ahead music. A nice mix of covers (Alice Cooper’s You Drive Me Nervous being a stand out) and originals, this band haven’t been together all that long but you’d never know it. Plenty of energy and enthusiasm and an obvious love for what they do made them a lot of fun to watch and a great opener for the headlining act.

    Speaking of which, Manitoba (the band and the man) didn’t actually take the stage until close to 12:45am but evidently these guys don’t need sleep. Cranking through a solid hour of Dictators tracks and a couple of Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom numbers, the five white boys bangin’ on toys were in very fine form indeed. The Handsomest Man In Rock n Roll likes to talk, that’s no secret, and in between songs he regaled us with stories about hanging out with Jerry Garcia on a boat loaded with Hell’s Angels, he ed-u-macated us with parenting tips and stressed the importance of the younger generation respecting the rock. He also took an unplanned spill in the middle of the set but Rispler helped him up quickly enough that it didn’t hurt the set, and of course HDM was able to turn it into a joke, referring to it as his Oscar Moment. He was even in the crowd for most of Baby Let’s Twist, getting as many members of the audience shaking their ass as possible, before heading back on stage to close with Stay With Me (and yeah, they came out for an encore – of course they did).

    HDM wasn’t the only one worth watching though. Anyone who knows anything about anything knows that – Ross’ guitar was way up front as he noodled and oodled his way through the set with a gigantic grin on his face, snickering at the occasional ‘sign of the hammer’ that came from the crowd. Thunderbolt got out from behind the kit to engage in a little good ol’ fashioned wrestling with HDM, while Rey and Rispler on the right side of the stage consistently tore it up, Rispler doing the machine gun with his bass now and then. In short, it was fun. Seriously fun. The kind of fun that’s hard to come by these days and the kind of fun that should be experienced and cherished by as many people as possible! Pure, uncut, unadulterated rock n roll.

    Some pictures – dig it!

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    Comments 3 Comments
    1. Nolando's Avatar
      Nolando -
      Haha - HDM looks like a confused old man in that last pic.Seriously, how big is that place tho'? Yer pix are always so close-up.
    1. Ian Jane's Avatar
      Ian Jane -
      It's not huge, but we were right against the stage both times we saw them.
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      It's seriously one of the most awesome venues to see a band. I can't believe we have such a great live venue in Ontario.