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MUSIC REVIEW (Live)
Sum 41, Swollen Members, Gob
Molson Canadian House Party 2003, Ottawa

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Date: Tuesday September 30, 2003


Was it a rock show? Was it a Molson ad? Was it a launch for REV magazine? Was it a survival game in the winds and rain in the trailing edge of a hurricane? It was all of the above, but officially it was Molson Canadian House Party 2003.

An invitation-only affair, the House Party toured the country with a rotating lineup comprised of a variety of Canadian artists including Treble Charger, Kazzer, Default, I Mother Earth and Theory of a Deadman. The Ottawa stop featured Gob, Swollen Members and Sum 41.

Gob opened the evening and despite a constant icy downpour and huge puddles on the covered field of Lynx Stadium, put up a valiant fight against the elements to put on a solid set. Featuring songs spanning their career, the crowd was clearly most impressed by their recent hits including "Oh! Ellin", "Give Up The Grudge" and earlier radio favourites like "I Hear You Calling". Despite recurring feedback, technicians walking across the stage to cover monitors and speakers with plastic, Gob put on a solid show, bass player Craig Wood being especially reluctant to acknowledge the weather or sound problems despite the obvious frustration of his bandmates at times.

Next up were Swollen Members, the crowd swelling appropriately to even larger size as more people adventured outside the concrete corridors of the baseball stadium and the weather showed signs of slowly relenting. Last up were Sum 41, filling the baseball infield with pogo-dancing fans as they carted out their indie-rock hits one after another with a Warhol-punk-meets-Marylin Monroe backdrop. By the time they took the stage the rain had let up and the wind had died down, allowing the sound guy to get things under control. All three bands were allowed decent length sets and the beer was flowing from the concession stands, which didn't hurt given the brisk weather. The stage didn't fall down, the bands weathered the storm and everyone left happy with glowing REV Magazine billboards burned into their subconscious. Do we need another magazine about cars, women and toys? Is there a connection to Molson? Do they realize there is already a Rev magazine, a "magazine for pastors that cuts to the chase"? Maybe we'll never know but at least a select few got to see some good live music while pondering these questions...

Steve Donnelly Email WWW

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