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Manitoba Live At This Ain't Hollywood, Hamilton Ontario, April 21, 2012.

    Ian Jane

  • Manitoba Live At This Ain't Hollywood, Hamilton Ontario, April 21, 2012.

    Former front man for The Dictators, Handsome Dick Manitoba, took his new band, simply called Manitoba, on tour for a few quick dates in Ontario this past weekend. Made up of originals Dictators and former Manowar guitar player Ross The Boss and former Dictators drummer JP Patterson as well as newcomers Daniel Rey on guitar and Dean Rispler on bass, these mighty men of rock n roll put Hamilton venue This Ain't Hollywood under the thunder much to the delight of the rowdy crowd.

    As seems to be the norm for the band, they opened quite rightly with The Party Starts Now after walking out onto the stage but soon blistered through a killer set of Dictators tracks, even throwing in a great cover of The Stooges' Search And Destroy in honor of Iggy Pop's birthday. Tribute was paid to the late Richie Teeter (one time drummer for the Dictators who passed away earlier this month) but the mood was certainly more celebratory than pensive.

    As the handsomest man in rock n roll is apt to do, Mr. Manitoba ranted. A lot. About everything from how much he loves Hamilton to the Yankees to the state of his native New York City. It didn't stop the machine that is Manitoba the band from completely delivering, however. Special mention has to go to Ross The Boss for paying homage to his Manowar days and making the 'sign of the hammer' to a certain inebriated and particularly loud fan or two singing along up front and to Mr. Patterson for sporting a Hamilton Tiger Cats shirt (it didn't go unnoticed or get lost behind the drum kit). Hopefully the band keeps up this level of kick ass rock n roll for future shows and brings the show a little further from home - it's good enough to go on the road with and here's hoping there's a stop in the recording studio sometime soon.

    Hamilton hero Gord Lewis, he of Teenage Head fame, opened up the night with a great set of guitar heavy tracks and Teenage Head covers (performed really well by a vocalist whose name I didn't catch) under the moniker of The Gord Lewis Four. It's hard to think of a better Hamilton act to open for Manitoba than that and it definitely set the mood right.

    The night belonged to the headlining act, their debut in the city and likely and hopefully the first of many shows given the level of enthusiasm and energy in the crowd. Handsome Dick bopped around like a boxer, antagonizing the crowd in the friendliest sort of way and working up the audience the way a good frontman should. These guys are pros and it shows - if there's one complaint to be made, it's that there could have easily been a few more songs worked into the set, but otuside of that? Killer stuff.



    And a youtube video (not shot by me but at least shot beside me).

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