Monday nights in Ottawa are not necessarily the most successful nights for live shows, but this past Monday was clearly an exception. The Diamond Mine Agency had brought a five band set to the jam packed Babylon, with the American rock band CKY as its headliner, Kelowna’s The Wild!, Toronto’s Old James and two opening acts from Ottawa.

The evening started with The Aphelion who have just released their debut single, The Labour Division, and are working on an EP, scheduled to be released later this year. The young band delivered an enthusiastic set of progressive metal, and you can clearly hear the influences of Devin Townsend and Mastodon, which the guys themselves refer to as the bands they look up to.

The Aphelion at Babylon. Photo by Laura Collins.

Next up was Ottawa’s Eagleson, that brought a very different genre on stage. The four man band show maturity and with singer Tom Edward on the vocals, reminded me of somewhat influenced between Rage Against The Machine and Metallica. Ryan Wolves on the bass delivered heavy bass hooks and his energetic stage presence made the show fun to watch.

One of my favourites of the evening was undeniably Toronto’s Old James. The 70’s blues rock power trio was visibly enjoying their time on stage. The singer-bassist Brian Stephenson, who had an insane vocal range, and guitarist Andy Thompson switching side to side on stage, and the drummer Chris Stephenson’s solid performance were one of the highlights of the night. When the shirts came off, the Babylon crowd went wild.

Old James at Babylon. Photo by Laura Collins.

The Wild! is known from their energetic shows and they did not disappoint this time either. The singer Dylan Villain’s charismatic stage presence, and guitarist The Kid bouncing off the amps was most entertaining to watch. The band took their audience with their choreographed moves and kick ass rocknroll, and had clearly attracted some of their most loyal Ottawa fans right in front of the stage in their band swag. It’s easy to say that The Wild! totally stole the show on Monday night.

The Wild! at Babylon. Photo by Laura Collins.

CKY aka Camp Kill Yourself, which hails from West Chester, Pennsylvania, has gone through quite a few lineup changes during its existence within the past 19 years, and performed in Ottawa as a trio with the singer-guitarist Chad I Ginsgburg, drummer Jess Margera (yes, of THE Margera’s), and bassist Matt Deiss.

Fresh from a tour in England, the band is delivering a few shows in Canada before heading over to the U.S for the Vans Warped Tour and will be releasing their first album in eight years, The Phoenix.

The audience was up for a surprise when Phil and April Margera, who are mostly know from appearing and being continuously pranked and tormented on their son Bam Margera’s tv show Viva La Bam, climbed on stage to introduce the band. They then settled into their VIP seats in front of the stage for the show, and probably received as much attention and high-fives as the headliner of the night.

CKY, that combines multiple genres in their music from grunge to metal to punk, delivered a solid 45 minute set to their loyal fans who had patiently waited for them all night.

Although the band seemed fairly quiet and tired, they asked for the audience for wishes for songs, and the fans got what they wished for with the band playing older songs from 96 Quite Bitter Beings and Rio Bravo from their first album, to Flesh Into Gear, and Days of Self Destruction. The band returned on stage for a quick encore before sending off their rocked out fans into the Ottawa night.

By Laura Collins.