Stick Men – The Garrison Toronto, 27th August. Photo Review.

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Stick Men made a welcome return to Toronto last week. Words by Tim Darbyshire, photos by Tim Darbyshire and Keith Quinn.

Straight after another touring cycle with King Crimson, Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto once again joined forces with fellow stick man Markus Reuter and embarked on the ‘Prog Noir 2017 Tour’

The intimate setting of The Garrison provided the backdrop for the evening as Stick Men performed an eclectic set spanning their full career to date.  The latest studio album ‘Prog Noir’ provided 4 of the numbers and the usual King Crimson covers were eagerly lapped up by the enthusiastic crowd.

Seeing such quality musicians up close is always a treat, and with such a small stage, at times it felt like the band were playing in your living room.

Special mention too must go to SONAR, the Swiss support band who performed a excellent opening set of rythmic, interlocking instrumental tunes. For more information visit the SONAR website

Stick Men
Pat Mastelotto – Drums and percussion
Tony Levin – Chapman stick, vocals
Markus Reuter – Touch guitar

Setlist – The Garrison, Toronto – 27th August 2017

Hide The Trees
Cusp
Schattenhaft
Crack In The Sky
Breathless (Robert Fripp cover)
Open
Mirage (Mike Oldfield cover)
Plutonium
Horatio
Larks’ Tongues in Aspic, Part Two (King Crimson cover)
Mantra
Prog Noir
Sartori In Tangier (King Crimson cover)
Level Five (King Crimson cover)

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SONAR

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Our Top 5 Live Albums of 2016

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Just a few personal favourites from 2016…..

1. STEVE HACKETT – The Total Experience Live In Liverpool

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2. BIG BIG TRAIN – A Stone’s Throw From The Line

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3. IQ – Live On The Road Of Bones

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4. KING CRIMSON – Radical Action (To Unseat The Hold Of Monkey Mind)

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5. STICK MEN – Midori

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Our Top 10 Prog Albums of 2016

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1 BIG BIG TRAIN – Folklore
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2 MARILLION – F.E.A.R.
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3 HAKEN – Affinity
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4 RIVERSIDE – Eye Of The Soundscapetop5-riverside-eots

5 THANK YOU SCIENTIST – Stranger Heads Prevailtop5-tys-stranger-heads

6 SYD ARTHUR – Apricitytop5-syd-arthur-apricity

7 STEVEN WILSON – 4 1/2top5-sw-4-1_2

8 VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR – Do Not Disturbtop5-vdgg-do-not-disturb

9 STICK MEN – Prog Noirtop5-stick-men-prog-noir

10 OPETH – Sorceress
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Stick Men – The Mod Club, Toronto – 30th April 2016

To promote the forthcoming new studio album, Stick Men are currently on a 5 week North American tour – The ‘Prog Noir’ Tour.  30th April saw the band arrive in Toronto for a show at the Mod Club.  Review and photos by Tim Darbyshire.

Stick Men (Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto and Markus Reuter) made a welcome return to Toronto and turned in an excellent performance to thrill the enthusiastic crowd. Playing tracks from the as yet unreleased album ‘Prog Noir’, older Stick Men material and covers by King Crimson (Tony and Pat are long term members of KC) and Mike Oldfield, the setlist was both varied and surprising.

Levin exclusively plays the Chapman Stick, Reuter plays his self-designed touch style guitar, and Mastelotto’s drumming encompasses not just the acoustic kit, but an electronic setup too, allowing him to add loops, samples, percussion, and more.

The highlights for me were ‘Level Five’, ‘Schattenhaft’ and the two longer improvs which highlighted the chemistry between the musicians on stage. I always like seeing bands at venues like The Mod Club, small 700 capacity all-standing where you can get close to the stage. The new material sounded strong, the album is out in September – why the delay? – in the meantime it’s worth picking up the double CD ‘Midori’ live in Japan 2015 (with David Cross also of King Crimson fame) at one of the shows on this tour.

Remaining ‘Prog Noir Tour’ dates:

MAY 1, SUN – Kitchener, ON, Canada (Dallas Night Club)
MAY 3, TUE – Auburn Hills, MI (Callahan’s Music Hall)
MAY 4, WED – Chicago, IL (Reggie’s)
MAY 5, THU – Chicago, IL (Reggie’s)
MAY 6, FRI – Milwaukee, WI (Shank Hall)
MAY 7, SAT – Dubuque, IA (The Venue)
MAY 8, SUN – Minneapolis, MN (Fine Music Cafe)
MAY 10, TUE – Moline, IL (Rascals)
MAY 11, WED – St. Louis, MO (The Old Rock House)
MAY 13, FRI – Louisville, KY (Headliner)
MAY 14, SAT – Columbus, OH  (Scarlet & Grey Cafe)
MAY 15, SUN – Cleveland, OH (Beachland Music Hall)

Stick Men setlist – The Mod Club Toronto, 30th April 2016

Hide the Trees
Schattenhaft
Cusp
Crack in the Sky
Time’s Insane Ashes
Mirage (Mike Oldfield cover)
Sepia
Plutonium
Horatio
Mantra
Soup
Sartori in Tangier (King Crimson cover)
Prog Noir
Level Five (King Crimson cover)
Encore:
Open, Pt. 3 – Truncheon

Stick Men – US/Canada Tour Dates 2016

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I’m excited about the return of Stick Men to Canada in April. Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto and Markus Reuter visit Montreal, Quebec, Toronto and Kitchener as part of a 25 date tour.

In other Stick Men news, their Pledge Music goal to fund the printing of full score books of the ‘Absalom’ and ‘Deep’ albums has reached its goal.

STICK MEN  Continuum Tour, USA/Canada 2016
April 13   Havana / New Hope, PA
April 14   Roxy & Dukes / Dunellen, NJ
April 15   Iridium / NYC
April 16   Iridium / NYC
April 17   Infinity Hall / Norfolk, CT
April 19   Turning Point / Piermont, NY
April 20   Daryl’s House / Pawling, NY
April 21   Iron Horse / Northampton, MA
April 22   Natick Ctr for Arts / Natick, MA
April 23   Van Dyck / Schenectady, NY
April 24   Loving Cup/ Rochester, NY
April 26   Lost Horizon / Syracuse, NY
April 27   Cafe Campus / Montreal, QE
April 28   Le Cercle / Quebec, QE
April 30   The Mod Club / Toronto, ON
May 1   Dallas Night Club / Kitchener, ON
May 3   Callahan’s Music Hall / Auburn Hills, MI
May 4   Reggie’s / Chicago, IL
May 5   Reggie’s / Chicago, IL
May 6   Shank Hall / Milwaukee
May 7   Hipps / Eau Claire, WI
May 8   Fine Line Music Cafe / Minneapolis
May 10   Rascals / Moline, IL
May 11   Old Rock House / St. Louis
May 15   Beachland Music Hall / Cleveland