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Legendary Night of Music: Inside the Unforgettable 'OntariZona 2' in the Ottawa Valley

Every once and a while a really special show happens, a show that is just pure musical magic and has such a cool vibe to it you never want it to end. This was the case at Legends in Pembroke ON on Friday April 12 when “OntariZona 2” happened, and I feel blessed to have been part of it.

The Room was buzzing the whole night with the amazing sounds of Indie Tunes and Cover Songs, being strategically and meticulously orchestrated on the stage by every musician that graced the Legends stage that night.

The night opened up with Pembroke's own “Bangers for Breakfast” and their own brand of Punk Rock channeling high energy grooves with punchy hooks and pounding beats, Kevan Morin at the helm of Bangers delivered in your face vocals while shredding his Telecaster to no end, while Wes Renaud, and Steve Amyotte held down the rhythm section with ease and conviction.

Steve and Wes intertwine so perfectly in their music, they deliver a non stop backing to their songs, and if you can catch a look at Steve's hands while he's drumming you're lucky, because this guy is a monster behind the kit, and they each compliment each others parts perfectly.

Bangers for Breakfast was an ideal opener to this night, even whipping out a few new brand new tunes for our listening and rocking pleasure, a perfect storm for one wild ride.

Fear the Asteroid (Matt Lemay & Shawn Gutzeit) featuring Alan Harden were up next, and wow, what a set. A somber but very intense at times, acoustic set featuring some 90's classics like; Temple of the Dog's “Hungerstrike”, Alice in Chain's “Down in a Hole”, a couple of classic Pearl Jam Tunes, as well as a Fear the Asteroid Original “Leaving this Behind”.

Their set had the room mesmerized the whole time, it was another example of all the fine talent the Ottawa Valley has to offer, so be sure to get out an catch these local artists, they're out there playing every weekend right in your backyard.

Without missing a beat the show vaulted forward with a blistering set from Carnivore Strings,

(Mat Hounsome, Wes Renaud, Ray Sehn, Kyle Mainland), these guys brought their “A” Game and then some to “OntariZona 2”.

Busting outta the Gate with one of their own “Betta”, a real hooky pounder with Mat singing his ass off, it amazes me every time I witness Carnivore Strings Play, Mat's voice can be nowhere near the microphone and you can hear him clear as a bell, such power and mic control is rare.

I started to wonder if Ray Sehn was gonna leave the drums as a smoking pile of wood when he was done, his beats were permeating throughout the room in perfect time and delivery for every song.

A scorching rendition of Led Zeppelin's “Whole Lotta Love” is

always a highlight of their set, from Wes Renaud's solid guitar groove and blazing solos to Kyle's unrelenting low-end that we could all feel in our guts, saddled with the "Plant"esque howls coming out of Mat while Ray drove the song home.

With 3 bands down, the room was electric with anticipation of the final set of the evening by the one and only “The Meat Sweats”, a truly inspirational and excessively talented Jam Band, featuring a long list of the Valley's finest players, Ray Sehn, Jeremy Connor, Dylan Panke, Kyle Mainland, Darren Caldwell, Wes Renaud, we even had some guest performers like Lucas Traversery, myself, Brian Deruchie, who is Legends Soundman and had that stage dialed in beautifully.

The room went into full on ballistic musical mayhem as “The Meat Sweats” launched into Nirvana's “Breed”, Drums we're pounding and Legends was bouncing, between Jeremy Connor and Ray Sehn, Legends was gonna need a new drum kit after this night.

Alan Harden's voice soared through this epic set with ease as guitars wailed, and

bass thumped throughout the room, navigating such classics as Bryan Adams “Cuts like a Knife”, Alice in Chains “Rooster”, Prince's “Purple Rain”, Hall & Oates “Maneater”, Foo Fighters “Times like These”, Stone Temple Pilots “Plush”, Silverchair's “Tomorrow”, and many more.

This was a night to remember for sure. I'm proud to be part of this amazing music scene in the Ottawa Valley, that is growing at a rapid rate, new bands are emerging, new music is emerging, and the crowds are getting bigger and bigger every show. When the lights went down at the end of this night there was a huge feeling of accomplishment in everyone who graced that stage, another testament that all musicians can work together for the common good of the music, the scene, and for the sheer love of music itself, no egos we're on that stage, only music lovers, there was no one star, we were all stars that night, and we all shined bright, together...

~ Mega Mike

Revisit the epic memories captured in the video -filmed and edited by Mike Graham:

See more pics of this epic night in the gallery below:

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