|Lee Aaron - @ Barney's in Whitby, Ontario - photo by Shawn Irwin|
Our initial reaction to this new venue for us was at first less than positive. There seemed to be bit of a bottleneck just through the entrance doors as patrons collected behind the soundboard. With a bar on the right side stretching the length of the venue and booth seating on the other it made for a crowd in this area and poor vantage points for ones of challenged stature such as ourselves. Once we pushed through, however, there was relatively no one on the floor area and this is really where you need to be for a rock/metal concert anyway. I noticed that the only way on and off the stage was via stairs at the front and center, a poor design. I can't imagine trying to clear drums and equipment during set changes if this was a packed house with everyone crowding the front of the stage! Other than that I loved the size of the venue, the balcony which would provide great views of the concert (but I'd rather be down front!) and the sound was awesome. I do hope that this venue succeeds, I'd definitely make the three hour public transit trek there again to see a great live band.
Heavens Fire was up next and having seen them a couple of times before, I was looking forward to their show. Actually they're not using the Heavens Fire name at this time due to some internal legal band disputes to my understanding. Darren James Smith (Harem Scarem/Warmachine/Red
|Jesse Jack-Heavens Fire-photo by Shawn Irwin|
Drew Masters, editor of M.E.A.T. Magazine (a staple in my days of youth), bounded on to the stage bringing with him the lady of hour (or should I say "Lady of the Darkest Night"?). After Drew's introduction and welcome to the stage Lee Aaron and her band, Sean Kelly (Guitar), Dave Reimer (bass), John Cody (drums and Aaron's husband) and Matt Weidinger (keyboards) ripped into "Hands On" from her 1989 release Bodyrock. I was able to capture this opening track on video.
"Powerline" followed as everyone in the audience sang along with Canada's "Metal Queen". During "Rock Candy" Aaron was sure to give some special attention to the gentleman in the front row at the
foot of the steps as she came right up and sang directly to him. Lee Aaron stole the hearts of men all over the world in 1984 and she's still doing it today! "Handcuffed to a Fence in Mississippi", "Sweet Talk" and "Baby Go Round" all followed bringing us to a real treat for Lee Aaron fans. Lee Aaron with guitarist Sean Kelly have been working on new music and she let us know that they are hoping to have the new album out by December 2015 at the latest. They debuted "If You Don't Love Me",
|Lee Aaron - photo by Shawn Irwin|
Our friend from the Rockpile found himself being invited on stage for a few moments as Lee plucked his hat from his head to wear herself and quipped that she'd found Walter White in Whitby (prompted by our friends fashionable headgear). "Watcha Do To My Body" wrapped up the set, but the crowd at Barney's in Whitby would have none of that! Aaron and band were soon back to deliver a two punch encore set. Aaron invited two gentlemen concert goers from the crowd up on stage to be her "Go-Go dancers" for "Sex With Love". The guys looked to be having a lot of fun and "selfie" photos were being snapped all over as they danced, flanking the "Metal Queen" on either side. "That was awesome!" one exclaimed as he exited the stage afterwards and I recalled that exact feeling when I was called up on stage to sing in the past with other bands. "Bad Boyfriend" was the final song for the evening and Aaron announced that she would be over at her merchandise table to sign autographs and pose for photos after the set, so please come and say hi she invited.
Shawn Irwin's Photo Gallery (71 Photos)
Another excellent night of homegrown Canadian rock featuring some of the best performers Canada has to offer!
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PHOTO CREDIT: SHAWN IRWIN 2014
(Lee Aaron Website) (Lee Aaron Facebook)
(Barney's Website) (Black Moon Entertainment Website)