Die Mannequin @ 515 Concert Club

515 Concert Club
Cambridge, Ontario
July 30, 2011
Photos: Mike Forbes
Rebel Reviewer Dot Com

Almost two years has past since I last saw Care Failure and her raunchy band of misfits opening for Marilyn Manson in London. They’re still spinning the same tunes on the radio, Care still has a very hot voice, she’s still sexy as fuck and… oh wait, there IS something different. They had no roadies this time around. I figured a band of Die Mannequin’s status would at least have had one qualified crewman or at least a buddy helping tote their shit around but no dice.

It was actually quite disappointing to see Care menially wiring up her own mic stand, futilely trying to stick wet duct tape to the shaft of the mic for holding her guitar pics and tuning all her own guitars, all the while sweating profusely right in front of the very crowd poised to watch her play in this sauna.

At one point when a band hit that ever elusive milestone of having their tunes played on the radio, they could pretty well say they’d “made it”. After all, getting airplay meant record sales and record sales meant big tours and big tours meant big money. Not anymore; especially here in Canada. Apparently, it still doesn’t mean jack shit.

Talking with bassist Tony Bleed, Care’s other half, before the show, he’s even taking up day jobs with very “understanding employers” to make ends meet. I hate to say it but this actually pissed me off. No not at Tony, but at the state of our lame ass music industry here in Canada. Like what the fuck is going on when a band gets serious radio airplay with some very cool and catchy music, opening gigs for bands like Buckcherry, Danko Jones, Sum41 and Guns n Roses, exposure all over Canada, the US and Europe, and still can’t seem to reach the pinnacle or at least a nice level of success where they can just concentrate on making music and being musicians? It’s not a planet I like to live on.

I mean this chick is hooked up. You have no idea. Care Failure aka Caroline Kawa, has been summoned by some of Canada’s hugest musicians to sing for them. For example, and I’ll only drop this one on ya cuz it’s all you’ll ever need, Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee called her up to inject her sassy voice n look into the Trailer Park Boys movie for a remake of the Bobby Fuller Four’s “I Fought the Law”. The band they put together, dubbed the Big Dirty Band, featured Lifeson on guitar, Lee on bass, Jeff Burrows of the Tea Party on drums and none other than Care wielding the microphone and looking incredibly hot I might add. In one interview I heard Care jokingly refer to Lifeson as her musical sugar daddy in that he’s given her equipment and a tonne of advice over the years. But still, huge success eludes our beautiful little creature and her touring madmen.

When the lights came on and Die Mannequin collectively turned it to 11 at the 515 Concert Club in Cambridge, Ontario, every audience member knew this band was serious about kicking ass. They played a pretty long set featuring almost every song they know it seemed including the big radio hits, “Do It or Die” and “Saved By Strangers”. Despite the raging heat, the audience got right into it and had a mini mosh pit going before song 3 let up. I shot about half the set an arms length from Care’s mic stand before retiring to the back of the room to absorb the rest of the show. These guys truly give anybody a run for their money in the entertainment department and their music is seriously good and wicked tight.

So I give up. I’m not gonna sit here and try to figure this one out any longer. It’s been over a week since the show and I’ve eaten six boxes of Decadents and pulled most of my hair out trying to come to the conclusion that will ease my mind and set me free of my twisted misery.

All I can say, is the next time Die Mannequin hits my neighbourhood, I’m gonna be there. I’m gonna shoot 18 zillion pics of Care Failure and even though I’ll still be a bit bummed that she’s playing in a tiny yet packed venue, I’ll secretly be kinda happy that I get to stand face to face with one of Canada’s most precious unplucked gems, shake her hand and tell her she fuckin rocks.

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