REVIEW: JOE'S APARTMENT - NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOE

Written by: Dana Tunney

Been spending more time at Joe's Apartment and it is not a friends place but a very cool live music venue located at 919 Granville Street in downtown Vancouver. As the name may imply something generic it is far from it, non-pretentious, house feel party vibe; except for the massive chandelier which I know of no one having in their house but it is very cool. This venue showcases may genres, Latin, Hip-Hop, Punk, Alternative, and my personal favourite Rock. Joe's Apartment opened in 2010 by some friends that wanted a place where you could hang out with friends without the snootiness of dressing to the nines and sipping on current in vogue drinks that cost more than a price of new CD. Welcome to Joe's a place, a great place to hear local bands and meet some new friends.

The first time I went to Joe's was for a Dead City Scandal show, the Seriously West Coast Rockers I have mentioned in previous posts, who pack a house (or apartment) that bring the patrons to the dance floor for some thundering dance rock moves. Other shows have included bands that pack the venue, Aviator Shades with their energetic adrenaline brand of rock n roll, One Left Alive's wickedly modern apocalyptic rock, Marry Me with a triangulating genres that keep you captivated and savouring every note during their set, now to add to this list, Dark Stone who's influences are evident of the great  90's rock bands. Joe's Apartment is a place for bands and fans to be of complete freedom of who they are, your next very cool friend.

This past Friday night I was invited to check out a band, Dark Stone, as I had heard them the previous night at UBC pit pub and have listened to their music on Reverbnation I instinctively knew I wanted to see them perform at Joe's. My blogs are about bands in the Vancouver indie community and the opinions I post are of my own, I don't do these to offer reviews or be a critic, my purpose is to share the amazing talent we have here. Dark Stone is one such incredible indie band, which surprises me, their songs and stage presence is worthy of comparison to the current hard rocking bands on tour. Watching them perform you know they thoroughly enjoy playing and the influence of the rockers in nineties is evident. What I found to be the vocal influences are reminiscent of Layne Staley, Eddie Veeder, and musically I hear Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Avenged Sevenfold, Velvet Revolver; however they distinctly have a special spice to the grind of modern hard rock.What you will also notice while watching them on stage is the brotherly bond between Matt and Jason Mintenko, sharing the stage together where they bring out the best and compliment each other. Then there's the looks they share between each other, sometimes goofy and sometimes the "hell yeah this is AWESOME!" Brothers and band mates their music is in their DNA. Matt's voice is pure genuine passion for music, he is the words he pours out from his heart. On bass you have Kato von Essen who is not like other bassists who quietly stand in the background, this dude ROCKS it on stage and undoubtedly is having fun doing it, reminds me of only one other bassist that expresses his love for the music, Nikki Sixx. Stop the presses at the Daily Plant in Metropolis the drummer for Dark Stone, Stefan Grabowski is not your typical hard hitting drummer and one should never judge a book by it's cover as in Clark Kent - Superman. Stefan's audacious assaults are the perfect backdrop to Jason's exploding cannon firing riffs, and Jason's shredding skills are straight up heavy rock that is epic sounding and he sings lead on their track Tomorrow, a sound that grips you and won't let you go and trust me you don't want to be let go.

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