Friday, September 22, 2023

Sarah’s Hotspot: Gig Review: The May-sive Weekend Bender @ The Corktown Pub

Four hard-hitting classic rockers rolled through Hamilton’s The Corktown Pub on March 11th, 2022

On March 11th, 2022, The Corktown Pub was raided by rock fanatics, filling the pub to the brim as the lights dimmed, the speakers blared, and the Hamilton staple venue became packed wall-to-wall with concert-goers eagerly awaiting their chance to head-bang to their favourite local shredders. Invited by Dirty Rick frontman David Koffman, I tagged along for the ride- snapping shots of bands as they celebrated the long-awaited return of live music.

Poster for The May-sive Weekend Bender. Poster courtesy of Revive The Rose

Featuring Ellis in Transit, Revive The Rose, The Mickies, and Dirty Rick– the evening showcased some of the best of the best when it comes to local hard-rock. Brought to you by Snareguy Records and Bar Down Lager, both projects belonging to the Revive The Rose frontman Andy Colonico, the vocalist connected the Ontario-based bands to create The May-sive Weekend Bender.

“We were approached by Andy Colonico, the lead singer of Revive The Rose in late November, as he was putting together an awesome two show weekend in Hamilton and Peterborough,” said Koffman. “The show was a preview for Bar Down Beer Fest, a festival in Niagara that he’s putting together on Labour Day weekend, and we had to jump on the opportunity to play with Revive The Rose again.”

Colonico organized the line-up, sticking to bands local to the GTHA.

“Andy approached us and Ellis In Transit, as we’re both Hamilton local, and The Mickies who are Peterborough local,” said Koffman. “We’ve known Revive The Rose since we played with them in 2019 at The Horseshoe Tavern. It was our first time playing with Ellis In Transit and The Mickies, even though we’ve seen Ellis In Transit on concert posters around Hamilton before, we’d never crossed paths until the show.”

Revive The Rose. Photo courtesy of Sarah Jessica Rintjema.

Koffman prefers to add a personal spin when advertising his band’s upcoming shows, reaching out to friends and fans alike to spread the news via word of mouth.

“The show was advertised on social media, as well as by good old fashioned word of mouth, or text, which I still think is the best way to get the word out there,” said Koffman. “We hadn’t played in Hamilton since the fall, so there was definitely a lot of interest, especially since we were playing with such a talented lineup.”

The tickets were $15 a pop, sold both online and at the door on arrival. Since COVID-19 restrictions on live show capacities have dwindled, pre-sale tickets have slowed, allowing concert-goers to grab them in person.

Thanks to the talented line-up and loyal fanbases, The Corktown was rockin’, packed tight with little room to stand by the peak of the evening.

“The turnout was awesome,” said Koffman. “We had friends and fans of all of the bands in attendance and at one point the The Corktown was pretty full. Revive The Rose alone is a huge attraction so I think people were excited to see them and their unmatched energy on stage. It was great to have people up dancing and having an amazing time!”

Dirty Rick. Photo courtesy of Sarah Jessica Rintjema.

Although the gig pulled in an excitable crowd, there were consequences in the aftermath of attending the unmasked, busy venue.

“It was an incredible experience playing with all the bands in Hamilton again, but unfortunately most of the band ended up testing positive for COVID-19 in the following days, and a number of our friends and fans did too,” said Koffman. “That part was certainly not fun, and we ended up pulling out of the Peterborough show, but we are all aware of the risks that come with public gatherings in this day and age, and are incredibly grateful to have people supporting local music, and that everyone recovered quickly.”

The best way to keep live music flowing is to mask when possible, test ourselves, and notify those we’ve been close to when we come in contact with COVID-19. Stay smart and safe for the sake of concert-goers and performers alike!

You can help support the artists listed by streaming their music, following their socials, and seeing them live!

Sarah Jessica Rintjema
Sarah Jessica Rintjema
Sarah Jessica Rintjema (she/her) is a music and arts journalist and live music photographer based in Hamilton, Ontario, and working within the GTHA. Besides running a Canadian arts promotional blog titled Sarah's Hotspot where she interviews local artists about recent single, album, and music video releases, Sarah Jessica hosts a podcast called HOTSHOTS where she dives deep into industry issues with local artists, which inspired her weekly radio show on Mohawk College's 101.5 The Hawk every Tuesday at 7PM, called HOTSHOTS On Air. You can contact Sarah Jessica through email, Instagram, or through the contact form on her website. Profile photo by Christopher Arndt.

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