By Christine Leonard
February 20, 2016
CALGARY — Celebrating a dozen years of successfully slinging delicious meat and music to the masses, Palomino Smokehouse & Bar played host to a crowd of supporters who turned out to pay homage to one of the city’s most popular watering holes. The sizzle sold itself, as throngs filled both floors of the venue proving that there’s more than brick and mortar holding the beloved joint together.
Bad Animal laid down a solid launchpad for the evening’s proceedings, their punked-up rock hooks digging deep into flesh and bone. Upstairs a beaming staff served up draught and garlic fries as The Von Zippers took to the stage to greet a packed-floor of longtime lovers, and a parade of incoming attendees, with an old-school punch of Calgarian rock ‘n’ roll.
Ducking downstairs with complimentary vinyl, Palomino Smokeout #4 pressed in a limited edition of 500, tucked beneath arm, we plunged into the dark embrace of Regina’s Black Thunder. No strangers to the Palomino’s aromatic atmosphere and friendly patrons, the hard-hitting trio blasted heavy, modern, blues freak-outs with an energy that begged to stay on for the rest of the night.
Stormin’ overhead, upstart quartet The Shiverettes had casual bravado and catchy riffs drawing listeners ever closer to the flame. All that was left was for Ian Blurton’s explosive dream team, Public Animal, to blow out the candles on the cake. And, that they did with bandmate Caitlin Dacey (Bella Clava) matching the legendary Canadian songwriter-guitarist song-for-song with her enthralling keyboards and perfectly matched vocal harmonies.
The warmhearted reception Public Animal received was not lost upon the bearded bandleader, who declared there was a reason D.O.A. played Calgary so many times. The typically inventive and self-depreciating Blurton paused at one point to offer a 50-cent refund for a musical mistake and apologized for tuning his guitar live, though none of eager-to-groove audience seemed to mind a bit.AB, Alberta, Bad Animal, Black Thunder, Palomino, Palomino 12-year anniversary, Palomino Smokeout, Public Animal, The Shiverettes, The Synthetiques, The Von Zippers